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
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.
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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
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.
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
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.
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.