Weekend Trips to the Bahamas
The Bahamas – an archipelago of 29 islands spread across 100,000 miles just 50 miles from Florida – is an easy weekend island retreat from many coastal cities. From large, mega resorts, to more quaint and boutique hotels, a few of the Bahamian islands like Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini offer something for everyone. An abundance of activities await the weekend visitor: straw market shopping, snorkeling in clear blue water and exploring the islands’ rich, cultural history.
Head to Nassau
From one-of-a-kind shopping in downtown Nassau, sampling fresh catches at the Fish Fry, or snorkeling on secluded beaches, Nassau is a popular Bahamian weekend destination. Explore boutique shopping in the island breeze around the downtown Nassau area. Open-air shopping takes place along West Bay Street at the Straw Market, and for a local’s beach, Goodman’s Bay is popular for cookouts and swimming in its calm waters. Stuart Cove’s sub aquanauts are underwater bikes that come with breathable helmets so you can freely move around underwater at a depth of 15 feet. Blue Lagoon Island is a nursery for over a hundred species of marine life – reachable only by boat. Choose between a dolphin or sea lion encounter. The all-inclusive Melia Nassau Beach is a kid-friendly resort located on Cable Beach. Indulge in the selection of free water sports like water biking, kayaks, stand-up paddleboarding and complimentary scuba diving introduction at the pool area.
See Grand Bahama Island
Freeport is one of the main tourism areas of Grand Bahama Island and boasts a historic small town and several picturesque fishing villages, Lucayan archeological sites, three national parks, and endless Southside beaches with crisp blue water. Lucayan National Park is home to one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems with over 6 miles of caves, caverns and tunnels. The Port Lucaya Marketplace includes restaurants, bars, cafes, jewelry stores, straw markets and arts and crafts. Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan is a choice accommodation on Grand Bahama Island, offering an 18-hole championship golf course, two swimming pools, a spa and fitness center.
Visit Sunny Bimini
The petite, 2-mile-long Bimini Island has an intriguing history of pirate visits and was also one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite escapes. It's easy to get to: only a 30-minute seaplane flight from Miami. Bimini offers a more local atmosphere than some of the larger, commercial islands of the Bahamas, with friendly Bahamians willing to give you a ride down the road in a golf cart – the primary way of getting around. Be sure to visit the island's shark research center, the Bimini Sharklab, where they discovered tonic immobility years ago – flipping sharks on their backs to hypnotize them for safe study. Diving also offers a chance to discover more about the ecosystem of Bimini – with hammerhead sharks being the star visitors to the destination from December through April. For accommodations, the Resorts World Bimini is tucked away on its own corner of the island and offers three waterfront pools, a first-class spa and a 10,000-square-foot live action casino.