Tru Bahamian Food Tours: Gay Friendly Bahamas Food Tours

Author: , May 25th, 2016

Tru Bahamian Food Tours

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Tru Bahamian Food Tours offers unique and innovative local culinary experiences to visitors of The Bahamas in a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible manner. Our mission is to connect visitors with authentic local food items, the stories and traditions behind these foods, and the Bahamian entrepreneurs that prepare and preserve them.

Travel off the beaten touristic path to explore the intoxicating flavors of Nassau, Bahamas on a guided food tasting and cultural walking tour through this charming island city. Sample 6 delicious specialties (enough for a hearty lunch) as you follow your knowledgeable and friendly local guide from one eatery to the next.
Discover colonial Nassau, traveling away from busy Bay Street in search of authentic Bahamian flavors. Youa[euro](TM)ll eat your way through locally adored Nassau establishments, family-owned restaurants, and speciality boutiques as you stroll through Downtown’s storied neighborhood with your culinary guide.

See the In addition to our regular travel articles, we’re starting a regular travel round-up, for those stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. Enjoy!

See the Tru Bahamian Food Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas – Free things to see and do just a short walk from the cruise port

Author: , February 16th, 2016
Prince George Wharf by Thomas Routzong

Prince George Wharf by Thomas Routzong

Nassau, Bahamas

Free things to see and do just a short walk from the cruise port

By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Nassau, Bahamas is a routine stop on many Caribbean cruises. If you’re not in the mood for another visit to the Atlantis complex, here are a few sights that you can walk to within minutes from the cruise ship pier.

When you arrive at Prince George Wharf, go into the cruise terminal and grab one of the FREE tourist maps that are available to have a better idea of the local streets and any other sights you may want to add to your walk.

Sir Milo Butler

Sir Milo Butler statue photo by Steven Skelley

Sir Milo Butler Statue
Just minutes from the pier across Parliament Street, you will see Rawson Square with a statue of Sir Milo Butler, local hero who was the first Bahamian governor of the islands.

Queen Victoria Statue photo by Thomas Routzong

Queen Victoria Statue photo by Thomas Routzong

Queen Victoria Statue
After viewing the statue, turn around and at the rear of Rawson Square you will see West Bay Street and Parliament Square with the Queen Victoria Statue. The pink government buildings surrounding the white statue make a picture perfect setting. The buildings reportedly date back to the 1700’s.

 

Nassau policeman photo by Steven Skelley

Nassau policeman photo by Steven Skelley

Policeman In Box
At the Queen Victoria statue, look to your right to the intersection of Parliament Street and West Bay Street. You will find a policeman in British-styled uniform standing in the center of the intersection inside a wooden box on wheels.

Garden Of Remembrance photo by Thomas Routzong

Garden Of Remembrance photo by Thomas Routzong

Garden Of Remembrance
Follow Parliament away from the waterfront to find the Garden Of Remembrance behind Queen Victoria’s statue and the Parliament buildings. The Garden Of Remembrance contains a monument to Bahamians who have served in various wars.

Nassau Public Library and Museum
Just behind the Garden Of Remembrance is the Nassau Public Library and Museum. The Nassau Public Library and Museum was once a jail but the cells have been

Nassau Public Library and Museum photo by Steven Skelley

Nassau Public Library and Museum photo by Steven Skelley

converted into bookshelves. The library / museum contains artifacts from the Arawak indigenous people as well and colonial documents. There is a viewing station upstairs where you can get a look at the city below.

Queen's Staircase

Queen’s Staircase photo by Thomas Routzong

Queen’s Staircase
Take Elizabeth Avenue to the Queen’s Staircase. There are 65 steps to the top. It is 102 feet tall. The staircase was hand carved from the rock by slaves to provide British troops a protected route to Fort Fincastle. The staircase was later renamed in honor of Queen Victoria who abolished slavery.

Fort Fincastle
At the top of the Queen’s Staircase is Fort Fincastle. Fort Fincastle was built in the late 1700’s at the top of the hill overlooking the city and bay. There are several canons in place.

Fort Fincastle photo by Steven Skelley

Fort Fincastle photo by Steven Skelley

Straw market
Head back to the waterfront along Woodes Rogers Walk past Prince George Wharf where you started and you will reach the Straw Market and the Vendue House / Pompey Museum.

The Vendue House / Pompey Museum is where slaves were bought and sold. You will find it just past the Straw Market.

