This article kicks off a four part series on balmy winter weekend getaways. Get ready to kick off your snow boots, dig up some bikinis and flip flops, and jet off to a beachy paradise! Living in Virginia last winter, I had reached my breaking point. I was raised in Florida, and was clearly not cut out to shovel snow, scrape icy windshields, or wear pants. I’m 100% on #teambikini all year long.
With the threat of an impending snowstorm, I started frantically looking for last minute cruises…and stumbled upon a cheap cruise from Miami down to Nassau, Bahamas. It was perfect—and to top it off, it coincided with MLK, so no vacation days needed.
Nassau is the capital and largest city of the Bahamas; the city is located on the island of New Providence and is a popular cruise ship stop, especially for cruise ships coming from Florida. Nassau has a ton to offer – you can find everything from your typical tourist shopping to stunning beaches and snorkeling.
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If you, like me, are anti-winter and need a brief reprieve into the land of happiness, sunshine, and white sand beaches, a quick cruise or a Bahamian weekend getaway are cheap, easy, and best of all, require little to no vacation days. When you make it to Nassau, I have the perfect sun-filled itinerary for you. **Note that my definition of “perfect” also included a decent amount of stumbling around lost, but honestly, being lost in Nassau, Bahamas isn’t so bad. Just stop, have some rum, and life will be looking up in no time. Now read along for my suggestions, and feel free to stop and insert “get lost & drink rum” where you see fit.
Part 1: Sail & Snorkel
There’s nothing I love more than a morning on the water, so my first stop is a sail & snorkel combo. Catch a catamaran near the main docks to go snorkeling over a majestic coral reef. I even saw an eel! After your “under the sea” adventure, re-board the catamaran and enjoy a beautiful sail back to Nassau with tropical rum punch in hand—an excellent way to cap off any morning.
Pro tip: If you’re coming in on a cruise, find a charter not through your cruise line. It will likely be cheaper, less crowded, and take you to a quieter snorkeling spot (which means more fish!) I’d recommend checking out this Catamaran Sail & Eco-Snorkel Tour. If you’re more of a fisherman, definitely look into a half or full day fishing charter. Personally, fishing puts me to sleep, but my dad absolutely loves fishing down there, so you’ll have to take his word for it!
Part 2: Conch Fritters
Snorkeling and sailing are obviously super hard work, and by the time you get off the boat, you will probably have quite an appetite (or that might just be me, but go with it anyway—this next part is delicious!)
When you’re in the Bahamas, you have to eat conch fritters! With all of the fresh conch around, it tastes so much better than in the States, so don’t pass it up. The best way to find delicious conch is to follow where the locals go (but not in a creepy, stalker-ish way, because that’s weird. Don’t be the weird girl.) I stumbled upon a little shack over the water where I enjoyed some authentic conch. Yummy!
Part 3: Explore Nassau
Next up is strolling the streets (this is the part where I got lost). There is so much to see—downtown is home to cute, colorful shops that offer plenty of window shopping opportunities. Another option is to hop over to Paradise Island (where Atlantis is) and explore that area. It’s nice not to have too much of plan at this point, and just explore the island.
Part 4:Drink Rum!
End the day at Señor Frogs, grab a couple piña coladas, and toast to a wonderful, sunny day in Nassau. It’s definitely touristy, but boasts a fun atmosphere, decent burgers, and incredibly entertaining people watching. It seems to be the unofficial bachelorette party headquarters of the island.
Does this already sound better than dealing with chilly January temps and dirty snow? I thought so…hop on a flight down to Nassau, Bahamas and have fun in the sun next weekend! If you have a few days in Nassau, I’d recommend checking out parasailing, going on a jet ski adventure, and taking a ride on a banana boat!
Cheap flights: I’d recommend searching through eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
Hotel Deals: My top choice is probably Expedia.com—I’ve found some insanely cheap (and beautiful) hotels. If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend checking out Hostelworld-there are only a couple options in Nassau, but worth it if you’re a budget traveler.