Stunningly clear water laps onto the warm, white, sandy beach. Palm trees stand proud and lofty against the clear, blue sky. Mango and papaya blossoms blend with the salty spray of the ocean, giving an aroma that is distinctly tropical.
Welcome to the Bahamas, the land of picturesque water, lovely beaches and friendly people. With approximately 5,000 square miles of land and 100,000 miles of marine territory, the Bahamas offer endless possibilities for your vacation.
Paradise Island is home to the Atlantis resort. Housing approximately 2,500 rooms in six towers, this hotel offers all the amenities and entertainment for tourists enjoyment. Four restaurants, a movie theater, library, fitness center, golf course and nightclub are just the beginning of what this resort offers its guests. Several pools and water slides and a pottery studio add hours of fun for you and your family.
Part of the historical section of Nassau, Bay Street is a shopper’s paradise. Gucci, Hilfiger and Fendi have stores on Bay Street. John Bull is the official Rolex Merchant of Nassau. This store also carries name-brand perfumes and luxury purses. Shops selling cigars, liquor, leather goods, linens and clothes are all found in district. Native-made items can be found at the Straw Market, also on Bay Street. Handwoven straw purses, hats and other wares are displayed in this open-air market. Off of West Bay Street is Christ Church Cathedral. This church has been at this location since the 1670s; the current Gothic building was built in the 1840s.
Approximately three miles from Nassau and Paradise Island, the Blue Lagoon is a ferry/shuttle ride away. Featured in the movie “Splash,” this island offers a memorable experience. On this island you can swim with dolphins and watch sea lions. Hammocks and board games are available as is a restaurant and bar. With its less-crowded beaches, this island is perfect for family time and exploration.
Bahamas Diving Association is the official scuba diving association of the Bahamas. This association has a list of scuba companies they have approved in Nassau as well as other Bahamian islands. Grand Bahama/Freeport, Exuma, Cat Island, Abaco and Bimini are among the islands where you can enjoy the unique marine life of the Bahamas.
Compared to Mardi Gras, Junkanoo, a celebration extending back to the sixteenth or seventeenth century, is one of the most colorful festivals in the Bahamian culture. Known for its exuberant dancing and colorful unique costumes, Junkanoo is traditionally celebrated from late Christmas evening (December 25) to the early morning hours of Boxing Day ( December 26). Originally a day of celebration for the slaves who had a day off for Christmas, this festival is steeped in Afro-Caribbean music and traditions. Steel drums and cow bells are heard as elaborate costumes are displayed. The troupes that compete for the cash prize take months to create their costumes, which are top secret until displayed at Junkanoo. The Junkanoo Museum has costumes on display and visitors are often allowed to try on the headpieces. Not able to make it to the Bahamas for Christmas? Junkanoo is held on Independence day (July 10) as well (although on a smaller scale.)
In addition to the Nassau/Paradise Island part of the Bahamas, Grand Bahama/Freeport is a popular destination as well. This island also has Junkanoo and a Straw Market. With sandy beaches and clear water, this area is ideal for snorkeling. The outer islands are a wonderful place for those who do not want the hustle and bustle of a normal tourist area. Great Harbor Cay on the Berry Islands is beautiful and unspoiled. Bimini, off the coast of Florida, has beautiful scuba diving areas. No matter what you want, the Bahamas has it for you.