The Straw Market is like a giant flea market. The aisles are small and crowded with vendors selling tourist souvenirs. The vendors call out as you pass by and make negative comments

Straw Market photo by Thomas Routzong

Straw Market photo by Thomas Routzong

if you don’t purchase something from them.

As you head back down Woodes Rogers Walk towards the cruise ship terminal and Prince George Wharf, there are many shops, bars and restaurants along the waterfront. There are also several courtyards where art and wood carvings are sold.

Article and photos by Steven Skelley & Thomas Routzong. Copyright 2016 Sunny Harbor Publishing. Contact Us: PO Box 560318, Rockledge, FL 32956. Phone: 321-446-7552. Email: SunnyHarborPublishing@yahoo.com

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong are a happily married couple who love to travel. They write and photograph to help others see the world and see it in a new way. They have authored multiple travel and positive-themed books.

You can learn more about Thomas and Steven at www.SunnyHarborPublishing.org and www.GayTravelersMagazine.com

Bimini, Bahamas

Author: , February 6th, 2016

Bimini, Bahamas 

Bimini Window photo by Steven Skelley

Bimini Window photo by Steven Skelley

The Bahama playground for the rich and famous

By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Ask just about anyone about Bimini and they will probably say they’ve heard of it but have no idea where it is. Some may know it is in the Bahamas but have no details beyond that. We learned quite a lot about Bimini during our recent visit. These two tiny Bahamian islands have a unique culture, bountiful history, visitors both famous and infamous, and a new focus as a casino hotspot for the rich and famous.

Bimini consists of the two main islands named North Bimini Island and South Bimini Island as well as numerous cays or keys. Just 50 miles off of Florida’s eastern coast, Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States.

Bimini’s history contains an impressive list of both the famous and infamous.

The Lucayan natives who inhabited the islands named them Bimini which means two islands. Within just 50 years after the European explorers arrive in the 1490’s, the Lucayans had all been enslaved and relocated to other islands to work as plantation slaves.

Pirates
Pirates Henry Morgan and Edward Teach, also known as the infamous Blackbeard, used Bimini as a base of operations.

Bootleggers
Bootleggers used Bimini to smuggle rum into the U.S.A. It is said that Bill “The Real” McCoy and Al Capone made millions of dollars through rum running.

Celebrities

Bimini Hemingway sign photo by Steven Skelley

Bimini Hemingway sign photo by Steven Skelley

Ernest Hemingway spent three summers in Bimini.

His Royal Highness Prince Edward, The Duke of Windsor and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt held meetings in Bimini while Edward was Governor of The Bahamas.

Prince Wilhelm of Sweden enjoyed fishing in Bimini.

Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr., Lucille Ball, Lauren Bacall, Martin Luther King Jr., Johnny Cash, Don Johnson, Jimmy Buffett and Walter Peyton all vacationed in Bimini.

American Labor leader Jimmy Hoffa visited Bimini. The Bimini Museum displays his Bahamas Immigration card and states that visitors “often ask if he is still here.”

More recently, Mariah Carey rented a villa at Resorts World Bimini for a getaway.

Silence of the Lambs Bimini location photo by Steven Skelley

Silence of the Lambs Bimini location photo by Steven Skelley

The Silence of the Lambs
The final scene of the film “The Silence of The Lambs” was filmed on North Bimini. We walked to the site and took photos, of course. Standing there, it is easy to recall Hannibal Lecter saying the words, “I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.”

LGBT INFO

“The Hilton resort welcomes all guests. LGBT visitors are very comfortable here. When going into town LGBT guests should remember to be respectful of local beliefs and customs,” Michelle Malcolm, Resorts World Bimini’s Public Affairs Director told us.

The U.S. Department of State offers this advice for LGBT travelers, “There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in The Bahamas,” and “Remember that you are subject to the laws and the judicial process of the country you’re visiting. Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public, particularly in more conservative countries or regions.”

WHERE TO STAY

Resorts World Bimini 

Resorts World Bimini pool photo by Steven Skelley

Resorts World Bimini pool photo by Steven Skelley

We chose to stay at the Resorts World Bimini. The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini sits on 750 beautiful acres of prime waterfront real estate. The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini has a modern and uncluttered décor and very friendly staff.

In addition to the 300+ guest rooms and suites in The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini, there are 148, one to three bedroom, fully equipped villas for rent. The villas are perfect for a family friendly stay. Guests can bring their own groceries, cook in the villas and save money. Private Island Home rentals begin at $1400 per night. These four bedroom homes offer guests the asset of docking their boats in back.

