The Ultimate Jetset Guide to Harbour Island, Bahamas

We just got back from our first trip to Harbour Island, Bahamas & I cannot wait to tell you guys ALL about it. This little 3.5 by 1.5 mile island is luxury Caribbean travel at its finest – think: days spent golf-carting around exploring the island, dining at incredible restaurants, boating around dreamy aqua-blue waters, swimming with stingrays, and simply relaxing at the resort. Many call this laid-back gem of an island the “Nantucket of the Caribbean,” for good reason – It has all the quaint New England-like coastal charm and trendy hot spot-ness of somewhere like Nantucket, with ultra laid-back vibes (it’s not snobby in the LEAST), an amazing culinary scene, pastel-colored cottages, and some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. 

So, if you’re planning to visit this island for a sunny romantic getaway, babymoon, honeymoon, trip with friends, a big family trip, or a girls’ weekend, here are some essential tips on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.

 

How to Get to Harbour Island, Bahamas

Travel By Air

The quickest route to Harbour Island is a direct flight (from Miami, Atlanta, or Charlotte) which will have you touching down in paradise quickly and easily! We took American Airlines and it was a big plane – not a puddle jumper!  After landing in North Eleuthera Airport, you’ll take a short taxi and boat ride to whisk you directly to the island, where another taxi will take you to your hotel or villa. The whole process is super easy and we didn’t arrange anything ahead of time – we just asked for a taxi once we got to the airport and the whole process was SUPER seamless! I’m sure your hotel can also organize this for you ahead of time, but we actually did not and it was just as easy! Just be sure to have a lot of tip money on you for all the different baggage handling/taxis/boat etc! I have more info on this below.

Travel By Sea

For those who are coming from Nassau, a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Nassau offers breathtaking views of the Bahamian waters. This option gives you that mini-cruise experience and the take in all that amazing ocean vista views.

 

Where to Stay in Harbour Island

The Best Hotels and Resorts in Harbour Island, Bahamas

Whether you’re looking for the luxury of a five-star hotel or the cozy charm of a boutique resort, Harbour Island has you covered. You get so many options in finding the BEST Harbour Island Bahamas hotels. This place is PACKED with whatever your style and budget is. Here’s a lowdown on where you can book your dream room, from places where you can step straight from your bed onto the beach to those where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail by the pool.

The Dunmore Hotel

The Dunmore Beach Hotel is a luxurious coastal boutique gem of a hotel that is a DREAM. Enjoy the famous pink sand beach, relax in one of their chic pools, or sip on their to-die-for pina coladas. And with its lush gardens, ultra-aesthetic bar and restaurant (best dinner on the island!), and tennis courts, The Dunmore gives you endless ways to both relax and play in style.

Pink Sands Hotel

This iconic hotel on Harbour Island is spread across 20 acres of tropical gardens and offers private access to the famous pink sand beach. The cottages here have a rustic-island-yet-refined charm, and are so cute, chic and beautifully decorated! Grab a bite at the Blue Bar where delicious bites come with breathtaking ocean views. Pink Sands is a VIBE. 

Photo courtesy of the Pink Sands Hotel

Coral Sands Hotel

Just renovated, the Coral Sands Hotel is your go-to for boutique, low-key beach vibes. This four-star resort is located right on those famous pink sands, and the pool views are gorgeous. You can lounge by the pool, chill at the beach bar, or sip on a sunset cocktail. Coral Sands is all about luxury, comfort, and an understated and beautiful beach retreat.

The Best Luxury Villas to Rent on Harbour Island

For those who love a bit of privacy or are traveling with a large group, renting a villa on Harbour Island is the way to go! Imagine having a beachfront home all to yourself, complete with a gym, a beachfront deck, or even a dreamy private pool to swim in. Check out these perfect VRBO villas where you can live like a local but with all the pampering of a jetseter! Think stunning views, exclusive amenities, and all the space you need to relax in total privacy!!

