Travel with Children

With endless acres of beach, a tourist industry that avidly pursues the family dollar and a naturally kid-friendly culture, the Bahamas are an ideal place to vacation with wee ones. The larger hotels provide good facilities, including babysitting, pools and activities, and resorts such as Atlantis are such kid-friendly wonderlands that families could feasibly never leave their pleasure compounds (and many don't). Children under 12 years often room with their parents for free.

From the colossal Aquaventure Waterpark on Paradise Island to the eccentric petting zoo at Andros's Pineville Motel, there's a full spectrum of attractions for kids of all ages. Dive outfits like Stuart Cove offer discounted snorkeling rates to kids between four and 11, for whom the personal submersibles (SUBs) rented by Abaco Scuba Center are also a sure bet. For the very small (or less confident), companies such as Reef Tours run glass-bottomed boats that make getting face-to-face with the reef and its critters a cinch.

Sightseeing with a stroller is easiest in the built-up centers of Nassau, Paradise Island and Port Lucaya. Outside these areas, sidewalks get rougher, and often disappear altogether, obliging you to walk on the shoulder of the road. Dedicated change facilities are scarce to nonexistent in public, so prepare to improvise.

Well-behaved kids are generally welcome in all restaurants, barring a few top-end places that explicitly advertise a minimum age.