Yes, yes we did go to another island (Vieques) over New Years, but that trip was a last minute miles induced jaunt. (it was awesome though!) This trip I have had planned since the summer of ’13. You see to get to Harbour Island (or as the locals call it, Briland), at least from New Orleans, you have to buy tickets in advance. There are only a few flights from Miami to Eleuthera and the layovers are big, unless you plan. Plus, the houses are few, so to get one you like you need to get it early. Josh and I have been to this island once already. But only for the day, and I did fall hard for it. I wanted the kids to experience this beach, this town, this island life. Very special indeed.
Harbour Island is a water taxi ride away from the larger Island of Eleuthera. Josh and I stayed on Eleuthera a few years ago with friends. Which is how we found Harbour Island. (however, I did have this island in my travel file). Briland is a small island, it’s 3 miles of powder pink beaches to the east and is 1 mile wide with the harbor on the west. Golf carts only. We be ridin.
We rented a sweet, creaky, little 3 bedroom right in Dunmore town, late 1700’s British Colonial. Cute as can be, right across from the local grocery store. Here is Chatterbox and some interior shots, too.
Front porch swing.
Love this lamp and shade made from rattan. Lots of great basket weavers on this island.
The living room with pink coral accents.
The view from the rooftop deck.
Harbour Island’s shell less, pink sand beaches are amazing. The reefs off of them are said to house tiny organisms that have pink shells and when crushed by waves on the coral reefs they wash up on shore and mix in with the white sand and viola, immense beauty to behold. The sand is one thing, but the beaches are very calm, as well. Softly lapping, so no surfing here, but the quite ocean sounds are mesmerizing. So. with the pink, soft as flour sand, and the perfect shallow turquoise water and practically having the 3 mile beach to yourself-in high season…Well, must I go on?
Mose walks and looks.
Josh at Sunset.
MJ enjoys a run to show off our sand dollar we found.
Little did she know that Mose had already found 4 sand dollars and a starfish. He’s the best.
Well, Indeed I must go on. The whole island is awesomely authentic. Locals coming and going running shops and restaurants. The people so helpful, and friendly and easy to talk to, because (another reason I love Briland so much) they speak English in the best British/Jamaican/Island way possible. Lovely to listen to. One of our favorite lunch spots was Queen Conch. You can watch the fisherman bringing in the fresh conch and then you place your order for Conch Salad (along with everyone else on the island). While waiting you can take a stroll down the main street. Do some shopping at Shine. Or a little further down at India Hicks’ Sugar Mill. Both lovely if you feel like shelling out your conch. Hee, hee. Anyway, back to the Conch salad.
King Conch making the salad. Like ceviche, but with conch and the secret ingredient- the sour orange juice. Unbelievable!
Two other local places we loved were Dilly Dally for our insulated ice chest and other sundries.
And Tip Top for the snacks we crave so much.
We took advantage of the awesome local fishermen and hired Vincent one day for fishing. It was Mardi Gras day. And we thought it appropriate for us that this was our float.
Our king, Vincent.
And what we were catchin!!!!
Yes, day 1 with Vincent was fishing. Day 2 he took us to Man Island for snorkeling the reefs off the shore. Very nice snorkeling and great shells, sea fans and sponges everywhere. A few good games of beach tennis (I can never remember the name of that paddle game)
Another island shaded just right.
The fishing and snorkeling were great, but the beach is where it’s at on Harbour Island.
The kids will still be kids. Running into the waves.
My three cuties.
The restaurant scene in Harbour Island is awesome. There are a lot of restaurants run by locals and some by outsiders. We ate at a couple of each.
Sip Sip only open for lunch. Great specials and drinks right on the beach, plus a super little shop connected to the patio. The Dunmore– great spot on the beach for lunch and dinner. Lobster tacos, yes. The dining room here.
The Landing for a special last meal at sunset. Yumminess. Spicy crab cappelini and Black Afro rum. The logo.
Ramora Bay for a sunset dinner and local band on Sunday nights. Mose and I shaking a leg.
We went to a local hangout, Angels Starfish for awesome conch fritters and fried chicken and cute kittens outside.
As with most islands, and Harbour Island especially, the rents are high and the food even higher when eaten out. There are tons of very wealthy people here. They own amazing houses on the beach side and they come in enormous yachts. Well, needless to say, we ate a lot of meals in our cute kitchen at Chatterbox. Googling Bahamian recipes and serving them up. Fish for dinner!
I love the island life, and we, as a family, especially loved being in a house and not in a fancy resort. (and there are some amazing ones here on Harbour island-see list at end) This is the kind of island where we wanted to be a part of the small town, the noises, the chickens, the laughter on the street, the school kids, walking out to the streets in the morning and smelling the sticky buns at Arthurs Bakery. It is an island for that. I knew it the first time I stepped foot here. It is the perfect balance of natural beauty and sophistication, with a local color added in to make you feel something. When I travel, I want to feel the place.
The churches of Harbour Island are many.
The history is evident everywhere.
Everything vibrant and handmade.
The harbor houses as the sun says goodbye.
And so did we, have to say goodbye.
Loving it all the way.
The high end
For star sightings
Smaller more eclectic
This is a small house hotel from India Hicks
Houses in town
Chatterbox- There are 4 houses in this group
Bars we wanted to go to but did not get a chance