Thrilling airport beach lets tourists sip cocktails while planes blast sand



Most go to the beach to relax and soak up some sun. But there's one beach on the west side of St. Maarten that attracts people not for its picturesque views of paradise or sunsets, but its proximity to the airport. (Though the sunsets are supposed to be beautiful, too.)
Located just a few feet from runway 10 at Princess Juliana International Airport is a small strip of sand called Maho Beach that's become a favorite for plane spotters over the years.

As planes approach the airport for landing on the short runway they come within feet of the sun bathers, offering a thrilling experience and an awesome photo op.
It also allows visitors the unusual opportunity to sip cocktails as they're blasted in the face with jet engine exhaust. So exotic.
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IMAGE: DENNIS K. JOHNSON/GETTY
The beach sits next to Sunset Bar and Grill, which is as well known for its aviation sightings as its party scene. The bar hosts a number of activities day and night, including but not limited to crab races, live music and bikini contests.
In 2014, USA Today rated the bar one of the sexiest beach bars in the Caribbean. But the beach isn't just for plane spotters and partiers, families and children are also welcome.
The best time to see the massive jets arrive from Europe is in the afternoon, but as they pass through they will blow sand and loose belongs along the beach, so bring some sunglasses. The bar features a listing of arriving flights that day, so you'll know exactly when the most planes are coming in.

Landing Jet at St. Maarten Airport, Netherlands Antilles
IMAGE: PAUL SOUDERS/CORBIS
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IMAGE: JAKE WARGA/CORBIS
St. Maarten Airport, Netherlands Antilles
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IMAGE: FLICKR, TAKASHI OTA
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IMAGE: CHRISTIAN WHEATLEY
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IMAGE: DENNIS K. JOHNSON/GETTY




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