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About The Bahamas
First time visitors to The Islands of The Bahamas quickly realize that they have discovered upon not one, but many possible vacation destinations. Between the "poles" of Grand Bahama and Great Inagua are 23 inhabited islands and thousands of unpopulated islets and cays (pronounced "keys").
Nassau, the capital city, once ruled by pirates, seems a world away from the desert-like wildlife sanctuary of Inagua. On many of the islands, tiny villages seem lifted from the Massachusetts coast and set down amongst palms, pines and iridescent sands. These beautiful islands lie only 50 miles off the Florida coast - far closer than any other destination in the Caribbean.
Calm waters and cooling trade winds have rightfully earned the The Bahamas an international reputation for sailing, with regattas and races held year-round. The islands are actually the birthplace of the Gulf Stream, a phenomenon that also accounts for their astonishing variety and abundance of marine life. Legendary game fish draw sport fisherman in search of the "big one," and more than 50 international fishing records have been set in these waters. The great writer / fisherman Ernest Hemingway considered the Bahamian island of Bimini a home.
The same conditions that make these islands so amenable to sailors and fisherman dr
The same conditions that make these islands so amenable to sailors and fisherman draw visitors to the vast and diverse underwater parks. With more than 5% of the planet's reef mass, The Bahamas offer inexhaustible pleasures and challenges to snorkelers and divers. The natural beauty of the water extends to the thousands of miles of shoreline, which has some of the world's most stunningly beautiful and unsullied beaches. From the pink sands of Harbour Island and Eleuthera to the deserted strands of the Exumas and San Salvador, there is a lifetime of beaches to experience. Further inland are gardens and National Parks with rare and endangered species, such as the exotic Abaco Parrot and the Bahamian Iguana.
Although The Bahamas are as diverse and numerous as the days of the year, the reassuring unifier is the charm and hospitality of its people. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism offers a People-to-People programme; an opportunity for visitors to experience a genuine and informal taste of Bahamian hospitality and culture. Volunteers holding interests similar to yours give you a taste of Bahamian life and potentially a lifelong friendship.
THE TRADITIONAL CHURCH CEREMONY
Many religious faiths are represented in The Bahamas should you desire a traditional or church wedding. Roman Catholics who wish to be married in a Catholic Church in The Bahamas are required to receive instructions over a six week period from their local parish priest who in turn will communicate with the Chancery in Nassau, PO Box N-8187, Nassau, The Bahamas.
THE CLASSIC WEDDING
The 'French Cloister' on Paradise Island features aging 14th century columns overlooking Nassau Harbour. What bride wouldn't appreciate this ideal location for her classic Bahamas wedding?
A TROPICAL WEDDING
Tropical Weddings can be held in the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Nassau, the Parrot Jungle's Garden of the Groves in Freeport, or in the garden at the hotel where you are staying. All make ideal tropical wedding locations complementing the beauty of the bride. Exchange vows amidst the hibiscus, bougainvillea, gardenias and poinciana when in season.
THE ROMANTIC BAHAMAS WEDDING
Want Romance? Choose any number of tropical islets, a deserted beach on an uninhabited cay with rugged shorelines lapped by the clear waters of the Atlantic, or one of our many sandy beaches. Sure to please any bride and her groom.
THE PARTY BOAT WEDDING
What could be more idyllic than saying your vows on the serene waters of a beautiful harbour, aboard a festive party boat, with the sun setting in the background. Afterwards, the bride and groom dance the night away while cruising.
THE AQUATIC WEDDING
In bathing suits, full scuba gear or traditional attire, the photos from this ceremony will stand out in the family album. For example, say 'I do' surrounded by the aquamarine waters, colorful coral reef and the tropical marine life of Crystal Cay, which offers a delightful glimpse of Nassau's varied underwater and marine life.
Fun Things to do, Places to go
Nothing can prepare you for the thrill of an exalted encounter with dolphins on their own terms and on their own turf. Several operators offer swim-with-wild-dolphins trips that are guaranteed to leave you filled with boundless joy.
ABACO NATIONAL PARK
Few spots are as dramatic and serene as the lonesome headland at Hole-in-the-Wall, highlight of this forested park-a last refuge for the Bahama parrot. The hiking is splendid. It's a true escapists' dream for those who don't mind rustic accommodations.
