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Destination Guide: Bimini

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When most people think of a Bahamas vacation, they think of the bustling cruise port of Nassau or the big resorts on Grand Bahama Island. They overlook the islands of Bimini, which are incredibly close yet feel like a world away. Bimini is a chain of tiny islands just 50 miles from Miami known for its deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and authentic Bahamian charm.

What to see in Bimini

As small as the islands are, there's an abundance of things to do in Bimini. The number-one attraction for many visitors is sport fishing. Because Bimini adjoins the Gulf Stream, fishermen have long flocked to the islands to catch record-size game fish. Winter brings mackerel and wahoo, while marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi and bluefin tuna appear in the summer.1 Scuba diving is another big draw.

Bimini offers the rare opportunity to swim with wild Atlantic spotted dolphins. The dolphins aren't trained or confined; they show up of their own accord to play and swim with tourists. The Big Game Club arranges dolphin encounters that include snorkel gear.

More adventurous animal lovers can try a shark dive with Bimini Bull Run. Get face-to-face with bull sharks in the safety of a shark cage, then enjoy a complimentary cocktail to calm your nerves. (The entire waters of the Bahamas are a shark sanctuary, meaning commercial shark fishing is prohibited.)

If you're seeking more serene things to do in Bimini, head to the Healing Hole, a natural, mineral-rich spring tucked deep inside a mangrove swamp2. The spring can only be reached by boat. And of course, Bimini's many white-sand beaches invite utter relaxation.

Where to stay in Bimini

For the most part, Bimini hotels and resorts offer comfort and relaxation over glitz and luxury. With cozy bungalows and ocean view rooms, the Bimini Big Game Club in Alice Town is a longtime favorite Bimini resort. It underwent a $4.4 million renovation in the spring of 2015, updating its swimming pool, marina and guest rooms.3

The Bimini Sands Resort and Marina on South Island caters to scuba divers and snorkelers. It's comfortable and quiet — a little too quiet, say some guests who hoped for more excitement.

If you're looking for livelier accommodations, the newest of the Bimini hotels is Resorts World Bimini. This resort has its own super-speed cruise ship, which carries guests from Miami to Bimini in just over two hours. This Bimini resort has five bars and restaurants, plus a new Hilton hotel and casino added to the property in 2015.4

Where to eat in Bimini

Dining in Bimini isn't about celebrity chefs or haute cuisine. Rather, the best culinary experiences are built on three basics: fresh seafood, killer drinks, and stunning surroundings. Try a piña colada and grilled lobster while watching the sunset from the porch at Sherry's Paradise Beach Bar in Alice Town.

Stuart's Conch Stand is another local favorite for conch salad: "The conch still tastes of sea, the lobster is sweet, and the tomatoes, onions, and peppers are colorful," the Miami New Times swoons.

For a fancier meal, Sabor at Resorts World Bimini offers tantalizing dishes like Champagne lobster risotto and pan-seared grouper. But it's hard to pay $42 for the same lobster tail you can buy from local fishermen for $5.

Ready to sail away to Bimini? Remember that Allianz Global Assistance provides travel insurance to protect you wherever you go. Happy travels!

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Nov 01, 2016