The French and the Dutch signed a treaty in 1648 that divided the island between them. The two sides have distinct cultural characteristics and they spell the island's name differently, but it's their differences that add to the charm of this Caribbean hideaway -- not to mention some of the most amazing cuisine in the world.
The Dutch capital of Philipsburg fills a small stretch of land. Its two main roads Front Street and Back Street bisect the city. Front Street's West Indian architecture offers duty-free shopping of imported goods and native crafts.
Spelled St. Martin on the French side, their capital is Marigot, located on the western shore and largest town on the island known for its beautiful beaches.
Known as the gastronomic capital, this small fishing village on the northwest coast of French St. Martin features quaint pastel-colored houses and over 30 sidewalk cafes, brasseries and bistros for the finest fare in the Caribbean.
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