The Bahamas is a beautiful string of 700 islands, 2,000 cays (or keys), and 100,000 square miles of crystal-clear ocean off the coast of Florida. If your family is looking for a vacation filled with pristine beaches, warm blue waters, abundant sunshine, and exciting adventures, The Bahamas is your destination.
There are 16 main Bahamas islands to visit. Each offers different and unique family activities like playing on pink sand beaches, swimming with pigs, seeing flamingos in their habitat, and visiting a pineapple farm.
The Bahamas are perfect for family vacations as they’re close to the U.S., English-speaking, and in a tropical climate. The incredibly welcoming and hospitable people and rich culture on every island add even more.
You'll find plenty of opportunities to experience Bahamian cuisine and music during your visit.
The islands’ food is a fusion of African, European, and Caribbean influences and is famous for its seafood dishes, with fresh ingredients like conch, Bahamian lobster, and fish.
And when it comes to accommodations, you’ll find a range of options for your family in all sizes and budgets. You can choose from luxurious resorts to cozy beach cottages that offer a more intimate experience.
Here are six perfect Bahamas destinations for your family vacation.
THE EXUMAS: SWIM WITH THE PIGS & SHARKS
The Exumas is an archipelago of 365 cays and islands with three major areas—Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and The Exuma Cays – in some of the clearest bluest waters in the world. You can even see them from space.
Families can spend their days relaxing on a beach like Pelican Beach (which sits on the Tropic of Cancer) and exploring the island’s many highlights.
- Pig Beach - You'll find the world-famous swimming pigs on Big Major Cay, an uninhabited island. It all began in the early 1990s with five baby pigs. Whenever a boat arrives, they are ready to be fed and swim for photos, which the kids will love.
- Compass Cay Sharks - Pet, swim, or kayak with gentle sharks who enjoy the warm, clear waters here.
- Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park - Created in 1958, this 176-square mile was the world's first land and sea park. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular here, and you can encounter nature first-hand by feeding the endangered Bahamian iguanas.
- Thunderball Grotto, Staniel Cay - Snorkel, dive or wade through this underwater cave system that has appeared in James Bond movies and the 1980s Splash. The entrance is hidden underwater, but you can swim through during low tide.
- Stocking Island - Enjoy kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding. And you’ll find the legendary family-friendly beach bar and restaurant Chat 'N' Chill.
ELEUTHERA & HARBOUR ISLAND: PINK BEACHES & PINEAPPLES
Located in the northernmost part of The Bahamas, you’ll find the colorfully quaint seaside village of Harbour Island and a five-minute ferry ride to the wild beauty of Eleuthera.
- Pineapple Farm - Eleuthera grows some of the sweetest pineapples in the world. They are so sweet they call them sugarloaf. Early summer is harvesting time, and the annual Pineapple Fest is in June.
- Pink Sand Beach - This stunning pink sand beach stretches along the Atlantic Ocean side of Harbour Island and is a perfect spot for a family beach day.
- The Glass Window Bridge - At one end of Eleuthera’s 65-mile Queen’s Highway, you’ll find this wonder of nature. Crossing this 30-foot wide slip of land by bike, car, or on foot is one of few places to see the deep blue Atlantic Ocean on one side and the turquoise waters of the Bight of Eleuthera on the other.
INAGUA: FLAMINGO WATCHING
This is the birdwatching capital of The Bahamas, home to over 80,000 flamingos and 140 species of native and migratory birds thanks to three National Parks.
You’ll find the 287 square mile Inagua National Park on Great Inagua, the southernmost island in the Bahama. It is home to the largest breeding colony of West Indian Flamingos in the world. You’ll also find The Bahamas parrot wild donkeys.
NASSAU: PIRATES & PARADISE ISLAND
Bahamas capital city is Nassau. You'll find some of the largest family resorts here and on Paradise Island, just a bridge away. The Atlantis Paradise Island Resort is a popular destination among families, with its water park, aquariums, and interactive exhibits. Also, in Nassau, the Baha Mar resort complex has the Baha Bay waterpark with more than 30 attractions. Head to the Straw Market to browse local handicrafts and souvenirs for a taste of Bahamian culture. You can also take a short boat ride to visit the famous swimming pigs of Exuma.
Other family highlights in Nassau include:
- Pirates of Nassau Museum - Take your family through Nassau's pirate history. Kids can learn about pirates like Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and William Catt, who plagued the waters of The Bahamas during the three-decade age of piracy in the late 1600s and 1700s.
- Arawak Cay - Also known as “The Fish Fry,” on Nassau’s West Bay Street, this is the place where the locals eat in The Bahamas. You can try something different at each restaurant along the strip.
ANDROS: THIRD LARGEST BARRIER REEF IN THE WORLD
While this is the largest island in The Bahamas, it remains secluded, making it great for outdoor adventure-loving families. It’s known as the “nature island” because of its vast and largely untouched wetlands, reefs, forests, and waters making up the island's five National Parks.
- Andros Barrier Reef - The third-largest barrier reef in the world after Australia and Belize, is 190 miles long. It is one of the best things to do in The Bahamas for keen snorkelers and avid divers. The reef trails the island’s easter coast before plunging 6,000 feet into the Tongue of the Ocean.
- Blue Holes National Park - Andros has more than 180 blue holes, the highest concentration of these geological wonders in the world. To protect these natural wonders, created by the island’s limestone eroding, this 40,000-acre national park was formed. The park includes nature trails and the famous Captain Bill’s Blue Hole, a popular blue hole for an adventurous dive.
- Androsia Batik Factory - You’ll find the Batik fabric and garment manufacturing factory near the Andros Lighthouse. It is the center of production for Androsia, the brightly colored authentic Bahamian hand-dyed cotton fabric. Tour the factory, watch the artisans at work, and take lessons.
BIMINI: UNDERWATER ADVENTURE
Just 50 miles from Florida’s east coast, you’ll find these two little islands with plenty of big water thrills.
- Lost Continent of Atlantis - This popular scuba diving site off Bimini’s northern coast features 1,500 feet of stones lying in an orderly row. They are believed to be part of the Lost Continent of Atlantis road system.
- Fountain of Youth - Legend has it that Ponce de León learned Bimini was the site of the Fountain of Youth. Today, a naturally carved limestone well near the airport marks the spot.
- Sapona Shipwreck - After running aground in 1926, the SS Sapona served as a secret storage for rum runners during Prohibition. Now, it’s a popular snorkel and dive spot full of colorful local fish.
- Dolphin Ground Adventure - Five miles north of Bimini, boat out to find wild dolphins in the waters they call home. You can even get in and swim with them, but no touching.
Discover the enchanting Bahamas, a paradise of pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and unique island adventures. From pink sand beaches to swimming with pigs, it's the perfect family vacation.
Bahamas Adventure Awaits!