Solstice - Long Island, The Bahamas

Getting to Solstice and Getting Around Long Island

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 contact us.

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.

Deadmans Cay AirportFrom 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 later.

Stella Maris AirportTwo airlines fly between Nassau and Long Island: Bahamasair and Southern Air 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 it. Southern Air Charter usually uses a single plane to serve both airports in one flight, stopping in one or both depending on demand.

Deadmans Cay AirportIn 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 car.

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 are interested.

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 with you.

You can also reach Solstice by private boat. While there is no dock at Solstice, there are sheltered places nearby where a boat 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

A 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 flight!

Rates 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.

Queens HighwayDriving 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 destination!

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 Island are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Book the flights, usually separately.
  4. Book the rental car.
  5. 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.