At North Bimini's southern tip, ramshackle Alice Town is all that many visitors ever see of the islands, since it's where the major hotels are. You can see the whole town in an hour or two.

As you're exploring the island, you may want to stop off at the Bimini Straw Market, next door to the Bahamas Customs Building, where you'll usually find two dozen vendors. Strike up a conversation with some islanders, and perhaps pick up a souvenir or two.

If you're curious, drop into the little Bimini Museum, on King's Highway (tel. 242/347-3038), a sort of grab bag of mementos left behind by visiting celebrities. The museum owns the 1964 immigration card of Martin Luther King, Jr., a domino set left by frequent visitor Adam Clayton Powell (the former New York congressman), and Ernest Hemingway's fishing log and vintage fishing films. Also on exhibit are island artifacts such as rum kegs. The location, in a two-story 1920s house, is a 4-minute walk from the seaplane ramp. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 7pm, Sunday from noon to 9pm. Admission is free.

Queen's Highway runs up North Bimini's western side, and as you head north along it, you'll see that it's lined with beautiful beachfront. King's Highway runs through Alice Town and continues north. It's bordered by houses painted gold, lime, buttercup yellow, and a pink that gleams in the bright sunshine.

At some point, you may notice the ruins of Bimini's first hotel, Bimini Bay Rod & Gun Club, sitting unfinished on its own beach. Built in the early 1920s, it flourished until a hurricane wiped it out later that decade. It was never rebuilt, though developers once made an attempt.

To explore South Bimini, hire a taxi for about $5 per person to see the island's limited attractions, which, at least to our knowledge, do not include Ponce de León's legendary Fountain of Youth. There's not a lot to see, but you're likely to hear tall tales worth the cab fare. You can also stop off at some lovely, uncrowded beaches.

Myths of Bimini -- These islands have long been shrouded in myths, none more far-fetched than the one claiming that the lost continent of Atlantis lies off North Bimini's shore. This legend grew because of the weirdly shaped rock formations that lie submerged in about 6m (20 ft.) of water near the coast. Pilots flying over North Bimini have reported what they envisioned as an undersea "lost highway." This myth continues, attracting many scuba divers interested in exploring these rocks.

Ponce de León came to South Bimini looking for that celebrated Fountain of Youth. He never found it, but people still come here to search. In the late 19th century, a Christian sect reportedly came here to take the waters -- supposedly a bubbling fountain or spring. If you arrive on South Bimini and seem interested enough, a local guide will be happy to show you (for a fee) "the exact spot" where the Fountain of Youth once bubbled.

Ruins of the Roaring Twenties -- A major attraction for both snorkelers and divers, not to mention rainbow-hued fish, is the wreck of a ship called Sapona, which has lain hard aground in 4.5m (15 ft.) of water between South Bimini and Cat Cay ever since it was blown here by a hurricane in 1929. In the heyday of the Roaring Twenties, the ship, which was commissioned by Henry Ford, served as a private club and speak-easy. You'll have to take a boat to reach the site, which is shallow enough that even snorkelers can see it. Local dive operators generally include the site in their repertoire.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.