You should choose Eleuthera, Bahamas for your next vacation. There is a saying in Eleuthera that it is “not for everyone.” Maybe that was the case some time ago, or perhaps it is a way to make visitors feel special, part of the in-crowd that “gets it,” but based on my Thanksgiving 2014 vacation it sure seems like it is an ideal destination for all. We loved Eleuthera and I feel very confident that you will too.
It all started after our vacation to Vieques, Puerto Rico when we flew over the Bahamas. I was mesmerized by the islands and their rainbow of blue-hued waters. Plus, it was closer to the states which was appealing to reduce travel time (or so I thought). And after you get a taste of the Caribbean it gets into your system in a rather addicting manner. I could not imagine going long without another visit, so Bahamas became my focus.
I bought the book “Bahamas for Dummies” to try to narrow down the islands. That did not work out so well, because my notes show that I focused in on Eleuthera, Abaco, Cat Island, Elbow Cay and Great Exuma. Obviously still too many islands to think about, so that was not very helpful. I am certain that I still want to visit all those islands some day, and perhaps one will rise above Eleuthera eventually. But I became much more decisive once I started following The Cove Resort in Eleuthera on social media. Maybe it should have been something more substantial than an Instagram account that made my decision, but I really think that the images hooked me.
It might not have the same effect on you, but I identified with the owner who was originally from New Orleans (a favorite destination) and owned golden retrievers. That seems silly as I type it, but between that artificial connection and the amenities offered by the resort, including Jeep rentals and provided kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, it seemed like an ideal destination. Just one major problem… it was way out of my affordable luxury budget range. So, I continued to follow them and made no plans to visit.
But, at the end of 2013, I fell down slippery stairs in a restaurant and broke my wrist in two places. This lead to surgery to put in a plate and screws, not to mention months of occupational therapy. And the worst part is that the plate and screws need to be removed after a year, so I recently completed my second surgery and am still getting full range of motion back. It has been more than a year of dealing with the consequences of the break.
And to make matters worse, it could have all been prevented. The restaurant where I fell in Santa Barbara did not have proper safety rails, so when I fell there was nothing to grab to break the fall. So, I also was thrown into a legal dispute and insurance negotiation with the restaurant for their negligence in meeting building code. That is a whole different topic for another blog, but in the end, I was able to get all of my medical bills covered as well as some pain & suffering. Upon the resolution of this process, I cleared my extensive medical debts, set aside savings for future medical bills, and made the decision that I deserved a vacation to Eleuthera, Bahamas. After a ruined trip to California and several cancelled vacations during my recovery, I put some of the pain & suffering settlement into a fancy holiday and scheduled it before the dreaded second surgery where I started the process of recovery all over again.
This is a very long way of saying that my vacation was not affordable. I still want to share my experience, and I am also confident that I can return on a tighter budget. So you don’t have to break the bank or your wrist to go to Eleuthera. On the other hand, if you can find a way to splurge and stay at The Cove Resort then I highly recommend it – or at least splurge on dinner there one night. Regardless, the trip was wonderful for reasons beyond a luxury resort stay.
Now that I can type again, I hope to write a few articles about Eleuthera, but I thought that I would share my initial plan (which includes an overnight in Fort Lauderdale):
2PM land in Fort Lauderdale
Rent B-Cycle bikes
Lunch at Tap 42
Drinks at Pillars Hotel
Coconuts Waterside Grill for dinner
9AM get to airport for 11AM flight
Land about 2PM
Pick-up by the Cove
Explore and film resort
Dine at The Cove
(Jeep rental begins)
Harbour Island visit (need golf cart)
Drive to water taxi: To get to the dock, take the road from North Eleuthera Airport (ELH) to the east until you run out of road. You’ll see the dock, and the water taxi operators who will take you over to the island. The one-way fare is $5 per person.
Noon Rock House lunch reservation
Pink Sand Beach
Go to Sip Sip (reservation with Don Purdy via email)
The Haunted House: Take queens road south, then turn down the road that leads to the restaurant Aquapazza. It is just across from the restaurant
The Lone Tree
Water taxi back to Eleuthera
Glass Window Bridge
The Front Porch Dinner reservation
Friday Night Fish Fry 7:30-9 (by bridge in Cupids Cay)
Yoga at 8AM at Pineapple Fields pool ($22 cash)
da perk coffee house
Head to Governor’s Harbour area for beach exploration, Between the Rocks, Ten Bay, Poponi, Paw Paw
Stop Surfers Beach for info on rentals
Stubbs BBQ (only Fri and Sat lunch) near James Cistern Beach
Lannys and Sky Beach Club (Pascals)
Tippys (music at 8PM)
Massage at The Cove
explore Rainbow Bay Beach, Lover’s Beach by The Cove
Rainbow Inn for dinner
Lighthouse Beach tour with Eleuthera Tours (1 hour 30 minutes South)
Meeting Location: Davis Harbor Marina, Wemyss Bight (10-3)
Stop by Whiteland Beach
Dinner at The Beach House (live music at 7)
ride bikes to Gregory Town?
maybe Laughing Lizard for lunch
Airport transport by the Cove
Pammys – dive, can get food to go, conch burger, peas and rice, porkchop
Governors Harbor Bakery – conch fritters
Wild Orchids – water front
Coco Plums – conch salad roadside must do
Mate and Jennys pizza – take away
This is how I usually map out plans for a vacation, which I have on my phone as a reference to view at any time. I share this as the ideal that I was hoping to meet but the biggest curve ball of the vacation was how rough the Atlantic side of the island was. Many of these beach destinations were on the Atlantic side and they were much too rough. Once we booked the trip, I purchased The Beach Book about Eleuthera. I highly recommend it. There are so many beaches and very bad signage so this book was invaluable to adjusting plans. I also had not really anticipated just how long the island was and night driving gets old very fast. I will cover that in an article on things to know about Eleuthera, but I thought that my original plan might be of interest to someone.
I look forward to sharing more, so please do stay tuned. And get to booking that flight.