We’ve talked a lot about the beaches of St Barts; but this St Barts Beach, the Beach of Public, is a little different.
All day long, especially during the high season, cars make the trek down the down the hill above the St Jean airport strip, called La Tourmente, to make it in to our capital city, Gustavia. Between St Jean and Gustavia, cars have to cross a part of the island known to us locals as “Public.” This is where the Beach of Public is located.
When you think of a vacation on St Barts, you don’t typically think of the area of Public, as it’s not publicized in any travel brochure; it is the industrial section of St Barts. Yes, I know, it’s hard to imagine that an island this small has space for a large industrial section, but without this part of the island, there’s no way we could survive. Public is where the power plant, the wholesalers, the water plant, and the garbage and waste collector are located. Not really the image of St Barts you want to retain, but really, most towns have some area of their city that is dedicated to this.
Further down from the main drag, Public has also kept a little more of a local feel to it, and so visitors often make the trek to check this part of the island out. Here you will find a local cemetery with historic tombstones, Maya’s To Go serving its famous creole dishes, and a very small beach. Well, maybe not a beach so much, more like a with a combination of sand and pebbles; it is often times used as a launching pad for small fishing boats.
My advice would be this: if you area looking for somewhere to swim, check out one of the other amazing beaches that grace this island. You have plenty to choose from, so why bother trying to find a good place to lay a towel on Public Beach? Scope it out from the water, perhaps when you’re sailing from Gustavia to Colombier, or go there at night, but to enjoy the food at Maya’s…….speaking of which, my mouth is watering at the moment, just thinking about their creations. I can’t believe I dared write about her creole-thai-fusion cuisine as I’m starving to death on a train that is supposed to be high-speed; argh, French technology and service…..don’t even get me started!!