Bimini

Overview

Introduction

Located northwest of New Providence, just 50 mi/80 km off the east coast of Florida, Bimini is one of the best known of the Out Islands. Most popular with anglers and within easy reach of amateur sailors from the U.S. mainland, Bimini is actually two distinct islands—North Bimini and South Bimini—separated by a narrow ocean passage crossed by water-taxi. A number of minor cays also make up part of its territory.

Ernest Hemingway loved Bimini, as will almost any fishing enthusiast—marlin, sailfish and bluefin tuna are abundant. Dozens of fishing tournaments are held in Bimini each year.

The main village in Bimini, Alice Town, can be seen in less than an hour and has very few sites of appeal. There are several bars and hotels that display Hemingway memorabilia and a colorful church—and that's about it. Tragically, Hemingway's favorite bar (and a popular tourist watering hole), the Compleat Angler, burned down in 2006, killing the owner. Still, the End of the World Saloon, a shack with a sand floor and hundreds of pairs of underwear (mostly female) pinned to the rafters and graffiti-riddled walls, is a popular place.

Besides fishing, diving, snorkeling and relaxation, the only other attraction on the island is the alleged site (on South Bimini) of the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon sought in the early 1500s.

In the 1920s, Bimini was a busy point of shipment during the American Prohibition.

All of Bimini can easily be seen in half a day, but we suggest at least two nights for anglers and divers, and other visitors can make the most of two days lazing around and enjoying the colorful bar life. Bimini's lack of infrastructure and development contributes to its pristine, natural landscape. Life there is laid-back, authentic and charming.

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