Town & Country‘s Sarah Bray recently jetted-off to Harbour Island in the Bahamas to experience the ‘pink’ sand beaches and charming cottages that have made it a destination for carefree and stylish travelers from around the globe. Here, she shares a few tales and snaps from her getaway—including boat trips to deserted islands and rum-infused cocktails. We probably should warn you though: after seeing Sarah’s pics you will immediately want to stand up and go pack your bags….in fact, we can almost guarantee it!
Just back from:
Harbour Island in the Bahamas.
Number of days you went:
5 glorious, sun-filled days.
Number of times you’ve been before:
This was my first time!
How did you get there:
From New York we flew United Airlines to Nassau Airport in the Bahamas, then transferred onto a much smaller Bahamas Air plane and flew to North Eleuthera Airport. Then we got a taxi that took us across the island to the boat docks where we finally took a 15-minute water-taxi ride to Harbour Island.
Who did you go with:
My mom, my sister, my boyfriend, and his parents.
Reason why you went:
Over the years, I have always admired all of the beautiful homes designed by Alessandra Branca, India Hicks, Amanda Lindroth, and Tom Scheerer on Harbour Island that have graced the pages of House Beautiful, Veranda, and Architectural Digest. As fate would have it, I connected with this fabulous woman, New York City-based jewelry designer Trish Becker, who as a hobby remodels historic homes on Harbour Island. I fell in love with the pictures of her homes and had to book a trip!
Place where you stayed:
A super, charming, beach cottage called Chatterbox.
Places you ate:
For lunch go to Sip Sip—their lobster quesadillas are a must. If you want super authentic straight-from-the-ocean food go to Queen Conch, which is located on the water by the harbor. For dinner go to the The Dunmore—their bar is an amazingly chic place to hangout and sip cocktails. The property was recently remodeled by one of my favorite decorators, Amanda Lindroth, and everywhere you turn it’s just so gorgeous. Also for dinner try Rock House, a small, luxury, boutique hotel with an amazing restaurant…or go to The Landing—it’s delicious and has a beautiful patio.
Local delicacy you feasted on:
Cocktail you sipped:
Goombay Smashes (a rum-based drink with coconut and pineapple juice) with and Kalik beer.
Books you read:
I got caught up on all my favorite magazines!
Music you listened to:
Lots of local island music.
Brand of luggage you traveled with:
I took a Tumi suitcase with wheels.
And for your carry-on bag:
I used the large, monogrammed, classic L.L. Bean tote.
My daily uniform there was:
White, linen tunics from Roberta Freymann and vintage, white, crocheted dresses with my tan, leather, lace-up Ancient Greek Sandals.
Item you wish you’d brought:
I always over-pack and this trip was no exception…but I wish I would have brought more of my beauty products (my nails started chipping mid-trip).
Items in your suitcase:
For the sunshine I brought my favorite Celine sunglasses—they’re lucite red and so fun! I also packed a cool pair of Miu Miu sunglasses—they really lend an edge to every outfit. Ancient Greek Sandals lace-up gladiators made the cut too, as did lots of dresses from Mi Golondrina.
I’m a big lover of ‘vintage’ so I packed a vintage Lanvin scarf (that I love to tie in my hair), a vintage, long, white, boho dress, and a vintage python clutch. I have various Roberta Freymann tunics, that are great for warm weather vacations, and I made sure to bring some along. I also love wearing classic baseball caps—I typically wear one from my alma mater, Southern Methodist University. When I’m just lounging around I wear lots of Lululemon leggings that I pair with T by Alexander Wang t-shirts. Tory Burch tunic dresses are another vacation staple of mine. I have a thing for Oscar de la Renta earrings—I packed a couple of my most colorful pairs—and stacks of Ashley Pittman bracelets. When it comes to my beach bag, I like it to be simple and authentic.
Beauty-essentials you packed:
When it comes to make-up I pretty much wear everything Nars when I’m at home in New York City, but for this trip I traded my typical Nars Sheer Glow Foundation for Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting Beautifying BB Cream with SPF 50. I also swapped my more mauve, creamy, Nars blush for Nars The Multiple in ‘South Beach, which is a shade of shimmering apricot. I’m not afraid of bold lip color when it’s summer, or hot outside, so I go with Tom Ford’s ‘True Coral.’
I brought Le Labo shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in Fleur D’Oranger—it’s a cool brand I recently discovered and love! And of course I packed ‘necessities’ like a toothbrush, Crest Vivid White toothpaste, Q-tips etc. I packed everything in my Leontine Linens monogrammed, large, travel case.
In the day we:
We rented a boat while we were down there, so we spent a lot of time exploring. We would discover islands and park ashore and then find untouched coral reefs where we could snorkel around.
And at night we:
Our nights were often spent sitting on our front porch, or roof deck, with a cocktail in hand.
Harbour Island is famous for its pink sand beaches and they really are ‘pink’ if you look closely. The beach at the Dunmore Hotel is divine. If you are feeling adventurous, like we were, rent a boat and discover your own deserted island!
Favorite place to shop and find local treasures:
The best place to shop is India Hicks’ store The Sugar Mill. It’s a dream island shop with lots of caftans, jewelry, and great gifts. There are also dozens of local shops that sell charming, handmade, grass bags and all types of creative things made of seashells.
Best spot for a sunset cocktail:
Gusty’s or any of the little bars by Queen Conch.
Best part of the trip:
The beautiful home we stayed in and the stunning homes on the island that I was able to tour.
There are wild chickens and roosters roaming freely all over the island. You will see them and they will wake you at sunrise!
First time visitors must:
See a Junkanoo parade put on by the locals.
The #1 tip you’d give a friend that’s going:
Rent a home so you can have a kitchen. There aren’t many options if you are staying for more than a few days. The island is only half a mile wide and 10 miles long!
I loved it here because:
It’s a tiny island and really quaint. Everyone drives golf carts on the island and is incredibly friendly!
Sarah Bray photographed on Harbour Island in the Bahamas