Beaches in Bimini
The beaches in Bimini are drop-dead gorgeous, boasting white sand and clear, turquoise waters -- and free to visit. For the most part, waves are minimal, the water is warm and conditions are swimmable. Rip currents can be strong, particularly off the beaches of South Bimini, so be careful. Most visitors and locals prefer the beaches on North Bimini, and if you're looking for a truly serene experience, it's worth checking out some of the smaller, even quieter beaches in the island cays via a private ferry service or boat rental.
Best Deserted Island Vibe: Blister Bay Beach is part of a continuous stretch of three popular beaches on the western side of North Bimini. There are no facilities here, just powder-soft white sand and beautiful blue water. However, a handful of restaurants and bars are within walking distance. Be sure to bring a towel, sunscreen and water -- and make sure you have enough time in port to spend venturing out of town.
Best for Socializing: If you're looking for the party, it's at the Resorts World Bimini beach club. The bar slings cold drinks, the restaurant serves easy island fare and there are plenty of beach chairs and cabanas upon which to spread out your towel.
In April 2020, the beach club (co-owned by Virgin Voyages) will move to its new home on the northernmost tip of North Bimini and cater to an even more upscale clientele. Unless you're staying at the resort, expect to pay a day rate to access the beach chairs, water sports rentals, comfy cabanas and clubby party vibe.
Best Family-Friendly Beach: This beach might be next to a cemetery, but don't be scared -- Spook Hill Beach is actually one of the most family-friendly beaches in Bimini. Soft sand and crystal-clear shallow water make this North Bimini beach an ideal spot to visit for families with small children or swimmers who aren't quite comfortable in deeper water. There are no facilities on the beach, but a few bars and restaurants in the area have bathrooms.
Best for Shelling: Shelling enthusiasts should head over to Shell Beach on South Bimini's untouched west coast where they'll find a tranquil vibe, calm water and a natural beach stocked with a variety of seashells. There are no facilities here -- and nothing in the vicinity -- so be sure to bring everything you'll need with you for your day of treasure hunting.
Don't Miss in Bimini
Snorkeling the S.S. Sapona shipwreck: The S. S. Sapona has a storied history, from initially being commissioned by a president to being used by a notorious rumrunner during Prohibition and later as target practice for fighter planes in the U.S. military. This legendary vessel ran aground over 80 years ago -- just 4 miles off the coast of South Bimini -- and is now home to a colorful variety of marine life. Its shallow position of just 17 feet underwater makes it easy for snorkelers to explore the shipwreck, though weak swimmers should be cautious; the ship lies within the Bermuda Triangle, in an area known for strong rip currents. (Bennett's Harbour, South Bimini; 242-346-294)
The Fountain of Youth: In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sailed to Bimini in search of a fabled spring that promised to restore youth to anyone that drank or bathed in its waters. Though Ponce de Leon never found what he was looking for on the islands, Bimini locals believe the secret waters can be found inside a natural limestone well in South Bimini. (Airport Road, South Bimini; 242-347-3500)
Bimini Big Game Club: This resort is a one-stop jumping-off point for many of Bimini's best activities. The dive shop offers daily scuba and snorkeling excursions, dive lessons and equipment rentals. Nonswimmers can still catch underwater views aboard the 60-foot glass-bottom boat or just kick it at the pool bar. Other available rentals include bikes, paddle-boards and kayaks. (Kings Highway, Alice Town, North Bimini; 242-347-3391)
The Dolphin House: The Saunders family has roots that trace back 200 years when Bimini was first colonized. Artist Ashley Saunders has spent nearly 30 years building The Dolphin House by hand -- and he's still at it. This three-story concrete structure is half-house, half-art installation and is constructed using 100 percent found and recycled materials like glass bottles, coins, shells, tiles and trinkets that have washed ashore. During tours of his home, Saunders gives insight into his artistic process and shares anecdotes on Bimini's history. (Saunders Street, Queens Highway, Alice Town, North Bimini; 242-347-3201; Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Bimini Undersea: Bimini has a unique location along the Gulf Stream, giving it warmer waters and active coral reefs, which, in turn, attract other marine life. It's one of only a few places in the world where you can swim with wild Atlantic and bottlenose dolphins, snorkel with hammerhead sharks and interact with free-swimming, wild stingrays. Bimini Undersea offers these unique experiences, plus fishing charters, snuba, scuba and stand-up paddle-boarding excursions. (Bimini Bay Resort & Marina, Alice Town; 242-347-2941; open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
Bimini Road: History is full of theories on where to find the lost city of Atlantis, the ancient utopian society that suddenly disappeared underwater centuries ago. In the late 1960s, a diver found several stone structures off the coast of Bimini, spaced out and spread over half a mile. Rumors began to spread about a possible connection to Atlantis, especially when the stones seemed to form two road-like structures. Atlantis might still be a mystery, but you can visit, scuba and snorkel around the underwater discovery, now known as Bimini Road.
Sport Fishing: Ernest Hemingway was initially drawn to Bimini due to tales of legendary catches. Today, Bimini is known as the "Sport Fishing Capital of the World" and is the place to angle for your chance at hooking a record-setting tuna, swordfish or wahoo. If you're looking for smaller catch, head out to the flats to look for grouper, snapper or bonefish. Several tour companies and locals offer fishing charters that can be customized to your fishing and sightseeing needs.
Food and Drink
Bahamian cuisine has strong ties to the sea, so expect to find a lot of fresh seafood on the menu. Caribbean staples like cracked conch (lightly battered and fried pieces of conch, a large local shellfish), grilled lobster, jerk-like spicy pork and chicken, starches and tropical fruit are common. Bimini bread -- soft, sweet and a little similar to challah -- that's unique to the islands of Bimini is must-try, though good luck trying to persuade locals to give up their secret recipe.
Most of Bimini's best food (and all of the listings below) are located on the North Island, specifically in Bailey Town.
Edith's Pizza: This local favorite has delicious homemade pizzas and island classics, such as ribs and fish. Try a pizza topped with Bimini-inspired seafood toppings like lobster, conch or shrimp. All seating is outdoors and overlooks a quiet stretch of beach. The conch fritters here are a best seller.
Stuart's Conch Stand: There's a reason this small shack has been around for over 30 years -- it's mixing up some of the island's best conch and lobster salads. Fresh conch, bell peppers, tomato and onion are all sliced, diced and seasoned right in front of your eyes and then finished with a healthy squeeze of lime for good measure. Seating is limited, so be prepared to stand or take it to go. Sip on a powerful cup of rum punch while you wait or walk around back and check out the pink heaps of old conch shells.
Nate's Bimini Bread & Catering: This bakery on Hill Top Street, Queen's Highway, is the place to get your fix of that sweet, sweet Bimini bread. It's baked fresh every morning and is a great last stop on the islands to stock up on your way back home. You're going to want to get there early, especially on weekends because they're often sold out before noon.
The Sushi Bar: For a slightly fancier fish experience, head over to Resorts World Bimini's sushi restaurant, helmed by "Top Chef" winner Hung Huynh. Expect large portions of sashimi and nigiri, plus fat sushi rolls, homemade dumplings, miso soup and other classic Japanese and Asian dishes.