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Greet 2010 with a touch of the Trade Winds - Break away to Bimini

Even those who live in the desert pine for a winter vacation. About this time of year, Jimmy Buffet songs start to play in our heads and our daydreams include coconut palms, beaches and warm blue waters.

Right now its 82 degrees in Bimini with cool trade winds stirring the palm tops and the fishing boats bobbing gently up and down at the marinas. Only 53 miles from Miami, the twin islands of North and South Bimini are the closest point of the Bahamas to the continental United States and the quickest get-away for tropical fun.

The capital of Bimini is Alice Town, a community of 1600 people with its principle (and only) road known as The King's Highway; a street brimming with restaurants, bars, shops and specialty stores. Alas, the legendary Complete Angler Bar is no longer among them. This famous haunt of Ernest Hemingway burned to the ground in 2006 yet there are several others to uphold its tradition. The islands are equally famous as the Game Fishing Capital of the World and a byword for scuba divers with several submerged wrecks to explore.  With Dolphin Watches, Shark Adventures and every other manner of watersport available its difficult to believe you are only a 15 minute plane ride away from the Florida coast.

Have you ever heard the term "The Real McCoy"? Part of Bimini's history was being a major rum running port during the United States prohibition era, with high quality liquor supplied by one William McCoy. Bimini also has claims (two in fact) as the home of Pounce de Leon's Fountain of Youth. The Healing Hole on North Bimini fills with tide driven minerals still claimed to be curative and a quick dip in them is considered part of any visit.

There are nine separate hotels listed for the Bimini area, seemingly running from $125.00 to $300.00 per night.  The newest and the resort consistently rated #1 is the Bimini Sands Resort with over 200 rooms each with a waterfront view and a few steps from the beach.  There are five dining and entertainment facilities on site running from the swank Petite Conch Restaurant to the Tiki Beach Bar by the pool. Entertainment includes available tours, kids activities, boat rentals and frequent Junkaroo Carnival events. Then again, there is nothing wrong with a good book and a Pina Colada on the beach.

For those of an impulsive nature, you still have time to take advantage of the Bimini Sands New Years special!  For $95.00 a person, you can celebrate New Years in your own condo with free breakfast and New Years Dinner and Fireworks.  This special also includes free snorkling excursions.  It's minimum double occupancy and a 3 day stay but no better way to bring in the New Year. For reservations or other information you may phone 1-242-347-3500 or email them directly at viveca@biminisands.com.  Full information on the Resort is available at www.biminisands.com

To get to Bimini, Continental flies out of Fort Lauderdale International to the airfield at Port Royal daily while there are several other smaller airlines & charters serving the islands. There are also charter boats available - roughly a 45 minute trip by motorboat. You will need a passport and to go through customs at Port Royal or your place of entry.

For complete information on airlines, ship, resorts and other information concerning not only Bimini but the entire Bahama Islands visit www.bahamas.com

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