Solstice - Long Island, The Bahamas

Long Island, The Bahamas

Long Island is a place for people who enjoy unspoiled natural beauty and a quaint rural atmosphere. If you are looking for casinos, theaters, shopping, nightlife, fancy restaurants, exclusive resorts, parasailing...then Long Island is not for you.

For most people, the highlight of Long Island is its long shoreline ringed with deserted white sand beaches and turquoise water. You will not find more inviting waters anywhere in the world. The water and beaches can be enjoyed by active vacationers who want to dive, fish (including world-class bonefishing), kayak, snorkel, swim, beach-comb, etc or they can be the perfect place to relax with a good book and let go the cares of the world.

And while Long Island is a sleepy island, it has just enough development to keep you comfortable: a few dozen restaurants serving simple but tasty local dishes, small but well stocked grocery stores, picturesque small towns and churches, ATMs, and some unassuming but world-class places to stay...such as Solstice.

Long Island is an extremely friendly place, where passing drivers wave to each other from their cars and everyone is eager to help when you can't find the right unmarked turn-off for that perfect beach. Crime is virtually unknown on Long Island and no one locks their doors. Many people even leave their keys in their car!

Lay of the Land

Long Island is aptly named. It is an 80 mile drive from tip to tip but averages only 2 miles wide. It is oriented approximately north-south. Long Island is said to have a population of three to four thousand people but many live part-time on the island and the remaining people are quite spread out, so the island feels quiet and sparsely populated. Tourists are also fairly sparse on the island, with only about 100 rooms available in resorts and guest houses, along with a few rental houses such as Solstice.

The east coast of Long Island, also called "the Atlantic Side," is ruggedly beautiful with dark blue water, rocky cliffs, offshore reefs and sandy beaches. While the waves are often too strong to allow swimming from the east coast, there are some sheltered bays that have excellent diving and snorkeling. The east coast is a beachcomber's paradise since there is nothing beyond it but thousands of miles of open ocean.


View Larger Map

The east coast is also home to the world famous "Dean's Blue Hole" which was recently named by Coastal Living magazine as the best place to snorkel in North America. You can also read more about this beautiful geological oddity here.

The west coast, also called "the Caribbean Side," is sheltered from the prevailing winds and graced with shallow turquoise waters and white sand beaches. While not as dramatic as the east coast, it is home to the best beaches for swimming and relaxing. The cove at Solstice is one of the nicest western beaches on the island but you still shouldn't pass up a chance to see the endless miles of sugar-white sand and impossibly blue water that run the length of the southern part of the island or the Cape Santa Maria beach in the north.

Cape Santa Maria Beach

Almost all of the businesses, towns and local residences on Long Island are along the Queen's Highway which runs the length of the island, generally along the spine and only passing near the coast in a few places. The towns (called "settlements" ) are spaced every few miles along the road.

Climate

For those of you familiar with the weather of the northern Bahamas (such as Nassau), Long Island has similar seasons but is a couple of degrees warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer because of its more southerly location.

December to May is the traditional tourist season, when it is cold in the U.S. but pleasantly warm and dry in the Bahamas. Temperatures average in the high 70's and low 80's during the day and low 70's at night. At times the temperature can dip into the 60's at night, so if you come in the winter be sure to bring a sweater. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 70's. Long Island is fairly dry year-round and is especially so during these months, but rain storms (usually brief) are possible in any season.

During the months of June through November, both the air and water temperatures are usually in the 80's. This time of year is called the "hurricane season" though the greatest incidence of hurricanes is during August and September. The chance of a hurricane coming near during your stay is fairly remote (in the past 30 years, only 9 hurricanes have come within 100 miles of Solstice) and it is safe to visit Long Island at any time of the year but keep your eyes on the weather reports during the summer. Solstice and some airlines will refund your money if your trip is disrupted by a hurricane but you should check with your airline's policy first if traveling during the summer. Travel insurance can also protect you from any financial risk at a relatively low cost.