We just got back from our first family vacation to the Bahamas this month, and I am in love with that hypnotizing turquoise water. The crazy thing is that the Bahamas are less than an hour long flight from Orlando, and we haven’t made the trip before. With a new baby on the way next year, I thought it would be great for Max to have a vacation this summer with his grandparents so he could be the center of attention one last time.
We stayed on the southern part of New Providence Island in a community called Palm Cay. It was a direct flight into Nassau and less than a 30 minute car ride from the airport. We rented a four bedroom townhouse with access directly to a killer beach, with a community clubhouse, restaurant and marina next door. For our rental there was a back porch sitting right on the sand, and beach chairs immediately after. Being a toddler mom, the best thing was that we didn’t have to lug a bunch of gear back and forth to the beach each day because we could just walk in and out of the house to get snacks, toys and more sunscreen. (Plus, after having kids, I appreciate having accommodations with a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.)
Yamacraw Hill Road
Most of our time lounging in the water or on the beach, but we did make a few day trips into town.
We spent an entire day exploring the Atlantis Resort and waterpark, which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys water parks. Their lazy river ridiculously long, and includes rapids and a wave pool feature in the river itself.
Another morning was spent exploring the historic area near the port, where we visited the Straw Market, the historic Christ Church, a Pirate Museum, and climbed the Queen’s Staircase.
Eight Tips for Visiting New Providence Island
- Cars drive on the left side of the road, just like the UK, so if you decide to rent a car be aware. We just used taxis and a car service to go into town instead.
- For my US readers, the exchange rate is one to one and you can use US currency on the island.
- Try the Bahamian beer Kalik. It is great, though sadly I didn’t get to have any this trip.
- If you are planning to do a boat excursion, plan it for early in your trip. We had a boat charter scheduled for the last day and it was cancelled due to choppy seas, and unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to make it up.
- Do NOT fly Bahamas Air if you can help it. Our flight was hours late, didn’t have attendants at the airport and no one could tell us what gate to go until a kind lady from Delta called the manager of the airport for us. Jet Blue and many other airlines have direct flights and are much more reliable.
- Atlantis Admission Hack. This resort has some gorgeous beaches and a killer waterpark for kids (and adults) of all ages. You can purchase admission to the waterpark, beach and aquarium if you aren’t staying at the resort, but it is largely limited to a guests of a few select hotels and cruise ship guests. We booked a room at the nearby Comfort Suites, which gave us complimentary admission to Atlantis for four people, and was cheaper than if we had paid full price admission at the door. It’s totally worth it for the day, and we used the nearby room to shower up after our waterpark day before heading out to dinner in town that night.
- Unless you are already near the port area for some reason, I don’t recommend making a special trip only to visit the Straw Market. The carvings outside are neat to look at, but the endless booths of vendors are all selling the same bags, hats, dolls and toys, and I didn’t really get an authentic artisan vibe here.
- If you are looking for some low key family time on the water that’s within 10 minutes of all the action, check our Palm Cay. The swimming pool was perched right on the ocean, and was only about a hundred yards from our townhouse. Our four bedroom rental was really reasonable for what you get, and I’ve included a link the townhouse HERE.
Below are some more photos of our time on the beach…