Lenny Kravitz, George Clooney, Justin Bieber and now The Levys- have all fallen in love with Eleuthera Island.
Side note: we had NO idea these people were connected to our mini moon spot, until the locals shared the info with us.
We flew out bright and early the day after the wedding to Ft Lauderdale , Florida then hopped on Silver Airways (a little commuter plane) to North Eleuthera Airport. (3 hrs from Chicago—> FLA , then 45 mins to ELH)
Eleuthera is a small island in The Bahamas and it only has about 11,000 people living there. From the second we landed it was obvious that the locals not only tolerated tourists, they embraced us with tips, funny stories and hidden gems of their beautiful island.
We stayed at The Cove- a boutique resort on the central part of the island. Our room opened to the ocean and had minimal clean decor with an amazing outdoor shower. The grounds were filled with hammocks and white villas, with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, and a happy hour bar on the edge of a cliff.
The Cove isn’t some mega resort- there is a small fitness center, no spa and you can walk from your room to any common area pretty quickly. But their service is over the top and a place like this makes you realize that you don’t need all that fluff when the sun and sand are so beautiful.
The Cove provides free ; paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling gear, rafts and bikes to use to ride into town. We took advantage of all of it, and saw crazy sea life including; starfish, tropical fish and even barracuda!
Before riding into town we asked if we should lock up our bikes and the guy laughed and said “Nah nobody gonna mess with them. Crime? What’s that??”. And he wasn’t joking. No matter how the locals lived, they weren’t interested in messing with our property- unless we were exchanging cash for local spices and other treats we picked up.
In the vows we exchanged- I promised to be more adventurous- so when Al decided he wanted to cliff jump at the resort- and I followed. (Well, I did after standing there making excuses for about 10 mins and acting like a little baby) Between those swims back to the beach and the long bike rides- it felt like we got tons of exercise.
Can we please talk about the food? We were FLOORED by the meals at the resort. Between the spicy tuna with crispy rice, fresh grouper sandwiches, and fish in a bag- we agreed it was the most delicious food we’d ever eaten at a resort.
We decided to venture out and go local one night and checked out The Rainbow Inn’s pizza night- pizza in the tropics- crazy, right? WRONG. This was the most delicious pizza we’ve ever eaten- and hello- we live in Chicago! I got the lobster and it tasted like it came from heaven. The best part was our cab driver Wallis, who ended up driving us for the rest of the trip.
He gave us the tip to “go to the city” and visit Harbor Island- which you access by a 5 min ferry ride on a small power boat for five bucks. When you arrive, you rent a golf cart from a local for 40 bucks and that’s how you roll around the tiny island.
When I tell you the pink sand beaches will make you whip out your camera to prove you’ve actually seen something this perfect, I’m not joking.
After exploring the island, which included a stop at Queen Conch for the best conch fritters and grouper sandwiches I’ve ever had, we set up camp along Pink Sands Beach.
This is the kind of beach with no rocks, and water that’s so clear you can swim without being freaked out over what may be swimming up next to you.
We did NOT want to leave the beach, and will stay on the Island for a day or two when we make our next trip back. We regretted not having enough time to try some of the famous foodie spots to eat or rowdy beach bars. We did make a stop to walk around the marina and swim at a bar on the docks that makes a killer frozen drink before heading back to Eleuthera and The Cove.
Wallis also filled us in on how the hotel’s owner made his $$$- back when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he was one of the few who stayed to clean it up and his garbage biz made $300 million. (according to Wallis) Pretty cool, right?
This place truly is magical, and while it’s not a direct flight yet from Chicago (or most places)- its totally worth checking out.
Here are some tips:
- Make friends with a cabbie and use them for any transportation you need- they’ll tell you about the hidden places to snorkel, eat, and visit. We recommend Wallis.
- Don’t bring anything fancy- I wore flat sandals, flowy dresses and bikinis all day and night. Heels have no place here.
- Buy the local spices. We only bought one Lady Di’s spice rub and are really regretting it.
- Be patient- they truly are on “island time” and it takes a hot second to get your food/drinks.
- Drink the local beer- Kalik and Sands are delish.
- Eat at the places that look “scary”. That’s where the food is the best, and most reasonable. The prices at the hotel and Rainbow Inn were CRAY High- so expect that. But Harbor Island was more reasonable for some reason.