One of the main reasons why so many visitors travel to the Bahamas is of course for its wonderful warm weather, beautiful turquoise waters and friendly faces. But with these 700 islands and cays off the coast of Florida can give you 30 more reasons (and counting) of what you’re missing if you choose to just sit on the beach or stay at a resort for your entire vacation.
1. Clifton Heritage Site – If you travel to the Bahamas and visit this place you’ll find that it is filled with wonderful nature trials where you can bird watch and learn about our environment. This place is also filled with history dating back from the slave era, where many ruins of old the slave homes still stand today.
2. Garden Groves – The Garden Groves of Grand Bahama is another wildlife Oasis where you can Kayak, bird walk and learn more about the natural vegetation of the island of Grand Bahama.
3. Bimini- Sapona “Ruins of the 1920’s” – If you ever travel to the Bahamas off the coast of South Bimini and Cat Cay is an old barge that was commissioned by Henry Ford in the late 1920’s during the era of prohibition. Back then it was known as a “speakeasy”/ private club at sea that was accessible by boat yet shallow enough for snorkelers to get to as well. It was blown closer to the Bahamas during a hurricane back in 1929.
4. Bimini Road – The Bimini road legend has been around for decades. The legend talks about the road leading to the acclaimed lost city of Atlantis. Underwater archeologists from all over the world travel to the Bahamas to study the underwater wonder.
5. Myths of Bimini – One of our smallest islands off the coast of Florida carries lots of history and even bigger legendary myths. It is known that the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon explored this island for the notably acclaimed fountain of youth. Tour guides on the island would be happy to guide you to the point of where this spring once flourished.
6. Hemingway’s Fishing Lodge – One cannot travel to the Bahamas and not hear about Ernest Hemingway’s favourite fishing spot and lodge on the island of Bimini. A noted and acclaimed sports fisherman, the author was known to spend a lot of time here fishing, writing and getting to know the locals here in Bimini.
7. Joulter Cays – The Joulter Cays in Andros Island is a unique spot for those interested in “bone fishing”, bird watching, snorkeling, swimming you name it. Such a rare and unique spot in all of the Bahamas, because of its particular powder like sand and several endangered species of animals that live there. It is being petitioned to become another protected wild life area in the Bahamas by the Bahamas National Trust.
8. Androsia Batik – Known as the national fabric of the Bahamas. The Androsia factor is home to the original Androsia design. They come in many colours and patterns and if you get a chance to visit them one day, they’ll show you exactly how it’s made.
9. Red Bay Village – One of the best kept Bahamian secrets… even I didn’t know about this one despite my travel to the Bahamas. Red Bay Village is a remote village in Northern Andros that was inhabited by an African tribe that lived like the Seminole Indians over 50 years ago. The descendants of this tribe still exist and maintain to their traditions till this day.
10. Mount Alvernia – Mount Alvernia is the highest point above sea level in the Bahamas. Located on Cat Island, its highest peak will give you great panoramic views of the island.
11. Hermitage – Located on Mount Alvernia Cat Island, the Hermitage was the first Catholic Church and monastery in the Bahamas dating back to Columbus’ time. This is one of the oldest relics ever found in the Bahamas.
12. Deveaux Mansion- The ruins of the Deveaux mansion are more than just another slave plantation property. Deveaux was a naval officer that helped to capture Nassau from the Spanish back in 1783.
13. First Land Fall Monuments – The island of San Salvador is known as the place of discovery and the initial birth of the Bahamas to as we know it today. The first land fall monuments includes the stone cross which is suppose to replicate the first (wooden) cross that Christopher Columbus placed on the beach the day he landed on the island and claimed her for Spain.
14. Dixon Hill Lighthouse – The Dixon Lighthouse is one of the last hand operated lighthouses in the Bahamas. Built by John Dixon on his plantation estate, the lighthouse uses over 400,000 kerosene oil lit candles to guard the ships at night.
15. HMS Conqueror – HMS was an English vessel that was built in 1855 in Devon England and served in the Crimean War. After its ship wreck in 1861 the vessel continues to lay 30 feet in a Staghorn gully near Rum Cay off the breaking reef barriers. It’s seen as an underwater museum and is property of the Bahamas government.
