When you’re short on time, squeezing in a satisfying escape can feel like a tall order. With temperatures changing, school in session, and holidays coming soon, it can be hard to find something worth the trip.
Happily, however, just fifty miles off the coast of Miami lies the nearest Bahamian island, Bimini. And spoiler: It’s Worth The Trip! The crystal clear turquoise waters, fresh seafood, delicious cocktails, rich history, and island vibes are something you can’t find anywhere else. And when you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway, this is definitely one of the best.
How to get there?
Most of the time, locals enjoy arriving in style to Bimini via private boats, or yacht charters (it is only 2 hours away!), but when making a quick decision to go for the weekend here are our top two choices.
Via Seaplane: Tropic Ocean Airways
Located in: Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE)
If you’re looking to save time, or have a once in a lifetime experience, Tropic Ocean Airways provides a 25 min flight from Fort Lauderdale which flies every day other than Wednesdays. This was seamless, I parked my car at the terminal and we were off! For those curious to know which planes are flown, Tropic charters Britten-Norman Islanders, twin engine aircrafts and can carry up to 9 passengers.
Via Ferry: Balearia Ferry
If you’re looking for a quick day trip, or easy in-and-out, the Balearia Ferry is a quick and easy 2-hour ride. They have charters going in and out of the island Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. If you are looking to soak every minute under the Bahamian sun, or need to travel on days the ferry does not accommodate, opt for the seaplane. The views of the water beneath us were incredible.
Ok, I have my round-trip set, now where should I stay?
Hilton at Resorts World Bimini
Staying on the island it’s extremely important to be on the beach, and lucky for you, Resorts World Bimini is the closest private beach to the coastal waters. Not only does it provide beach access, with over six restaurants, a luxury spa, private swim-up pools, and an incredible marina. I was extremely impressed by the close community, and the A+ customer service, which really made the difference compared to other stays.
Where you should eat (and drink)…
Local Resident Picks:
The Tides: This baby serves as a breakfast buffet in the morning and a delicious dinner spot at night. Located in the middle of the resort, The Tides is where you want to be day and night. Pro tip: Order the lobster truffle mac, and any other seafood you can get your hands on.
Beach Club 360: Chillin’ by the ocean at Bimini Beach and feeling like it’s time to grab something to eat? Luckily, you won’t have to go too far thanks to Beach Club 360—a restaurant right on the beach featuring Bahamian-inspired meals and drinks.
Smitty’s Beach Bar and Restaurant: A relaxed outdoor restaurant featuring beach views and karaoke. This is the bar to go to after you’ve been out on the water all day and want to watch a game, drink a cold beer, and sing and dance all night long.
Monkey Business: Some of the best sunset views on the island can be found at the Hilton’s fifth-floor rooftop pool. Monkey Business has got you covered with its adults-only venue located right next to the adults-only rooftop infinity pool.
Nate’s Bimini Bread: Introducing the yummiest bakery on the island, Nate’s Bimini Bread will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings. Snag yourself a loaf of the coconut roll bread and guava cookies, and buy a dozen extra to bring home.
Hemingway’s: What’s coastal Florida without Hemingway? Right next to the casino lies Hemingway’s, a sports bar that serves up some damn good wings, burgers, cocktails, and bites.
Bimini Must Visits:
What to do over the weekend?
Snorkel the S.S. Sapona Shipwreck
The morning we went out it was a little choppy, but this is a GREAT dive spot. The S.S. Sapona was one of a fleet of concrete ships originally commissioned by former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, to serve as troops transport during WWI, because steel was in short supply. Later, the ship was moved to Bimini and was used as a floating warehouse to store and distribute liquor supply during the Prohibition Era, earning Bruce Bethell notoriety as ‘Bimini’s Rum King’, in 1924. This underwater museum on Bimini’s powdery ocean floor holds many secrets, and is definitely worth visiting!
Feed Stingrays at Honeymoon Harbor
This was probably the most fun experience I’ve had in the Caribbean in some time. Our group went out to Honeymoon Harbor where we had the opportunity to feed the local stingrays. The rays are extremely friendly, and they love to swim around you! Heads up, be sure to walk the Stingray Shuffle, keep your feet on the sand, and shuffle to avoid stepping on any of them. It was amazing to see how quickly they swam over when we arrived. Be sure to ask about Gracie, and if you see her say Hi from me! She is the largest ray I’ve ever seen, and extremely friendly. And sadly, you don’t have to be nervous because she’s missing her tail.
Dolphin House Museum
Ashley Saunders a local author, artist, historian, and retired teacher on the island of Bimini has opened his home, to visitors who can take in his chaotic mosaics that act as homages to his island’s history. Saunders considers himself a dolphin-inspired artist who tells a story of swimming with a large pod of wild Bimini dolphins and attributes his artistic vision to that inspirational experience.
Beach: Radio Beach
Probably one of my favorite spots on the island. This tranquil beach is one of the most popular but not as heavily trafficked as the other beaches on the island. Tucked away, and just a few feet from coral reefs and rocks to give you an unbelievable snorkeling experience.
Spa Day: Serenity Spa in Resorts World
Looking for a relaxation day after a long work week? Try the Serenita Spa in Resorts World. Choose your treatment from a wide selection of therapeutic body massages and nourishing body wraps. From the Bliss Massage to the Sun Salvation Facial after a long day out on the water. For more information, contact: [email protected]
Check out the Resorts World Casino
Let me just say, if you’re looking to party and test a bit of your luck, Resorts World Bimini will hook you up with its in-resort casino. After spending the day out on the water, and visiting the museums, it was a great place to end the night with Hemingways sports bar, and Live music all night!
Resident’s final thoughts on why Bimini:
Sure, you may think this is a small island or that there’s so many other places to visit, but the real magic about this place? The community. From the moment I arrived on the island, I was greeted with such kindness. Bahamians are known for their warm and family feel, and I can attest to that! This is a great weekend trip for yourself, or with a group of friends. With so many great adventures, and ways to relax, this was a priceless experience.