Jamaica
Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.

 
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Nassau

For family travelers, the most popular stop in the Bahamas is Grand Providence Island, home of the capital city of Nassau. Located just a half hour flight from Miami, this island may be just a stone’s (or a conch shell’s) throw from the U.S. mainland, but it gives visitors a wonderful taste of Caribbean life.

One of the most popular islands in the Bahamas is Nassau, the island that’s almost synonymous with “Bahamas.” The atmosphere in Nassau is a delightful combination of the British and the Caribbean. The Parliament House, a pink building from which the British ruled the Bahamas until 1972, still stands in the middle of the bustling city. The country still retains many British influences, with the Royal family smiling back from the currency and postage stamps. Driving is on the left side of the road.

The heart of Nassau is Rawson Square. Make your first stop at the Visitors Information Center for brochures and maps before starting off on busy Bay Street, the shopping district. Here gold and gem stores make this one of the region’s top duty-free stops.
From the cruise port you’ll also see a tall, curving bridge. This leads to Paradise Island, the most luxurious area of Grand Providence Island. Once named Hog Island, this area was revitalized by investments by Donald Trump and Merv Griffin and now by South African businessman Sol Kerzner.

Another plush area is Cable Beach, located 10 minutes by cab from downtown Nassau. This stretch of sandy beach is lined with high-rise hotels. Shuttles take guests at these resorts to Nassau several times daily.

Technically, the Bahama islands lie outside the boundaries of the Caribbean. But, except for a few days when the islands are cooled by winter’s chill, you’ll have a hard time telling the difference. These 700 islands, sprinkled like seashells across shallow water, share the same sun, sand, and festive atmosphere as their southern neighbors.


 


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