The Bahamas Black Book
Our locals’ guide to the islands—the best rental houses and small hotels, empty coves and conch shacks
The Bahamas can definitely be polarizing, conjuring endless sandbars and shallow azure water alongside built-up all-inclusives and spring breakers drunk on Goombay smashes. But this island nation just southeast of Florida, made up of over 700 islets—only around 30 are inhabited and even fewer have much in the way of tourism—is incredibly varied in terms of local flavor, history and infrastructure (big resorts to castaway vibes and everything in between). I was lucky to live on Eleuthera, one of the “Family Islands” (known for being smaller/less commercialized), for over a year, which made a great base for exploring the region. With input from a few friends and local characters, I’ve pulled together a list to help you navigate these resilient islands that always manage to bounce back from hurricane season with their characteristically sunny spirit. —Carly Shea, Yolo editorial assistant
Nassau, the nation's capital and largest city, is on the island of New Providence, where you’ll probably stop over before traveling on to any other island in The Bahamas. I’ve never had a seamless experience flying into or out of The Bahamas for myriad reasons—bad weather, lost luggage, one flight even made an unscheduled stop at a nearby airport—so I’d recommend booking a long layover or even staying overnight in Nassau if you’re making a connection.
To that end, we contacted Lulu de Kwiatkowski, an artist and textile/wallpaper designer who grew up between New York and The Bahamas and now has a house in Lyford Cay, on the island’s western side. Her brightly graphic and floral paintings and