St. Barth is known for its pristine "white-sugar" sand beaches. All are public, and each has a distinct personality. The ambience ranges from secluded and romantic to those filled with families indulging in water sports and "the beautiful people" populating the toes-in-the-sand beach bars. Although nudity is officially banned, bathers go suitless at some beaches and going topless is common. It's a French island, after all. Try a different beach each day! Some of the most popular include the following:

Delightfully secluded and accessible only by catamaran or a 25-minute hike along a goat path.

You should go there:
With a picnic lunch and spend the day swimming and snorkeling.
Why we love it:
The sunsets are spectacular – "green flash" anyone? So romantic that many guys have popped the question here.

St. Barth's classic, wide Caribbean beach is gorgeous, offering restaurants for seaside dining.

You should go there:
If you enjoy bodysurfing and riding the waves, it's the place to play.
Why we love it:
After a swim, we can have langouste (Caribbean Lobster) for lunch then doze on the beach.

Unspoiled. The white-sand cove is picture-perfect. There is nice surf and good snorkeling by the rocks.

You should go there:
Early or late in the day to avoid the strong sunlight. Turn right to go sans suit.
Why we love it:
Rumor has it Captain Monbars, "The Exterminator," buried his stolen treasure in a hidden cave – no one has found it yet! We are still looking.

A lovely lagoon. Calm with quiet, shallow water – perfect for small children. Beachfront dining and great breezes.

You should go there:
To see the blue and green hues of the sea and take a kitesurfing lesson – if you dare.
Why we love it:
To enjoy a "toes-in-the-sand" lunch at O'Corail or La Gloriette.

A reef-protected beach – great for swimming and snorkeling. In winter it provides some shade.

You should go there:
When the "surf's up" on the left end to watch the hard-core surfers try to catch that perfect wave.
Why we love it:
We can stop at the nearby bakery for a baguette and a few Caribs and then enjoy lunch by the palm trees.

A delightful small cove that is part of the Marine Reserve.

You should go there:
To swim and then snorkel by the rocks.
Why we love it:
Palm trees line the small beach, and it is never crowded.

Unspoiled and spectacular – it's one of the island's marquee beaches.

You should go there:
If you like to swim "au naturel." (Don't tell anyone we told you!)
Why we love it:
The rocky path leads to a sand dune; when we reach the top, we marvel at the view.

A very calm cove with a view of the islands of Statia and Saba.

You should go there:
When other beaches are a bit too windy, count on Shell Beach to be tranquil enough for swimming and sunning.
Why we love it:
The tiny shells are so pretty. In winter, we come to watch the sunset.

The island's sexiest and scene-ist. Great to swim, play and people watch, and it boasts several toes-in-the-sand bars and bistros.

You should go there:
To see the up close-and-personal view of the little planes flying in – it's so St. Barth.
Why we love it:
It's where all the action is, especially on Sundays at La Plage.