The Best of the Berry Islands. Miles of secluded swim-ashore beaches, invigorating dive sites, and championship sport fishing are just a few of the highlights that make The Berry Islands a desired destination. Composed of a cluster of 30 cays, a majority of these islands are uninhabited. It’s not uncommon to stumble across a footprint-free beach or private cove. You could spend an entire day without seeing a single soul. The Berry Islands are also home to a number of cavern, reef, wall and wreck dive sites, as well as a 600-foot-wide blue hole, wonderful bill fishing, and ancient churches.
The Berry Islands Bahamas are just north of Nassau, making them a common stop for cruises from Florida to the Bahamas. Of all the islands and cays to visit in the Berry Islands Bahamas, Great Harbour Cay is the largest, and is home to the main settlement known as Bullocks Harbour. The Berry Islands will introduce you to some exciting wildlife, fascinating geological formations and an endless stream of outstanding sights. Visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide for information on all of the Grand Bahama beaches, or visit us on Pinterest.
Berry Islands Weather – When to Visit
The Berry Islands have a slightly different high season than most of the other Bahamas islands. Because of their close proximity to Florida, boaters make the crossing in droves from spring break through summer, especially to Bimini. Waters tend to be calmest during these months. All the islands and their resorts peak on the various U.S. holidays: Thanksgiving, mid-December through January 5, Easter, and Labor Day. Generally, February to June are busiest months, and rates are higher at these times and during the Christmas season. Fishing and diving are good throughout the year, although cold fronts in winter can cause rough seas. Temperatures usually remain steady enough to enjoy the beaches year-round, but occasionally drop into the 60s. From November to April the cool, breezy, and drier months mean flying insects are minimal. Hurricane season technically runs from June through November; August and September (the most likely months for hurricanes) can be hot and steamy, and many resorts and restaurants are closed.
Best Beaches on the Berry Islands
Shark Creek (Shell Beach)
Shark Creek, located at the southernmost point of the island, is a mangrove creek that separates Great Harbour Cay from Haines Cay. Locals also refer to it as “Shell Beach,” because it has crystal clear water, with beautiful sand and lots of seashells.
Chub Cay Beach
As well as the 400-yard beach right at the marina, Chub Cay has a splendid 1¼-mile strand with great swimming and nearby snorkeling. The Club House with its pool is a mere 400 yards away for refreshments. This beach is best for swimming and snorkeling.
Sugar Beach is a distinguishable relaxation spot because it’s one of the best spots for escaping the typical tourist haunts. Other nearby beaches you’ll come across in the Bahamas may be just as beautiful, but tend to be more crowded since they’re near some of the most popular hotels. With nothing on the beach save the occasional villa, Sugar Beach is the perfect place for anyone looking for a quiet, tropical beach to relax at. Of course, the beautiful clear water is ready for anyone who is looking for a dip.
Sand Dollar Cay
Sand Dollar Cay is a fabulous 24-acre private island situated in the beautiful and almost undiscovered Berry Island chain of the Bahamas. There are four superb white sand beaches. The surrounding sea dazzles with different shades of turquoise and blue hues. The rising and falling tides continuously expose new sandbars.
Great Harbour Cay Beach
Great Harbour Beach has The Beach Club, a popular daytime bar and grill with a cute arts, crafts, and gift shop. Here, the residents schedule beach volleyball, activities, and games, as well as yoga and exercise classes—and everyone’s welcome. This beach is best for the sunset, swimming, and walking.
Best Berry Islands Restaurants
CarriEarl – $31 – 60
The Restaurant serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and is open to non guests. Serving a fine selection of International Cuisine and Chef Marty always has a culinary surprise up his sleeve. Their Restaurant offers the finest food with dishes from all over the World – the perfect venue for Weddings, Birthdays, or that special Celebration. Telephone: 242 451 8785 Web: Carriearl.
