The Islands of the Bahamas are among the most beautiful places on the Earth to visit. The water ranges from pale aqua to deep sapphire, the spectrum changing hourly as the sun shines brightly in a cloudless sky. Nassau, the country's capital, is a bustling town on New Providence Island with shops, nightclubs, glamorous casinos, and posh hotels. Even in Nassau, though, there are quiet byways and shady lanes where you can step away from the activity of the main tourist areas. Visitors have many options. They can pause in their shopping at any time to wander past old colonial buildings that are full of fascinating island history. Nights can be spent watching a perfect sunset, dining on elegant French or local cuisine in a hotel restaurant, and then taking in a show, dancing, or visiting one of the island's casinos.
Nassau's sheltered harbor bustles with the familiar cruise ship hubbub and the excitement of fishing excursions coming and going, while a block away, broad, palm lined Bay Street is alive with commercial activity. The shopping in Nassau is first rate, as fine imported goods and local crafts compete for attention right next to each other. The historical sights are centered around the downtown area. This area has been renovated and rejuvenated in recent years, adding to its beauty and attractiveness. Amidst the historic landmarks, chic cigar bars, fancy restaurants, art galleries, suave clubs, and trendy coffeehouses are popping up everywhere.
No visit to Nassau would be complete without a trip to nearby Paradise Island. This strip of land off Nassau's northern coast is truly a world class playground. Its casinos and beaches are the first choice for many tourists. The recently completed Atlantis casino and super-resort has attracted even more visitors. The water is a clear blue, and the sand on the beaches is perfectly white on Paradise Island. Inside, the casinos offer every game imaginable, as well as dozens of shows and attractions.
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park at Exuma Islands, inaugurated in 1958, is the first of its kind anywhere on the planet. It comprises 176 square miles of outstanding anchorages and a stunning marine environment. It was the Caribbean's first marine fishery reserve. Many a worldly yachtsperson will tell you that the Exumas are the world's most picturesque yachting grounds.
The Inagua National Park on Great Inagua island is internationally famous as the site of the world's largest colony of wild West Indian flamingos. In Bahamian dialect these birds are called "fillymingos" and/or "flamingas".
The Cable Beach is a famous beach on the island of New Providence where you'll find a wide range of activities, and every service will be at your fingertips. Water-skiing, windsurfing, diving, fishing, sailing, parasailing, seaside restaurants, beach bars, local entertainment--if you can think of it, you'll probably find it there.
And of course, the Pirates of Nassau museum where you can embark on the pirate ship and come face to face with Captain Teach. Captain Teach and his fearsome crew will guide the whole family through an interactive and historical age of piracy. The thrilling atmosphere is contagious, and it is here where visitors have the opportunity to become pirates for a day!
The Islands of the Bahamas--with exquisite golden and pink sunsets, pristine beaches, lush tropical landscapes, and year round sunshine--couldn't have sprung from the sea in more perfect form for 21st century vacationers. Nassau is the crown jewel of the islands. The town has become even more beautiful, and its amazing beaches, significant historic landmarks, and world class resort casinos continue to attract thousands upon thousands of tourists each year.