Scenes from two Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed on the southern end of Little Exuma—only 12 square miles—and on one of the little cays just offshore. The movies' stars, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, often roamed around the island and ate at Santana's open-air beach shack, the island's best-known restaurant. But that's just one of the reasons people are drawn to this lovely island connected to Great Exuma to the north by a narrow bridge. Rolling green hills, purple morning glories spilling over fences, small settlements with only a dozen houses, and glistening white beaches make a romantic afternoon escape. Near Williams Town is an eerie salt lake, still and ghostly, where salt was once scooped up and shipped away. You can hike old footpaths and look for ruins of old plantation buildings built in the 1700s near the Hermitage, but you'll have to look beneath the bushes and vines to find them. Little Exuma's best beach is Tropic of Cancer Beach (also known as Pelican's Bay Beach); it is a thrill to stand on the line that marks the spot. You're officially in the tropics now.
Fodor's Editorial Photo Intern Leonard Vargas snapped photos of this spring's wildflower explosion in Southern California.More