Last updated: 04:00 AM ET, Tue June 07 2016

Five Great Things to Do In the Bahamas

Destination & Tourism | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism | Kristina Rundquist | June 07, 2016

Five Great Things to Do In the Bahamas

PHOTO: Even the kids won’t be bored by everything to do in the Bahamas (Courtesy Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)

Think of a vacation in the Bahamas and one's thoughts naturally conjure up images of a blissful holiday, spent relaxing in the sunshine and bobbing in the gentle waves of crystal clear waters. And you wouldn't be wrong. There's plenty of that on offer in the Bahamas, but scratch a little deeper below the surface and you'll find even more ways to explore–and reasons to love–this Caribbean paradise.

One if by land. It's not all white sand a coral reefs. The Bahamas are home to some of the world's most intriguing natural phenomena. In fact, the island is home to several world "records", including the deepest blue hold, the third-largest fringing barrier reef and the largest colony of pink flamingos. The islands of the Bahamas also serve as home to the endangered Bahama Parrot, the Andros iguana, a wild horse preserve and countless nature preserves.

Two if by sea. You don't have to own a boat to explore the Bahamas by sea. It's easy enough to charter a boat to take you on a journey around the Islands of the Bahamas. Full-service marinas with electrical hook-ups, Internet and accommodations mean it's easy to explore the Bahamas by sea. Want an adventure? Go on a boat fling (the Bahamian equivalent of a road trip), where a lead boat and captain will chart the course for a caravan of pleasure boaters across the Gulf Stream for an afternoon spent relaxing on white powder beaches or snorkeling along the reefs.

READ MORE: Summer Boating Fling Gears Up

Three makes a family. The Bahamas aren't just for couples. Families will find loads to do as well, and with 700 islands to explore there's no chance your kids will be bored. Swim with the pigs in Exuma? Why not? The shallow waters of Eleuthera & Harbour Island are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and even some beginning surf lessons. Meanwhile, the Abacos offer candy-striped lighthouses, and pastel-shaded gingerbread houses and quaint streets to wander and explore.

Be a culture vulture. Learn how the locals live (and play) through a series of cultural tours. Tourists will have the chance to explore the Government House to see the changing of the guard, sample authentic Bahamian cuisine and get an inside look into how their famous Androsia Batik fabric is made. There's even the chance to try one's hand at crab catching, a staple of the local economy.

Shop around. There's more to shopping in the Bahamas than t-shirts and flip flops. Much more. In fact, shopping on the islands runs the gamut from high-end luxury boutiques to straw vendors, from open-air markets to large shopping malls. Festival Place, at the cruise ship dock in Nassau & Paradise Island, is home to 45 local artisans selling handmade souvenirs and crafts. For those on Grand Bahama Island, the Port Lucaya Marketplace is the place to shop. This large mall is filled with retail shops, straw vendors, hair braiders and more. And the good news is that duty-free shops–and the big savings that come with them–abound.

For more information on Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

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