Time to Travel: Harbour Island
Posted on 28 February 2013
Are you craving a warm and tropical Spring Break? If so, then I have a recommendation for you -- Harbour Island in the Bahamans. Mark and I first went to Harbour Island back in 2002 and have been dying to go back ever since. The island is famous for its pink sand beaches (yes, they are actually pink) but it is the aquamarine transparent water, fabulous boutique hotels, tasty restaurants, unique shopping and lack of crowds that sealed the deal for us. And if all that wasn't enough, you use golf carts to get around the island which made it even more fun. Oh, and there tend to be lots of famous and beautiful people there too if you are into that sort of thing. We had dinner next to Elle Macpherson and yes, she is even more beautiful in person. So if this sounds like your sort of spring break destination, here are my insights and recommendations:
How to Get There
This is the tricky part -- but also the fun part. First, you fly into a North Eleuthera Airport (ELH) on the island of Eleuthera. Once you land, you hop in a cab that takes you to the boat dock. At the boat dock you hop in a water taxi which zips you across the harbor to Harbour Island. Once at the dock on Harbour Island, you hop in a golf cart to get to your hotel. I know it sounds exhausting and time consuming, but really it's neither. We left Atlanta in the morning and were joyfully eating lobster salad and drinking rosé on the beach by lunch time.
Where to Stay
There are several stellar options here. The most famous and fabulous hotel on the island is Pink Sands Resort. When we went back in 2002 this is where I wanted to stay, but it wasn't in the budget. Instead, we stayed at the Coral Sands Resort which is literally right next door to Pink Sands. It was the perfect choice! The rooms were lovely (and significantly less expensive than Pink Sands), the beach was just as beautiful and we were able to walk over to Pink Sands to eat, drink and soak up the enchanted atmosphere there. Two other good options are The Rock House (which wasn't open when we were there but I hear is wonderful) and The Landing (which was designed by the amazingly talented India Hicks). These two are both on the harbor side of the island in Dunmore Town but are only a short walk from the beaches.
Grab a snack al fresco as you stroll beachside cafes and fine eateries.
Where + What to Eat
I literally ate lobster every meal, but the island is known for its conch salad, so be certain to try that. Make sure to eat a lunch at Sip Sip. For dinner, I'd recommend eating at The Landing, Pink Sand and The Rock House. The food at all these will be exceptional and you will also get to check out the hotels (one of my favorite things to do).
What to Do
RELAX! A daily walk on the pink sand beach is a must. If you want to set your inner Sports Illustrated swimsuit model self free, you can also ride ponies bare back on the beach. (Yup, I did it and no I won't share the pictures :)). If you are up to it, I highly recommend getting up for a sunrise at least once while you are there. Be sure to make time to explore the historic Dunmore Town and its claim to fame array of white picket fenced pastel cottages. While there, do a little shopping in the local shops and market. Miss Mae's and the Sugar Mill Trading Company are great spots to shop for unique island, bohemian resort wear. If you are feeling adventurous, there is also some good snorkeling and scuba diving to be had.
Many activities abound to make your vacation memorable.
What to Pack
I tend to be a hopeless over-packer, but in this case, I recommend packing light (remember that you will have to haul your bags in and out of a plane, taxi, boat & golf cart to get there). Essentials are a bikini, cover-up, big floppy hat, sandals, sundress and camera. Everything should fit nicely in your cinda b Carry-On Rolly with a little room to spare for purchases made while there. Use a Beach Bag as your carry-on and you are good to go for both traveling to and from and for lounging on the beach and poolside.