700 pristine islands. 2,500 quiet cays. 100,000 square miles of ocean. Welcome to the sun-stunned beaches and fish-rich waters of the Bahama Out Islands.
People are discovering the outer-island experience of travel beyond Nassau and Grand Bahama Island. Surprisingly close to the U.S. but worlds away from the busy norm, the Bahama Out Island lifestyle is laid-back and casual, catering to divers, boaters, fishing fanatics - all sorts of watersports lovers. Here, American Way presents a primer of the most popular - but still untouristed - isles to help you pick which Out Island you'd like to be in.

Vital Stats: 50 miles east of Miami, this 28-mile-long parcel is the closest Out Island to the U.S. It stretches across the Gulf Stream, which is teeming with marlin, wahoo, and sailfish.

Claim to Fame: Hemingway made Bimini an entity back in the '30s. He wrote much of Islands in the Stream and To Have and Have Not here, when not fishing, boxing, or partying with the locals. Long considered the big-game fishing capital of the Bahamas, Bimini is also big on bone fishing thanks to the shallow, clear waters close to shore.

Sleep/Eat/Drink: The Compleat Angler (242-347-3122), in Alice Town, is an ultracasual hotel and bar with all things Ernest, including Hemingway's favorite watering hole, the room that served as his home office, and a museum dedicated to his life. Fresh from a renovation, Bimini Big Game Resort & Marina (800-737-1007) lures many an angler with its fetching cottages, 74-slip marina, and relaxed, outdoor dining.

Play: If fishing doesn't catch your attention, try world-class diving at the Bimini Wall, the wreck of Sapona, or the mysterious area some consider to be the fabled Lost Continent of Atlantis.