Bimini Twist & Island Sushi $11 – 30
Bimini Twist at the South Bimini Beach Club has an exceptional sushi bar and an elegant dining room. Time your dinner for the dipping sunset show. If you’d rather not do sushi, start with conch, shrimp, lobster, or tomato ceviche. The chef is at the top of his game, and will prepare special requests with panache. Entrées provide good variety from pasta pomodoro and conch linguine to chicken sautéed with mushroom and onions, and sirloin steak. Telephone: 242-347-4500 Web: Bimini Twist
Coolie May’s Sunset Restaurant $11 – 30
Her bright sign makes the casual 60-seat restaurant, on Bullock’s Harbour’s central seafront, easy to find. A couple of outside tables give heightened views of a sleepy anchorage, the ocean, and gorgeous sunsets. Midday, try the conch salad, pan-fried grouper, or a tasty burger. Broiled lobster, steaks, pork chops, and fried conch along with peas ‘n’ rice and macaroni and cheese are dinner specialties. The menu changes daily, but the world-famous guava duff is always available for dessert. Telephone: 242-367-8730 Web: Coolie May’s Sunset Restaurant
The Beach Club $11 – 30
This is the island’s cool locale for breakfast and lunch, across the road from the airport, overlooking the beach and turquoise water. At breakfast, go for the eggs and ham with home grits. At lunch, have a grilled cheeseburger or whatever fresh fish is on the menu for the day. Takeout is available, including fishing lunches. Dinner is available on request, but if you eat at the open-air tables, be sure to have insect repellent, especially if the wind is down or at sunset. Telephone: 242-367–82108 Web: The Beach Club
Rocky Hill Pool Bar & Restaurant $11 – 30
This quaint open air restaurant and bar offers Bahamian and International dishes for lunch and dinner, along with a pool. They cater to visiting yachtsmen, who enjoy sharing their escapades over a refreshing tropical drink. Telephone: 242-367-8051 Web: Rocky Hill Pool Bar & Restaurant.
Best Berry Island Bars
Bimini Big Johns
This waterside sports bar and restaurant, patronized by the younger set, is one of the most popular places on-island to party, dance, and grab a cold beer, burger, or native snack. It’s open from 11:30 am ’til late. It now sports a snazzy humidor with (apparently) authentic Cuban cigars. Come nightfall Thursday to Saturday, a fabulous local Bimini band plays live music combining pop, Bahamian hits, reggae, and soca. At midnight, a local DJ takes over and spins until 3 am. Telephone: 242-347-3117 Web: Bimini Big Johns
End of the World Saloon (The Sand Bar)
The back door of the small, noisy End of the World Saloon, better known by locals as “Sand Bar,” is always open to the harbor. This place—with a sandy floor and visitors’ graffiti, business cards, and other surprises on every surface—is a good spot to meet local folks over a beer and a lobster-and-conch pizza, while playing a game of ring toss. The bar is near the heart of Alice Town, 100 yards from the Compleat Angler ruins, just steps away from Big John’s. Web: End of the World Saloon
OneTwoThreeFloor Sports Bar & Night Club
Midway on North Bimini, west of the big park in Bailey Town, is the islands’ latest addition to the bar-and-nightclub scene. You’ll notice a big black wall on King’s Highway painted with the club’s funny name. Open from noon to 2 am daily, drinks are affordable especially during the Happy Hour, all day until 8 pm. OneTwoThreeFloor serves bar food such as buffalo wings, burgers, and cracked conch snacks, which you can enjoy in cool air-conditioning while watching sports on wide screens from the bar. On weekend nights until 2 am, a DJ plays everything from R&B and hip-hop to pop and golden oldies. Telephone: 242-359-8133
The Backside Bar
This is the local hot spot for dancing and fun, and we are known for great chicken wings and other things, like conch fritters. You can enjoy the fish fry experience every Tuesday night, plus fresh conch salad every night. Located just before you reach St. Bartholomew Anglican Church in Bullock’s Harbour. Telephone: 242-367-8622 or 242-451-0770