16. Fortune Island – Sometimes confusingly called Long Cay where experts believe that this was the island that Columbus named after Queen Isabella of Spain for funding his exhibition. There is only one settlement called Albert Town which is seen as a ghost town and is rumored to be occupied by the lost souls that once lived there. But what gives this island its acclaimed name is the Fortune Hill itself which is visible from 19km (12 miles) away at sea. The legend has it that hundreds of Bahamians came here waiting to be picked up by oceangoing freighters, who would take them to their fortune and new life in Central America.
17. French Wells Bay – If you ever travel to the Bahamas you’ll see that one of the Jewels of Crooked Island is the French Wells Bay. It’s a beautiful wetland area that’s filled with dense mangrove bush is home to many wild birds that come from North America to hibernate in the Bahamas during the winter months.
18. Marine Farms Fortress – Come and see the abandon British Fort that defended Crooked Island and the southern Bahamas in the war of 1812.
19. US Military Base – Over the years there have been several US military bases on various islands of the Bahamas. At least two were set up on the islands of Eleuthera and another in Andros Island. This base however is located in Mayaguana and it was built in the 1950’s. It is the only base that can be accessed with a tour guide. Many of these bases were used for training sessions for the United States military.
20. Southwest Point – The Southwest Point in Inagua is popular for its clear view of the island of Cuba from the hand operated lighthouse.
21. Inagua Lands & Sea Park – Home to the largest Flamingo reserves in the Caribbean located in Great Inagua Island outside Matthew Town.
22. Preachers Cay – Known as a safe haven for the Eleutheran Adventures during the 1600’s when they first made land fall. Preachers Cave was used back then as a church meeting ground by the Adventurers. The cave is located of the northern coast of the island of Eleuthera.
23. Glass Window Bridge – Several miles from Preachers Cave in Eleuthera lays one of the many wonders of the world known as Glass Window Bridge. What’s so special about this spot is the coming together of the serene turquoise water on one side and the rough dark blue Atlantic waters on the other. Even though the bridge itself (which transports persons North to South of the island) has been damaged from past weather surges and hurricanes over the years, the freak of nature is truly something to marvel at.
24. Deans Blue Hole – There are many blue holes located on various islands of the Bahamas. But Deans Blue Hole located in Deadman’s Cay, Long Island is not only one of the deepest, its one of the pretties and easier blue holes to access in the Bahamas. Right off the beach and tucked away under a cave like cliff you’ll find it in plain sight.
25. The Pink Sands – If you ever plan to travel to the Bahamas you must check out our Pink Sand beaches in Harbour Island, Long Island and various parts of the island of Eleuthera. Check out the science behind this on our Harbour Island page (refer to the reference points after this article)
26. Hope Town Lighthouse – The Hope Town Lighthouse in Hope Town Abaco is one of the oldest hand operated lighthouses in the Bahamas. It stands out from any other lighthouse in the Bahamas with its red and white horizontal strips.
27. Loyalist Memorial – The Loyalist Memorial is a small art space of various bust figures of several members of the Loyalist community that travel to the Bahamas to avoid political persecution during the American War of Independence. The memorial is a tribute to those who helped build the community not only in Abaco but several other islands in the Bahamas as well.
28. Albury Boat Builders – A generation ship building company that’s committed to building the finest quality boats and ships in the region. If you stop by you can learn how it’s all done and get to know the family.
29. Darby Castle – Darby Castle is an old ruin mansion located on Big Darby Island which is one of the five islands owned by the late plantation owner Sir Baxter (known as a Nazi sympathizer). Back in the 1800’s the Darby Islands were one of the biggest employers in the Southern Bahamas and produced everything from Cotton to food production.
30. Pretty Molly Bay & The Hermitage In Exuma – Great Exuma is an island filled with history and relics of old slave plantations, and stories of where you can learn more about our country and its past. One of these most popular stories can be found around the Pretty Molly Bay named after the slave Pretty Molly who lived in Exuma and took her own life by walking into the water. Some say that they have seen her ghost entering the water at night. You’ll find similar stories around the Williamstown area where many slave plantations were established.