When to Go
When to Go
Andros, Bimini, and the Berries have a slightly different high season than most of the other Bahamas islands. Because of their close proximity to Florida, boaters make the crossing in droves from spring break through summer, especially to Bimini. Waters tend to be calmest during these months. All the islands and their resorts peak on the various U.S. holidays: Thanksgiving, mid-December through January 5, Easter, and Labor Day. Generally, February to June are busiest months, and rates are higher at these times and during the Christmas season. Fishing and diving are good throughout the year, although cold fronts in winter can cause rough seas. Temperatures usually remain steady enough to enjoy the beaches year-round, but occasionally drop into the 60s. From November to April the cool, breezy, and drier months mean flying insects are minimal. Hurricane season technically runs from June through November; August and September (the most likely months for hurricanes) can be hot and steamy, and many resorts and restaurants are closed.
While Resorts World Bimini is large enough to generate its own unique fun events and concerts (check the website) you can go native and catch a mini-version of the Bahamas’ popular Junkanoo festivities on New Year’s Day in North Andros on Nicholl’s Town’s beachside park, and on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in Bimini where two groups—the Bimini Tum Tum’s and Bimini Stompers—parade down Alice Town’s main street. The fishing year starts in January or February with the Great Harbour Cay Wahoo Tournament in the Berry Islands. The marina there also hosts a Winter Fest Street Party at the end of February.
In Andros, although bonefishing is the name of the game, in April the town of Red Bays in North Andros hosts a Snapper Tournament. Mastic Point, near Margan's Bluff in the north, celebrates the settlements' Homecoming Festival around Easter while in South Andros, around the same time is the Back to the Island Festival in Long Bay's Park, near Congo Town.
Calmer waters bring more fishing tournaments including the Percy Darville Bottom Fishing Tournament in early July and the Lobster Fest & Lion Fish Derby in early August in Great Harbour Cay. Homecomings are village reunions sometimes combined with native sloop regattas that attract home-born locals from other islands. The biggest regatta is the All Andros & Berry Islands Regatta held near July 10 (around the Independence Holiday) at Morgan’s Bluff, North Andros. The main homecomings are in Alice Town, in Mangrove Cay (in May with the Mother's Day Regatta) and in Kemp’s Bay, South Andros (early June). South Andros also holds a Seafood Festival in late August. Dates vary so check with your island’s tourist office or website. In Andros, however, nothing is bigger than the All Andros Crab Fest, held the second week of June, where you can eat crab cooked 20 (or 100?) different ways. Festivities last two or three days with an atmosphere filled with music from the nations top Rake ‘n’ Scrape bands, cultural shows, parties, and crab-catching displays. Other festivals held on most islands include the Ministry of Tourism’s Junkanoo Summer Festival—a series of Saturday nights in June or July—and the festivities held around Independence Day, July 10.
The largest fishing event in these islands is the popular Bimini Big Game Club Wahoo Smackdown Tournament in mid-November. In South Andros, in early October is the delicious Conch Festival held way down south in Mars Bay, and then, in early November, held in Pleasant Bay village, 3 miles north of the Slavery Wall, is South Andros's Coconut Festival—also a tasty festival. Keeping with the food theme, before Thanksgiving, the Ministry of Tourism puts on a HarvestFest and People-to-People Festival at the Lighthouse Yacht Club & Marina, in Fresh Creek, Central Andros. This big bash features an Androsia fabrics fashion show, live bands, Junkanoo mini-parade "rush-outs," an arts-and-crafts show, a seafood-and-produce marketplace, fun for the kids, and, of course, lots of food and drink. Expats, snowbirds and, anyone else are invited. Expect to see workers from the U.S. Navy's huge submarine testing base (AUTEC) just south of Fresh Creek.