Insider's Guide to Enjoying a Secluded Vacation in The Bahamas

Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Insider's Guide to Enjoying a Secluded Vacation in The Bahamas

Winter is in full swing, prompting travelers across the country to escape the cold by fleeing to the Caribbean. With more and more airlines adding service to The Islands of the Bahamas, it is sure to top the list of getaways ? especially Nassau/Paradise Island, one of the more popular and easily accessible destinations. Travelers wishing to take advantage of this convenience, but looking for a little space and solitude need not worry; there are plenty of ways to enjoy a memorable vacation without bumping elbows with fellow island-goers in Nassau/Paradise Island ? a.k.a., New Providence to those "in the know."

Following is an insider's guide to some of the must see and do activities that will help vacationers navigate the "hidden treasures" of New Providence:

Where to Stay

A Stone's Throw Away: This newly built, 10-room hideaway located at the western end of New Providence puts an island spin on the gourmet Bed & Breakfast. Perched on one of the highest elevations by the coast, the property features a pool with built-in waterfall, an inviting lounge and honor bar, the Wellness Spa featuring L'Occitane products, not to mention a large, wrap-around porch affording breathtaking, panoramic views of land and sea. For more information visit www.astonesthrowaway.com.

Graycliff: Steeped in history, Graycliff has been a favorite of Nassau visitors for more than 30 years. The first five-star hotel and restaurant in the Caribbean, this elegant 20-room property is an oasis of comfort and service. Graycliff is home to two of Nassau's most distinguished restaurants, Graycliff Restaurant and Humidor Churrascaria, and boasts a world-renowned wine cellar and award-winning cigar company. Additional features include three distinctive pools, a full service spa and complete fitness center. For more information visit www.graycliff.com.

Peace and Quiet

The Retreat: One of the world's largest collections of rare and exotic palms grows and flourishes in the 11-acre garden of The Retreat, a national park and headquarters of the Bahamas National Trust. Visitors can grab a map and head out on a leisurely, self-guided tour through the tropical palms where they will enjoy a variety of flora and fauna, ranging from native orchids, bright red ginger, graceful ferns and more.

Versailles Gardens: Although a popular spot for weddings, these spectacular gardens on Paradise Island are also an ideal location for a quiet stroll or romantic picnic. Bronze and marble statues, as well as fountains, reflecting pools and waterfalls are scattered throughout, while a lacy gazebo sitting high above the boat-filled harbor gives way to spectacular views. The Versailles Gardens are on the grounds of the One&Only Ocean Club, but they are open to the public.

The Great Outdoors

Bahamas Outdoors Ltd.: Whether wishing to explore New Providence Island's natural beauty or to get hearts racing with a more intense outdoor activity, travelers find the perfect balance with Bahamas Outdoors, Ltd. Tour options include: the Birding Tour, during which one will spot resident and migrant birds in forests and wetlands; the Nature Tour, where one can learn about bush medicine in addition to seeing a variety of birds, butterflies, native flora, nature reserves and historic sites; and the Biking Tour, which takes travelers of all skill levels through a number of trails in the forest and along the seashore. For more information visit www.bahamasoutdoors.com.

Chubasco Charters: Go fish! First timers and deep-sea fanatics alike will find the waters of The Bahamas the perfect place to cast a line. From Blue Marlin and Mahi Mahi to Wahoo and Sharks, vacationers are sure to hook something that will earn them bragging rights ? they can even have their prized catch mounted as a trophy and shipped home to show off! For the less serious fisher, Chubasco Charters also arranges snorkeling, sightseeing and island picnics as part of its full-day charter adventures. For more information visit www.chubascocharters.com.

Romance

Bahamas Riviera Cruises: Visitors will be transported into the world of Venetian romance with Bahamas Riviera Cruises' gondola rides. These sleek, black and white-canopied boats gracefully glide you through Nassau Harbour and under the Nassau/Paradise Island bridges, where a kiss is required as you cruise underneath each of the spans. Food and wine are also served. For more information call 242-323-LOVE.

Private Dinner Cruises: Whether on a honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary or simply enjoying a romantic escape, couples are sure to be inspired while splurging on a private dinner cruise for two aboard a magnificent chartered yacht. Complete with an attentive staff, a gourmet meal, full bar and the signature "Better-Than-Sex" cake for dessert, a magical and memorable evening is guaranteed. For more information visit www.barefootsailingcruises.com.

Get Away From It All

Island Seaplanes: Get away for the day and discover the breathtaking beauty and serenity of The Bahamas' treasured Out Islands during a scheduled seaplane adventure. Only a short 30-minute flight, travelers can choose between the stunning blue-water seascapes of The Exumas or colorful Harbour Island, with its famous pink-sand beaches and gaily decorated village. For more information visit www.islandseaplanes.net.

Island Helicopters Ltd.: What better way to leave it all behind than to participate in an exciting helicopter tour of The Bahamas? Enjoy spectacular, bird's eye views and a thrilling ride when booking one of Island Helicopters' variety of sightseeing tours and adventure packages. From a 25-minute tour around Paradise Island to a four-hour Marine Life experience in the Exumas, travelers are sure to come away with a whole new view of this top Caribbean vacation destination. For more information visit www.island-helicopters.com.

Secluded Beaches

Smugglers Beach: True serenity seekers will not mind going the distance to indulge in some alone time at this beautiful and less populated beach situated on the easternmost end of Paradise Island. The remote location keeps the crowds away and beachgoers delight in the powder white sand, turquoise waters and breathtaking views.

Caves Beach: Sun-worshippers lounge and swim at Caves Beach, a beautiful, white-sand beach which lies just west of the active Cable Beach resort area. Hugging the shores in the shape of a small crescent, Caves Beach is ideal for a calm day of sun, surf and sand.

Wine & Dine

Indigo Café: Situated just off West Bay Street in the Cable Beach area, this one-of-a-kind restaurant combines a vibrant and colorful atmosphere with an eclectic menu that will please all palates. Hungry vacationers can dine inside amongst an impressive collection of original artwork accented by soft lighting, or can go al fresco thanks to the restaurant's spacious outdoor patio. For more information visit www.indigobahamas.com.

The 700 islands and 2500 cays of The Islands Of The Bahamas lie just off the coast of familiar. Declared one of the hottest destinations in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, The Bahamas attract visitors with world-class diving and fishing, impossibly beautiful water, miles of picture perfect beaches and the island life from the non-stop excitement and entertainment of Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island to the laid-back lifestyle of the Out Islands. For more information on, travel packages, activities and accommodations throughout The Islands Of The Bahamas visit www.bahamas.com.

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