St. Barthelemy, or St. Barts as the locals call it, is one of the treasures of the French West Indies, Caribbean. St Barts is only a short plane ride from St. Maarten, and visitors immediately see why so many celebrities and captains of industry call it home. With its classic Caribbean beauty, the island maintains a sense of remoteness and privacy, as well as an endless variety of “fun in the sun” activities.

The duty-free port town of Gustavia, named for King Gustav of Sweden, offers the sort of boutique shopping rarely seen outside of New York’s Fifth Avenue or the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Its bay is filled with luxury yachts and bobbing sailboats, and its waters possess a clear blue sparkle that have made the islands famous. Shopping in the morning can be followed by afternoons swimming, snorkeling, diving, sailing, windsurfing, beachcombing or just relaxing under a palm tree on the powdery, white sand at two dozen beaches.

While Gustavia remains the center of activity, the island features a cornucopia of quaint villages and remote locations all over the hillsides and beaches of St. Barts. Within minutes, one can be as connected or isolated as desired.

There are no high-rise hotels or mammoth, gated resorts on St. Barts. The friendly, community atmosphere allows visitors the liberty to roam freely throughout the island, exploring remote beaches and winding roads, and sampling myriad local restaurants and cafés without restraint.

The Festival performances themselves are not held in grandiose halls filled with stuffed shirts and bejeweled dowagers. Instead, islanders and tourists alike sit side-by-side and enjoy our peerless performers in several of the quaint, local historic churches. The warm, breezy evenings allow the doors and windows to be open wide as the toasty glow of the lights and the passionate swells of music flow from the churches across the hillsides and through the swaying palm trees on the beaches.