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Bimini consists of two main islands—North Bimini Island and South Bimini Island—and numerous cays. The history of Bimini is as fascinating as the islands themselves. Just 50 miles from the United States, they served as a convenient offshore speakeasy and liquor store during prohibition. Rumrunners used to store their stash on the nearby shores. And speaking of rum, Ernest Hemingway called Bimini his summer home. Jimmy Buffett spent time here while writing his book, and Martin Luther King, Jr. even composed parts of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech while sailing with local boat builder, Ansil, who still lives on the islands today.
Bust of Martin Luther King Jr.
A memorial in Bimini honors the great legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose visit to the island significantly impacted the people of Bimini. A bronze bust of his image is at the Bimini Craft Centre in Alice Town.
Ernest Hemingway is closely tied to Bimini’s history, because he led the way for fishermen who pilot their own boats across the Gulf Stream from Florida to follow in his footsteps, and pit themselves against some of the world's feistiest game fish and each other.
The Healing Hole
This pond earned its name because of the healing properties reported by those who swim in it. Accessible by boat only, it is a natural fresh-water spring that pumps up lithium and sulfur inside a salt water swamp in the mangroves of Bonefish Creek.
Bimini Nature Trail
The Bimini Nature Trail allows you to see the endemic plants and animals that call Bimini home, in their natural environment. On a guided tour, you can get up close to the endemic Bimini Boa and learn why the endangered snake is so important to the island.
Located northwest of New Providence, just 50 mi/80 km off the east coast of Florida, Bimini is one of the best known of the Out Islands. Most popular with anglers and within easy reach of amateur sailors from the U.S. mainland, Bimini is actually two distinct islands—North Bimini and South Bimini—separated by a narrow ocean passage crossed by water-taxi. A number of minor cays also make up part of its territory.
Ernest Hemingway loved Bimini, as will almost any fishing enthusiast—marlin, sailfish and bluefin tuna are abundant. Dozens of fishing tournaments are held in Bimini each year.
The main village in Bimini, Alice Town, can be seen in less than an hour and has very few sites of appeal. There are several bars and hotels that display Hemingway memorabilia and a colorful church—and that's about it. Tragically, Hemingway's favorite bar (and a popular tourist watering hole), the Compleat Angler, burned down in 2006, killing the owner. Still, the End of the World Saloon, a shack with a sand floor and hundreds of pairs of underwear (mostly female) pinned to the rafters and graffiti-riddled walls, is a popular place.
Besides fishing, diving, snorkeling and relaxation, the only other attraction on the island is the alleged site (on South Bimini) of the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon sought in the early 1500s.
In the 1920s, Bimini was a busy point of shipment during the American Prohibition.
All of Bimini can easily be seen in half a day, but we suggest at least two nights for anglers and divers, and other visitors can make the most of two days lazing around and enjoying the colorful bar life. Bimini's lack of infrastructure and development contributes to its pristine, natural landscape. Life there is laid-back, authentic and charming.
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