Michelle Malcolm, Resorts World Bimini’s Public Affair’s Director told us, “We often have special events at Fishermen’s Village like foam parties and private parties. We are busiest during the Summer months. Most of our guests come from Florida for a short getaway. Our Glass Pavilion can hold up to 300 people. It is very popular for weddings. Our marina is the largest in the Bahamas with 200 slips. On a busy weekend, there are so many yachts, it is hard to find an empty slip. We have boats up to 200 feet.”

There are a number of attractive dining options at Resort World Bimini.

Fishermen’s Village offers Amicci’s Pizzeria & Gelateria, and the Healing Hole Rum Bar.

The Aqua Bar & Grill is located at the Infinity Pool which offers a gorgeous view of the ship near the Three Sister’s Rocks made famous in many professional model photography shoots.

Near the Sabor Pool, there is Sabor Seafood and Steakhouse restaurant and the Sabor Swim Up Bar. The Sabor Pool offers free cabanas.

Inside the casino is the RW Hemingway’s Restaurant which also offers a breakfast buffet.

The Paradise Bar & Grill is located at Paradise Beach. Guests can enjoy a beautiful beach, casual dining, cabana and watersport rentals and bands on weekends.

We enjoyed two breakfast burritos, a cup of coffee and a diet soda at Amicci’s on-site restaurant in Fishermen’s Village. The bill came to $39.22.

For dinner one evening, we tried the Sabor Seafood and Steakhouse restaurant near the Casino. This poolside restaurant has a very upscale décor and menu. The food is both delicious and plated appealingly. We thoroughly enjoyed our ribeye steak and pork chop dinners. Our bill came to $143.00.

Resorts World Bimini Casino is “a 10,000 square foot live action casino that features popular table games including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, 169 slot machines and a Spor

Resorts World Bimini casino photo by Steven Skelley

Resorts World Bimini casino photo by Steven Skelley

ts Book – the only one east of Las Vegas. With floor to ceiling windows, it is the first casino in the world to have panoramic water views, and has a full indoor-outdoor restaurant that sits directly on the mega-yacht marina.”

Because the casino is located just feet from the marina, guests can sail almost right up to the casino doors.

For more information, visit http://www.rwbimini.com/

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina
The Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina was founded in the 1930’s as an elegant dinner club but has become known as a destination for “top of class sportsmen and their families.” The resort offers watersports, sport fishing and world class diving.

For more information, visit www.biggameclubbimini.com

Sea Crest Hotel and Marina
The Sea Crest Hotel is located in the center of Alice Town in North Bimini. Their website boasts “air conditioning, compact refrigerators and cable TV in all rooms.” The nearest beach is only a few steps away. All rooms have bay and/or ocean views.

For more information, visit http://www.seacrestbimini.com/seacrest%20frame.htm

Bimini Sands Resort & Marina
Bimini Sands Resort & Marina sits “on a private white sandy beach and all condos are Marina Front or Ocean Front.” The resort has 215 one, two and three bedroom condos with full kitchens, washer, dryer, hair dryers, microwave, coffee makers, TV, patios, toiletries.

For boaters, the resort offers a 75 slip marina with 30/50 amp, diesel and gas fuel, water and slips for up to 100 foot yachts.
Bimini Sands Resort has an ocean front pool and marina pool, restaurants and bars located on property, free airport shuttle and free water shuttle that departs daily to North Bimini for shopping, museums, local attractions and the Casino.

For more information, visit www.thebiminisands.com

HOW TO GET AROUND

Bimini Bus
The Bimini Tram provides transportation throughout North Bimini from Alice Town to Porgy Bay. It operates daily, between 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fare is $3 for adults and $1 for children.

Ferries
Scheduled ferry service is available between North and South Bimini from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The fare is $2 each way. Look for the Bimini Government Dock in both Alice Town and South Bimini.

Taxis can be hailed on the street and golf carts can be rented around the island.

ATTRACTIONS

Bimini Museum
The Bimini Museum is located on North Bimini in Alice Town on King’s Highway across from the Bimini Craft Center. The museum was started by the Bimini Historical Society to preserve the island’s history. There are pictures, stories, artifacts and relics “that commemorate those who contributed to the development of Bimini, in addition to memorabilia of Bimini’s most famous former resident, Ernest Hemingway.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose visit to the island in 1968 had a significant impact on its people. The bronze bust of his image is displayed at the Bimini Craft Center in Alice Town.

