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Eleuthera, Bahamas

Come On Pretty Mama

"Mom! Mom! It's a pregnant seahorse!" We had been snorkeling for 20 minutes or more, we had spotted a couple of seahorses which ignited every nerve in our brain. To see these elusive, mythical-like creatures was quite possibly the coolest vacation moment we had ever experienced. But then to see a pregnant seahorse, something that this only witnessed days before giving birth, well it was in every sense of the word unbelievable. What this rural, laid back, no frills (the wheels on our rental car were almost all halfway to being flat) Bahamian island of Eleuthera lacks in luxury, it makes for every ounce in wonder.

When you think of the Bahamas you may think of big resorts and over populated excursions, but there are 700 islands and 2,400 cays that make up the Bahamas, many uninhabited. Among the more secluded, inhibited islands is the rural, but accessible Eleuthera, pronounce uh-loo-thr-uh. Whether it is snorkeling with the highest concentration of seahorses in the world, swimming with sea turtles, or spending the day on pink sand beaches, every day is a bucket list adventure to stimulate the senses in this tiny paradise.

Three airports are located on the narrow 110 mile island. Where you are staying on the island will determine where you want to fly into because the island’s settlements are up to 15 miles apart. 

  • North Eleuthera International Airport (ELH) is at the northernmost tip of Eleuthera island and has the most direct flights from the US. It’s the closest airport to Harbour Island and Spanish Wells both of which require a water taxi ride to reach. ELH is the closest airport for the settlements of Current, Upper and Lower Bogue, Whale Point, Gregory Town, Alice Town and Rainbow Bay. 
  • Governor’s Harbour International Airport (GHB) is centrally located near the middle of the island and about eight miles north of Governor’s Harbour, the capital of Eleuthera. GHB is convenient for the settlements of Rainbow Bay, James Cistern, Governor's Harbour, Palmetto Point, Double Bay, Ten Bay, Savannah Sound and Windermere Island.
  • Rock Sound International Airport (RSD) is the southernmost airport on the island. Options for direct flights from the US don’t exist, but you can get a flight from Nassau. RSD is the nearest airport to Tarpum Bay, Rock Sound, Green Castle, Waterford, Deep Creek and Cape Eleuthera.

One of the biggest reasons people escape to this Bahamian paradise is the over 150 secluded beaches where you rarely find yourself in a crowd of more than six and often times you have the soft sands to yourself. While nearby Harbour Island has become well known for its Pink sandy beaches, the pink sand also spreads along the coast of Eleuthera, blessing it with several blushing beaches, most notably Surfer Beach to the North and Lighthouse Beach at the Southern tip of the island. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

CAPE ELEUTHERA RESORT BEACH

Located on a 4,500 acre private, secluded nature and beach preserve on the tip of southwest Eleuthera, Cape Eleuthera is surrounded by uninhabited wilderness and 18 miles of shoreline with multiple beaches.

PREACHER’S BEACH

This beach is located minutes from North Eleuthera. Wind your way down a sandy grassy path overgrown with sea grapes to find a favorite picnic spot after exploring Preacher’s Cave, one of North Eleuthera’s best-known landmarks. The color of the water from this spot is heavenly.

FRENCH LEAVE BEACH

One of the handfuls of pink sand beaches on Eleuthera, beautiful French Leave Beach is located just outside of Governor’s Harbour.

LIGHTHOUSE BEACH

This beach is located in South Eleuthera near Cape Eleuthera and is known for its miles of unspoiled pink, soft, sandy beaches, as well as an old lighthouse located on a dramatic limestone promontory overlooking the ocean.

SURFER'S BEACH

This beach is located 2 miles from Gregory Town. The hang ten set also knows that Eleuthera is a hot wave-riding destination, with Surfer’s Beach drawing sun-bleached guys and gals to its island break.

TEN BAY BEACH

This beach is located 9 miles south of Governor’s Harbour in Savannah Sound. It is naturally shaded by large casuarina trees in the morning, but a sun lover’s paradise on a warm Bahamian afternoon.

THE BEACH AT PINEAPPLE FIELDS

Located near Governor's Harbour the beach at Pineapple Fields offers spectacular views and Tippy's, a one-of-a-kind restaurant and beach bar that one can sit, have a Kalik or lemonade and take in the awesome view.

