Places I've Been That You Could Visit

     Ah to be in the Bahamas is surely a treat for everyone.  Just 60 miles off the coast of Florida, but a world of difference in attitude.  The former British colony is a warm and inviting place to go on vacation.  The people are very polite and friendly. It is a port of call for most of the cruise lines in the world with most of them offering something special or different than the others in the way of day trips or hotel arrangements. The Bahamas is called the Switzerland of the Tropics for more than one reason. First it is a major offshore financial center second only to London in Eurodollar transactions. Second it is a major source of fine watches, some that can only be bought in Switzerland. Currency exchange rate with the US is on a one for one rate which makes it easy to shop there. Oh and can you shop there because the Bahamas is duty free! This means that you do not pay tax on it when coming back to the US. This is on things up to $400 per person.Nassau Police One of the best things about this is that you can pool people in the same family together to get something more expensive. For example if there are 4 of you in the same family that travel and live together you can purchase something with a value of up to $1200 without paying taxes on it. And you can do that on items up to $4000 for a family of 4 for a 10% flat tax. So when it comes time to shop just say OK. As for things to buy not only is there a great selection of watches to be had, but if you are in the market for jewelry this is the place to shop. Another item that is in great supply here is perfume. Some of the premiere brands of the world are sold there for quite a savings over what you would pay for them in the US.

     All right already, I'm tired of shopping.  We want to have some fun! Well that all depends on where you are in the Bahamas.  From Nassau there are little day charters that take you to small cays (pronounced keys) or little islands, to swim, snorkel, shell hunt, or just lay in the sun. Most have lunches with rum and fruit punches to wash it down with.  There are places for diving where you can rent all the equipment necessary to go. Quaint little carriage tours that last less than an hour are available if you are pressed for time. Check out the golf courses that have 18 hole championship layouts. Most of the major hotels have water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Or you could take a ride on a glass bottom boat to see the fish and coral. Why  there's even a place to go and swim with the dolphins. You can pet and feed them there to. Want to go horseback riding, deep sea fishing there's that too. Don't like to swim or can't! That's not a problem, as there is even a submarine that you can go on to explore the depths. The sub has tours that last about an hour, and can go up to 150 ft. deep with as many as 20 people.  So as you can see there is plenty to do in the Bahamas. But wait that's just in the day light, thereNassau Downtown is still the night.

     Oh come on now your not tired yet. Your on vacation! Why not start out the night with a little dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the islands. Just about anything that you want to eat is available from fast food to a five star meal in the finest setting. One thing to mention is that most restaurants add in a 15% service charge automatically to your bill, as do most bars, and some night clubs have a cover charge which usually includes a drink or two. After a dinner of conch (pronounced konk) salad and lobster, or some other local dish you might want to burn off the calories by going dancing at one of the many night clubs. If dancing is not your style then you might want to try your hand at a little gambling in one of the casinos on the islands. All the games are played here, roulette, black jack, craps, and hundreds of slot machines are available for your fun. So as you can see not a minute of your day has to go to waste with nothing to do. If there is something you want to do you'll more than likely find it here. So the next question is how do I get there? Well that all depends on what you want. A lot of people come by cruise ships, but then you are limited on the amount of time that you have on the islands. Flying in is the other option which will give you plenty of time to do what ever you want to do. The choice is yours. All I can say is ENJOY!


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