This Ultra-Luxury Oceanfront Villa with Pool

Exterior

Photo courtesy of their VRBO page

Just steps from the Pink Sands beach, this ultra sleek and modern villa is a vacation paradise!! Complete with a 55 ft. pool, a gym, a theater, spacious outdoor living areas, and a chef-ready kitchen. Includes 8 spacious rooms and a master suite perfect for large group or families. The amazing view in the garden and pool area is great for evenings when you want to dine al fresco under the stars! This is where you go for the best luxury villa on Harbour Island.

 

The Beacon Hill Estate

If you want your very own secluded paradise surrounded by lush palms, for that ultimate privacy, then the ultra ultra luxurious villa on Harbour Island the Beacon Hill Estate is for you. With direct beach access and a layout that encourages indoor-outdoor living, the best trip ever is guaranteed.

Aerial view

A walk across the bridge to the entrance of the main house.

Photos courtesy of their VRBO page

 

Sunnyside Villa

This beautiful villa is located right on Pink Sand Beach!!! Enjoy the ultimate getaway, complete with stunning sunset views, a private dock, and luxurious furnishings in this cozy villa located in Pink Sand beach. Ideal for honeymooners and those celebrating special occasions. Check rates here.

Exterior

Photo courtesy of their VRBO page

 

This gorgeous villa on Harbour Island is owned and designed by renowned interior designer Angela Harris showcasing her tile, furniture, bedding, linens, and art throughout the home. The private backyard includes a heated pool, a towel house, outdoor built-in grill, outdoor shower, patio dining, and a new pool bar with TV, beer keg cooler, ice machine, wine fridge and pink champagne fridge. 

Photos courtesy of their VRBO page

 

The Ocean Front Villa – Eleuthera

This absolutely stunning villa is located in Eleuthera (so not on Harbour island) but it was worth noting. This gives you that ultra luxe experience at a more approachable price point. This villa is perched on top of a cliff on the side of the island, giving you one of the BEST views overlooking the vast Altantic Ocean. 

ExteriorAerial view

Photos courtesy of their VRBO page

 

Best Places to Eat on Harbour Island

The Dunmore Restaurant

This place is often considered the best spot for dinner on Harbour Island. With a menu that showcases the best of Bahamian flavors—think spiny lobster and creamy conch chowder—every meal is going to wow you.

Da Vine Wine & Sushi

WOW we were so impressed by Da Vine! This is a great spot for delicious fresh sushi on the island. and wine of course!!!  Best restaurant on Harbour Island for a night out with your favorite people or a quiet romantic evening. If you’re traveling with kids, make a res for 5 or 530 and they’re great with kiddos!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Da Vine Sushi & Wine Bar (@davinesushi)

 

Arthur’s Bakery

This family-run spot is your go-to for homemade breads, delicious lunch, and charming service. I loved their jerk chicken ceasar salad so much I think I had it three days in a row. The jerk lobster wrap is also to die for! And their coconut bread is legendary, too!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by arthursbakery (@arthursbakery)

 

Cocoa Coffee & Juice

We went here every morning for coffee & fresh juices! I also loved their pitaya bowl and was impressed by their paninis too!!! This is a hot spot so I’d recommend going earlier in the morning before the crowds!

Blue Bar at Pink Sands

Dine on sophisticated island fare while overlooking the ocean. Their conch fritter is best paired with one of their signature rum cocktails.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Pink Sands Resort (@pinksandsresort)

 

The Landing Restaurant

Brunch at The Landing is a must-do. Indulge in their famous ricotta pancakes paired with a unique lavender latte in an ambiance that’s both cozy and chic.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by The Landing (@thelandinghotel)

 

Romora Bay Resort and Marina

Enjoy live music and a lively crowd at Ramora Bay. It’s the perfect spot for a fun night out, complete with delicious cocktails and vibrant energy.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Romora Bay Resort and Marina – Sunset’s Restaurant & Bar (@romorabay)

 

Briland Club Bar 480

This trendy bar is a great spot for dinner – think delicious burgers, cocktails, and more. The perfect spot to grab dinner with friends. Also good for kids too!

