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Havana

Country: Cuba
Population:2,106,146
Time Zone:UTC-4
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Old Havana
Old Havana, located around the five main squares, and has one of the most impressive ensembles of historical architecture. From Baroque to Art Deco, from Neoclassicism to Art Nouveau, the rainbow-colored facades of the area adorn the diverse cultural heritage of Cuba. Founded in the early 16th century on the southwest coast of Cuba by Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez, Havana moved twice before taking permanent establishment on the Caribbean island’s northwest coast. Strategically chosen for its location in the Gulf of Mexico, Havana became a mandatory stop for ships traveling to and from the New World, and quickly became the largest port in the Spanish West Indies. Today, the city still claims some of the oldest stone fortifications in the Americas, and Old Havana, or Habana Vieja, claims some of the most beautiful architecture.
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Malecon
The Malecón, first named Avenida del Golfo, is Cuba’s most famous sea-side avenue. The project was undertaken by Don Francisco de Albear, Cuba’s greatest engineer at the time. Albear came up with a complex but smart design for the seawall, which was to be a lot more than just a promenade. According to historical records, the avenue was supposed to be constructed 4 meters above sea level. The whole project would cost 850,000 pesos, but the Spanish government didn’t bring itself to issue the construction permit and Albear’s proposal was postponed. The construction of the Malecón began in 1901. After the first stretch was completed, for which several public facilities were demolished, construction works were resumed in 1921, and again in the 30’s.The architectural richness of the Malecón is also expressed through 18th- and 19th-century stately homes, followed by a row of 20th-century buildings with an unusual combination of styles and profusion of portals, columns and pilasters that loosely follow classical lines. But beyond the architectural values of the buildings, its greatest charm lies in being somewhere to stroll or hang out on a stiflingly hot day. It is a place where couples come to make amends, especially at sunset, in the company of children and fishermen. It is Havana’s outdoor lounge.
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Fusterlandia
Known for "naive" and "childlike" style, Cuban artist José Fuster created colorful, dream-like houses covered entirely with ceramic tiles. Go back in the history, after successful gallery tours across Europe, Fuster was struck with a desire to recreate something like Gaudi’s public works in Barcelona and Brâncuși’s across Romania in his own homeland. He wanted to put his artistic reality into his real-world surroundings, and he began in his own neighborhood. In 1975, after moving into a modest wood house in the rundown neighborhood of Jaimanitas outside Havana, Fuster set about decorating his studio in colorful mosaic. Once he was done there, he asked his neighbors if he could decorate their homes and business as well. A few accepted his offer and the tile creations grew. Over the course of a decade, doctors’ offices, bus stops, fountains, benches, gateways, and more were enveloped by Fuster’s whimsical imagination. Today, his artwork coats the neighborhood in a rainbow of strange, enchanting fantasy. Jaimanitas was an economically depressed area before Fuster arrived, and now it has turned into an artist’s paradise. Tourists are bussed into the neighborhood to admire Fuster’s still-growing kingdom, which has spawned a new generation of artists inspired by the surroundings they came up in.
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El Capitolio
El Capitolio, or the National Capitol Building is one of the most visited sites in Havana. This majestic construction, located in the Centro Habana, is similar to that in Washington D.C, but a meter higher, a meter wider, and a meter longer, as well as much more rich in detail. It was started to be built by Gerardo Machado in 1926 supported by North America. Formerly, it was used as headquarters of the Cuban Congress, but since 1959 it has hosted the Cuban Academy of Sciences and the Science and Technology National Library. The entrance is sheltered by 6 huge Doric columns, on top of a 55 steps granite staircase. In both sides on top of the stairs there are two amazing sculptures in bronze, a masculine and a feminine one, both 6,70 meters high, by the Italian Angelo Zanelli. When you cross them you’ll arrive to the Hall of Lost Steps, named in this way due to its wonderful acoustics, and in which center is the Republic statue, a huge woman in bronze 14,60 meters high and more than 30 tons weight, representing the virtue of the nation and work.
