When imagining your dream vacation, do you picture a beautiful ocean, fresh air, and lying in the sand with a pina-colada in your hand?
If so, the Bahamas will be your personal paradise. The Bahamas are often associated with their stunning beaches and crystal clear seas.
However, there are tons of other activities to do on the islands than simply sitting in the sand.
These are five of the most thrilling and relaxing activities to make your Bahamas vacation a blast.
What are you waiting for? Let's hit the sand running!
Adventure Beneath The Waves
While the water on the beaches may be crystal clear, plenty of wildlife and natural beauty exist under the surface. From water sports to deep-sea diving, you can engage in dozens of activities to keep you entertained in the sea.
What are some of the best water-based activities to try?
If you're looking to glimpse at the wildlife beneath the waves, a diving or snorkeling session is essential. They will get you up close with coral gardens, native fish and other ocean dwellers.
Breathtaking encounters with dolphins, sharks, and other cool sea creatures are almost guaranteed, fulfilling the dreams of any animal enthusiast.
What about activities for people who don't want to dive?
If you're interested in keeping your head above the water, there are tons of activities on the waves to test out.
Many locations on the Grand Bahama Island offer lessons in parasailing, windsurfing, and other sea sports.
These can be fun for both kids and adults to try. You can also get your hands on jet skis and banana boats, making it easy to sail out onto the gorgeous water for an afternoon.
Splurge on seafood meals
Being surrounded by the ocean means that Bahamian islands have an incredible foodie perk: fresh seafood. Even if seafood isn't your cup of tea, Grand Bahama Island features restaurants with a variety of cultural dishes to satisfy any palate.
What's optimal for seafood enthusiasts?
Almost every local restaurant on the island will offer a spread of yummy seafood dishes. Locals will often fry up fish and crabs that were caught on the same day to ensure fresh, delicious meals.
You can also try a legendary Bahamian classic appetizer, conch fritters, at many joints on the island.
What if you don't like seafood?
No worries: many restaurants aren't seafood specific. You'll be able to find an eclectic mix of courses and cuisine, from Irish courses to British dishes, that are as unique as they are tasty.
Chocolate is also a major delicacy on the Grand Bahama Island, and, on chocolate tours, you'll be able to sample a number of authentic Bahamian chocolates.
If you're excited about foreign drinks, you'll also be able to try out the legendary "Gully Washer." You can get the coconut-and-gin based beverage at almost any bar on the island.
Shop for local treasures
Are you someone who loves to shop until you drop? Grand Bahama Island has plenty of places to purchase goodies and gifts that go beyond your typical, novelty tourist items. You can find a treasure for everyone in the family at shops and stands around the island.
What can you shop for in the middle of the Carribean?
Ladies can locate plenty of authentic Bahamian jewelry, dresses, crystals, and perfumes throughout the island.
For men, watches, shirts, shoes, and decor items are all optimal goodies to grab. Children will enjoy the straw dolls and other toys produced by native Bahamians.
Many pieces in these shops are hand-made by Bahamian designers and artists, often including elements of island-life culture.
Many designers also use natural resources from around the island. Straw and shells are two popular, natural items often used in jewelry, knick-knacks, and kids' toys.
Check out the thrilling nightlife
Who needs to sleep when paradise is right outside of your door? If you're not looking to waste a precious moment of your trip to the Bahamas (including the evenings), you're in luck.
The nightlife activities on Grand Bahama Island are abundant, keeping your nights as lively as your days.
What are the best activities for adults after sunset?
Grand Bahama Island is rich with adult-only events to keep your evening thrilling. If you're looking for an exciting night out, there are tons of casinos and bars to make your evening a blast.
From sipping island wine to engaging in karaoke to getting tastes of Bahamian culture, there is something for everyone to look forward to after the sun goes down.
What about if you've brought your family along?
If you've got kiddos with you, don't fret: plenty of nighttime activities exist for families, too. The Port Lucaya Marketplace is the perfect place to bring your children on an evening outing.
From bingo to line dancing, there are events for all ages to enjoy. On Fridays, Count Basie Square features a cultural show filled with fire dancing, live bands, and many more fascinating displays of tradition.
With this much entertainment available, you'll never want to hit your pillow.
Have a blast on the beach
At the end of the day, there's a reason that the Bahamas are known for their beaches. From the aqua-blue water to the soft sand, it's a beach-lovers paradise. However, not every beach in the Bahamas is the same. Finding your perfect beach can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your session in the sun.
How do you know which beach is right for you?
Are you a person who enjoys big crowds to snorkel, swim, or play with? Or do you prefer a quiet setting where you can kick back and tan? Are you going alone, with your spouse, or with your kids? Answering these questions can help you figure out your ideal beach spot for a fun or relaxing day.
If you're looking for a fun, activity-filled day on the beach (or you're bringing along energetic children), Lucaya Beach, Taino Beach, and Xanadu Beach are for you. These lively beaches include water sports, diving and snorkeling, and beachfront bars/restaurants to keep you occupied all day long.
What if you want some peace and quiet?
If you prefer solitude over a crowd of beachgoers, Gold Rock Beach is an ideal spot for you. Thanks to its status as a national park, it's a place to find peace in nature and appreciate the soft, turning tides.
Time to set sail!
Are you ready to take a trip to paradise?
Between the gorgeous ocean, the stunning wildlife, the epic nightlife, the delicious food, the shell-shop treasures, and the unbeatable beaches, there is something for everyone in the Bahamas.
For those who have been to the Bahamas before: do you have any favorite activities on the islands? Share them in the comments below!