The Bahamas: an excellent option for trips and vacations

Beginning sixty miles east of the Florida coast, this group of 700 islands is dazzling in its diversity. Activities like golfing with your family, world class bone fishing, or just hanging out and relaxing on the beach. For scuba diving and snorkeling, the Bahamas boasts the world’s third longest barrier reef and visibility of over 200 feet. You can also explore the world’s longest underwater cavern and cave system at Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama. Great shopping, and the resorts start at $33.00 per day up to $300 per day.

New Providence Island is divided into three main tourist areas: Nassau, Paradise Island, and Cable Beach.

Resort hotels dominate sprawling Cable Beach, which underwent a recent redevelopment, transforming it into a mecca for beachgoers with options for exercise and entertainment nearby. Luxury accommodations are offered in resorts of all sizes and types with gourmet food, world-class entertainment, sports facilities (including a golf course), and some great casinos just steps away.

Nassau, the capital, adds a great British undertone to island life. Pink government buildings in Rawson Square (actually a circle) in front of cruise ships whose passengers are drawn for a day of duty-free shopping downtown. A new museum interpreting the colorful Junkanoo tradition is tucked away next to the pier in the shadow of the boats. Small pubs and restaurants dot the narrow side streets of Nassau. And a bustling straw market is home to hundreds of vendors ready to haggle over souvenir wares. You can even take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

Walk across the bridge to Paradise Island, where the beaches are world-class and the selection of resorts is excellent: from luxurious and elegant on majestic grounds to a yoga retreat, condominium facilities (great for family vacations) and large luxury properties ( one with a glass tunnel to observe marine life and a low-key water park). Activity abounds at every turn. Paradise Island has an excellent golf course and its own small airport.

Grand Bahama, with tourism development in both Freeport and Lucaya, has the same characteristics on a smaller scale. Golf, tennis, water sports and duty free shopping are popular and plentiful. And the island moves at a leisurely pace.

Relax more and visit the Outer Islands, a favorite of explorers who prefer their island life quaint, quiet, simple and barefoot. There are no rules here, just relaxation and recreation on land and sea when the spirit moves you. Interesting and excellent small and medium family run hotels and guest houses are interspersed with touches of history and hundreds of friendly faces. Out Island exploration is especially popular with ecotourists in search of an unspoilt island environment, sport fishermen seeking a record catch, and all those who prefer to daydream in idyllic surroundings.

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