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Morro Castle
Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes del Morro (Morro Castle) was erected between 1589 and 1630 to protect the mouth of the Havana port from pirates and invaders. The fortress stands on a rocky promontory known as El Morro, over the Atlantic. It was the King of Spain who ordered the castle to be built and appointed Juan de Texeda, a field commander, and Batista Antonelli, a military architect, to lead the works. The castle was originally planned to have an irregular polygonal shape, with three-meter-thick walls and deep moats. The castle is an perfect example of renaissance military architecture, and is endowed with an harmonic elegance that melds with its natural surroundings through a series of terraces fused to the rock. Nowadays, the castle offers impressive views of the sea and Havana. The lighthouse that crowns its tower was added in 1844 and helps guide ships docking in the port.
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Castillo de la Real Fuerza
Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castle in Old Havana, Cuba, one of Cuba’s most ancient castles. It is a great sample of military architecture during the Spain's rule over the Caribbean. It is located in the Plaza de Armas Square in Old Havana facing the sea. The Castle, as well as the rest of the old city’s fortifications, has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castle is the oldest fortress still preserved in all the Americas. It was built between 1558 and 1577, in the same location where a fort was destroyed by French pirates in 1555. The west tower is crowned by the copy of a well-known bronze weathervane called La Giraldilla. The original was made in Havana in 1630 and is quite similar to the Giralda of Seville.
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Planetarium of Havana
Discover the Planetarium of Havana in Cuba and let it take you on a journey through time and space! The Planetario de La Habana (Planetarium of Havana) is a must-visit place in Cuba. It was built in 2009 with the help of the Japanese government and is located in Calle Mercaderes, near the Plaza Vieja Square in Havana. The Planetarium has exhibitions including a scale model of the Solar System inside a huge sphere, a Big Bang simulation, and a theater where it is possible to see more than 6,000 stars. The Planetarium has several telescopes, a projector that can lock onto more than 6,500 stars, a library of astronomy, a theater, interactive games, and a staff made up of physicists and astronomers.
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Rum Museum
Discover the Rum Museum in Old Havana, Cuba, to learn more about and taste famous beverage! The Havana Club Rum Museum ( Museo del Ron ) is located next to the Colonial Plaza de San Francisco de Asis Square , right in front of Havana harbor. It is not necessary to drink alcohol to enjoy this wonderful museum , because by visiting it you'll still be able to delve into Cuban culture. This museum offers an interesting guided tou r exhibiting the complex rum-making process in old machines . This tour is available in Spanish, English, French, German and Italian. It explains the entire process, from the manufacturing white oak barrels to the rum's fermentation and ageing process, as well as a scale-model copy of a sugar mill.
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Bay of Pigs
The name Bay of Pigs immediately brings to mind the failed invasion by a US-backed army of counter-revolutionaries that happened here in 1961. Nowadays however, it is a destination that is increasing in popularity for tourists for its natural beauty, birding and variety of wildlife, and as a place where excellent diving and snorkelling can be done from the shore. The waters are warm, clear, calm, and brimming with sea life. Back from the shoreline is some dense forest much of which is protect in national parks. There are some interesting excursions that can be done through these forests with local park guides, to caves and natural swimming holes.
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Playa Jibacoa
Playa Jibacoa area, mostly chosen by Cubans, is located on the north coast of Mayabeque. It has resorts and several camping sites of good quality. The area is notable for the beautiful typical landscape with a deep blue sea, surrounded by cliffs, on the side facing the land, and rocky hills where are located the hotels. The excellent beaches are famous for their clear and shallow water and is a local and tourist favourite for snorkeling from the beach. It is worth noting the scuba diving area opposite the shore, where you'll find coral reefs and a good amount of fish and shellfish. There is a wide range of activities to practice in the area, from small hiking to horseback riding or it may be good to rent paddle boats
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Coral Castle Museum
A modern day world marvel, it’s worth the journey down south to the Coral Castle Museum in Homestead. As a tribute to his long lost love, a tiny Latvian immigrant who only weighed 100 pounds, moved and sculpted more than 1,000 tons of coral rock for nearly 30 years, until the project was completed in 1951. The feat has baffled scientists and engineered for years. Since 1923 Scientists, Engineers, Scholars continue to be amazed! See a hand-carved 9-ton gate, a Polaris telescope, the world’s only Sundial with seasons. Enjoy a movie short about the mysteries of Coral Castle, its creator; Edward Leedskalnin. Relax at the Coral Castle Café and enjoy the delicious gourmet menu. Visit the unique gift shop with Coral Castle collectables, science, natural stones, jewelry and much more!
