First Time to The Bahamas

If it's your first time the The Islands Of The Bahamas, consider visiting Nassau Paradise Island because of the variety of things to do the amazing beaches to sunbathe and the crystal clear turquoise waters to swim in.  Anytime of year is great for visiting as the average temperature is about 75 - 80 degrees year round.  It rarely rains in the "winter" months and doesn't get below 60 degrees.

Make sure you have a U.S. passport for all travelers.  Nassau Paradise Island is one of the few Caribbean destinations that provides pre-clearnace for U.S. Customs and Immigration sevices.  That means it allows flights from Nassau airport to enter the U.S. as domestic flights and bypass the normal U.S. Customs clearance like on other international destinations.

The history and culture of The Bahamas is a blend of Spanish, British and African which makes up the heritage.  The islands are filled with tales of Spanish invaders and some famous pirates; visit the Pirates Museum of Nassau to learn more about this storied history.  There are several museums in downtown Nassau that teach about the early settlers as well as art museums.  This blend of culture is apparent in the music and musical festivals.  Junkanoo is a costumed, musical festival that takes to the streets in song and dance and takes place twice a year around Christmas. 

Shopping on the islands is abundant and duty free!  You can purchase handmade crafts, jewelry, handbags, hats and woodcarvings at the world's largest Straw Market in downtown Nassau and also Festival Place by the cruise ship dock and at the Craft Centre on Paradise Island.  Both are filled with unique merchandise that makes great one of a kind gifts.   Of course, you will find upscale jewelry, perfumes, leather bags, high-end fashions along Bay Street in Nassau and at Marina Village and Crystal Court Shops on Paradise Island.

Swim with dolphins and sea lions, snorkel or dive the brilliantly colored coral reefs, coral walls and wreck dives.  There is as much beauty under the water as there is above.  Take a romantic horseback ride along the surf, charter a sailboat and hook a sailfish or yellowfin tuna.  Tee off at a USGA or PGA quality golf course, take the kids to the first and only zoo in the Bahamas feed colorful parrots and see marching flamingos.

If you're a "foodie", than plan on visiting the many gourmet and casual restaurants in Nassau, Cable Beach and Paradise Island.  Restaurants are located in the hotels and resorts, at Marina Village, Cable Beach and downtown Nassau.  You can't leave without trying some real, authentic, Bahamian food.  Arawak Cay hosts the Fish Fry and there are several "shacks" on Potters Cay, which is on the Nassau side of the bridge, and also by the cruise ship docks that sell homemade conch salad, fritters and more.  Not expensive and they give you quite a bit of food. 

Finding accommodations is easy too.  You'll find everything here from quaint inns to grand resorts. 

Whether you're traveling with kids, a large group or just a romantic getaway for two, Nassau Paradise Island has something for everyone.  And, it's only a 55 minute flight from South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, airports.  And a 2 1/2 hour flight from New York City.  It's so close, and so easy to get there, why go anywhere else?!

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