When most people travel to a new country, they want an authentic experience. Even those that stay at all-inclusive resorts like venturing out to explore a local’s recommendation. In a place as culture rich and beautiful as Eleuthera, exploring the local scene is a must! We went ahead and asked an Eleutheran for the scoop on this pure beach heaven. Once you know the basics of the Bahamas, venture out with a local guide or explore these hidden gems on your own.
Eleuthera & Harbour Island
Rolling pineapple fields and friendly locals welcome all visitors to Eleuthera. Founded in 1648 and known as the birthplace of the Bahamas, this homey island is the perfect spot to get a taste of the local Bahamian lifestyle on your beach vacation. Its beauty and vibe is unrivaled and often plays host to destination weddings and music festivals. Fishing—deep sea and flats—diving, shopping and even surf are sure to fill your time on this island. White sand blankets Eleuthera, but a short ferry ride to Harbour Island reveals pink sand galore. Harbour island is loved by tourists, locals and even celebrities. The brightly colored cottages and boutique hotels sprinkling the island are sure to win your heart. Between Eleuthera and Harbour Island, you can find local dive bars, gourmet restaurants and everything in between.
Food & Drinks by the Beach
The one thing you must try on any Bahamas island is cracked conch—or any conch dish for that matter. Seafood here is served best when it’s fresh from the ocean, stop in at any of the waterfront restaurants for a sea-to-table feast. In Eleuthera specifically, don’t miss a homegrown pineapple dish—especially a pineapple tart made fresh from a local bakery.
If you’re looking for a chill night of pizza and live music, head to Rainbow Inn on Monday or Thursday when the chef serves pie with a side of entertainment. Or, if you’re in need of a slice of fried heaven, check out Unca Genes in Gregory Town—they can fry practically anything perfectly. Try Leo Rose Restaurant for a meal right on the beach, crashing waves and all—the food and service is top of the line. Finally, no local experience would be complete without trying Bahamian macaroni and cheese. This classic dish resembles lasagna more than macaroni and cheese, and is a favorite dating back to when English colonists first arrived in the Bahamas.
After all that eating, try one of the local beers, Kalik or Sands, or if you want something extra refreshing, try sky juice, a gin and coconut milk drink.
What to See in Eleuthera
A short drive around Eleuthera reveals that everything is breathtaking, but there are a few attractions you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Start your journey when you arrive at the Glass Window Bridge. This skinny pathway is one of the only places in the world where you can clearly see the division between the deep blue Atlantic Ocean and aquamarine Caribbean Sea. Head south along Queen’s Highway and you’ll reach Eleuthera’s next natural phenomenon, the Queen’s Bath. Take a rejuvenating soak in the crisp waters that spill into this little cove from the Atlantic. Check the wave forecast and drive along Queen’s Highway further south until you reach Surfer’s Beach. It’s one of the best surf spots in the Bahamas from September through March—expect the waves to be uncrowded and crystal clear.
Shopping Local in Eleuthera
Pick up a handcrafted souvenir from Pam’s Island Made Gift Shop in the heart of Gregory Town, where you can find clothing, postcards, neem products, hot sauces and jams all made by Bahamian artists and locals. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in Gregory Town, take a five-minute cab ride from the North Eleuthera Airport to the Three Island Dock, where you can board a ferry to Harbour Island, just 10 minutes away. There, you can explore Dunmore Town and its impressive spread of colorful shops selling art, souvenirs and traditional straw goods.