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Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Just across Biscayne Bay, Coconut Grove is home to the gorgeous Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark that was once the winter home of agricultural industrialist, James Deering. Nestled on 10 acres of shoreline and located directly on the water, the mansion has been beautifully restored to its Gilded Age heritage. European antiques and art adorn the main house and lush tropical gardens surround the property.
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Crandon Park Beach
Crandon Beach is one of Miami's greatest park treasures. A beautiful, sprawling campus of beaches and amenities, Crandon Park is more than a beach. At Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne, there's a Family Amusement Center, a Nature Center and even a place to rent cabanas. The beach remains the main attraction at the luscious and family-friendly Crandon Park. Gear up for a friendly game of beach volleyball or unpack your picnic and bring some supplies for the on-site grills. There's almost always a birthday party or event taking place somewhere at this site. At the south end of Crandon Park Beach, there are cabanas for rent. Cabanas have showers and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Cabana renters are assigned a parking space and exclusive picnic tables on the beach. It's fun to explore the various ecosystems at Crandon Park, including dunes, mangroves, coastal hammock and sea grass beds. The Crandon Park Nature Center is home to exotic plants, rare fish and wildlife, and Bear Cut Preserve, a natural Environment Study Area. Take a tour with a naturalist and explore all that this nature hotbed has to offer.
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Miami Seaquarium
Discover South Florida’s best aquarium and favourite visitor attraction. Enjoy amazing marine mammal shows with dolphins and sea lions that delight children of all ages. See world-class sea life exhibits with manatees, sea turtles, penguins, rays and more. Learn about wildlife rescue and marine animal care at the Conservation Outpost. Plus, there is no greater thrill than getting in the water with the friendly, intelligent and graceful dolphins at Dolphin Harbor, the best dolphin experience in Miami! Join us for one of our many special events great family dining options, and of course, unforgettable animal experiences at the best place to swim with dolphins in Miami!
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Virginia Key Beach
Virginia Key Beach - North is located at 3701 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne. A big wooden sign marks this historic beach, which is located just past the Rickenbacker Causeway across from Miami Seaquarium. Virginia Key Beach - North was the location of the famed,but now closed Jimbo's, a former movie-set-turned-hangout for some of Miami's eccentric local characters. Windsurfing and ultra light seaplane rental are available here. Enjoy great views of Brickell Avenue and downtown Miami skyline.
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Perez Art Museum Miami
Perhaps the most important museum in Miami, PAMM opened its doors in December 2013 just in time for Art Basel. Dedicated to international art of the 20th and 21st centuries from the perspective of the Americas, the bayfront museum boasts an impressive permanent collection, as well as compelling exhibitions. The landmark building by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron further solidified Miami’s place as a major city of the arts.
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The Wolfsonian-FIU
Located in the heart of South Beach’s Art Deco District, The Wolfsonian-FIU is a museum, as well as a library and research center that examines “the persuasive power of art and design and explores what it means to be modern.” Their collection of 120,000 objects, dating from 1885 to 1945, focuses on American and European decorative and fine arts, in addition to fascinating exhibitions. From propaganda posters to World's Fair memorabilia, the array of objects offers visitors a thought-provoking journey through the modern age.
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Ancient Spanish Monastery
Hidden in modern North Miami Beach, the Ancient Spanish Monastery takes us back. An enclave of European architecture and history, this Florida Heritage site—which was originally built in Sacramenia, a municipality of Segovia in northern Spain—has endured a long and interesting history to become the South Florida monument we know and love today. “The Ancient Spanish Monastery is a little piece of Spanish history,” says Father Gregory Mansfield, Curator of the Ancient Spanish Monastery Museum & Gardens. “Construction began in 1133 AD, almost 360 years before Columbus left Spain and arrived in the Americas, and it took eight years to complete. There are over 35,000 stones, some of which weigh a ton and a half.” In the 21st century, the Ancient Spanish Monastery serves as both a peek into history and a tourist attraction. At the entrance to the property, there’s a museum with historic Spanish artifacts like a hymnarium and pieces of armor worn during the Crusades. In that same building, there is also a gift shop with souvenirs available for purchase.
