Detour to Eleuthera | Cruising World

Detour to Eleuthera

When you need a day off the boat in the Bahamas, a road trip to Eleuthera provides the perfect escape.

Eleuthera

Impressive waves filled the tide pools at the Queen’s Bath.

Jen Brett

Sometimes, you just need a day off the boat.

My family loves a good road trip, and at more than 110 miles long, Eleuthera, in the central Bahamas, definitely qualifies as a road-trip-worthy size. With our boat, Lyra, safely anchored in Rock Sound on the southern end of the island, we thought it was the perfect time to rent a car and drive the Queen’s Highway.

Having spent time on quite a few islands in the Bahamas, I thought I knew what the landscape would be like — plenty of limestone and scrub bushes — and there was that, but there was so much more. Rolling hills, huge trees that arched over the road, and periodic views of both the Atlantic and Great Bahama Bank made it like no other Bahamian road I’d ever been down. Here were our favorite stops along the way:

Glass Window Bridge

This one-lane bridge replaces a narrow piece of land that was washed out in a hurricane. The view was incredible with the rough, deep-blue Atlantic waves crashing on the east side and the placid turquoise of the banks on the other.

The Queen’s Bath

We spotted the sign about a half mile south of the Glass Window Bridge. Intrigued, we pulled over to check it out. A short hike toward the water brought us to a collection of natural tide pools within the limestone ledges. The wind and tide were up during our visit, which made for some impressive wave action. In more-settled weather, you can go down to the pools and have a natural whirlpool to yourself.

Hatchet Bay Cave

If you have time for only one field trip while cruising Eleuthera, consider the Hatchet Bay Cave. It is just north of Alice Town and the protected Hatchet Bay anchorage. Bring some flashlights, wear sturdy shoes and enjoy checking out the impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations in this mile-long cave system.

More Eleuthera highlights:

• Pick up fresh local fruits and veggies at the Hearty Mow Farmlands roadside stand, south of Hatchet Bay.
• Take in a movie, visit the library or check out the Friday-night Fish Fry in Governor’s Harbour.
• Provision at the Market Place in Rock Sound — easily the most well-stocked grocery store outside of Nassau — and then go for a swim at the Ocean Hole.
• Need to catch a flight? The Rock Sound airport has a dinghy dock, making it simple for pickups and drop-offs.

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