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One of the most popular strips of shoreline on New Providence Island, Cable Beach gained fame during the post WWII boom in the Bahamas. Today, the glittering beachfront, which spans 3km (2 miles) of powdery sands just west of Nassau, is lined with luxury resorts, restaurants, casinos and a golf course. Sun worshippers can spend their days reclining on beach lounges, swimming in the turquoise sea, or enjoying an array of watersports, including scuba diving and snorkelling.
Cable Beach is known for its beautiful stretches of white sand bordered by swaying palms and cerulean waters. The beaches attached to the hotels are well-populated by holidaymakers and vendors selling anything from shell jewellery and beach cover-ups to hair braiding services and fresh coconut juice. Even though resorts line much of the shorefront, there is public access and also a few less busy areas to enjoy.
When it comes to daytime recreation, snorkelling and scuba diving are some of the favourite pursuits along the beach (you can hire equipment at one of the resorts or from a dive shop). Additionally, the list of watersports includes parasailing, waterskiing, banana-boat riding and kite boarding.
Golfers tee off on the Radisson Cable Beach Golf Course (West Bay Street) an 18-hole, par 72 course that is open to the public as well as hotel guests. The Crystal Palace at the Wyndham Nassau Resort (West Bay Street) (www.wyndham.com), the largest casino in the Bahamas island chain, offers Las Vegas-style gaming just steps from the beach.
In addition to the many watersports available along the Cable Beach shorefront, families can venture into Nassau to visit Pirates of Nassau (on the corner of Marlborough and George streets) (www.pirates-of-nassau.com), an interactive museum showcasing remnants of the Golden Age of Piracy, during which Nassau played a key role. A quick taxi ride away, Paradise Island, and Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino (www.atlantis.com) on Casino Drive with its enormous water playground and marine habitat, makes for a fun day trip.
In adjacent Nassau, the island's capital and an area steeped in history, you'll find beautifully preserved colonial mansions, cathedrals and 18th-century fortresses. Don't miss a climb up the 66-step Queen's Staircase to Fort Fincastle (Chippingham Road), from where views are spectacular. Adastra Gardens is also well worth a visit, housing two hectares (five acres) of landscaping and more than 300 exotic mammals, reptiles and birds, including pink flamingos that march for visitors at their trainer's commands.
Sign up for a daylong sea excursion to Saddleback Cay (in the Exumas, 64km/40 miles from Paradise Island) with Island World Adventures (website: www.islandworldadventures.com). Following a quick ride aboard a 13.7m/45ft high-powered speedboat, you can snorkel, hike, or soak up the sun on several beaches exclusive to Island World Adventures. Also included is a stop at Leaf Cay, home to dozens of friendly iguanas. The trip departs daily from the ferry terminal next to Paradise Island Exit Bridge.