Getting to Solstice and Getting Around
Solstice seems a world away from the bustle of our daily
lives but it is actually quite easy to reach, especially from
the east coast of the US.
If you have any questions about getting to Long Island, or
would like assistance making your arrangements, don't hesitate to
By Scheduled Airline From Nassau
The most common way to reach Long Island is via
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas (airport code "NAS"). There
are frequent direct flights to Nassau from most major airports
in the eastern and central US, Canada, London, Frankfurt and
the Caribbean. A flight from Miami to Nassau
takes about one hour; from New York about three hours.
From Nassau, you will take a 45 minute flight to one of the two airports on Long
Island: Deadmans Cay ("LGI") in the south and Stella Maris
("SML") in the north. Solstice is located between the airports,
about 25 minutes drive from Stella Maris and 45 minutes from Deadmans
Cay ("Cay" is pronounced "Key"). Despite Stella Maris being closer, there are some
advantages to flying into Deadmans Cay: rental cars are usually
cheaper there and on the drive to Solstice you will pass by the
largest grocery stores on the island, potentially saving a trip
Two airlines fly between Nassau and Long Island:
Charter. Both airlines now take online bookings on
their own web sites, though only Bahamasair is linked into the
big travel web sites like Expedia. Prices are usually about the same
on any day and on any airline. Bahamasair has nicer planes but a reputation for late flights
so you may want to leave some extra connection time if you take
Southern Air Charter usually uses a single
plane to serve both airports in one flight, stopping in one or
both depending on demand.
In the end, your choice of airport and airline will not make
a big difference and the convenience of the flight schedule may
be more important. Sometimes the schedules work out best to use one
airline coming and another going, but you will want to
use the same airport both ways to simplify returning your rental
We have compiled a full list of the
scheduled flights to and from Long Island to help you find
the most convenient flight times.
Other Ways to Get to Long Island
You can charter a small plane all the way from Miami or Fort
Lauderdale to Long Island. Even though a charter can give you
more scheduling flexibility, note that the airports on Long
Island are not equipped to handle flights after dark. There are
several Florida charter companies that specialize in service to
the Bahamas. We can discuss this option with you further if you
There are also scheduled flights from the U.S. to George Town
on the neighboring island of Exuma. From there you can charter a
small plane to Long Island. Some people say this is the quickest
and easiest way to reach Long Island. We have not tried it
ourselves but we will be happy to learn about the option along
You can also reach Solstice by private boat. While there is
no dock at Solstice, there are sheltered places nearby where a
can anchor and you can come to shore by dinghy (your own or ours).
There are also several public marinas on the island.
Rental Cars and Driving on Long Island
car is a necessity for getting around on Long Island. Rental
cars are available at both airports by friendly local small
business people. There are no international rental car chains on
the island (actually, there are no chains or franchise
businesses of any kind). The process of renting the car is much
less formal and simpler than you are probably used to. We can
recommend good car rental businesses at your arrival airport. After making your reservation over the phone, you will be met at the airport
by the rental agent and your car. Payment is in cash when you
pick up the car and there are no taxes, insurance, waivers, fuel
charges, etc. When you return the car, you usually just park it
at the airport, put the keys under the floor mat and get on your
are negotiable but usually start at about $60 per day. Most of the rental cars are not the shiny new ones
you see from big rental chains. They are usually a few years old
and show wear and tear from living on a salty island.
But they are clean and functional and you don't have to feel too
bad if you are driving on a rough road to a secluded beach
and hit a pot hole or get scraped by a low-hanging tree branch.
Driving is on the left side of the road, British-style, but
most people used to driving on the right don't find it difficult
to manage because there is so little traffic. About half the
cars have the steering wheel on the right, half on the left.
Finding your way around Long Island generally isn't difficult
either, since there is really only one main road. You just have
to know where to turn off. If you take the wrong turn (and you
will once or twice), you can't get too lost on such a skinny
island. You might even find something better than your original
Foreign driver's licenses are valid in the Bahamas.
Before you leave on your trip, we will send you detailed
driving instructions for reaching Solstice. Maps and other
island information are at the house.
Putting It All Together
The steps we normally take to book our own trips to Long
- Consult the flight schedule to and
from Long Island on the days we want to travel. Confirm the
times with the airline's web site.
- Find good flights between home and Nassau that connect
well with the flights to and from Long Island, being sure to
leave at least 90 minutes of connecting time in Nassau on the
way to Long Island and two and a half hours on the way back. A travel
agency web site such as
Kayak.com which allows you to specify the exact hours
you want to fly can make this easier.
- Book the flights, usually separately.
- Book the rental car.
- If you are traveling from the west coast, you may want to spend a night at a hotel in
Nassau or an east coast gateway city such as Miami, Ft.
Lauderdale, Charlotte or Atlanta to make
the flight times more convenient.