The Islands of the Bahamas: Bliss on the Beach

Romantic Getaways in the Bahamas

Photo Courtesy of Abacos Islands Tourism

It’s called a ‘Shaky Leg’ and with generous amounts of rum (two kinds) and Kahlua, shaky legs are all about a grand time in the Bahamas.  With a delicious history of potent cocktails from the Goombay Smash and Bahama Mama to the Shaky Leg poured at a popular beach bar on Grand Bahama Island, the Islands of the Bahamas are the hip and happening vacay destination for couples looking for a tropical getaway not too far from home.

“Last year we welcomed five million visitors and anticipate that we will have another strong year for tourism ahead of us,” said Obie Wilchcombe, minister tourism.  From new resorts on Cable beach to swimming with the pigs in Exuma, the island chain is all gussied up for high season and rolling out the Bahamian red carpet to couples tying the knot in paradise.

Capital Cool

Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant Bahamas

Photo Courtesy of Graycliff Hotel

Not only the capital of the island chain, Nassau is also action-central for historic sites, straw markets and elegant hotels.  Revered for its wine cellar, cigar factory and artsy hand-painted pool, Graycliff is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with a  three-night package for travel through December 15 that includes chauffeur-driven limo from the airport, bottle of champagne; chef’s tasting dinner and a beach day at Blue Lagoon Island.  “Throughout its history, Graycliff has been a retreat for nobility from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Princess Caroline of Monaco to more contemporary royalty like Jay-Z and Beyoncé,” says Enrico Garzaroli, president, “we’ve created the Royal Treat package to celebrate our guests who we believe should always be made to feel like royalty.” Check out Graycliff

Celebrating its five-year anniversary, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is offering a four-night ‘Sunsational Savings’ package through December 31 that includes a  $100.00 food and beverage credit for stays up to five nights and  $200.00 credit for longer stays. “We want to thank consumers for their loyalty and continued support,” said Manny Corral, director, sales and marketing.

Ringing in its fiftieth anniversary, One & Only was once the private hideaway of A&P heir Huntington Hartford and has hosted a mix of hot shots over nearly five decades. Taking a trip down memory lane, the Courtyard Terrace is serving dishes from the original 1962 menu while bartenders at Jean-George Vongerichten’s Dune Bar are shaking things up with classic cocktails like a Mint Julep and Brandy Alexander.

Pleasure Isles

Sunrise Resort and Marina

Photo Courtesy of Sunrise Resort

On Grand Bahama Island, Sunrise Resort is offering a two-for-one room night deal valid for travel through December 31.  With an entrance channel just seventy miles west of Palm Beach, Florida, the charming thirty-one room hotel received the 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. “While the world economy is still recovering, people still need to get away and relax on a vacation. The 2-for-1 offer is our best possible value to both our hotel and marina guests to do just that,” said Ta’Shar Cuccurullo, general manager. In addition to gratis Wi-Fi, on-site restaurant and sport bar, the charming hotel also offers a full-service boat yard with seventy floating docks for travelers who sail in from another island.

One of the Bahamas’ best kept secrets, Stocking Island is popular with celebs like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and David Copperfield and although tourists will not likely run into them, they will see untouched reefs coveted by divers worldwide. A unique tour offered by Island Routes, ‘Stocking Island Snorkel and Starfish ‘includes a trek to Salt Beacon for breathtaking views of the ocean and neighboring islands.  More fun from Island Routes with the ‘007 Thunderball Luxury’ tour which offers swimmers the unique experience of swimming with the famous pigs that live in Big Major Cay in the Exumas. Aboard a speedboat, the tour also makes stops at the Thunderball Grotto where the James Bond  movies ‘Never Say Never Again’  and ‘Thunderball’ were filmed.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Forty minutes by car from Freeport, John’s Seafood-N-Rib Shack is the go-to beach bar for tamarind ribs and the generously-poured Shaky Leg cocktail. Yes, you can make this at home although it’s much smoother under the Bahamian moon.

Shaky Leg (courtesy:Bahama John’s Seafood-N-Rib Shack)

Serves 2

6 oz. Kahlua

4 oz. Bacardi 151 rum

2 oz. Bacardi white rum

4 oz.  pina colada mix

6 oz. milk

Blend with ice.  Serve & enjoy!

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Romantic Guide to the Bahamas

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