When to Travel to Nassau Bahamas

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When to go to Nassau, Bahamas

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands, and is situated approximately 300 miles off the southeastern coast of Florida. It was formerly a British colony. Nassau, the capital city, occupies New Providence Island and much of neighboring Paradise Island. Nassau is home to over 70% of the Commonwealth's population. Its attractive harbor, old world and colonial architecture, tropical climate and rich history make it a popular vacation destination.

The city's airport handles daily flights to and from the U.S., U.K. and Canada. The best time to visit Nassau depends entirely on what you are looking for in a vacation. Nassau has much to offer, but the atmosphere and the nature of activities available can vary throughout the year. It is a good idea to do a little research before you book.

Peak season in the Bahamas is considered to be from December to April. The weather is dry and warm, with temperatures around 80 degrees farenheit or below. This season attracts large numbers of visitors from colder climates, hoping to take advantage of the reliably warm weather. Hotels are often full, and all activities and amenities are open. Guests can enjoy tennis, golf, sailing, fishing, shopping and more.

Unfortunately, with the increased demand for rooms and services, come higher prices and longer lines. It is usually necessary to book hotel rooms at least six months in advance. Visitors should be prepared to wait for golf tee time and car rental. It can be more difficult to book a table at the popular restaurants. If it fits your budget, and you enjoy a lively, bustling atmosphere this period will suit you well.

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Hoards of partying students descend on the islands in March and April for Spring Break. Although hotels have tried to minimize the impact on other vacationers by limiting the sizes of group bookings, they continue to arrive en masse. This is a noisy, crowded time, and best avoided if you're not a "spring-breaker" yourself.

Off season in the Bahamas runs from May to November. Temperatures average over 87 degrees Farenheit. This is the season of peak temperatures, rainfall and humidity. Nassau is much less crowded and prices drop significantly. It is not uncommon to find savings of 60% on hotel rooms, as compared to peak season. Resort shops offer their deepest discounts at this time. Reservations are not required for most restaurants and there are no lines for rental cars or golf tee time. The atmosphere becomes more cosmopolitan, as this season is popular with European visitors. Some programs and activities may be offered less frequently during this period, and some may close for the season. This is the time of year that hotels and businesses will undertake remodelling and building projects. It is worth enquiring about construction plans at the time of booking. It is also hurricane season.

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Hurricane season in the Bahamas runs from June to the end of November. Although the threat of hurricanes should be taken seriously, more hurricanes hit the mainland U.S. than directly hit the Bahamas. The islands experience a direct hit once every twelve years or so. The Bahamas have an excellent early warning system which constantly monitors weather patterns. If a hurricane is predicted to impact the islands, the service will provide advance warning so people have plenty of time to take appropriate action. If you are particularly risk averse, consider purchasing vacation insurance which covers you in the case of weather-related travel disruption. In spite of rainfall and hurricanes, Nassau still experiences an average of 300 days of sunshine each year.

Many festivals are held in Nassau throughout the year; celebrating everything from body-building, to sailing, to music, to craft beer. Junkanoo is the largest of these, taking place on December 26th and January 1st annually. The festival dates from the 16th century and is believed to have originated with the island's slave population. It is a celebration of local music, food and crafts, culminating in lively street parades of intricately costumed dancers. Reminiscent of Mardi Gras and Carnival, it is a memorable experience. There is something for everyone in this tropical paradise.