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Cayman Motor Museum
The Cayman Motor Museum is the realization of a vision by businessman Andreas Ugland to have a local showroom to share his collection of exotic, rare, and classic motorcars and motorbikes. The Cayman Motor Museum features the first car ever brought to the Cayman Islands: a 1905 Cadillac brought in from Havana Cuba in 1914. Among Ferraris, Rally Cars, Porsches, and Bentleys there are also motorbikes, power race boats, plenty of artwork and motor memorabilia.
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Cayman Turtle Centre
The Cayman Turtle Centre is the perfect place for families to learn about our islands’ history while having lots of fun at the same time. This award-winning wildlife park provides its guests with a chance to come face to face with some of the most remarkable and ancient animals on earth. Within the centre, there are a variety of interactive activities available – including, predator tanks and swimming or snorkelling in a saltwater lagoon filled with vibrant species of fish and green sea turtles. Another magnificent stop along the tour is the free-flight aviary, where guests can feed colourful birds as they soar around the room. Before you leave, take a stroll down the tranquil nature trail and admire the unique plant species and butterflies, or stop by Smiley’s Saltwater Lagoon and watch the nine-foot crocodile get fed. Guests can also learn more about the history of sea turtles and the centre’s on-going conservation efforts.
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Hell Grand Cayman
In the Cayman Islands, tourists can go to Hell. This uniquely named attraction located in the district of West Bay on Grand Cayman, is well known for a small patch of black limestone formations that can be seen poking out from its lush surroundings. Hell was created by salt and lime deposits over 24 million years and the legend behind its name still continues to be debated. After marvelling at the field of black peaks, make sure to send your friends a postcard from Hell. The Hell attraction site is accessible at all times and is free to the public. There are three gift shops on the property as well as public restrooms which are open daily from 8:00 am – 5:00pm.
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Stingray City
Stingray City is among the Cayman Islands’ most popular attractions. It’s where aquatic lovers can mingle with marine life by wading among friendly stingrays that congregate near the sandy shore. This once-in-a-lifetime Cayman experience invites adventurers to get up close to some of the most magnificent animals in the world. Experience the majestic southern Atlantic stingrays in only three feet of water as you brush up against these creatures. Stingray City is a group of sandbars located 25 miles off the shore of Grand Cayman, and offers tours ranging from 3 to 5 hours. During the tours, you can swim with, feed, and take memorable photos with these friendly rays.
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Governor
Governor's Beach is a relaxing spot within Seven Mile Beach, located beside and in front of the Governor's home. With families visiting in the morning and games played in the afternoon, this shore sees all the action. Governor's Beach is excellent for snorkelling, a picturesque stroll or floating on the water with a cold drink. Beachgoers can enjoy the shade while snacking on the sea grapes that fall from the trees in June and July. And as with all views to the west here, you’ll witness the most memorable sunsets.
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Rum Point
Located on the picturesque north side of the island, “Rum Point” is famous for its island atmosphere, white sandy beach and shallow clear waters. It is an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling. The beach hammocks, shady trees, picnic tables and delicious food beckon visitors and locals alike seven days a week. Rum Point also offers changing rooms, showers, huts, hammocks, snorkelling and volleyball nets. About 45 minutes by car from most hotels and the cruise terminal, Rum Point is well worth the day trip. Another option for accessing Rum Point is by ferry! With affordable prices and killer views, this is a great way to get here and relax or enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner.
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The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
A contemporary museum showcasing local artwork & traditional crafts, plus lectures & special events. Visitors can explore a spectacular collection of art that illustrates the essence of Caymanian life here at the National Gallery.
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Ft. George Ruins
In the past, