As you begin to make preparations for your next Bahamas vacation, you may want to do some research on the various attractions and activities available for your enjoyment. The options may seem endless, but below is a list of the top five things to do while on a trip to the beautiful Bahamas. From partying on the streets during the Junkanoo Festivals to shopping at the Straw Market in Nassau, there are many different ways to spend your time visiting this popular Caribbean destination.

Take a dip in the enticing waters that surround the Bahamas. Many travelers come to the Caribbean solely to relax on the soft sand and enjoy the warm waves lapping gently on the beaches of the Bahamas. One of the most popular stretches of coastline in the Bahamas is Radio Beach on Bimini Island, which is the only beach in the area that offers public facilities such as restrooms, vendors, and food options. Thrill-seeking beachgoers should consider venturing into the wondrous underwater world of the Caribbean Ocean. Whether you prefer a lazy afternoon of snorkeling or a daring day of diving, the waters of the Bahamas are filled with abundant marine life and impressive coral reef formations that will amaze you.

Celebrate one of the annual Junkanoo festivals in the Bahamas. Historically, the Junkanoo holiday was an occasion for African slaves in the Bahamas to enjoy their few days off at Christmas, and included music, dancing, and merry festivities. Although the tradition faded after slavery was abolished, many islanders revived the festival to honor their ancestors. Today, there are multiple Junkanoo events that take place throughout the year. Traditional festivals are held each year on December 26 and January 1, while a similar Summer Junkanoo Festival is held annually in June. This celebration promises to give you a great taste of Bahamian culture with live music performances, food vendors, and dancing in the streets.

Take a look at all that nature has to offer. While sunbathing on a sandy beach may seem like an obvious activity for vacationers in the Bahamas, this Caribbean destination offers a variety of indoor attractions that showcase the beauty of the outdoors. Heading to one of the many gardens located in the Bahamas is a great way to enjoy the abundant greenery that fills the land. Consider the Garden of Versailles on Paradise Island, which features traditional landscaping, impressive terraces, and picturesque statues. For a more adventurous day, head to one of the many National Parks located throughout the Bahamas. Travelers interested in catching a glimpse of local wildlife should visit the marine creatures of Crab Replenishment National Park or Inagua National Park, which is home to the largest West Indian flamingo nurseries in the world.

Take a walk through the Straw Market. Located on Bay Street in Nassau, the Bahamian Straw Market is a popular spot to collect a variety of bargain-priced souvenirs and merchandise. Wander the aisles as you haggle over prices with the friendly locals for items like straw baskets, tote bags, children’s toys, hats and more. Open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Straw Market is a great place to shop for gifts for friends and family back home. If you work up an appetite after a few hours of shopping, explore the rest of Bay Street for great local eateries.

Try your luck at a Bahamian casino. Many tourists are enchanted by the bright lights and boisterous sounds of Bahamian casinos. Although island residents are prohibited from gambling, visitors over the age of 18 can go all-in at any of the popular Bahamas casinos. Whether you’re into Caribbean poker, slots, betting on sporting events, or anything in between, Bahamas gambling facilities offer it all. Locations include the Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, the Atlantis-Paradise Resort Casino, and a stand-alone casino at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort.

When planning your itinerary for your getaway to the Bahamas, consider these five great activities. Each one offers a unique look into Bahamian culture and will provide memories to last a lifetime. Whether your lifestyle is more suited to snorkeling in pristine waters or shopping for trinkets in a charming market, the Bahamas has plenty of attractions to keep you enthralled during your travels.

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