Straw Markets
Everyone enjoys a Caribbean Straw Market. Local vendors have stalls at the Bimini Craft Center in Alice Town and sell a variety of straw creations and other handmade crafts. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bimini Beaches
Bimini might be small at only 7 miles long but it’s got great beaches especially on the west side of North Bimini. Radio Beach, Blister Beach and Spook Hill Beach are three continuous beaches stretching from Alice Town to Bailey Town. Tiki Hut Beach is popular on South Bimini and there are numerous secluded beaches on the Cays to the south. Beachcombers often find whole conch shells, colorful sea glass and hermit crabs the size of baseballs.

Conch Graveyards 

Conch graveyard photo by Steven Skelley

Conch graveyard photo by Steven Skelley

Conch shells everywhere on North Bimini islands because they are a local food staple. Walking along the streets past local eateries, you will view conch graveyards where shells are stacked 6 feet high and 30 feet long.

Bimini Nature Trail
The Bimini Nature Trail on South Bimini Island allows you to see Bimini’s plants and animals in their natural environment.

Shark Lab Tour
The Shark Lab Tour includes a boat ride to South Bimini Island from North Bimini. The friendly and entertaining staff share shark research information and allow guests to pet a shark. The tour staff picked coconuts for us to drink milk from and offered us Bahama Bread.

South Bimini Shark Lab photo by Steven Skelley

South Bimini Shark Lab photo by Steven Skelley

We visited the local Fountain of Youth well. Every participant took a sip. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll on the South Bimini Nature trail learning about local plants and animals and visiting ruins. Make sure you apply generous amounts of mosquito repellent. Our driver joked that a swarm of mosquitoes once lifted him off the ground.

Be sure to sample a local canned beverage named Bahama Goombay. It is delightful.

For a good laugh, ask the guides to teach you the “One cent, five cent, ten cent, dollar” song and dance.

For more information, visit http://www.biminisharklab.com/opportunities/publictours

The Healing Hole
The Healing Hole pond earned its name because of the healing properties reported by those who swim in it. Accessible by boat only, it is a natural fresh-water spring that pumps up lithium and sulfur inside a salt water swamp in the mangroves of Bonefish Creek.

The Bimini Wall or Bimini Road
The Bimini Road or Bimini Wall is one-half mile of underwater limestone blocks. Some believe they are a remnant of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis.

TRAVELING TO BIMINI

By Ferry
As of January 10, 2016, Resorts World Bimini ended their three-times-a-week ferry service to Bimini from Miami.

By Air
Cape Air – https://www.capeair.com/where_we_fly/caribbean.html
Silver Airways – www.silverairways.com
Tropic Ocean Airways – www.flytropic.com

By Sea
Since Bimini is just 50 miles from Florida, many local charter boats offer trips on a regular basis from both Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Of course, if you have your own yacht, there are plenty of slips and marinas awaiting your arrival.

OUR CONCLUSION

The North and South Bimini Islands are a unique blend of old-Bahamas towns and upscale resorts. The turquoise waters are stunning and the beaches are beautiful. We enjoyed our visit and may return someday to explore more of what these often overlooked islands have to offer.

Article and photos by Steven Skelley & Thomas Routzong. Copyright 2016 Sunny Harbor Publishing. Contact Us: PO Box 560318, Rockledge, FL 32956. Phone: 321-446-7552. Email: SunnyHarborPublishing@yahoo.com

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong

Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong are a happily married couple who love to travel. They write and photograph to help others see the world and see it in a new way. They have authored multiple travel and positive-themed books. You can learn more about Thomas and Steven at www.SunnyHarborPublishing.org and www.GayTravelersMagazine.com Read more…

Lesbian Travel: Cable Beach, The Bahamas

Author: , November 4th, 2014

Bahamas

Enjoy the service of local venders as they weave between sun-blocked sunbathers to sell their wares and listen closely to soft calypso music being carried by the Caribbean breeze. From powerboat adventures and cultural walking tours, to dolphin encounters, historical wonders and leisurely excursions, you might spend more time off of the beach than you do on it.

There’s so much to see and do in the area surrounding Cable Beach that it’s hard not to join in the fun, to adventure, explore and familiarize yourself to all of the wonder and beauty that’s home to New Providence Island.

