WHY WE LOVE THEM
- Hundreds of islands and experiences to choose from—including Harbour Island (a.k.a. Briland), home to barefoot luxury and colonial Dunmore Town; the sleepy and seriously remote Exumas; and tiny Bimini, with fab fishing.
- Pink or white sand, green pines and mangroves; "blue holes" (water-filled caves); wreck diving; yachting and fishing
- Ecotours galore, in which you can check out Great Abaco’s unique wild horses and parrots, get a gander at the Bahamian rock iguana or swim with dolphins and stingrays.
WHEN TO GO
Mid-December through mid-April is high season, so you’ll find bargains May through November—technically the rainy season, though hard rain isn’t usually a problem here, and hurricanes hardly ever happen.
WHAT TO PACK
Bathing suits, polarized sunglasses, sunblock, camera, U.S. passport, U.S. dollars in small denominations (widely accepted along with Bahamian dollars), binoculars (if you’re a birder). For evenings, "smart casual" clothing; a small number of the fancier restaurants request that men wear jackets at dinner.
WHAT TO BUY
Pink conch "pearls," Androsia printed batik fabric or clothing, hot-pepper sauce, Junkanoo and Bahama Mama dolls, natural sponges.
Start out with the Ministry of Tourism’s toll-free Out Islands number (800-688-475-2637) or Web site (bahamas.com). Tourist offices in the United States are in Chicago (8600 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 1200; 773-867-3877), Los Angeles (11400 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 268; 310-312-9544, 800-439-6993), New York (60 East 42nd St., Suite 1850; 212-758-2777) and Plantation, Fla. (1200 South Pine Island Rd., Suite 775; 954-475-8315). In Canada, the toll-free number is 800-667-3777, and the office is near Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario (6725 Airport Rd., Suite 202; 905-672-9017). For Bimini information, you can also go to bimini.bahamas.com.
GETTING MARRIED IN THE BAHAMAS
You can apply for a license at each island’s Commissioner’s or Island Administrator’s office 24 hours after you arrive, and you should receive it the next day; the fee is $100. You’ll need your passport and proof of date of entry into the Bahamas (a passport stamp, airline ticket or immigration card will suffice). If you’re divorced or widowed, you’ll also need copies of the divorce decree or death certificate. If you’ve never been married, the authorities will want an affidavit to that effect from a local notary. For more information, call 888-687-8425.
If you happen to be staying out on Elbow Cay, site of some of the Out Islands’ loveliest beaches, check out the restaurant at this fine inn south of the main settlement, Hope Town—it serves honeymooners the area’s best mix of romance and terrific cooking. (And if you don’t have wheels, they’ll even come fetch you at your hotel.) A double stone fireplace, warm yellow paneled walls, white tablecloths, attractive dark wooden or wicker chairs and ocean views (through picture windows or from the porch) add up to one dreamy ambience. Cooperstown(Abaco)-born chef David Sands offers an exceptional roster of international and island favorites, heavy on the seafood (natch). A house standout is coconut grouper.
Abaco Beach Resort
Bay Street, Marsh Harbour
If you’re staying on Great Abaco or one of its offshore cays, you’ll no doubt want to explore its main town, Marsh Harbour. This resort’s restaurant is one of the best around. The room is beautifully appointed, with big windows looking out onto the marina and harbor. At lunch the kitchen offers cracked conch and other standard light island fare. At dinner, English-born chef Chris Cossenas pulls out the big guns with a seafood-heavy menu that changes twice a year and draws from the Bahamas, France, Asia and the U.S. (Up for a plate of poached grouper in a coconut lemongrass broth?) After dinner, step outside to the bar to down a digestif to the sounds of live Bahamian music, every night during the April-to-August high season.
CLUB PEACE AND PLENTY
George Town, Great Exuma
The dining room at this 32-room resort doesn’t stray too far from the Out Islands’ resort-restaurant template, mixing Bahamian fare and swimmingly fresh seafood with American and international crowd pleasers. But it does what it does better than just about anyplace else on Great Exuma. For lunch, try the conch burger. At the candlelit dinner, you can’t go wrong with that old island faithful, grouper—grilled, steamed or otherwise. It’s a nice room too: pink and white, with a cathedral ceiling, aqua chairs, tile floors, a couple of Bahamian paintings, a stone wall and a swell view out over the pool and the waters of Elizabeth Harbour to Stocking Island in the distance.
THE EMERALD PALMS RESTAURANT
Down in South Andros—an area that’s sparsely populated even by the standards of a sparsely populated island—this laid-back resort is home to the top eatery hereabouts. Does that sound like qualified praise? Well, a barefoot kinda isle may not be where you’d look for gourmetville, but in this garden restaurant, Bahamian Brian Johnson’s grub rises well above the usual burgers and cracked conch. His grilled rib eyes and mahimahi cooked various ways don’t try to compete with the fancy fusion you’d find on, say, Harbour Island—but who cares when they’re top-notch?
Bay Street, Dunmore Town
The restaurant at this elegant boutique inn down by the ferry dock (see Sleep) is a red-walled den of glamour helmed by Ken Gomes, an Aussie chef who cooks beautiful food for beautiful people. His menu is heavy on fresh seafood—grouper, tuna, lobster, crab, salmon, squid—and nicely creative without being over the top. Eat out on the porch for a charming view of the harbor, day or night, and come prepared for a party—co-owner Toby Tyler’s wine cellar includes not only some primo vintages but also a good couple of dozen champagnes.
ROCK HOUSE RESTAURANT
Bay and Hills Streets
Yes, we must say, it rocks—gently. Part of an exquisite and fairly new boutique inn (see Sleep), the dining room—mostly yellow, with big windows overlooking the water—delivers South Beach style and silver service by the sea. At lunch the food’s a finer version of typical beach-bar fare (burgers, sandwiches, etc.). At dinner chef Jenny Learmonth raids a generous rasher of local ingredients, drawing from the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and the States and sometimes adding a cool twist of her own—for example, her conch chowder gets a hint of cumin, her mashed potatoes a dose of goat cheese.
It was built only in 2002, but Julie Lightbourn and Jim Black’s blue-shuttered green shack on the beach facing the open ocean blends in so beautifully that it’s become Briland’s premier lunch spot, slinging conch curry, carrot cake and a generally excellent menu that starts in the Bahamas and then sets off on a trot around the globe. Check out the view and the paintings by island artists, and keep an ear out for the "sip sip" (that’s what locals call gossip) generated by locals like Elle Macpherson and Diane von Furstenberg. Keep in mind that, alas, it’s not open for dinner.
TACKLE BOX RESTAURANT AND BAR
Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina
King’s Highway, Alice Town
Unlike Bimini Bay’s restaurant, with its fancier fusion fare (see Sleep), the Tackle Box—the best-known spot for a feed on Bimini—is very much in the down-home Out Island tradition. Part of a venerable resort catering to anglers, divers and boaters, the woody second-floor spot has predictably marine decor and a menu mostly based on whatever’s been pulled in from the boats that day. (Conch pizza!) And if you’re looking for any kind of social scene at night, it’s pretty much the only game in town. If you’re hankering for something just a soupçon more sophisticated, the resort’s got a second restaurant, the Gulfstream, that’s also good.
BIMINI BAY RESORT AND MARINA
North end of King’s Highway
A huge complex toward the northern tip of North Bimini, along the best and widest beach, it’s still a work in progress. The beautiful shopping/dining arcade just opened in 2008, and the Conrad Hotel, casino and 18-hole links going up at the north end won’t come online till 2010. In the meantime, you can drop your bags at one of the 200 gorgeously appointed rooms and freestanding houses in a colony of three-story buildings designed to suggest colorful Bahamian clapboards (though admittedly it can be a bit odd to step inside and find sleek cement-tile floors and Balinese-flavored decor). For dining, the Casa Lyon is an elegant experience in Bahamian-world fusion. And the large infinity pool is a swell place to chill.
Tel: 242-333-2350, 800-468-2799
Three or four minutes across the narrow island of Briland (the ubiquitous nickname for this chicest of the Out Islands) from Dunmore Town, Coral Sands made its debut 40 years ago. Now the resort has been renovated by new owners in a tastefully understated colonial-great-house style. Right on the famous pink (OK, pinkish) beach, at 36 rooms it’s a little bigger than competitors like Rock House and the Landing, yet it still has an intimate feel. The loft room, with its ocean-facing terrace, is the suite to nab. Ludovic Jarland’s menu at the Terrace restaurant is a sophisticated winner, and the grounds, from the small kidney-shaped pool to the beach bar to the tennis court, are lovely and soothing.
FOUR SEASONS AT EMERALD BAY
Tel: 242-336-6800, 800-332-3442
For honeymooners longing for a truly secluded Bahamian hideaway with posh facilities and top-notch service, this grand spread on a gorgeous beach north of Great Exuma’s "capital," George Town, is a dream come true. It opened late in 2003, on an order of magnitude beyond anything else in the low-key, relatively out-of-the-way Exumas. Four Seasons opulence gets a Tommy Bahama–style twist in the 183 rooms, suites and villas, with touches of rattan, and dark-wood furnishings that wouldn’t be out of place in a plantation great house. Rooms are spacious, starting at 475 square feet. You might be tempted never to leave since there’s so much to do on premises: Swan around the pair of beautiful free-form pools. Indulge yourself at the 32,406-square-foot spa. Sink or swat a few on the links and tennis courts. And eat, of course—the Italian, Bahamian and international cuisine here is out of this world.
GREEN TURTLE CLUB RESORT AND MARINA
Green Turtle Cay
Tel: 242-365-4271, 866-528-0539
Founded in 1964 by a British boat builder on a four-mile-long isle off Great Abaco, this 14-acre spread is popular with honeymooners—and many others. It strikes a deft balance between intimacy and full service with amenities (pool, Caribbean-fusion restaurant, bars), and between seclusion and a spot of action. (It’s a hop and a skip—rent a golf cart—from the sweet 18th-century, 550-soul village of New Plymouth, with its shops, galleries, restaurants and Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar, inventor of the notorious rum cocktail goombay smash.) The 34 units aren’t all the same; the "deluxe club" rooms, by way of example, have a woody colonial yet fresh feel, with mahogany furniture and polished wooden floors. You can choose various options, from small standard rooms right on the dock all the way up to elaborate villas.
HOPE TOWN HARBOUR LODGE
Elbow Cay, Abacos
Tel: 242-366-0095, 866-611-9791
On another isle off Great Abaco, the gracious Harbour Lodge is smaller and cozier than the Green Turtle Club. It’s right in the clapboard village of Hope Town, with its red-striped lighthouse—yet also right on a fetching two-mile stretch of beach, with a fabulous snorkeling reef immediately offshore. What’s more, the rates are fairly easy on the wallet. A 2002 renovation and expansion have endowed the complex with a beautiful pool area; a pair of restaurants and bars; and 25 units, including several cute little aqua-trimmed cottages with woody contemporary decor and tile floors. For a bit of a splurge, the postcard-perfect, century-old Butterfly House on a hillside is irresistible.
Tel: 242-368-6281, 800-790-7971
This 96-acre private island just off the east coast of Andros is an intimate castaway charmer. There are no more than a handful of spacious rooms and suites, with dramatic 20-foot ceilings and verandas that look out onto gardens and beach. Some rooms have wood-beam cathedral ceilings, stone walls and Turkish rugs; others are completely white-on-white. They all boast CD music systems for setting that romantic mood, but no phones or TV. Have a coconut scrub in the spa; dine à deux on the sand; dive the offshore barrier reef; laze around the free-form pool; play a round of tennis; and enjoy the elegant Bahamian output of a very fine kitchen.
PALM BAY BEACH CLUB
Tel: 242-336-2787, 888-396-0606
For a castaway Exumas experience that’s a few dollar signs gentler than the Four Seasons, check out this winning, quiet beachfront compound a little ways south of the island’s capital, George Town. (You can take a shuttle to get there.) It offers a pair of pools, a Jacuzzi, water sports and a low-key but fun beach bar and grill. (FYI, the sands a short stroll down the beach are nicer than the stretch immediately out back.) You’ve got your pick of 70 gingerbread-trimmed villa units, beachside or hillside—decor varies, but in general it’s bright, crisp and contemporary, with wood-paneled ceilings, tile floors and tropical touches like palm-tree-print upholstery. There are kitchenettes and cable TV too.
Tel: 242-333-2030, 800-407-4776
This cottage colony dating from the early 20th century nestles in a bird sanctuary on the edge of a three-mile stretch of beach. Today, after some major refurbing, it offers some of the prettiest, most luxe digs on the island—plus, of course, three miles’ worth of those rosy namesake quartz crystals right out the back door. The 25 cottages—Bermuda-style pastels and stepped white roofs on the outside, Moroccan-Balinese-inspired modern decor in many of the interiors—come with huge private decks and, in a couple of cases, Jacuzzis. The lagoonish-looking pool and gorgeous landscaping give the place an oasis kind of feel, and the Caribbean fusion dining is as world-class as the rest of the experience.
Bay and Hill Streets, Dunmore Town
In 2002, Miami hotel guy Wallace Tutt bought this Dunmore Town 10-roomer on a hill overlooking the harbor, which had been a B&B since the ’40s, and both expanded it and kicked it up a notch or three luxury-wise. Now it’s a boutique inn that captures Briland’s charm and cachet, with rooms that provide all the luxe amenities you’d expect, plus cool touches like Picasso lithographs. Outside are a good-size heated pool, cabanas, a small workout room and one of the island’s top restaurants. The beach, meanwhile, is a hop and a skip away. The service? Stellar and very personal. If you really want to splurge and spread out, there’s a five-bedroom house available by the week.
Bay Street, Dunmore Town
As you’d expect from a place once owned by the authors of a book called Island Life: Inspirational Interiors, this much-photographed boutique haven by the government docks, an updated inn dating back to circa 1800, is picture-perfect. Think elegantly spare updated plantation: crisp white linens on mahogany four-posters, waxed wooden floors, white shutters. There are just seven airy rooms, a tranquil little rectangle of a pool out back, wraparound verandas and a top-notch restaurant (see Eat). Keep in mind that part of the getting-away-from-it-all thing translates into no phones or TVs.
This sprawling archipelago harbors an awful lot of swell strands, so here’s a quick primer to the best. Harbour Island’s Pink Sands Beach is a three-mile stretch with calm waters and a long barrier reef; you can spot the pinkness especially at the water’s edge and in the shallows. In the Abacos, it’s Treasure Cay Beach, 3-1/2 miles of powdery white sand on a small peninsula off the east coast of Great Abaco, and isolated Tahiti Beach, on Elbow Cay near Hope Town. In the Exumas, there are excellent castaway stretches on offshore islets Saddle Cay (reachable only by boat or plane) and Stocking Island (more accessible from George Town and Elizabeth Harbour). Finally, while Bimini’s beaches tend to be narrowish, the one up toward the north tip of North Bimini, on Bimini Bay, is wider, and its gin-clean waters make it a local favorite.
HARBOUR ISLAND’S TERRIFIC TIME MACHINE
Astride the island’s midriff, the onetime capital of the Bahamas, Dunmore Town, with its candy-color colonial houses, white picket fences, cute shops and almost car-free streets (bikes and golf carts only), hails from quite another era. It was first settled in 1650, and at times you’ll practically feel like a time traveler—until you spot Elle Macpherson whizzing along in her golf cart. The place has been dubbed the Nantucket of the Caribbean—besides splashing on gorgeous nearby Pink Sands Beach, you’ll want to stroll; check out some of the old houses, such as the Loyalist Cottage (1797), on Bay Street; pop into the Bahamas’ oldest church, St. John’s Anglican Church, on Dunmore Street (1768); and enjoy the small but high-quality shopping (including a tiny straw market) and dining scenes. There’s even a nugget o’ nightlife. For more information: 242-333-2621; myharbourisland.com, briland.com, harbourislandguide.com.
THE EXUMAS’ WET & WILD PARK
You thought maybe water slides and flume rides? No, it’s better than that: the world’s first marine reserve, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (242-357-8344), 176 square miles of islets and reefs up in the northern Exumas, harboring some 50,000 species’ worth of denizens of the deep—coral, sponges, crustaceans, conchs and myriad fish, including the whopping Bahamian grouper. The dozens of cays here make up just 5 percent of the watery park, which is accessible only by boat. Several guides and outfits based in George Town on Great Exuma will be happy to bring you up to kayak, snorkel or dive. Try Starfish/Exuma Adventure Center (242-336-3033; kayakbahamas.com).
DO YOU JUNKANOO?
Par-tay! A bit like Carnaval in Rio, except in miniature and held on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and New Year’s Day instead of in February–March, the Bahamian version, called Junkanoo, is all about dressing up in outlandish themed costumes and dancing the night away; central to the whole shebang is the Bahamas’ infectiously percussive goombay music. Celebrations in the Out Islands are in Eleuthera/Harbour Island, Bimini and the Abacos. Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco is also the site of the Abaco Junkanoo Summer Festival, with a cavalcade of parades, concerts and dances held over several evenings in June, July or, sometimes, August; Harbour Island holds one of its own in June.
LIMIN’ WITH THE LOCALS
It’s not always all that easy to meet locals other than the ones who serve you dinner or caddy for you. But for years the Bahamas tourism folks have been running a People-to-People program (242-352-8044, email@example.com) on many of the Bahamian isles, including the Exumas, Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and San Salvador. They’ll match you with one or more locals who share your interests in some way. You might get to go fishing, visit a private home, attend an event or go shopping, among any number of possibilities. If you want to do more than lie by the pool all week, it’s a really cool way into the local culture.
GRABBING A LITTLE BITE
The single thing the Out Islands are most famous for is fishing—on flats, off reefs or in the open sea. Virtually anywhere you wind up down here will have spectacular angling. Top catches include Andros (known for its abyssal channel, the Tongue of the Ocean, and supposedly the world’s biggest bonefish), Bimini (where Papa Hemingway came to do some casting and wrote part of Islands in the Stream) and the Exumas. Bonefish are the biggest deal, but these waters are teeming with plenty of other appealing species, including wahoo, jacks, kingfish, snapper and big-game fish like blue marlin and tuna. Every port town and many resorts have outfitters and fishing guides more than ready to hook you, and big tournaments are held regularly—Bimini hosts three in May alone.
DIVE, WE SAID
The Out Islands boast some of the best diving in the hemisphere, thanks in part to its immense reefs and reef overhangs (including some rare pillar corals), sunken wrecks, "blue holes" up to 200 feet deep, and underwater walls that plummet thousands of feet. The highlights off Andros include blue holes, the world’s third largest barrier reef and the 6,000-foot-deep channel known as the Tongue of the Ocean. Bimini has some of the region’s most spectacular wall dives. Off the Abacos it’s shark-spotting and wreck diving. (One wreck is the Civil War–era Adirondack; another is a pair of trains!) Top outfitters include Captain Keith’s Dive Abaco! in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco (800-247-5338; diveabaco.com); Harbour Island’s Ocean Fox (242-333-2323, 877-252-3594; oceanfox.com/diving.html); Bill and Nowdla Keefe’s Bimini Undersea (800-348-4644, 242-347-3089; biminiundersea.com); and South Andros Diving (242-554-0031, 954-681-4818; androsbeachclub.com/bahamas-andros-diving.htm).
SAIL AWAY, SAIL AWAY
Some say the British Virgin Islands are the boating paradise par excellence, but the Out Islands’ hundred thousand square miles and more than 700 islands fit that description just as well, maybe even better. If you don’t have your own boat, there are tons of marinas throughout the islands where you can rent or charter (captained or bareboat) or just hitch a ride on a day sail. Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco has probably the widest range of options, including Abaco Bahamas Charters (800-626-5690, 242-366-0151; abacocharters.com), Island Sun Charters (386-441-0050, 242-551-4568; bahamasailing.com) and Above & Below Abaco (242-367-0350; aboveandbelowabaco.com). Or how about a sailing school? Check out Abaco Sailing (242-577-0148; abacosailing.com).
Fresh Creek, Andros
Also George Town, Exuma; Marsh Harbour & Green Turtle Cay, Abaco; Harbour Island, Eleuthera, etc.
No doubt you’ve seen Androsia’s distinctive brightly colored batik imprinted with flowers, fish, turtles, sand dollars, shells, dolphins, butterflies and more. The main outlet store’s still on the island of Andros, just north of Andros Town. But since launching in 1973 as a cottage industry to help boost local employment, the line’s grown so successful that it now sells in various shops (some Androsia-branded, some not) on more than a dozen other Bahamian isles. (Check the Web site for specifics.) You can buy shirts, dresses, shorts, jackets and other clothing for men, women and kids, or a swatch of fabric to get something worked up from back home. If you happen to be on Andros, the folks at the factory next to the outlet shop will happily give you a tour.
BAHAMA DAWN DESIGNS
Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco
Androsia’s Marsh Harbour outlet is also the working studio and gallery of Nassau-born Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts, an Abaco resident since 1993. She’s a quilter first and foremost, using Androsia and Bahama hand-print fabrics, among other materials, for cheerful, colorful creations—from fish and mermaids to island scenes—in a playful primitivist style. You can also get Kimberly’s designs on silk paintings, pillows and pot holders; platters and bowls; cabinets, tables and cupboards; picture frames, lazy susans and lots more.
CONCH PEARL GALLERIES LTD.
Royal Harbour Village, Bay Street
Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco
There are wonderful art, jewelry and crafts (including model fishing boats) here—but obviously the gallery’s main claim to fame is the fetching "pink pearls" of the queen conch, loose and in jewelry. They’re not technically pearls because they don’t have nacre, but they’re still one of the rarest gems in the world—just one in 10,000 conchs develops one, and only 5 percent of these are gem quality. Small loose ones start at around US$200.
DON WOOD ORGINALS
Key Drive, across from Memorial Plaza
Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco
Sculptor Donnie Wood built a sailboat, sailed it down from Pompano Beach, Fla., to the Bahamas back in 1980 and never looked back. Now he operates out of his home studio in a barn-shaped two-story building in the town of Marsh Harbour. True to his name, he carves wood—but also stone, bronze, silver and gold, turning out naturalistic work with a specialty in marine life. ("I know my turtles real good," he boasts.) The 12-foot eagle and 12-foot blue marlin out front? They’re Donnie’s handiwork—but he specializes in small detail work (you can get a tiny figure for US$10) and does some jewelry as well.
Governor’s Harbor, Eleuthera
Tel: 242-332-2932, 242-332-6351
Retired teacher and church organist Dorothy Rahming is now an artisan who takes her inspiration—and materials—from the sea. So the neat stuff lining her stone gallery (which started life as the town’s first bank) includes sand-filled candles, painting on canvas and driftwood of island and nature scenes, as well as wreaths, Christmas ornaments and other crafts made from seashells, starfish and sand dollars. (Check out the painted sand-dollar ornaments.) There are also a few other crafty-type items, such as straw baskets, gel candles and handpainted place mats. For creative, evocative island souvenirs, this stuff beats T-shirts hands down. The gallery’s name, by the way, combines the names of Dorothy and her daughter, Nell.
LLOYD SISTERS’ CREATIONS
At various hotels; house/hotel calls by appointment
Tel: 242-336-2207, cell 242-357-0786
Fadora, Isadora, Mildred and Betty Ann Lloyd are a crafts dynasty around these parts, turning out lovely sand jewelry (beaded bracelets, earrings and necklaces); straw pieces (including handbags, baskets and portfolios); and shellwork (such as figurines, magnets, holiday ornaments and necklaces). It’s great stuff—they’ve won awards from the country’s Ministry of Tourism. The thing is, they don’t have a shop; they display their work at various hotels (especially the Four Seasons) and will come to yours if you ask them. The ladies also teach craft classes, so ask them where they’re teaching the week you’re here.
PINK ROSE HANDICRAFTS
Mangrove Cay, Andros
Tel: 242-369-0829, 242-369-0366
Selling out of a shop at the corner of a Bahamian eatery called Four Kids Bakery and Restaurant, Androsian Rosa Bastian turns found items (dried coconuts, fish scales, pine cones, sponges, shells) into cool crafts—beaded necklaces and other jewelry, wall plaques and dolls of "Andros leather" (a.k.a. coconut shag, a fibrous bark from way up the coconut tree). She also carries the inevitable Androsia batik and plenty of straw items, including bags, clutches, wallets, place mats and the like. And she’s great with visitors, offering a fascinating little Andros History and Culture 101 talk.
PRINCESS STREET GALLERY
Harbour Island, Eleuthera
Nassau-born Charles Carey gave up accounting in New York City to come back home to the Bahamas, where he started a gallery in his late aunt’s Victorian cottage. His roster of nearly 20 Harbour Island artists makes for an evocative raft of watercolors and oils from realist to impressionist to abstract. Look for Florida-born Stephen Scott Young’s plaintive portraits, Exuman Amos Ferguson’s cheerful primitives and Welsh expat Teleri Jones’s almost Mirò-like extrapolations of organic island elements, from waves to leaves to frog prints. There’s some excellent photography too—Lang Fincher’s artistic black-and-whites of local kids are definitely keepers.