What better place for a Bahamian getaway than just around the corner? The Bimini Islands, a haven for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts, are a mere 50 miles from Miami Beach.
Located right in the middle of the Gulf Stream, Bimini attracts hundreds of marine animals and pleasant temperatures year-round.
Though relatively overlooked in the Caribbean, the Biminis have always been popular with deep-sea fishermen. The waters are rich in tuna, snapper and wahoo–in fact, the islands hold the spot for more than 50 record catches!
Here’s everything you need to know in the ultimate Bimini Islands travel guide!
What to Expect in Bimini
Bimini is the westernmost chain of islands in the Bahamas, located about 50 miles east of Miami. Bimini is also the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States!
North Bimini is about seven miles long, and home to Alice Town, a collection of shops, restaurants, and bars on a road known as “The King’s Highway”. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular activities, because there are many shipwrecks in the area that make for fun diving experiences!
South Bimini is home to the airstrip, South Bimini Airport, and offers a quiet alternative to the lively nature of North Bimini. There is a small community of homes on South Bimini known as Port Royale, and an epic nature trail.
All of the islands have beautiful, white-sand beaches and bright surrounding waters– uncrowded, unspoiled ocean habitats.
Language: The official language is Bahamian English, so it is quite easy to converse and talk with locals!
Currency: Bahamian dollar– same value as the USD!
Credit Cards and Banks: The majority of retailers and restaurants accept debit card as payment, but its always a good idea to carry some cash with you.
Climate: Bimini has a warm and tropical climate– averaging 70 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer months. The rainy season in the Bahamas runs from May to October, and October and June are the wettest two months.
Bimini is a year-round destination, and is most popular in the winter months!
Getting to Bimini
Arrive in style from the air–the best way to enjoy exhilarating views of the emerald waters! Board the Cape Air seaplane, which offers 4 daily flights from Miami in an intimate 8-seater. Or opt for the comfortable Silver Airways plane, direct from Fort Lauderdale to South Bimini.
Once landing, you can hop onto a ferry to North Bimini!
Some hotels offer direct flights from Miami via seaplane– Resort World offers daily flights direct to the resort in North Bimini, so that is another great option!
Getting Around Bimini
The best way to get around the beautiful 7-mile North Bimini is with a golf cart or bicycle. Shuttles are usually on “island-time” and not the best option for cruising down King’s Highway for some snacks or souvenir-shopping.
For maximum mobility, pick up a golf cart ($75-90 per day) first thing in the morning before they sell out.
Where to Stay in Bimini
There are only a few accommodations on the islands– so choose wisely based on the activities you’d most like to take part in!
Resorts World Bimini
On my visit, I stayed at Resorts World Bimini and had a fabulous time! These impressive grounds span a whopping 750 acres and boast a multitude of restaurants, bars and lounges. Choose from over 480 townhouses or villas.
Enjoy a sundowner at the swim-up bar or play the night away in the casino. Take a sailboat out for the afternoon from the marina, the largest of its kind in the Bahamas.
What to Do in Bimini
Snorkel with Sharks: The Bimini underwater is a rich playground for snorkelers and divers. The crystal-clear water makes for unforgettable swims with fish and coral–not to mention the sharks!
Dive with Great Hammerheads (seasonal):The best time to visit Bimini is in February, the month when huge hammerheads collect off the coast of Bimini. This is the only time of the year you can swim with these shy animals–so don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal! Join a qualified diver for this fun and unique dive of a lifetime. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch the shark feed at Triangle Rocks Reef.
Snorkel at the Sapona Wreck: Dive down to the floating Prohibition-era liquor cargoship, which ran aground in a 1926 hurricane. The tip of the boat is visible above water, making it perfect for snorkeling. You’ll find every form of coral, sponges and lobsters here!
Sailing: If you don’t have your own sailboat, you can rent one from the marina nad take it out for the afternoon.
Nature Walk: On the Bimini Nature Hiking Trail you’ll learn a lot: ecology, wildlife, history. Guided tours are led by professionals. You’ll find birds, iguanas and the endemic Bimini Boa that call the islands home–plus local plants like gum elemi and poisonwood.
Sunset at Gallant Lady shipwreck on North Bimini: The once-magnificent Gallant Lady now rests, rusting and rotting, on the southern tip of North Bimini. For years it’s been decaying. A cemetery overlooks the eerie wreckage. The red hues of the ship are stunning on the white sands and in a caribbean sunset.
Lie on the Beach: Of course, what would the Caribbean be without the beach! The islands’ top three are Radio Beach, Blister Beach and Spook Hill Beach, plus a handful of interesting cays to the south.
Where to Eat in Bimini
Stuart’s Conch Stand: The Conch Salad is Bimini’s main claim to fame–a tasty mixture of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, raw conch, orange and lime juice spiced with Scotch Bonnet peppers. Nobody does it better than Stuart’s, a beachside wooden hut and favorite with the locals. Stuart also offers vegetable and lobster salads, which he makes readily and you can scarf down with Cuban rum.
Edith’s Pizza: Edith makes the magic happen with lobster pizza. Edit’s Pizza Restaurant services extra large pies as well as traditional local specialties like chicken-conch pizza and cracked conch.
Sabor Resorts World (fine dining): The Bimini Bay Resort’s Sabor restaurant offers upscale dining along a peaceful waterfront. Their selection includes grilled sea bass, conch soup and surf and turf. Call before you go—the restaurant is quite small so I‘d recommend a reservation.
1, 2, 3 Floor (drinks & karaoke): This new sports bar is open from noon to two A.M., offering happy hour prices every day. With pool, foosball and Tuesday karaoke, there‘s no better place to chill on Bimini until the wee hours.