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Relaxation and Rejuvenation

Local Voices
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Drink the morning dew as you walk the beach at sunrise and relish the first taste of a new day. Watch the sunset paint the sky as you dine on fresh seafood at a beachfront restaurant. Stargaze when the nightlights dim, for the islands really go black, creating a flawless canvas of stars penetrating the sky. Sail through the archipelago and delight in the spontaneity of wild dolphins that swim alongside your boat. Discover uninhabited islands; they transform into your private enclave when you set foot on the sandy welcome mat unfolding at every coastline.

The Bahamas is synonymous with relaxation. The archipelago began its tourism career as a place to heal the infirmed. Travellers from Europe and North America – army surgeons and businessmen – established the archipelago’s reputation as a destination with healing waters and rejuvenating natural landscapes. Since the eighteenth century, The Bahamas has maintained its appeal as an island chain for rest and renewal.

The many outlying islands have a range of hotels and attractions that set the ideal mood for families, couples and elderly travellers. Although the islands can accommodate energy levels that range from youthful and hyperactive to slow and measured, the local pace is leisurely. Rushing around is not island culture. The best way to find relaxation is to follow suit. Stressed out motorists can be stuck in traffic on the most populated islands, Grand Bahama Island, and the capital Nassau in particular, yet even these locales provide sanctuary along their coastlines.

-Noelle Nicolls, Travel Writer, “The Domestic Tourist”

“Sweeting's Cay is a 15-minute boat ride outside of McLean’s Town on the East End of Grand Bahama Island. It is a peculiar fishing town; the main settlement is inland, but on the outskirts of the island, houses sit on stilts overhanging the shallow flats. There is a bed and breakfast I love, Sweeting's Cay Bonefish Lodge, where you pull up by boat. You can wake up in the morning, step from your room to the deck, and stumble onto your fishing line. The water gets no deeper than about five to seven feet. It is a place to take someone who knows how to appreciate the outdoors. The mosquitoes might be big as spiders, but a visit, perhaps accompanied by a bottle of insect repellent, is definitely in order. This is not an island of mansions for the rich and famous; it is a fishing village where you can always find someone ready to hunt bonefish on the flats. If you visit Grand Bahama Island, you should pair it with a trip to Sweeting's Cay.”

-Tony Grant Jr, Radio Personality and Grand Bahama Native

“The special charm about Crooked Island is its remoteness. Before we moved back to Crooked Island permanently, my wife and I visited regularly. We were walking on the beach one day and the water was so inviting. My wife wanted to go in, but we had no bathing suits. We decided to be spontaneous and went in naked. On Crooked Island you can feel safe. It’s trouble free, where all of the residents know everyone and make you feel at ease. That day felt so natural, like we were back in the Garden of Eden.”

-Bernard Ferguson, Crooked Island Hotelier, Tranquillity on the Bay Lodge

“The pace of Harbour Island is rarely faster than that of a golf cart, the preferred mode of transportation. The island is accessible only by boat. Its famous pink sand beach stretches almost the entire length. When I go running there in the mornings I love the solitude, but there is evidence of still earlier runners left by footprints in the sand.

My first impression of Harbour Island was influenced by The Landing, the resort you see when you arrive at the main port, Three Islands Ferry Dock. Both the resort and the dock have been around since the 1800s, looking out for one another. The resort feels like an old Bahamian home, with family pictures tacked on the walls and colonial architecture. People are strangers here at first, then friends not long after. Except for the increase in foot traffic from arriving visitors, the concrete dock has remained unchanged since its early beginnings. The dock is the meeting point for family members returning home, usually with gifts from the capital.”

-Vanessa Pritchard, Writer, “The 700 Experience”