Harbour Island

Tiny Harbour Island lies two miles off the north coast of Eleuthera and 170 miles east of Fort Lauderdale. Barely three miles long and a quarter mile wide, it's considered to be the most picturesque island in the Bahamas. Even from the water, one can see why. "Briland", as the island is known, is definitely postcard pretty. On its harbor side is Dunmore Town, which was founded in the 18th century. This adorable village has pastel colored clapboard cottages with picket fences and gardens full of colorful bougainvillea, oleander, hibiscus and palms. On the Atlantic side is one of the loveliest beaches ever which runs the entire length of the island. Its pale pink sand against the turquoise ocean is a sublime visual.

Life here is unhurried and peaceful, which stands to reason as there are no cars for rent - only golf carts and bicycles. Surprisingly, for such a small island there are quite a few restaurants from the delicious and upscale ones at The Dunmore and The Landing to local specialties at the more funky "hole in the walls". One can even have great sushi at Da Vine Sushi. For lunch our favorite things, besides a picnic on a deserted island, are the blackened fish tacos at The Dunmore and the best fresh conch salad at Queen Conch which is in a tiny shack on Bay Street. For drinks, beautiful sunsets and yummy calamari go to Acquapazza. Additionally there are charming shops (like the Blue Rooster for great resort clothes), a good liquor store and deli (perfect for picnics), art galleries, a couple of grocery stores, at least three bakeries (we love Arthur's for breakfast) and several funky bars with music and dancing. Island activities include diving, bone and deep sea fishing, tennis, biking, riding on the beach and great kitesurfing (depending on time of year). It's also fun to charter a boat for a day of snorkeling with turtles around the star fish colonies and at the Devil's Backbone, visiting historic Preachers Cave, swimming with pigs at Meek's Patch, a deserted island, and lunch at Spanish Wells which has a good and fun restaurant at the tip of the island.

The local currency is the Bahamian dollar, changing at par with the U.S. dollar, which is accepted everywhere. Fly via commercial airlines to the North Eleuthera Airport from Miami (American Airlines), Fort Lauderdale (Silver Airways and United Airlines) and Nassau (Bahamasair). There also several private charter companies including Gold Aviation. From the airport take a taxi for the short trip to the dock and then the water taxi across to Harbour Island