For a trip that's only a hop, skip and a jump away from Miami (we're thinking post-Art Basel island getaway), the Bimini Islands - consisting of two main islands and a number of cays - are a new favourite. Ernest Hemingway's former summer destination of choice, as well as the spot where Jimmy Buffett and Martin Luther King Jr. hid away to write, it's rare to find an environment that feels like a well-kept secret with such a convenient location. This hush-hush destination is one to watch.
Lounging on the back of a boat as you float from bay to bay is the essence of a weekend well-spent in Bimini. Pack a case of local Kalik beer, try your hand at deep-sea fishing and enjoy the catch of the day on-board. If sunbathing isn't quite enough excitement, the area is also renowned for hammerhead shark diving.
For activities on dry land, a rented golf cart is your best bet for getting around. Check out the Dolphin House, a museum made up of entirely recycled natural materials including beach glass, shells and sea fans. Afterwards, head out to the Healing Hole, a freshwater pond hidden away among mangrove trees that's commended for its healing properties.
When not making waves in perfectly translucent sea water, food is a priority here. Local, down-to-earth eats are what it's all about, so rather than heading to a typical restaurant, follow up on an activity-filled morning with a lunch of conch salad fresh off a rickety stand. Come dinner time, stop by Edith's Pizza Place for just-caught grouper, cracked conch and pizza made in-house with Bahamian bread dough. The morning after having had a few too many Bahama Mamas, check out one of the local bakeries for a hangover-curing loaf of warm, freshly-baked bread. If you don't know which one to hit up, ask a local who will most likely catch a ride on the back of your golf cart to point you in the right direction.
Who to take with you
A group of pals for renting out boats and partying until sunrise.
When to go
Most likely to bump into
Harbour Island regulars on the hunt for a less chichi Bahamian destination.
Essentials to bring with you
Sun Bum sun cream.
How to get there
Fly into Miami - the ferry ride to the Bimini Islands from there is just two hours. You can also fly directly into the South Bimini Airport, where you can hop onto a water taxi that will take you to the main island. Before leaving the south island, however, stop by the island-style Thirsty Turtle Bar for a Bimini Knockout (if you can take the heat) and then splash yourself with the ice-cold well water from the island's Fountain of Youth. You'll be wide awake for your arrival in North Bimini.