7 Things to Do in The Bahamas That Will Make Your Bahamas Vacation Unforgettable

The sparkling sand and glittering ocean of The Bahamas Out Islands stretches out before you as you soar overhead.

Island hopping throughout this glorious landscape is one of the best things to do in the Bahamas, as you get a comprehensive look at the incredible beauty that the islands have to offer.

clear blue ocean around an island

From the historic streets of Nassau to the untouched bays of the Out Islands, the accessibility of a Bahamas Vacation is unparalleled.

When it comes to tropical destinations, nothing can compare to a Bahamas vacation.

Facts about the Bahamas

Mom and daughter taking a photo at the beach
Pipe Creek sandbar, Exumas Islands

Located in the Caribbean, the Bahamas is that it’s a collection of islands that boasts immense beauty.

Nassau Bahamas is the capital and can be found on New Providence Island, providing fantastic accommodation and a range of activities in which to take part.

While a trip to Nassau Bahamas is an essential part of any getaway to the Bahamas, you will find that the true beauty of the country can be found in the Out Islands – a string of pristine, untouched islands that display a staggering natural beauty.

With over 700 islands to explore throughout the country, Nassau serves as an excellent base from which to explore all the amazing things to do in the Bahamas.

One of the best facts about the Bahamas is that each island has its own personality, with a unique range of activities and sights, you will never be at a loss for what to do.

Mom and two daughters looking at an iguana on a beach
Iguana Island is cool

With a vibrant culture, delicious dishes, exotic wildlife, and some of the world’s most spectacular beaches, a Bahamas family vacation has something for every member of the family.

I travel around the world as an Airline Pilot and not only do I fly the big jets, but I have a passion for flying small planes too.

For my epic journey across the Bahamas Islands, I rented a plane and teamed up with another professional pilot to island hop the Bahamas Out Islands.

person flying in a helicopter

But you certainly don’t have to be a pilot or have your own aircraft to island hop the Bahamas by plane. Small scheduled airlines fly throughout the Bahamas Islands and there are now operators providing Island Hopping Tours.

7 Things to Do in the Bahamas

1. Family Fun in Nassau

When it comes to family vacations in the Caribbean, there are few places that compare to Nassau Bahamas.

The range of excellent accommodation, exciting attractions, and family-oriented activities are seemingly endless.

Your Bahamas vacation will give your family unforgettable memories and a range of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, with something for everyone.

The city of Nassau can be found on New Providence Island near the northern end of the archipelago.

Not only is its location convenient for anyone taking a trip to the Bahamas from Florida, since it’s only an hour’s flight away, but it also serves as an excellent tourist hub for the surrounding islands.

Best Places to Stay in the Bahamas

Paradise Island Bahamas has some of the world’s most renowned resorts, all of which cater to families.

The Atlantis in the Bahamas is by far the largest and most popular, with magnificent buildings, and transcendent amenities, your entire family will be spoiled for choice.

Whether you want to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cay, visit the fantastic Aquaventure water park or relax on a private beach, Atlantis Resort is for you!

When it comes to a Nassau Bahamas vacation, there is no better place to stay than here! Book your Atlantis Resort stay here.

Junkanoo Beach on Nassau Bahamas New Providence Island for a beach getaway and family Bahamas Vacation.
Junkanoo Beach on Nassau Bahamas New Providence Island

With Paradise Island as your base, you can go out and explore the city of Nassau.

For more places to stay in the Bahamas, our partner Booking.com has over 200 properties to choose from. Check the current prices for your dates of travel.

There are several things to do in Nassau Bahamas, with activities for historians, sportsmen, foodies and wildlife enthusiasts.

Before your family groans about a historical tour of Nassau though, be sure to let everyone know about the significant presence of pirates in the 18th century.

Edward Teach, the infamous pirate known as Blackbeard, controlled Nassau in the 1700’s along with his band of pirate brothers known as the Privateers Republic.

These stories, along with the fascinating relics of Columbus’s first arrival will keep your whole family entertained.

New Providence Island

A trip to the Bahamas would be meaningless without some time spent on the world-renowned beaches. Fortunately for all who visit Nassau Bahamas, New Providence Island has some of the best beaches in the Bahamas.

With crisp, white sand, and the mesmerizing turquoise water, you and your family can enjoy a range of exciting activities in this stunning setting.

Whether you’re looking to inject adrenaline into your system by para sailing above the ocean, surf to your heart’s content or simply soak up the sun’s rays, Nassau will cater to you.

Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island Bahamas is a great family friendly destination on New Providence Bahamas
Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island

Nassau is undoubtedly the most-visited island in the Bahamas, and for good reason.

Spectacular beaches, transcendent resorts, fantastic activities and one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cultures to immerse yourself in.

These are all things that describe a Nassau Bahamas vacation.

However, while it may be an excellent destination, Nassau’s true purpose is that it serves as a gateway to the Out Islands, where you will find the authentic Bahamian experience.

2. Island Hop the Out Islands

Mom and two kids on a boat ride
Exploring the Exumas Islands

Within the Bahamas, there is a string of Islands that display a natural and untouched beauty unlike anywhere else in the world.

There are 700 islands in the Out Islands which collectively account for 84% of the Bahamas’ land mass. Each of these islands has an entirely unique personality, with one, unmistakable theme in common: beautiful landscapes.

A trip to the Bahamas is not complete without a trip to a number of these islands.

Whether you’re visiting the famous Exuma Swimming Pigs of Staniel Cay, or the magnificent Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island, your tour of the islands will be unforgettable.

person flying in a small plane

Since there are so many Out Islands, with an endless list of things to do on each one, your choice of transport will define the kind of tour you’ll have.

Many people island hop in the Bahamas by boat or ferry, and while this can be a marvelous experience, there is nothing quite like seeing the islands from above.

The boundless vistas of the glittering ocean and gemlike islands during an air tour are unparalleled.

Island hopping in the Bahamas by plane is not only exceptionally scenic, it also saves precious time.

Plane flying over islands

Every moment spent during your holidays to the Bahamas is a moment to cherish and remember. An Air Tour of the islands will allow you to make the most of your time.

On top of all of this, you and your family will be swept up by the beauty of flight, soaring through the clear sky as the warm Bahamian sun soaks into the beaches beneath you.

Astronauts have described the Bahamas as “the most beautiful place on Earth viewed from space.”, and island hopping the Bahamas by plane will help you to understand why.

There is one site in particular that displays a scene of unprecedented beauty.

Schooner Cays

Schooner Cays is an area that is made up of several long sand banks and beaches. These white streaks of sand are framed by turquoise water that gradually darkens to a deep blue the further it gets from the land.

There is nothing quite like peering out the window of a small aircraft down at a beauty so pure and natural as Schooner Cays.

plane wing over the ocean
Flying over the Schooner Cays sand banks

The Bahamas is one of the world’s most conveniently accessible archipelagos. With airstrips on most of the Out Islands, you will be able to explore each and every beautiful island to your heart’s content.

With excellent accommodation across the Out Islands, you and your family will be well catered to by the numerous resorts and hotels available.

You will also find your Bahamas family vacation to be exceptionally convenient due to the fact that the locals all speak English.

What’s more is that US Dollars is accepted throughout the Bahamas.

3. Explore the Best Beaches in the Bahamas

Two young girls standing in shallow water at the beach
Pirate Beach on Staniel Cay is incredible.

There is no doubt that, above all else, the Bahamas is known for its beaches.

These paradisiac stretches of sand surrounded by the world’s most stunning turquoise water draw in thousands of people from around the globe each year.

With such a range of different and unique beaches throughout the archipelago, you and your family will spend your time exploring as many beaches as you can.

The gentle sound of lapping waves on the sparkling sand blends with the picture-perfect beauty of your surroundings. A pristine and ambient setting in which to enjoy your vacation in the Bahamas.

While most travelers enjoy the perfect beauty of a white beach beside clear blue waters, the Bahamas has something even more desirable.

On both Cat Island and Harbour Island, you will find beaches with a unique, and stunning color to them.

Pink Sands Beach

The famous Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island Bahamas is the perfect Bahamas vacation getaway destination.
Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island

Pink Sands Beach is one of the world’s most famous beaches and it’s one of the best things to do in the Bahamas.

The shells of thousands of microscopic mollusks are mixed with the white sand granules. As the water washes over these shells, they emit a vibrant red hue, that when mixed with the white of the sand, creates an impressive pink beach.

A visit to Pink Sands Beach should absolutely be a part of your Bahamas itinerary.

Like many other beaches in the Bahamas, Pink Sands Beach offers you the chance to ride along the coastline on horseback. This exciting activity is great for families and will allow you all to experience Pink Sands Beach in true Bahamian style.

Due to the immense number of beaches worth visiting in the Bahamas, there are several which rarely have visitors.

What this means for your family’s Bahamas vacation is that if you know where to look, you can enjoy an entire beach all to yourself.

Both Long Island and Cat Island will give you the chance to explore completely deserted beaches.

Though it may have a very small population, and not many visitors, Cat Island is actually the largest island in the Bahamas meaning that you’ll have vast stretches of beach all to yourself.

Nassau Bahamas may host some truly stunning beaches, but few of them are able to compete with the splendor of the Out Islands.

Pink Sands Beach has become a world-renowned beauty. Not only does it have uniquely pink sand, but it’s also complimented by the glorious water and overflowing flower beds that fringe the sand with a magnificent array of colors.

Whether you’ve set your sights on Pink Sands Beach, or one of the many other spectacular beaches in this archipelago, your vacation in the Bahamas will ensure a fantastic time is had by you and your family.

4. Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin Cay

The wildlife of the Bahamas is just as impressive as the scenery.

You will find a range of thriving life both on the islands and beneath the water’s surface.

A visit to Nassau Bahamas will grant you the opportunity of swimming with dolphins, which is one of the best family friendly things to do in the Bahamas. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can be enjoyed at the fantastic Dolphin Cay.

It is perfect for families because the water is shallow, the dolphins are calm and there are guides present to provide you with a wealth of great information about these dolphins.

man on a small boat
Boat Excursion at Staniel Cay Bahamas to visit the famous Exuma Pigs

When you think of wildlife in the Bahamas, the first thought that comes to mind is marine life.

Hundreds of different fish species swim through these waters, accompanied by sharks, dolphins and magnificent sea turtles.

To view a sea turtle first-hand is a truly extraordinary experience. There is such grace and elegance to the way that they glide through the water, and there is no better place to experience this than here in the Bahamas.

Snorkeling is another of the fantastic activities in the Bahamas for you and your family, not only will you be enjoying the sun and the ocean, but you will have a window into an underwater wonderland.

5. Swimming with Exuma Pigs

Pig at the beach with a mother and daughter looking on

While the sea creatures are fascinating, there is a rather unlikely animal that can be found in these waters.

Near the island of Staniel Cay, you will find one of the most famous Bahamas attractions – the Exuma Swimming Pigs.

Some say the pigs were left on this island by sailors many years ago as a reserve source of food, while others suggest that there may have been pigs aboard a ship that sank in the area.

Whatever their origin, a visit to the swimming pigs has become the most sought after tour in the world, and for good reason.

This is one of the coolest things to do in the Bahamas – there is nothing quite like looking over the edge of your speedboat to see dozens of pigs paddling through the water beside you.

You and your family will even have the chance to interact with them if you bring some food.

Read our guide to swimming with pigs and Book your tour here.

We also recommend staying a while in the Exumas. Staniel Cay is a great base, and we loved our stay at the Embrace Resort.

Video: Swimming with Pigs

Bitter Guana Cay

Two iguanas on a beach
Iguana on Bitter Guana Cay

A visit to Bitter Guana Cay will provide you with sights of one of the Caribbean’s most prehistoric looking beasts. The Bahamian Rock Iguana can be found on the shores of Bitter Guana Cay, warming itself in the sun.

Since these reptiles have no natural predators, they are not nervous of visitors. What this means for you and your family is that you will have the chance to take some truly memorable pictures of the Iguanas.

A Bahamas vacation would be incomplete without some time spent enjoying the marvelous wildlife.

Dolphin Cay is not the only place to get up close to such beautiful marine animals. A visit to Compass Cay will provide you and your family with the opportunity to share the water with Nurse Sharks.

