Soak in the last of summer

While summer is winding down, there are still a few more weeks to soak it in. So, don’t put away those grills just yet, summer fun is still to be had.

Summer is usually the time when we think about taking a much-needed vacation, but with COVID-19 raging across many parts of the world, many families have elected to postpone trips or cancel them altogether. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a much-needed summer break. Let’s be honest, the last year and a half has been hard on us all. Bahamians who don’t want to venture abroad may want to consider vacationing at home or traveling locally.

Stay-cations have grown in popularity since the onset on the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many uncertainties, deciding whether to go or stay can get tricky.

With that in mind, we’ve curated some of the top things to do right here in The Bahamas (in no particular order):

1. Go Island Hopping. If you haven’t already visited the Family Islands, now is a good time to do so. Most of the Family Islands have limited cases of COVID-19, so many of these destinations are relatively safe. Several local resorts and boutiques are offering special rates for residents and the Ministry of Tourism still has the residents-fly-free program, which provides major savings for Bahamians. What’s more, there is something unique on just about every Bahamian island. Swimming with the pigs on Exuma isn’t an activity that is reserved for tourists. This can be a fun activity for Bahamians and residents alike. If you haven’t climbed to the highest point in The Bahamas, consider traveling to Cat Island and trekking up Mount Alvernia. The view from the top is absolutely stunning. The flamingos on Inagua are a beautiful sight to behold. Inagua is home to tens of thousands of flamingos and is a literal paradise for birdwatchers. And to top it all off, each island is ideal for social distancing.

2. Explore historical sites on New Providence. What do you know about Forts Charlotte and Montagu? Check out the 66 steps. Teach your children Bahamian history. Take a peek inside Nassau Public Library, which was originally built as a jail in 1797. The small cells are now used to store books, but the octagon-shaped building has retained much of its original design.

3. Spend the weekend at a resort. Baha Mar and Atlantis are always offering something exciting to do. The kids can have fun at the water parks and feel like they’re still on vacation and the adults can leave all the worries of their home life behind. The Bahamas is also now home to Margaritaville Beach Resort and Fins-Up Water Park, which just opened recently. It may be a good time to see what the resort has to offer. Smaller all-inclusive resorts, like Sandals and others, also provide almost everything a vacationer needs. These options may be more attractive to fully vaccinated individuals as hotel guests aren’t required to wear their masks on property. If you’re looking for a place to stay that is off the beaten track, try an Airbnb rental. There are so many nice options to choose from across the country.

4. Swim with the dolphins, stingrays and sharks. Our waters are filled with beautiful creatures. Tour operators across the country offer expeditions and excursions that will bring you face-to-face with all sorts of marine life. While it may be nerve wracking to swim in shark infested waters, it could also be fulfilling. You can also score some really Instagram-able photos while soaking in the experience. You may just find yourself yearning for more adventures.

5. Go on a fishing trip. Before you discount the idea of going fishing, hear me out. A fishing trip, with an experienced guide, can be both peaceful and exhilarating.  Hauling in your first fish, whether big or small, will be so memorable. Not only will you create lasting memories, but you will also score your dinner, and nothing beats the taste of fresh fish. Am I right?

So, whether you decide to take our advice or try something completely different, the important thing is to try to enjoy the summer safely. Go out there and start exploring the country we call home. But be sure to travel with the essentials, including your face mask and hand sanitizer.

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Krystel Brown

Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017. Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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