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The Globe and Mail

Naturally Nassau - The Classic Caribbean Destination

Visitors have been making the pilgrimage to Nassau for the past 400 years. It is the natural choice. The sugary beaches and soothing sunshine are a magical elixir for the cold weather blues. And for those who want to crank-up the intensity, there is plenty of jet skiing, kite boarding, parasailing, snorkeling and diving. Nassau is also home to some warm, traditional touches. Volunteer ambassadors happily answer questions and direct visitors to everything from the restaurants with the best fried conch to Parliament Square for the daily changing of the guard. Even the pink flamingos, Bahamas' national bird, march in unison three times a day at the Ardesta Gardens and Zoo.

Finding Paradise

The country's original golf course is Cable Beach, which runs along Nassau's pretty, northern edge. Originally opened in 1929, Cable Beach course was designed by Devereux Emmet, who was responsible for a number of distinguished courses on the east coast including the US Open track at Congressional. Cable Beach is dotted with connecting ponds and lakes and most of the holes bend around the water.

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The Ocean Club on Paradise Island (Nassau and Paradise Island are attached by a bridge) is the Bahamas most photographed layout. It is 7100 yards of pure eye-candy, a Tom Weiskopf design that skirts the coral reefs and crystal sea. Scenes from Casino Royale, the James Bond flic starring Daniel Craig, were shot in and around the golf course.

Also calling Paradise home is the Atlantis Resort, a pink kingdom that rises majestically above the ocean. Atlantis is the Caribbean's grandest resort, featuring everything from a 70 hectare water park that is fuelled by 20 million gallons of H20 to a casino that is lined with 1,000 slot machines. It also has an intimate side with a soothing spa and over 20 restaurants. Guests can dine at a quiet table at Bobby Flay's award winning Messa Grill or at Nobu, the resort's renowned sushi restaurant. Atlantis even offers pottery lessons. For the younger set, Atlantis started Crush, a nightclub for teens that runs from eight to midnight. Atlantis also rocks the house with a live concert series where recent artists have ranged from the Jonas Brothers to Justin Bieber.

Marathon Magic

With its stunning scenery, fast course and charitable roots, one of the running world's favourite events is Marathon Bahamas which is set to go on January 15th and 16th 2011. It includes a 5k - Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on the 15th and a half and full marathon on the 16th as well as a 6-man relay. The races kick-off at the Atlantis Resort, wind past Nassau's historic buildings, then trace the water with a dramatic, ocean-front finish. The event attracts runners from around the globe and last year more than 50 Canadians made it to the finish line.

Out of thisWorld

Nassau is the perfect jumping off point to explore Bahamas stunning Outer Islands including the Exumas, the Abacos, the Eleuthra chain, Bimini and Grand Bahama Island where you will discover some of the Caribbean's best snorkeling and dive sites.

Honeymoon Heaven

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When couples are searching for the ideal spot to celebrate their ultimate day, they head to the Bahamas. (Super model Cindy Crawford, singer Mariah Carey and Sergy Brin, the co-founder of Google, all tied the knot in the Bahamas.) All of the major resorts and hotels have wedding planners to help plan the nuptial bliss. The Bahamas Tourist Office even has a Manager of Romantic Travel.

Great Deals in the Bahamas

Travelers will receive instant savings of US $300 from their air fares when booking four or more nights in the Bahamas when choosing to stay at one of more than 25 resorts and hotels in Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. The offer is valid for bookings made through February 9th, 2011 and for travel anytime up to June 30th 2011. For more details, contact

Want free golf - then book a stay of at least four consecutive nights at the Radisson Our Lucaya Resort or Our Lucaya Reef Village in Freeport Grand Bahama Island. You can tee it up all day long at The Reef, a Robert Trent Jones designed, links layout and The Lucayan, a Dick Wilson creation that doglegs around the palms and ponds. The deal must be booked through WestJet Vacations by November 30th and the offer runs until January 15th , 2011.

Travel Planner

WestJet offers scheduled service throughout its 71-city North American and Caribbean network including non-stop daily flights to Nassau from Toronto. With great connections from other cities, book today at WestJet Vacations also provides a variety of packages to Nassau's top hotels and resorts. Book your getaway today by visiting, calling 1 877 737 7001 or by contacting your travel agent today!

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Book your Bahamas vacations today.

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