As for family activities in the Bahamas, this safe, yet thrilling activity is an excellent way to experience incredible wildlife.

Video: Iguana Island

Baha Mar

During your vacation to the Bahamas, you will undoubtedly come across a number of historical sites.

Nassau Bahamas is home to a number of fascinating museums, relics, and monuments that tell the story of the Bahamas of the past.

Colonial style buildings surround Dunmore Town, the orginal capiotal of the Bahamas, located on Harbour Island Bahamas.
Colonial style buildings surround Dunmore Town

Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Bahamas in the late 15th century on his journey to discover the new world. Though his time spent here was more than 500 years ago, his influence on the country was immense.

Naming the archipelago “Baha Mar” the Spanish words for “shallow water” Columbus gave birth to the name “Bahamas”.

6. Learn About Pirate and Slave History

It wasn’t long after colonials established the towns and cities of the Bahamas that Pirates set their sights on the land.

The location made it the most desirable to control. Naturally, this is where Blackbeard and his Privateers Republic focused their attention, taking the land in the early 18th century.

This arrangement didn’t last long though, and the land was reclaimed within a few years.

Nassau is full of pirate-related attractions, with fascinating museums packed with exciting objects from the age of pirates.

One of the most interesting things to do in the Bahamas is visiting these museums as a family, with parents and their kids both being able to enjoy the attractions and displays.

Just like many other destinations in the Caribbean, the Bahamas was involved in the slave trade. West African slaves were brought to these shores to work in plantations.

Plantation ruins on Cat Island Bahamas.
Plantation ruins on Cat Island

Remnants of the plantation buildings can still be found on select islands throughout the Bahamas.

Cat Island is one of the very best places to view these ruins. Having had one of the highest population of slaves, Cat Island’s dark past is inescapable during your visit.

Dunmore Town on Harbour Island has an entirely different window into yesteryear. The well-preserved colonial buildings line the quiet lanes of Dunmore Town

The well-preserved colonial buildings line the quiet lanes of Dunmore Town and are still very much in use.

This is one of the best places to visit in the Bahamas to travel back in time and appreciate what these islands were built on. Though there is this dark past, a wonderful and rich culture has since emerged.

The annual Junkanoo festival displays the vibrancy of the Bahamian culture with dance, music, food, and celebration, all while commemorating the hardships of the slaves.

Visiting a fish fry during your stay is an absolute necessity. You will be given the chance to choose from a range of dishes, many of which include the Bahamian cuisine known as conch.

Washing this seafood down with a rum tasting or a local Kalik beer is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the culture.

7. Island Hopping in the Bahamas by Plane

plane flying over the ocean

The world is full of incredible destinations, but few are able to compare to the grandeur of the Bahamas.

To really enjoy your Bahamas family vacation, treat yourselves to an experience that you will never forget.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Nassau Bahamas or discovering Pink Sands Beach in the Out Islands, you will find yourself marveling at the beauty of this destination.

If you feel the wanderlust growing inside you, and you’re looking for more information on what to do in the Bahamas, be sure to have a look at our Bahamas Travel Guide.

There is no better way to experience the Bahamas than on a Bahamas Air Tour. The sense of freedom combined with the outstanding views is enough to make anyone fall in love with island hopping this way.

Most people explore the islands in the Bahamas from the ground and water, but to see the string of Out Islands leading off into the distance from a bird’s eye view is an experience like no other.

Your Bahamas vacation will be enhanced immensely, and your family will undoubtedly thank you.

Video: Reasons to Love Exuma Islands

Popular Tours and Attractions in the Bahamas

While in the Bahamas, consider these best-rated tours and attractions.

While you’re in the Caribbean, why not visit Barbados? Here’s what to do in Barbados – a destination for all ages!

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About the Author

Mark is an Airline Pilot who is on a mission to inspire and inform you about his two passions; Flying and Travel. Having travelled across all 7 continents, he is here to help you travel the world with inspiring destinations and expert flying and travel tips. Planning at trip to Bahamas? Read my informative Bahamas Guide

Follow Mark on Social @flyingandtravel
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter.

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