Take your chance at spotting sea turtles, manta rays, barracudas, small groups of fish and starfish when you snorkel or scuba dive – bring your own equipment or rent from a resort or dive shop. Popular watersports on the beach include parasailing, waterskiing, banana-boat riding and kite boarding. Traveling out to a nearby island such as Blue Lagoon and Rose Island is also love-to-do for visitors. The list of tours and activities available in Nassau is literally endless.

By Angela Braun – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | Bahamas Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Lighthouse Beach in the Bahamas

Author: , September 14th, 2014

beachThe combination of turquoise and deep blue water, pink sand, white cliffs and vibrant green foliage are what make Lighthouse Beach so unique and intoxicating. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave Eleuthera without acquainting yourself with Lighthouse Beach.

Make sure to pack a cooler with drinks and sandwiches because you’re going to want to stay a while – and you don’t want hunger to come between you and enjoyment of this beach. Truly, this beach has it all – sparkling waters, dramatic views, amazing snorkeling and a remoteness that will ensure crowds won’t spoil your visit.

Snorkel beautiful reefs right off shore or go further out to explore the remote lighthouse and sandstone cliffs. Reserve your seat at Front Porch for a romantic dinner of fresh, island caught seafood. From breakfast to dinner, desert and after-hours drinks The Rainbow Inn Seafood & Steak House will be at your service, while the popular Tippy’s, a gourmet beach bar will keep your tummy full, your happiness on high and your thoughts on nothing other than the incredible food, service and atmosphere.

By Angela Braun – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | The Bahamas Gay Travel Resources

Bahamas Gay Pride Cancelled After Death Threats

Author: , September 2nd, 2014

Bahamas Gay PrideThe first-ever gay pride event in the Bahamas was canceled this weekend due to death threats. Via the Nassau Guardian:

A gay pride event that started on Friday on Grand Bahama that was supposed to continue through tomorrow was cut short as members of the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community abandoned it out of fear of repercussions from irate members of the public even as police remained on high alert for any signs of trouble, Victor Rollins, one of the organizers of the event, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday. Rollins said he received death threats on his Facebook page after posting pictures of event attendees holding gay pride flags along with Bahamian flags on a beach yesterday.

Rollins said the backlash came quickly starting Thursday after organizers issued a press release in support of the event, which was held at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort. He said local talk shows were a particular source of vitriol, with many claiming God would judge The Bahamas for allowing a gay pride event to take place and some people wishing harm on those involved and members of the LGBT more generally. He said that no one from the Bahamian LGBT who said they would come to the event and even those who were to be honored at the event showed up.

Full Story at Joe.My.God | Bahamas Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Lesbian Travel: Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas

Author: , August 31st, 2014

beachPrepare to unwind, create your own fun and sink into your sun-drenched vacation far away from the masses. Pink Sands Beach will move you to a complete state of chic relaxation and, although it comes at a steep cost, this beach should be on the bucket list of any avid world traveler. Visit the beach at sunrise and sunset and the sand seems even pinker than during daylight hours. Spacious and unspoiled, we think it’s the perfect place to rediscover yourself (or your lover) again.

Love to scuba dive? With wrecks of all kinds to be discovered, tropical fish, lobsters and sea turtles in your sights for snorkeling, you’ll want to gear up quickly. Explore nearby Eleuthera Island or scuba dive through one the world’s top dive sites between Eleuthera and Current Island called “Current Cut Dive” – drift through the 2/3 mile distance in just ten minutes. Not a scuba diver? Kayak with a friend or sink into a snooze on the scenic Pink Sands Beach. No judgment here.

By Angela Braun – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | Bahamas Gay Travel Resources

My Solo Trip to the Bahamas

Author: , July 9th, 2014

Freeport, Bahamas

I recently spent a long weekend in the Bahamas…on my own. Yes, I left my kids and husband at home and trekked to Freeport, Grand Bahama. At the airport, I sipped coffee, flipped through magazines and chatted with strangers.

Why are those few things important? Because as much as I love traveling with my kids, when I’m on my own, it’s so much easier for me to be just me. My kids are amazing and I love traveling with them, but our trips tend to revolve around their needs and desires. For these few days, I could focus on myself, would focus on myself.

I had been undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer and thought the worst was behind me, I had won. But I was wrong and fears of more surgery and further treatment were consuming me. I needed to go somewhere not only beautiful and serene, but also sunny and, to be frank, joyful. Travel empowers me like nothing else in this world and a few days of exploration, on my own time, was just what my soul needed.

By Holly Rosen Fink – Full Story at Go Girlfriend | Bahamas Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps