With a year of up and down travel restrictions, combined with social distancing concerns, travelers have looked towards the water for their recreation. "You can't vacation any safer than the privacy of your own luxury yacht," said Mare Kidd, United Yacht Charter agent. Many have turned to booking a Bahamas Yacht Charter vacation due to the islands proximity to Florida. With the re-opening of the islands back in November for tourism, the resorts and marinas have opened as well, although restrictions are in place.
The United Yacht Charter team has put together an up-to-date list of some of the major landmarks below. As always, we are here to help you book your luxury vacation. Simply search for your favorite yacht for charter and then give us a call at 1-954-849-3709 to get started.
For up-to-date COVID guidelines and regulations in the Bahamas, please visit: https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening
Seen below: La Balsita is an 84' Lazzara Yacht available for charter in the Bahamas.
Abaco Beach Resort & Marina - The new marina at Abaco Beach Resort has been renovated and there is a newly dredged facility with a MLW of 7-11 feet. Known as a popular staging point for sportfishing enthusiasts and island cruisers alike, Abaco Beach Resort also has an excellent Bistro restaurant. The report and marina are open, but plan on bringing a recent negative COVID test with you.
Da Blue Hole (Marsh Harbour) - An awesome overlook bar and restaurant with incredible views and food. This popular spot is unfortunately closed at the moment, with no specific re-open date. Check back in early 2021 to see what's changed!
Firefly Bar & Grill (Hope Town) - While Hurricane Dorian seriously wreaked havoc on the Abacos in September 2019, the Firefly Sunset Resort is back in business, including the Firefly Bar & Grill. As one of the favorites in Hope Town, the team at Firefly has worked tirelessly to make the amenities at the resort back to the same level as they were before the storm hit. The restaurant, which hosts a Bahamian Brunch every Sunday, is open now for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as take-out.
Harbour's Edge Restaurant & Bar (Hope Town) - You can now go back to enjoying your Goombay Smash under the covered deck at Harbour's Edge Restaurant and Bar. Overlooking the Hope Town Lighthouse, Harbour's Edge is easily accessed by boat and is just north of the Post Office public dock.
Harvey's Island Grill (Marsh Harbour) - Harvey's has been a favorite stop in Marsh Harbour for many years, but unfortunately it has closed for the foreseeable future. The owners have opened up a convenience store called Turtley's Convenient. Take-out orders are still offered, but you need to call in advance to order.
Hope Town Lighthouse On Elbow Cay (Hope Town) - Considered a 'Beacon Of Hope' after Hurricane Dorian, the historic Hope Town Lighthouse in Elbow Cay is still standing, but not yet open to the public. Tens of thousands of dollars have poured in to help restore the lighthouse to its original condition before the hurricane. The dock that had been completely wiped out is re-built now, but construction is still underway as of early December 2020.
The Jib Room (Marsh Harbour) - Located at the popular Marsh Harbour Marina, the Jib Room offers excellent food with an incredible view. While lots of clean-up had to take place after the hurricane, there is still some work to be done. At the time of this update, the Jib Room is still not open, however the docks are almost finished and a new food trailer is on the way!
Lucayan Nature Tour (Marsh Harbour) - Reggie, the 8th generation Bahamian, is still doing the Lucayan Nature Tours. A recent review said, "My husband and I had a fantastic all day tour with Reggie. Reggie was incredibly helpful during the entire set-up process. We opted for the full day tour to include a trip to see the Abaco Parrots and the Hole-in-the-wall Lighthouse. In addition to the above, Reggie showed us a blue hole, two separate beaches, and several different communities on the island." Reggie is well and able to take groups on the nature tour. Give him a call to set it up!
Mermaid Reef (Hope Town) - Looking for a fun snorkeling spot to take the kids while on your luxury yacht charter? Mermaid Reef is a small protected area in the sea of Abaco that offers excellent snorkeling in crystal clear water. And best of all, no COVID restrictions or closings! Here's a video below from Youtuber 'xperience-it' showing how fun Mermaid Reef can be for casual snorkelers.
Wally's Fine Dining (Marsh Harbour) - The best conch fritters in the Abacos! No seriously, you need to come to Wally's to eat if you're near Marsh Harbour. From stone crab claws, to the fried chicken, to the Bahamian bread pudding with coconut, Wally's is a must-stop. Unfortunately though, Wally's is closed still due to construction from the hurricane as of December 2020. A representative from Wally's told us to check back in early 2021!
Willie's Kitchen & Bar (Hope Town) - From the fresh fried conch, to the BBQ ribs, and the 'peas n' rice' there is no place to eat on Great Abaco Island quite like Willie's Kitchen and Bar. Located on White Sound across from the foodstore in Hope Town on Elbow Cay, Willie's is a favorite stop for anyone on a yacht charter vacation looking to stop and enjoy any meal of the day. Willie's is open now for both dining and take-out services. A recent review said, "Locally owned by Willie and Junior, this little restaurant is a must every time we visit the island. Great food AND conversation. Everything is cooked to order. My husband is actually on his way there this morning to pick up homemade cinnamon rolls."
Blue Holes National Park (North Andros) - Legendary blue holes can be found all over Andros, with more than 50 of them recorded. The Blue Holes National Park, found on nearly 40,000 acres, was established to protect and preserve these very important natural wonders of the world. Its boundaries include a large number of blue holes and freshwater reservoirs, in addition to areas of pine and coppice forests surrounding them. The National Park is not yet open for visitation, but should be soon! Check back with us for updates.
Brigadier's Restaurant (Davis Creek) - For an incredible on-water dining experience, it's hard to beat Brigadier's Restaurant. You'll find both locals and tourists dining here, so it must be good. Currently open for business!
Driftwood Smokehouse (Nicholls Town) - If you find yourself on the northern part of the island, don't forget to visit Driftwood Smoke House BBQ & Seafood. A review just left 2 months ago: Craig and Vashi are amazing hosts. They are friendly and make you feel like family. Excellent BBQ, music in a clean, colorful setting. This is our favorite restaurant on the island. Very good for to-go BBQ too! Open!
Bimini Big John's - Big John's has been a popular spot on Bimini for years whether stopping by for dinner or dancing the night away. As one of the only venues on the island open after dark, Big John's is a great place to stop and enjoy cocktails with a view. While some positive reviews on Google have been placed in the last few months, we were unable to reach anyone at Big John's to confirm they were open. Stay tuned!
CJ's Deli - Do you ever really need a reason to eat fresh, fried lobster on the beach? Located in Alice Town near South Bimini, CJ's Deli is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Rent a golf cart and take a ride to CJ's for an incredible early breakfast or a plate of fried lobster that will leave you wanting more. Open for business!
Resort World Hilton Bimini & Casino- The major resort in Bimini is re-opening its door on December 26th, 2020! So, if you plan on stopping by Bimini during your yacht charter vacation to play in the casino, make sure you bring your mask if you want to hit the tables. RWBimini.com has all of the latest guidelines for the resort.
Stuart's Conch Stand - No trip to Bailey Town would be complete without some fresh conch salad at Stuart's and a Bimini Knock-Out Punch! Stuart's is open for business, but closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
ELEUTHERA & HARBOUR ISLAND
Buccaneer Club (Eleuthera) - Located in Governor's Harbour, the Buccaneer Club is open for business with some of the freshest seafood around. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this centrally-located restaurant and inn is a great place to begin your day before embarking on an adventure.
Frigate's Bar & Grill (Rock Sound Eleuthera) - Frigate's offers open air dining with a view and is currently open for business. Known for its "You Hook'em, We Cook 'em" offering, spend your vacation fishing and bring your fresh catch to this restaurant with a view.
Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (Governor's Harbour) - The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is a 25-acre world-class, botanical garden that truly showcases the wide variety of native plants. Enjoy the lush vegetation, bird watching, and wonderful strolls along their trails and boardwalks. Open for visitation!
Pink Sand Beach (Eluethera) - Harbour Island is most recognized for its beautiful Pink Sand Beach, located along its eastern Atlantic Ocean side. Known as one of the world's best beaches, it has been featured on the Travel Channel. There is easy public access to the beach and great snorkeling nearby. Anchor your yacht out from the beach and take your dinghy in to shore! Open for visitation!
Queen's Baths (Eleuthera) - The Queen's Baths (also called the Hot Tubs) are located just south of the Glass-Window Bridge. These are natural pools carved by thousands of years of waves crashing on the rocks. Because this is a natural attraction in Eleuthera, there are no closures to worry about.
Big Major Cay - Also known as Pig Island, this outer island in the Exumas is ruled by wild pigs left there by pirates years ago! Swim with the pigs and walk along the beach, but please don't feed them! Most of the private tours rented by tourists are on hold, so this is an excellent time to take your private yacht charter and head to Pig Island without the crowds.
Compass Cay Nurse Shark Swimming (Compass Cay, Exumas) - Other than some spectacular beaches, the Compass Cay Marina, and the friendly nurse sharks, there's isn't much else to do on Compass Cay. The nurse sharks literally sleep right on the docks of the marina. If you're on a yacht charter vacation in the Exumas, a trip to Compass Cay can be a relaxing, and exciting, trip for everyone on board. Open! Youtube cred below: Travel Insider.
Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park (Great Exuma) - This protected area extends from Shroud Cay in the north to Bell Cay in the south. Miles of pristine beaches and perfect snorkeling opportunities abound. This is a great place to spend the day with kids if they're with you. The National Park is open for visitation!
Haulover Bay Bar & Grille - A favorite stop for those visiting the Exumas, Haulover Bay & Grill in George Town is open for business. Anchor your boat off the beach and wade to our deck. From incredible cocktails to fresh seafood, nothing beats relaxing at your table with the best views in the world.
MacDuff's Restaurant (Norman's Cay, Northern Exuma) - Located 55 miles southeast of Nassau, this is one amazing spot you don't want to miss. Unfortunately, Norman's Cay Beach Club and the MacDuff's restaurant remain closed due to COVID. Herbie said to try back in early 2021!
Shoreline Restaurant and Bar (Rolleville, Great Exuma) - Recent review: "We are so glad we asked a "local" where they go to eat. 100% worth the visit. Violet and Kevin are great hosts! We went as a group of 10, we had the entire place to ourselves minus some take-out orders. We couldn't have been more pleased with the food and the service. This place had far better conch than our "super fancy" restaurant on the resort." Open for business Wednesday through Monday!
Three Sister's Bar & Restaurant (George Town) - Located along the Queen's Highway is the original Three Sister's Bar and Restaurant. Serving everything from oxtail to fried snapper, Three Sister's is a must-stop, but get there early! It's so popular food often runs out. Open for dine-in or take-out!
FREEPORT - GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND
Bahamian Brewery Tours (Freeport City) - If you've been to the Bahamas before, you've undoubtedly seen Sands beer being served throughout the islands. Brewed right in Freeport City, this is the freshest beer in the islands. Normally you could take a tour of the brewery, but because of COVID tours are no longer being offered at this time. Stay tuned for more info!
Bahamas Arts and Straw Market (Freeport) - There are a number of small straw markets dotting the island but the Bahamas’ Arts and Straw Market is the main hub for vacationers. The Arts and Straw Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs and handmade items.
Daddy Brown's Conch Stand (Port Lucaya) - For some of the best conch salad anywhere on Grand Bahama Island, visit Daddy Brown's Conch Stand in Port Lucaya. The conch fritters are also a favorite and are said to be incredibly fresh. It was tough to get ahold of Daddy Browns, but recent reviews left online seem to point that it's open for business!
Port Lucaya Marketplace (Freeport, Grand Bahama) - The Port Lucaya Marketplace is a 9 ½ acre waterside open-air facility situated on the Lucayan Strip in the heart of Grand Bahama’s main tourism area. There are 11 restaurants, 7 bars, an indoor playground, and lots of shopping. Most businesses in the Port Lucaya Marketplace are open right now, however some have chosen to close for the time being. There are enough retail stores, jewelry shops, and restaurants open to make it worth stopping by.
The Stoned Crab (Freeport) - From savory breakfasts to incredible sushi, the Stoned Crab has it all with a view. Enjoy some of the freshest and well-prepared seafood in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. Open for business!
NASSAU & PARADISE ISLAND
Bonefish Pond National Park (New Providence) - This important marine nursery offers nearly 1,300 acres to explore on the south central coast of New Providence. Unfortunately, this park has yet to open. Check back with us in early 2021 for an update.
Cafe' Matisse (Nassau) - For an upscale island dining experience, Cafe Matisse is a great option in Nassau. You may want to order dessert! Currently open for take-out and outdoor dining only.
Cocoplum Bistro & Bar (Nassau) - After closing back in March, we're happy to report that the Cocoplum Bistro will be back open for business in mid-December. Enjoy French and Mediterranean cuisine with an island twist!
Primeval Forest National Park (New Providence) - This national forest is home to an incredibly diverse collection of plant and animal life. Limestone caverns up to 50 feet long and 30 feet deep can be found. Walk the boardwalks for a fun day outside. The national park is open for visitation.
The Retreat Garden (New Providence) - Hidden away from the busy city of Nassau, The Retreat Garden is an urban green oasis in the heart of the capital. This 11-acre national park is an internationally famous garden of palms and rare tropical plants. Formerly a private home, the estate was the first national park in New Providence. The Retreat garden is one of the best-known botanical gardens in the country and is a haven for migratory and resident birds.
Please check back with us often for updates on openings. The United Yacht Charter Team is here to assist you with the luxury vacation of your dreams. For detailed information on what is needed to enter the Bahamas legally, please visit: https://bahamasmarinas.com/procedures-and-protocols/