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Briland Club (@brilandclub)

 

Queen Conch

A laid-back spot for lunch, Queen Conch serves up the freshest conch salad on the island. It’s a flavorful and refreshing choice on a hot day.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Queen Conch Restaurant & Bar (@_yourqueenconch)

 

Marty’s World-Famous Conch Salad Shack

Marty’s is the ultimate destination for authentic Bahamian conch salad, made right before your eyes with the freshest ingredients.

 

Photo courtesy of the HMY.com

 

Aquapazza

For a little taste of Italy in the Bahamas, Aquapazza offers fresh seafood pastas and a romantic atmosphere. Their chef makes evertyhing from scratch and it’s surprisingly good italian food in the Caribbean!

Ocean View Club

Catch the sunset at the Ocean View Club – a must!!!!! This is where you go for those dreamy oceanfront dinner views. It’s pricey, but the views are fabulous for a romantic sunset dinner.

 

The Best Things to Do on Harbour Island

If you think Harbour Island is just about lazing on the famous pink sands (though we highly recommend doing plenty of that!), think again. This tiny island packs a punch with activities to keep you island-busy. Here’s your go-to guide to making every moment in Harbour Island memorable.

The Best Beaches

  • Pink Sands Beach – No trip to Harbour Island is complete without a day (or five) spent soaking up the sun on this beach. Stretching for three miles, this beach is known for its unique pink-hued sands (from conch shells!) and stunning turquoise waters. It’s also some of the softest sand ever – making it great for little ones.
  • Rainbow Bay Beach – Ideal for snorkeling and picnics, Rainbow Bay Beach offers calm waters and a lovely coastline dotted with really cool natural rock formations.
  • Ben Bay Beach – Visit Ben Bay Beach for a more secluded day by the sea.

Get out on a boat!

No trip to Harbour Island is complete without a boat day! You can go swimming with turtles, rays, visit the famous swings, or even go swimming with pigs if you want to do a full day tour!

Check out the most popular tours here

Where to Shop on Harbour Island

  • A and A Hidden Treasures – If you go shopping to one spot on your trip – make it A and A Hidden Treasures!!! She makes homemade bags (THE thing to get on harbour island – they’re so cute and can be personalized! and has shells and sea glass of Harbour Island are turned into beautiful keepsakes, too!
  • Island Made Gift Shop – For authentic Bahamian crafts, the Island Made Gift Shop is a great stop. Here, you can find hand-made treasures from quilts to jewelry, all crafted by local artisans.
  • Blue Rooster – Blue Rooster has you covered with stylish clothing and accessories.
  • Dilly Dally – This quaint shop is perfect for souvenirs, and fun and funky island mementos.
 

Tipping on Harbour Island

At most places, you’ll see an 18% service charge already included on your bill – so keep an eye out for that – you don’t need to double tip! You will want to have a lot of cash (american dollars are fine!) on you for tipping other places throughout the island. When you arrive from your flight, you’ll take a taxi to the dock, then a boat, then a taxi again, which means you should have a few $5 bills ready for tipping. The cost of the actual transportation is about $5 for the taxi, $5 a head for the speedboat, and $10 a head for the taxi to your hotel. Same thing for the way back. You’ll also want a few $5 bills for baggage help from taxi to boat, boat to taxi, and taxi to hotel room. General tipping guidance for baggage help is $1-$2 a bag. 

What to pack for Harbour Island

 

Multi Abstract Floral One Shoulder Orla Dress RUMER Amalfi Mini Dress in Floral

Palmetto Bouquet Long Sleeve Salty Paloma Caftan

Lack of Color Sunnydip Fray Boater Hat in Seagrass

L*SPACE Barcelona Dress in Cream

Enza Costa Tiered Maxi Skirt in White

Luli Fama Palm Breeze Tank Mini Dress in Multicolor

 

The Peyton Starfish Pouch Top-Handle Bag 0

 

Planning a trip to the Bahamas anytime soon? Be sure to read my other helpful guides below:

 

 

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.

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