Family Ties – 5 Kid-Friendly Destinations
Vacations are no longer about loading the kids in the car and heading to the nearest beach. Today’s families are looking to stretch their imaginations, sharing their passion for travel with their loved ones. Find the right getaway for your crew, no matter who’s tagging along for the ride.
The Bahamas Out Islands
Chances are, you’ve already been to Nassau. Take the road less traveled: With 700-plus islands and more than 2,000 cays, the Out Islands offer the whole brood a chance to experience the real Bahamian way of life.
DO: Forgot fancy duds and pack extra swimsuits for Abaco’s endless water activities, including boating, snorkeling and swimming in the clear, shallow waters. Island-hopping is a must: Green Turtle Cay offers plenty of shelling and a bit of history at the colonial settlement of New Plymouth, while the Sunday afternoon pig roast at Nipper’s Beach Bar & Grill in Guana Cay is a tradition — kids can build sandcastles and splash in the calm blue water while you wait.
STAY: Abaco Beach Resort’s “Bahama Buddies” program (for ages 3-12) introduces younger visitors to local children and invites them to spend the day together, learning how to catch and cook fish, make island crafts and crack coconuts. There’s a variety of accommodations for all family sizes: oceanfront rooms with two beds start at $297, one bedroom suites with a pullout sofa from $585. abacobeachresort.com.
DO: Filled with reefs and blue holes (underwater caves), Andros is the least developed of the Out Islands. Days here are full of fi shing excursions, hikes through pine forests and diving at the third largest barrier reef in the world. Crab catching is an island pastime; in June, don’t miss the All Andros Crab Fest, with land crabs cooked 101 ways.
STAY: White-sand beaches run the length of the 96-acre Kamalame Cay resort. If your kids aren’t smitten with the place from the moment they hop of the private ferry from Andros, the fresh homemade cookies laid out each afternoon should do the trick.
Villas are pricey, from $1,485 per night, but a good choice for multigenerational stays; kamalame.com. The all-inclusive Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros has 21 beachfront cottages from $295 per person per day ($125 for ages 2-12); smallhope.com.
Eleuthera and Harbour Island
DO: With their quiet sophistication, these two islands are the Nantuckets of the Bahamas. Explore the local history with a trip to Governor’s Harbour, or rent a bicycle and pedal around Harbour Island. Shelling in the morning and stargazing at night are markers of a great day. The more adventurous can try horseback riding on the beach (ages 12 and up, or pony rides, ages 5-11) at Oceanview Farm.
STAY: For a chic boutique vibe, book at the Cove, with onsite activities including boating and paddle boarding. Two-bedroom suites run about $1,369 per night; thecoveeleuthera.com. The centrally located Pineapple Fields Resort features self-catering condos that offer conveniences like laundry machines. One bedrooms from $185 per night; pineapplefields.com.