Bahamas

For lots of folks, the Bahamas are the first place they think of when talking about traveling to the Caribbean. And rightly so. It’s easy to get to, there are varied diversions, and it’s extremely affordable. If you plan a Bahamas getaway, consider going from May through November. The Bahamas sit just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, so temperatures tend to match those in the Sunshine State.

Whether you’re an upscale resort type or prefer a casual getaway, there are a medley of accommodations to suit your needs. With everything from activity-packed all-inclusives to low-key cottages, the Bahamas boast numerous places to rest your sun kissed head.

Though the Grand Bahamas, and Nassau are quite popular, there are several other islands worth checking out. (The Bahamas is actually comprised of 700 islands!) Visit the Hopetown lighthouse on Abacos; and enjoy the perfect snorkeling waters and secluded beaches of Eleuthera and Harbour Island. On the Exumas, soak in the rich cultural and heritage sites (don’t forget to check out the swimming pigs!). You could seriously spend months here, and not run out of things to do.

For water enthusiasts, the azure ocean beckons you to explore. The Bahamas are a scuba diver’s paradise and offers some of the best scuba diving experiences in the Caribbean. There are more than 1,100 underwater sites that include inland blue holes, caverns, and a sunken Spanish galleon. Lush coral reefs lure vibrant marine life on display for both divers and snorkelers. Also, optimum water visibility creates an ideal environment for those Facebook worthy underwater photos.

Dolphins are a big draw for visitors, too. Whether you swim with them in the open ocean, or spend time in a marine mammal facility, don’t miss an opportunity to interact.

If you prefer to spend your time on land, you won’t get bored in the Bahamas. Channel your inner Jack Nicklaus out on one of the numerous courses. There’s a course for every player from novices to professionals, including the 18-hole Greg Norman championship course on Grand Exuma. Expect to be a little distracted by the vistas, however. Courses often hug the cerulean Atlantic and gentle breezes whisper in your ear as you putt.

Fishing is another popular sport – perhaps some fly fish for Bonefish from the shallow waters or cast in the deep for Marlin. In addition, big-game tournaments and deep-sea charters attract fishermen from around the world.

With several culinary tours offered in the Bahamas, you can sample local cuisine while you learn about the history and culture of these diverse islands. Consider booking one at the beginning of your stay, so you can scope out the places you want to visit twice before you have to leave!

Food festivals are popular, as well. Andros hosts an annual Crab Fest, while Eleuthera is home to the Pineapple Festival. In February 2014, Nassau hosted its first Culinary and Cultural Rum Festival of the Bahamas.

The Bahamas are the ideal place to kick back, stroll through forts, plantations, and remote villages; or cool off while exploring caves and standing before the Fountain of Youth. Anyone from honeymooners and long-time couples to families and singles will enjoy the their time here.