I arrived in Bimini shortly after 7:00 a.m. on a Friday. I had to wait an hour before disembarking the ship but got off in record time. I arrived via cruise ship. The Balearia is a two-hour ferry ride from Fort Lauderdale and flight options with Silver Airways and Tropic Ocean Airways.
The tram takes you from the foot of the pier to the top for free, or you can rent golf carts at the top. You can purchase a day pass to Resorts World for 40 dollars. I chose the local route. After negotiating a price of 120 dollars, I now had a gold cart for seven hours. I set out to do a self-tour that I found online and made my stops.
The first stop was Nates Bakery. Located on the island's high road, this was a great start to load up on fresh bread. There are several flavors, my favorite being the coconut, and you can get a load with all four flavors for 20 dollars. With bread in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, I moved quickly to Radio Beach. It is the most famous beach on the island, but I found the waters were extremely rough.
A few feet away was the Dolphin House. A project that spans over 30 years, made from seashells, cement, and recycled materials, it is a must-visit on the island. Mr. Stuart guides you through the conception of the house and how he got the inspiration. The outside speaks for itself, as well as bearing a plaque commemorating its status as a Bahamian National Treasure. You must visit, as any description I provide does it a disservice.
The next thing was a quick drive to Heros Park Memorial before stopping at the Bimini Craft Center. The center had a few stores for souvenirs but nothing to write home about. I was looking for Ansil's boat house, but no one on the island knew where it was, so I stopped at Stuart's Conch Shack for a conch salad.
After Stuart's, I went to Three Daughters Restaurant for Cracked Lobster. It's a lobster tail fried in its shell and served with lime and hot sauce. They also have some impressive chicken wings. The restaurant had a good mixture of tourists and locals and is a must-visit when on the island.
The last place I wanted to visit and couldn't find was the Earnest Heminway Ruins. If I ever return, it will be my first stop. Resort World is a go-to spot on the island, but I skipped it and chose the local beach. It was a great place to relax before returning to the ship.
Although it was just a few hours, Bimini has a certain charm I will venture into on a future trip. I might even give Resort World a day or two.
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