The enchanting island of St Barts lays nestled in among the teal blue waters of the Caribbean. Those looking to escape to a dreamy bubble find reprieve here. St Barts villas on the beach lure visitors from all over the world to relax near its calm waters and the lapping waves to calm them.

The island has gone through various stages and was at one point under Swedish and English rule, but it is primarily a French colony. French is the official language but most of the residents also speak English. Christopher Columbus made his way there in 1493 and named the island after his brother Bartolomeo.

Fully encircled by shallow reefs, blue waters and lush greenery, this volcanic rock of an island is a beach goers dream. Over the years the island has evolved to be a hot destination spot for hosting the rich and famous. Upscale amenities are dotted all around and those seeking the finer things seek St Barts.

As you are looking for your next amazing vacation destination, here are some reasons to make sure you keep St Barts at the top of that list.

The Beaches

Everything to do and talk about in St Barts begins with the beaches. The island has fourteen world class, picture perfect, public beaches around the island. Some people do little while on their vacation in St Barts other than enjoy their accommodation, explore the beaches and sample the various dining options. No matter which beaches you end up at, we can all be environmentally aware visitors. Coral reefs are extremely fragile. If you are swimming or snorkeling, never touch, stand on or kick the coral. It can literally take decades to regrow. Make a point of putting your sunscreen on about twenty minutes before you go swimming so it has a chance to set in. We all benefit if there is less trash in our oceans. If you are walking along and see a plastic bottle, pick it up and put it in the bin. The sea turtles you will hopefully see later will thank you. As you narrow down your itinerary, here are two beaches for consideration.

Baie de St Jean: This is a bustling and happening beach on the island. It is close to tasty bistros and cute boutique shops. Located near the islands small airport, you get to keep tabs on how many people are coming and going from St Barts. The waters here are usually calm as they are protected by the shallow reefs. Wind surfers and snorkelers love to head out in these waters.

Anse des Flamands: This beach offers something that is a rarity on the beaches in St Barts: shade. A few palm trees cast their shade onto the beach along this lovely beach. Located three miles north of Gustavia, the capital and main port, this beach is only a short drive. Those looking for exercise can take the semi strenuous hike from the beach to the nearby dormant volcano. This volcano is believed to be the one that formed St Barts. There are also some fabulous eateries near to this beach, so don’t worry, you won’t go hungry.

Take in the Views from Fort Gustav

This fort is from a different time when the island was under Swedish rule. It was built in the 18th century and offers a glimpse into the islands colonial past. In the middle raising up into the sky is a beautiful white washed light house with a red top. As you walk around visitors can see the remains of an old bake house and the cannon studded bulwarks. It is worth going up to Fort Gustav just for the stunning views it offers of the harbor below. While you are up there, take a moment and try to imagine what life would have been like back in the time pirate ships and naval ships would have been mooring down in that harbor.

Go to the Inter Oceans Museum

One of the islands quirkiest little gems, the Inter Oceans Museum was set up by the passionate oceanographer Ingenu Magras. Located in the tiny village of Corossal, this unassuming museum has over 9000 sea shells and other various marine objects of interests. Visitors can learn all about the different sea life that may live between those shallow reefs and the sandy beaches. When you are done learning make sure you have left yourself enough time to check out the town of Corossal. It has its own lovely charm about it.

Stay in Amazing Accommodation

St Barts has made its reputation on being able to hosts the world’s social elites. It is a place that takes luxury up a notch. A lot of travelers are finding the benefits of renting their own private accommodation. By doing so they still end up with all the creature comforts of home but with a pile of extra lavish amenities they might not otherwise have. If you are traveling with a group of friends or as a family, the cost of splitting some nicer accommodation can still break down to be great value. There is nothing quite like having your own mini paradise right along the beach.

Admire the Architecture

As you wander around Gustavia, St Barts capital, there is an interesting array of architecture to admire. St Barts is influenced by the Swedish, the English, the Carib and of course the French. This puts a whole bunch of eclectic ideas all in one place to see as you wander around.

As you pick your next wonderful destination for a blissful vacation, make sure you keep St Barts at the top of that list.