A tour into Merigot, on the French side will give you a great view and feel for then island as well as a taste of French culture.
The shopping is much different from Phillipsburg on the Dutch side. Either way the shopping is good along with the local dining!
I also did the America's Cup Challenge in St. Marten. It was a lot of fun. We won! We were on Stars and Stripes. There are different jobs on the boat, and you can choose an active or passive one. I was in charge of the winch for the mainsail.