ABACOS' LOYALIST VILLAGES
the fistful of bicentenary Loyalist villages on Elbow, Man O' War, and Green Turtle cays exude irresistable charm. Splendidly preserved, gaily decorated clapboard houses have been pickled in aspic, and the Loyalists' descendants have managed to retain some of their old ways, adding a living-museum quality.
INAGUA NATIONAL PARK
If the rewards of standing in the midst of the Western Hemisphere's largest flock of flamingos weren't enough for bird watchers, Great Inagua's saline ponds also attract countless other water birds.
JOURNEYING BY MAIL BOAT
You may choose only to do it once, or it may become the only way you travel between the islands, but a journey by mail boat i one to remember forever. Far from cushy, this is down-to-earth travel guaranteed to show you a side of life far from the tourist mainstream, and it's sure to bond you to the Bahamian people.
FAMILY ISLAND REGATTA
Put yourself in a party mood and fly down to Great Exuma for the best time time in the islands. This traditional sailing regatta pits local skippers against each other, while onshore the crowds whoop it up in a four-day party.
This is the "in" spot of the moment. Besides the charming historic village of Dunsmore Town, "Briland' boasts a stunning pink-sand beach, great nightspots, and a choice range of accommodations, including Pink Sands, a most favorite spot to lay your head in the entire Bahamian chain.
Fisher-folk claim that wrestling a big one from the 'great blue river' is a tip-top thrill. If you can stomach it, your fishing options are legion. Or for smaller yet no less challenging fry, try your hand at bone fishing; adherents swear that even great sex can't compare, but we think they need to go out more often!
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS
Wowie!! You can go swimming with sharks while they feed at several locales. At Stella Maris and at Walker's Cay, you can witness a feeding frenzy just a few feet away. At Freeport and Nassau, the sharks are hand-fed by a diver clad in chain mail. It is definitely not for the timid!
Pay one visit to this brazenly colorful, unpretentious gem, west of Nassau, a sibling to Pink Sands in Harbor Island, and you will understand why many end their vacation to the Bahamas at this spot.
If you like The Bahamas, you'll LOVE Cuba, a one-hour flight away from Nassau. Several tour companies offer single to multi-day excursions to this fascinating and friendly island of sensual charms. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
A guide to getting married in The Bahamas
Truly unforgettable, Bahamas weddings can be held at a wide variety of romantic locations, each making your wedding a memorable event.
BAHAMAS BEACH WEDDING
If you're interested in a Bahamas beach wedding - to be married on a white (or pink) sandy beach, then from sunrise to sunset, in traditional attire or bathing suit, nuptial vows can be made during a memorable day in Nassau, Paradise Island, Freeport or on any number of pristine beaches on The Out Islands of The Bahamas.
The Bahamas has no shortage of restaurants and dining locations ranging from street corner take-aways to world class, five-star, gourmet dining. Here are some of the most popular eateries and fine dining establishments organized by island.
Nassau / New Providence Restaurants and Dining
Graycliff - Historic Graycliff, a mansion built in 1742 by a famous pirate later to become a prison, is now a five star restaurant that boasts a cellar holding over 200,000 bottles of vintage wine.
Spring Moon Restaurant & Bar - Caves Village, West Bay Street
Gourmet Chinese food with a Bahamian touch. Elegant dining inside or outdoors, on the patio, overlooking the Caves Village Courtyard. Open Monday through Saturday. Tel: (242) 327-2300.
Cafe Johnny Canoe - Nassau, Cable Beach
A wonderful, truly Bahamian experience. The decor alone is worth a visit. Authentic Junkanoo masks & antique photos of "old" Nassau on the walls. A great selection of food from local seafood specialties, like conch fritters and blackened grouper, to big beefy burgers & fries, with salads for those watching their diet. Drinks and cocktails are generous servings & the guava duff is among the best on the island. Tel: (242) 327-3373 Fax: (242) 327-3380
Provence Restaurant - Elegant French Mediterranean cuisine by renowned chef Chef Marc Innocenti. Selection of Tapas at the bar. Dine indoors or outdoors, overlooking the marina. Located at Olde Towne in Sandyport, Provence is open for dinner Monday thru Saturday and for lunch Monday thru Friday. Tel: (242) 327-0985.
Pirates of Nassau - An interactive Pirate Attraction in the heart of downtown Nassau. Board the ship "Revenge" and come face to face with Blackbeard and his fellow rogue pirates. Our Pirate Pub & Grill is the perfect setting for some delicious grub and a cold beer. Looking for that special gift - step into PLUNDER! The pirate shop for unique piratical souvenirs. We carry a wide range of pirate gifts for all ages - t-shirts, replica guns, jewelry and of course kids pirate toys.
Athena's Cafe & Bar - Bay & Charlotte Street
Casual dining in the heart of downtown Nassau, right on Bay Street, featuring Greek, Bahamian cuisine. Try the lobster Tail (Greek Style), Greek Souvlaki or Fried Calamari. Tel: 322-1936
Bahama Mama Mia - Nassau
Tel: (242) 363-5345 Fax: (242) 363-4155
Bahamian Kitchen - Trinity Place, off Bay Street
Casual atmosphere serves American and authentic Bahamian cuisine including conch fritters, steamed grouper, fried plantain (very good) and peas & rice. Tel: 325-0702
Buena Vista - Nassau, New Providence Island
In Nassau, this fine dining establishment has been serving Continental cuisine for over fifty years. Note: Closed Sundays, does not serve lunch. Tel: 242-322-2811
Cafe Matisse - Bank Lane behind Parliament Square
Courtyard or indoor dining. Specialties include seafood, home-made pasta and delicious desserts. Tel: (242) 356-7012 Fax: (242) 356-7014
Club Waterloo - East Bay Street
Tel: (242) 393-7324
Conch Fritters - Bay Street, across from the British Colonial Hilton
Tel: (242) 328-8778
Hammerheads Bar & Grill - Bay Street, near the Bridge
Tel: (242) 393-5625 Fax: (242) 364-8631
Clay Oven - 100 West Bay Street
Authentic Indian cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner. Tel: (242) 325-2525 Fax: (242)326-2626
Montagu Gardens Steak & Grill - East Bay Street
Known for excellent lobster tails and great steaks. Tel: 394-6347
Mama Lyddy's Place - Nassau,
This homey is where residents on New Providence island consider their true-to-the-core place for Bahamian food. Tel: 242-328-6849
Paradise Island Restaurants and Dining
Anthony's Caribbean Grill - Paradise Island
A fun place to eat and drink. Island specialties. Cuisine: American, Bahamian. Tel: 363-3152
Blue Lagoon Restaurant - Paradise Island
Tel (242) 363-2400 Fax (242) 363-3403
Blue Marlin Restaurant - Paradise Island
Tel: (242) 363-2660 Fax: (242) 363-4155
Grand Bahamas - Freeport / Our Lucaya
Becky's Restaurant & Lounge - E. Beach Dr. and E. Sunrise Hwy.
Becky's opens at 7 AM and is a popular place for breakfast before an active day of gambling or shopping. Traditional Bahamian and American food, from conch salad and steamed mutton to steak or a BLT. Pancakes, eggs, and special Bahamian breakfasts - "stew" fish, "boil" fish, or chicken souse with johnnycake or grits - are served all day. Tel: 242-352-5247
Cafe Michel's - International Bazaar, Freeport
Casual bistro serves American and Bahamian dishes such as cracked conch, hamburger, fried chicken, and lobster tail. Located just off the Bazaar's main promenade. Tel: 242-352-2191
Family Islands Restaurants and Dining
Chat & Chill - Georgetown, Great Exuma Island
Folks here do just as the name of the restaurant suggests, which serves up the most famous Bahamas food with a twist - conch burgers grilled over an open flame. No phone.
Wally's - Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island
The exotic menu and elegant decor make this one of the most popular restaurants in the Bahamas islands. Note: Sundays and Mondays. Tel: 242-367-2047
Rainbow Inn - Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera
Lots of great Bahamas food is in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. People will go to great lengths to have dinner at this casual American eatery, famous for its rib and steak nights. Tel: 800-688-0047
The Landing - Harbour Island
Have breakfast or dinner overlooking the the harbour in trendy Harbour Island. Restaurants in Bahamas island usually feature a bit of everything, but few bring it together like this romantic inn.
Tel: 242-333-2707 or 242-333-2740
Mate & Jenny's - South Palmetto Point, Eleuthera
Unique menu of Bahamian food including crawfish (Bahamian lobster - subject to availability) and grouper, steak, conch and other full dinners including the specialty... conch pizza!