A Week in Harbour Island

I can’t believe how fast time flies – it’s been years since I visited Harbour Island, the 3 ½ mile long island off the coast of Eleuthera, the Bahamas. From the moment I landed in 2019, I knew I had to share this little slice of paradise with people I love, like my parents…but first, indulge me. 

My dad, formerly a pilot, began his career in Ft. Lauderdale flying back and forth to the Bahamas. He adores the Bahamas and always said it was on his bucket list to visit (again) but never got around to it as we got older, our schedules got busier and things got harder. Sure, life is short but that tends to really sink in as you get older…and since my dad is a pilot and we grew up on an airplane, I guess you can say traveling is our strange way of saying, “I love you” to one another…so I took my parents to Harbour Island for a week. 

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This post contains affliate links. That means I receive a commission when you click and shop the links.

Getting there

Harbour Island is hard to get to unless you live in South Florida. Most people fly out of Ft. Lauderdale to North Eleuthera while others (mostly South Floridians) travel by boat. We opted for the short flight – only to realize you need a health visa upon arriving at the airport and checking in. (Click here if you’re planning to visit.) Thankfully it took us one hour to get our health passports and we made our flight. Once we arrived, we took a taxi from the airport to the dock ($5/pp) and a boat taxi to Harbour Island (another $5/pp). From there, we met up with Michael Higgs (owner of Michael’s Cycles and Golf Cart Rentals – highly recommended) who gave us our golf cart ($60/day) and dropped us off at our VRBO, The Salt Box

[click here for outfit

[click here for outfit

Where we stayed

The Salt Box VRBO is a romantic historical cottage centrally located in the heart of Harbour Island. It’s made of thick coral stone blocks, native Bahamian hardwoods referred to as “Abaco Steel,” and has stood the test of time since 1820. There’s two cottages on the property and it sleeps 10. 

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Just look at the kitchen! 

Interior designer Tom Sheerer and former owner of The Salt Box, lovingly resurrected the kitchen when he knocked out the wood and tile that hid the original coral stone hearth. He added Cuban tiles over the kitchen’s original cement floors and created a semi indoor-outdoor kitchen. Few homes have functional fireplaces inside the kitchen! 

I stayed in the master suite, which made my heart weak. Sheerer originally painted the floor shiny white so it would bounce light into the room (the mornings and afternoons were magical) as well as coat the entire room in a chalky seafoam green paint, “a nod to a Harbour Island old wives’ tale about the wasp-repellent properties of the color green.” * Don’t even get me started on how magical the clawfoot tub was! 

One of my favorite additions to the property was the outdoor shower, which I used every single day! 

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The grill, known as the “Clam Shell” sits on coral stone blocks that were quarried when the house cistern (a reservoir holding water) was excavated. We didn’t grill much because there were so many fabulous restaurants nearby. 

In 2016, a guest cottage was built and a pool was added to the property by architect Kiko Sanchez with interiors by Amanda Lindroth, a Palm Beach staple (and a full circle moment). The guest cottage has two huge bedrooms and a private bathroom complete with another clawfoot tub and private outdoor shower. This is where my parents happily stayed! 

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The property has a number of shared outdoor spaces, many of which we spent most of our time lounging on listening to music, reading, napping and star gazing (I saw a shooting star!). At the beginning of the trip, our conversations centered around work. By the end of the trip, we were talking about the free range (and very happy I might add) baby chickens on the property, what life would be like in the Bahamas and how blissful simplicity can be. 

Things to do 

We hired Ruben from Tyman Charters to do a full-day charter around the island, a must-do if you’re visiting! We skipped past seeing the infamous pigs (just not my thing) and instead, spent more time basking in the sunshine on private islands, collecting shells and hanging out on sandbars in the middle of the ocean. We saw wild turtles, stingrays and starfish! Ruben is a Bahamian native with vast knowledge of the area and filled with countless stories about his time out to sea!

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Pink Sands Beach is a must every single day! We rented beach umbrellas from one of the nearby hotels – all you have to do is ask an attendant on the beach or order food from the restaurant. 

Grab a personalized straw hat at A Hidden Treasure, and enjoy shopping at Dake’s, Sugar Mill or Blue Rooster

Where to eat

I must give credit where credit is due! Shoutout to Zoë de Givenchy, founder of the most gorgeous home and table brand, Z.d.G., for suggesting The Landing, The Dunmore, Queen’s Conch, and the Ocean View Club for lunch. We also enjoyed Sweet Spot Vegan Cafe, Cocoa Coffee House, the Briland Club (my parents favorite) as well as Valentines Marina and The Rock House

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In sum

Though I told myself I would do work on this trip, I took every opportunity to spend time with my parents and put work aside for another time. This trip was an invaluable experience, one that left me feeling so rested and full of appreciation. As our plane took off, we all looked back on the island and said how much we missed it already. 

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Thank you to The Salt Box for providing me with the most incredible experience. We’ll never forget it! 

Xo, Stephanie 

PS: If I missed anything, ping me in the comment section and I’ll get back to you! 

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