Today's image is from the shops along Voorstraat, the main tourism street in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of an island shared with France. Despite the fact my wife has a devil of a time getting me to do any kind of shopping (other than grocery) while we're at home, I LOVE shopping districts, no matter how touristy they may get -- and some of them get frighteningly touristy. I have t-shirts and shot glasses to prove my point.
Both Sint Maarten and Saint Martin (the French side) thrive on the tourist dollars -- in about an hour Voorstraat will be teeming with tourists slipped from their cruise ships to head into town to make contributions to the local economy.
Because it is a divided island, featuring both Dutch and French cultures to their best, Saint Martin is one of our favorite destinations in the Caribbean. Whether you enjoy all-inclusive resorts or prefer small-town beach places, a quiet escape or the vibrance of a casino, a high-end dining experience or grabbing a snack at a local lolo, Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is a small island with a lot of options.
Try the Ma Doudou flavored rhum, it's spectacular (and usually very cheap) almost everywhere on the island.