Unwind on the Bahamas’ Harbour Island

The laid-back vibe of the Bahamas’ Harbour Island makes it an ideal waypoint for avid cruisers.
Harbour Island
Harbour Island, which was once the capital of the Bahamas, lies about 200 miles from Miami. Zach Stovall

Located just off the northern tip of Eleuthera, Harbour Island doesn’t have a to-do list so much as a just-be list. While cruisers can certainly go offshore fishing and snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters, the island’s Pink Sand Beach invites visitors to simply sit back and relax.

Pink Sand Beach 

This waterfront expanse is the magnet and money shot of Harbour Island. Its always-cool powder-soft sand beckons the barefoot to stroll its 3-mile stretch along the eastern, Atlantic Ocean side of Briland, as locals call their home island. The sand’s trademark pale-pink hue, which stems from the pinkish-red shells of a single-celled organism called foraminifera, has landed the beach in countless social-media snaps as well as on several “best beaches in the world” lists.

Queen Conch

To riff on Bubba’s shrimp rhapsody in the movie Forrest Gump, Queen Conch is renowned for serving up this mighty mollusk in a multitude of delicious freshly prepared dishes: conch fritters, cracked conch fries, conch pasta, conch ceviche and, especially, its house specialty, conch salad, which often runs out before the dinner crowd. Customers from all over pull up a chair on the restaurant’s colorful open-air patio and pair the restaurant’s fare with great harbor views and a Goombay Smash, the official drink of the Bahamas, or a bottle of Kalik, a popular Bahamian lager.

Dunmore Town

Rent a golf cart, and explore the bougainvillea-lined streets of Dunmore Town, one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas and the only town on Harbour Island. Its Georgian architecture, upscale boutiques and jet-set clientele draw comparisons between Harbour Island and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Start your morning at Arthur’s Bakery & Café to sample its jalapeño cheese bread and doughnuts, among other temptations. Stop in and browse at The Sugar Mill, the treasure trove of a boutique co-owned by India Hicks, the British designer, relative of the royal family and longtime resident who is the celebrity face of Harbour Island. Her book Island Style captures not only Hicks’ own design aesthetic—a combination of carefree Caribbean culture and British colonial formality—but also the overall Briland vibe. For dinner, there’s no shortage of refined restaurants. At The Landing, pair a bottle from its Wine Spectator-lauded list with contemporary seafood dishes. Or, at The Dunmore, enjoy “beach chic” and Caribbean-influenced seafood surrounded by vintage photographs in the clubhouse or with the gorgeous views on the patio.