As Hemingway once wrote, Bimini’s place to swim, eat, drink, work, read

Posted September 25, 2013


ALICE TOWN, Bimini, Bahamas — “Swim, eat, drink, work, read, talk, read, fish, swim, drink, sleep.”

That’s Bimini, summed up by a character in Ernest Hemingway’s novel “Islands in the Stream.”

“Bimini is a place to relax, and that’s exactly what I do when I come here,” said Angelo Rojas, Miami native.

Rojas, like many others, agrees with Hemingway.

Bimini is the westernmost district of the Bahamas composed of a chain of islands, North Bimini, South Bimini, and East Bimini. In total, the population reaches to a mere 1,600 inhabitants.

Hemingway lived on the small island chain in the Bahamas from 1935 to 1937 and famously drank vodka martinis, tossed back rum with locals, and snorkeled in clear water Reefs.

Visitors today tend to follow the same routine with a few twists, such as the extraordinary chance to interact with wild Atlantic spotted dolphins that gather north of the island, casting flies for bonefish on the flats of The Bahamas Bank, kayaking to the legendary “Fountain of Youth” (a natural spring amid the mangrove mud that pumps lithium and sulfur) and scuba diving on wrecks, reefs, “off the wall” or atop the mysterious Bimini Road that some believe is remnants of a man-made causeway perhaps built by Atlantis’ own civil engineers.

Bimini is a serene escape where Miami locals can enjoy the same pleasures Hemingway wrote about rather than just reading about them in his novels.

This tiny island chain in the Bahamas is only 53 miles east of Miami, therefore it is easy to visit the enchanting island.

With its sparkling waters and powder white sand, Miami locals are giving up the sweaty crowds in South Beach and trading it to experience this remote retreat.

“The water is like 50 different shades of green and blue. It’s absolutely gorgeous. No pollution and no pesky rocks bothering you while you walk in the water barefoot,” said Anthony Lewis, Miami native.

The small island of Bimini is big on beaches.

If you’re going to be around Alice Town, Bimini’s main settlement that dates back to 1848, you can enjoy Radio Beach, Blister Beach, and Spook Hill; the three most popular beaches in North Bimini.

“It’s like having your own private island,” said Gina Lewis, visitor at the Bimini Ocean Villas, located in Alice Town. “We were able to go snorkeling in front of the villa with a small reef loaded with fish and at night, we could walk to a local bar and enjoy fresh seafood.”

In Alice Town, you will also find a cozy collection of shops, eccentric bars, family-owned restaurants and not one street light.

If you prefer a beach backed with a strip of colorful vegetation, blooming flowers, and thatch palm, Tiki Hut Beach is the perfect destination located in South Bimini.

Anthony Stuart, general manager of the Bimini Tourist Office, said tourists come to Bimini looking for a getaway.

“People want to forget city life when they are here. They want to sit on the beach eating fresh made Bimini bread, talking to locals, and relaxing,” said Stuart.

Since eating the local cuisine and gaining a couple of pounds is part of being a tourist, other than biting into a buttery, sweet loaf of Bimini bread, you can try what some call “the best piña colada in the world” at Sherri’s Beach Bar in Radio Island.

“This is damn good food,” said tourist Eric Lopez. “The best sunset I have ever seen and the best conch fritters and piña colada I have ever tasted.”

Other than Sherri’s, other popular casual seafood restaurants that serve local cuisine include Anchorage Restaurant and Bar, Captain Bob’s, and Joe’s Conch Shack, all located in Alice Town.

Even though many tourists complain that the service is on “Bahamian time” meaning servers are not in a rush to deliver your food, it is more of a reason to spark up a conversation with a Biminian.

“We are fun people to be around,” Aldo said, smiling, a native of Bimini and local fisherman. “People here are hard workers, but they don’t forget to appreciate what’s around them.”

If You Go

Restaurants and Bars

  • Sherri’s Beach Bar is located in Queens Road, Bimini in Radio Island in Alice Town.
  • Anchorage Restaurant and Bar and Captain Bob’s is located in Kings Highway, Bimini in Alice Town.
  • Joe’s Conch Shack is located in Main Street, Bimini in Alice Town.

Hotels and Villas


  • Radio Beach, Blister Beach, and Spook Hill Beach are located in North Bimini in Alice Town.
  • Tiki Hut Beach is located in South Bimini.


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