Long Island is not your typical cruise ship stopover.
As one of the top three holiday destinations of 2022, according to travel insurance provider Squaremouth, the Bahamas have been a classic winter getaway for years. The country comprises 700 different islands, though only about 30 are inhabited. Among these 30 islands, Long Island is a compelling top destination. A quick flight from the main island of New Providence, Long Island is a stunning and culturally impactful place. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know about it already, but once you visit, you’ll never forget it. These 11 reasons to visit Long Island don’t even scratch the surface of what it has to offer.
It’s Easy to Navigate
Long Island isn’t just the name of this beautiful island; it’s also an apt descriptor. The island runs about 80 miles in length from north to south and at its widest, it’s less than four miles. With one major road, it’s hard to get lost on this island. In addition, the simplicity of the road system is fantastic if you like to explore on your own without fear of getting stranded.
Enjoy a Variety of Landscapes
Surrounded by water, Long Island gives you unique access to its top-rated beach coast on the west and the jagged and breathtaking cliff coast on the east. Depending on what you’re looking for, the dramatic differences in the landscape are within a short drive of each other.
A Perfect Exclusive Getaway
With around 3,000 residents, Long Island is quiet almost all year round. So even if you arrive at peak tourism time at the most popular resort, Cape Santa Maria, you’ll find the majority of the beach to yourself. As a result, socially distancing from others in low-risk, outdoor environments is easy here.
The Second Deepest Blue Hole in the World
Whether you like to dip your toes in the kitty pool or if you’re a professional swimmer, you won’t want to miss the second deepest blue hole in the world. Dean’s Blue Hole draws people to it as the Internation Free Diving Competition destination every year. Not a swimmer? The water leading up to the 666 feet hole is only about waist deep—just don’t get too close to the edge!
Incredible History to Discover
Long Island is full of historical landmarks, such as St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, the oldest church in the Bahamas said to have been built in the 1600s. Not only is it easy to find from the main road, but it’s accessible to the public, and you can walk among the ruins. If you prefer something a bit darker, you can go underground to the most extensive cave system in the Bahamas, Hamilton’s Cave. The island’s small population also gives easy access to incredible sources of knowledge, such as Hamilton Cave’s owner and tour operator, Leonard Cartwright. Or you can wander to the Long Island Museum, where you get historical and cultural lessons on the Bahamian people and the indigenous Lucayan Indians.
Regatta Brings the Party Home
Regatta is a yearly boat race held on many islands in the Bahamas. When it comes to Regatta, Long Island throws a good party. In fact, it’s the second-largest Regatta in the Bahamas. Every June, the boat-racing festival serves as a homecoming for many locals who have moved away. So if you get a chance, it’s a celebration you should plan your visit around.
Escape the Cruise Crowds
Part of the Bahamas’ reputation is a popular cruise stop. However, the country is so much more than that, and on Long Island, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a ship. This allows for more authentic connections between Long Islanders and tourists who come to visit. On the off-chance that a cruise ship stops by, it’s only there for half a day before sailing off again.
A Birdwatcher's Paradise
Bird watchers will love Long Island’s incredible backdrop for birding, with more than 150 species spotted. The West Indian Whistling Duck is an incredibly gratifying bird to spot, as the largest and rarest of the whistling ducks.
Charter a Private Flight
Long Island has two small airports: Stella Maris Airport and Deadman’s Cay Airport. Although Long Island is not the capital of the Bahamas, it is open to private international planes, which means that you can charter your private flight. You can enjoy the island without stopping by the main island, New Providence, first.
Local Community Vibes
With such a small community on the island, Long Island locals all seem to know each other. So it’s not difficult to enjoy the local community, from the Saturday farmer’s markets to art hubs such as Starfish Traders. Or you can grab a bite to eat and swap stories at infamous watering holes such as Max’s Conch Bar.
You'll Keep Coming Back
Long Island has indescribable magic, evident as most resort guests return every year. The familiarity creates a warm environment even in resort restaurants and bars, as old friends reunite and new friends are made.
INSIDER TIPTry your hand at bonefishing or snorkel around the island at leisure with a charter boat.