One of the most popular adventures is The Queen’s Baths (or the Hot Tubs), located 0.6 miles south of the Glass-window Bridge on the rugged Atlantic side of the island. These natural pools (carved by centuries of waves pounding the rock) are filled with dramatic crashing waves, shells, and small sea life that wash over from the Atlantic Ocean. Once settled, this crystal clear water is warmed by the sun, creating a bath like temperature tidal pool that’s perfect for soaking. The best time to visit the hot tubs is during the low or medium tide, so check the tide schedule each day. When visiting, it is best to wear water shoes or sneakers.

Other points of interest include The Glass Bridge where you can see where the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet; The Blue Hole where locals and tourists jump off a platform into the sapphire blue waters of this North Eleuthera sink hole; Harbour Island the chic pink sand famed island where colorful cottages dot the shore; and The Ocean Swings accessible by excursion. 

For a day on the ocean contact Da Salty Pig Adventures and enjoy the ocean swings, swimming with pigs, swimming with sea turtles, snorkeling for giant starfish, fishing and more, dasaltypig.com.

WHERE TO STAY

The Cove is a 5-star resort in North Eleuthera, The Cove will blanket in in luxury and attention all while enjoying the secluded and 

The Otherside is the newest resort on the island. This upscale resort is the utmost in glamping offering gorgeous high end tent accommodations, beautifully decorated common areas, and an unbeatable pier jutting right into the calm, crystal clear waters between North Eleuthera and Harbour Island.

If you research the area well, you will find a variety of affordable and well-appointed vacation homes on AirBnB.com to choose from.

WHERE TO EAT

Daddy Joe's Restaurant and Bar is located in the beautiful, quaint settlement of Gregory Town, Eleuthera. This restaurant is designed with everyone in mind especially families, and persons looking to host an event. Enjoy delicious menu options in the cool air-conditioned areas or outdoor on the patio. There are always exciting activities happening at Daddy Joe's such as live band performances, karaoke, and great disc jockey music.

Sunset Inn Restaurant, located on Queens Highway Governor's Harbour, overlooks the Exuma Sound. Dine indoors or sit outside on the deck as you enjoy the calming effects of the tranquil blue waters.

Arthur's Bakery on Harbour Island serves breakfast and Lunch daily except Sundays and specializes in a variety of breads, danishes, cookies, pastries. Patrons can enjoy free wi fi.

Uncle Tommy's Bakeshop in North Eleuthera is a family-oriented business. This is a grab and go establishment. His breads, and other pastries are made from scratch and baked daily. No bread or pastry is left on the shelves at the end of the day! Your trip is not complete until you have bought the old-fashioned coconut creams, benny cakes, and guava duff, conchy conch fritters, and homemade thin crust pizza. The owner is also instrumental within the community. He teaches young people how to bake bread and other treats and offers after school jobs.

Acquapazza on Harbour Island is famous for their seafood, vegetarian pastas, and wines.

Unka Gene's is as no frills as it gets and most likely there will be a wait, but the food is delicious. You just have to really sink into the local culture as chickens and cats circle the patio.

BEST ELEUTHERA BEACHES

CAPE ELEUTHERA RESORT BEACH

Located on a 4,500 acre secluded nature preserve on the southwest Eleuthera.

PREACHER’S BEACH

Follow the sandy, grassy path to find a picnic spot after exploring Preacher’s Cave. 

FRENCH LEAVE BEACH

A beautiful, pink sand beach located just outside of Governor’s Harbour.

LIGHTHOUSE BEACH

At the Southern tip of the island, known for its miles of unspoiled soft, pink, sand.

SURFER'S BEACH

2 miles from Gregory Town, a hot wave-riding destination.

TEN BAY 

9 miles south of Governor’s Harbour in Savannah Sound shaded by casuarina trees.

PINEAPPLE FIELDS

Spectacular views and Tippy's, a one-of-a-kind beach bar.

WHERE TO EAT

Daddy Joe's Restaurant and Bar is located in the beautiful, quaint settlement of Gregory Town, Eleuthera. This restaurant is a must.

Sunset Inn Restaurant, located on Queens Highway Governor's Harbour, overlooks the Exuma Sound. 

Arthur's Bakery on Harbour Island serves breakfast and lunch daily, except Sunday.

Uncle Tommy's Bakeshop in North Eleuthera is a family-oriented business. This is a grab and go establishment. 

Acquapazza on Harbour Island is famous for their seafood, vegetarian pastas, and wines.

Unka Gene's is as no frills as it gets and most likely there will be a wait, but the food is delicious. 

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