The Bahamas is the most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean – though ironically, it is not located in the Caribbean at all. Despite its location outside of the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas offer the quintessential island experience: sprawling resort hotels, gorgeous beaches, and endless tours and activities. The Bahamas is at once trendy and tropical. If this sounds like your scene, a vacation in the Bahamas just might be right for you.
Located approximately 100 miles east of the Florida coast, entirely in the Atlantic Ocean, theT Bahamas is comprised of over 700 coral-based islands. Despite the abundance of separate land masses incorporated into this island nation, only five percent of the total area is above water. This allows for just 30 of the 700 islands to be occupied by humans. The islands are comprised of coral reefs that dried into inhabitable land when the sea level dropped hundreds of thousands of years ago, leaving mostly level land and sandy beaches. The clearest waters in the world, with visibility of over 200 feet down, surround the Bahamas due to the calcium carbonate created by the coral, and the world's third largest barrier reef protects the archipelago.
Weather in the Bahamas is a welcome surprise for vacationers who arrive expecting the unrelenting heat associated with most of the Caribbean islands. Because the Bahamas are so close to the United States, continental weather patterns affect the islands, making way for cold air systems that take the edge off as the sun beats down on the beaches each day. Temperatures remain fairly similar throughout the year, with the average low stabilizing around 64 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average high reaching 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Click here for information about rainfall in the Bahamas.
...interact with marine life...
The breathtaking scenery and pleasant weather are not the only reasons to plan a vacation to the Bahamas. There are numerous activities and attractions available no matter what your interests. Government buildings, land marks, and museums in Nassau attract lovers of politics and history; national parks, trails, nature centers and botanical gardens in Nassau and on Grand Bahama are for the outdoorsy-type; and hotel casinos and night clubs in the larger cities are there for night owls. The beaches, of course, are not to be missed, and activities such as golf, tennis, water sports, and shopping are available year round. It is for these reasons and many more that the Bahamas was ranked as one of the top Spring Break destinations of 2014.
One of the perks of a trip to the Bahamas is the ability to interact with marine life at several locations. Aside from snorkeling and scuba diving, visitors can also check out Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounter and Sting Ray City Bahamas. At Dolphin Encounter, guest may meet with dolphins from a distance, as they stand on a platform and allow the dolphins to approach them for petting, feeding, and play. They also have the option to swim with the dolphins for up to 30 minutes. Visiting Dolphin Encounter will require a full day trip to Blue Lagoon Island, which can be accessed from Nassau and Paradise Island. Sting Ray City Bahamas is also located in Blue Lagoon Island, and allows guests to swim with various tropical fish, including sting rays and grouper. Snorkeling equipment is also available.
The Bahamas seem to have something for every type of traveler, a claim that not every vacation spot can make. Families can spend time together exploring the island; those who want to get away from it all are easily swept away by the relaxed pace of life; honeymooners can find romance in luxury resorts. Even those who are looking for a unique vacation can get off the beaten path and spend time on the Out Islands. Harbour Island, one of the Out Islands in the Eleuthera District, was named as one of the "World's Best Islands" by Travel + Leisure in 2013, citing the pink sand beaches and pastel-hued buildings as top attractions.
For many travelers, the opportunity to experience local cuisine entices them more than anything else. Menus in the Bahamas are laden with seafood such as lobster, grouper, and red snapper. Conch is an island favorite, served in the form of fritters, stew, chowder, and salad. Pigeon peas and rice and johnny cakes are popular sides, and featured desserts are guava duff and bread pudding. Those who prefer to stick to what they know come meal time will find that there are plenty of restaurants serving international cuisine that they feel more comfortable with.
With its tranquil blue waters, endless beauty, and activities for all, it's no wonder the Bahamas are such a popular vacation destination. Why not go to the Bahamas? The real question is why you've waited this long to consider it.
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