With 700 tropical islands scattered around the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas offer a postcard-perfect destination. White-sand beaches and translucent turquoise water attract visitors from around the world. The capital, Nassau, on New Providence Island, is a fascinating cultural hub. Dance to calypso music, savor fried crab or play dominos with locals in the diverse city. Don't leave without also learning about the country's interesting past.
Once a pirate haven, the Bahamas have a colorful history, much of which is centered around Nassau. Go to the Pirates of Nassau Museum to understand the lawless existence of the seafarers who once dominated the Caribbean and the role the British had in driving them from the area. Visit historic buildings such as Parliament House, distinctive because of its pink exterior. Climb the Queen’s Staircase, a set of 65 stone steps that were carved by hand in the late 18th century. The stairs lead to Bennet’s Hill, the tallest point on the island, and were made as a route to and from Fort Fincastle, built in 1793.
Many other attractions are located within the Nassau's Old Town and can be reached on foot. These attractions include The Retreat Garden National Park and the Arawak Cay entertainment precinct, the best place to try the local seafood dishes the Bahamas are known for.
The Bahamas is also famed for its beaches, several within easy reach of Nassau. Cable Beach offers child-friendly swimming conditions and a range of accommodation options. Cabbage Beach, on nearby Paradise Island, is home to many of the Bahamas’ larger resorts, including the iconic Atlantis resort. Here you can spend the day at the Aquaventure water park or the Atlantis Aquarium.
Buses serve other areas of New Providence and Paradise islands. Ferries and charter boats at Nassau harbor go farther afield.
The Bahamas are located just 187 miles (300 kilometers) southeast of Miami, and are easily reached by plane and boat. There are more flights to the Bahamas in the winter peak season. Some visitors prefer the slower pace of local life off-season for a relaxed and more affordable tropical getaway.