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Travel Guide Caribbean Bahamas Bimini

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Introduction

Bimini is a district of the Bahamas and consists of two main islands located 80 kilometres east of Florida. Bimini is the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland United States and approximately 210 kilometres west-northwest of Nassau. The population is 1,988 as of the 2010 census.

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Geography

Bimini has three islands, North Bimini, South Bimini, and East Bimini. The largest islands are North Bimini and South Bimini. The District of Bimini also includes Cay Sal Bank, more than 100 kilometres further south, which is geographically not a part of the Bimini Islands but a separate unit. North Bimini is about 11 kilometres long and 200 metres wide. Its main settlement is Alice Town, a collection of shops, restaurants, and bars on a road known as "The King's Highway". The second major road is called Queens Highway and runs almost the length of the island parallel to Kings Highway.

South Bimini (pop. 182) houses an airstrip, South Bimini Airport, and offers a quiet alternative to the slow bustle of North Bimini. There is a small community of homes on South Bimini known as Port Royale. For many years, South Bimini tourists were limited to boaters because there were few accommodations other than private homes.

The ocean surrounding the islands is considered to be one of the world's top big-game fishing spots. Because Bimini is close to Miami, Florida, many American anglers go to the islands by boat to fish or to enjoy the local nightlife. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular activities, as there are many shipwrecks in the area, such as the wreck of the SS Sapona, which ran aground in 1926 during a hurricane. The top of the ship is exposed to the air while the bottom half is submerged. Parts of the wreck were stripped over the years and some of the wood was used in the construction of the Compleat Angler Hotel and bar on North Bimini.

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Sights and Activities

Bimini's fame comes from Hemingway and fishing. Hemingway spent a few seasons in Bimini fishing and writing 'To Have and To Have Not' and later based his novel 'Islands in the Stream' here. A small Hemingway museum and sign marking his time on the island were destroyed by fire in 2006 along with the Compleat Angler Hotel where he once stayed.

The Bimini Museum has a very interesting collection of artifacts and exhibits on the island's history. The museum is located in Alice Town on the southern end of main road (the Kings Highway).

The economic fuel of Bimini comes from deep sea fishing and the island is known as the "Deep Sea Fishing Capital of the World." The storied past can be seen in the many black and white photos of record catches around the island, but commercial overfishing has greatly reduced the big game. The seasons in Bimini are opposite the normal Bahamas with tourists flocking from April - July to take advantage of the calm seas for fishing and diving. Wealthy Floridians make the short trip to the island in their yachts creating a fairly lively party scene.

Since Bimini is close to Miami, many American travellers go to the island by boat to fish or to enjoy the local nightlife. Scuba diving and snorkelling are also popular activities, as there are many shipwrecks in the area, such as the wreck of the SS Sapona, which ran aground in 1926 during a hurricane.

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Weather

Bimini has a pleasantly warm but humid climate. Compared to Caribbean islands more to the south, there are some differences regarding temperatures, mainly because it is somewhat colder during the wintermonths of November to April. Generally though, temperatures are high, with summer maximum temperatures averaging around 30 °C and minimum temperatures around 24 °C. During the wintermonths temperatures are about 5 °C lower. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with September and October being the wettest months. This is also the time (especially from August to October) when hurricanes are a possibility.

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Getting There

By Plane

If you land at the airport you take a "taxi" to the ferry which take five minutes to North Bimini and costs $5 total for both. United Airlines serves Bimini, flying in to the airport on South Bimini.

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Getting Around

North Bimini is crossed by two small paved roads which run the length of the 11-kilometre long island. A bicycle or golf cart is all you need to get around if you really need to go anywhere. The main road is the Kings Highway where most shops, hotels and restaurants are located. The smaller Queen's Highway follows the east coast and is where the beaches are located.

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Eat

  • Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina, Kings Highway. Claimed to be the best on the island
  • CJ's Deli, Alice Town. Inexpensive and quick.
  • Bimini Beach Club Restaurant, South Bimini. Great view and good sushi
  • Captain Bob's Restaurant, King's Highway (next to Royal Bank). Breakfast and lunch only and accepts VISA & MasterCard.
  • Edith's Pizza Bailey Town serves pizza and regular dinner meals cash only
  • Bimini Beach Club and Bimini Sands Marina on South Bimini.

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Drink

  • Sheries on the Beach Alicetown. Simple bar/shack on the beach
  • Big Johns Alicetown. Has taken over as the crowded spot now that the Compleat Angler is gone.
  • End of the World Bar. Long time favourite spot - panties, bras, business cards and such line every square inch of the walls and ceiling! Make sure to try the goobay smasher! The most amazing bar ever!

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Sleep

  • Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina, toll-free: +1 800 737 1007.
  • Bimini Blue Water Resort, +1 242 347-3166.
  • Bimini Sands Resort & Marina, ☎ +1 242 347-3500.
  • Bimini Ocean Villas in Alice Town on the beach, ☎ +1 242 347-3038.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 7:54 on Jul 28, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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