DIRECTIONS: For the first time or infrequent visitor, the easiest way to get to the various beaches at Stella Maris, no matter what direction you're going, is to look for the airport sign, turn there, and continue straight until you reach the road closest to the water (fifth road to the right). You have two options: turn left to get to the “Coral Gardens” for snorkeling or turn right to get to the Tidal Pool, the Rock Pools and Love Beaches. There are a few turns to get to the Gardens, but signs are posted at critical turns. The road to the right hugs the ocean front and provides wonderful views. It will eventually make a right hand turn away from the beach and go down into a small gully. Take the road to the left to get to the Rock Pools and Love beaches. Alternatively, you can access these by going to Conchy’s and continuing straight past it. When you get to the gully, go right for the Pools/Love beaches. There's a well maintained path to the northernmost beach.
There are three others further south and require good shoes to get over the rock bluffs separating them. However, according to a local, these may be better accessed by coming in from the south at Millertons. We did visit the southernmost in 2017. In Millertons, there is a road just opposite Alfred’s bakery (a MUST stop). Take that. But be forewarned, it is a very long and slow go as this is one of the widest points of the island and the road, although solid, has lots of brush. The last couple of hundred yards will give you the most pause: the road drops steeply downhill and then goes steeply uphill. But once on top, you’ll be on the cliffs where you’ll enjoy fantastic ocean views. The road goes left and in about 1/4 mile or so you’ll get to a lovely isolated pocket beach. The other pocket beaches may be accessible from here, but again will require some hiking and possible use of a machete to blaze a trail. I've provided two maps for Stella Maris, one for the whole complex minus all the Love Beaches and one just for the Love Beaches.
Love beach, Stella Maris, Long Island, Bahamas
Stella Maris, Long Island, Bahamas
The first (northernmost) of the Love beaches
The Rock Pools
Stella Maris is ‘the resort’ community on Long Island. Perhaps it is the only resort community on Long Island. For this reason alone, many will recommend a visit to it. Personally, I’m ambivalent. “Coral Gardens” is supposed to offer wonderful snorkeling. However getting in and out may prove to be difficult, particularly for those older or less nimble. As for the beaches, they all are very open Atlantic beaches, which is to say, not very protected and on the wild side. Although a swim in the Tidal Pool adjacent to the Moonshine Bar & Grill and sitting in the rock pools further south might be fun, we much prefer the near shore pools at Poseidon over the rock pools at Stella Maris and the larger better protected beach at Oneils over the small beaches here. On the plus side: all public paths to “Coral Gardens”, the Rock Pools, and the northernmost Love Beach are well marked and well maintained.
IF you are the area, and you’re in need of some solid and/or liquid refreshment, and if you want to check out Stella Maris and enjoy a gorgeous ocean view, a stop at the Moonshine Bar & Grill is highly recommended!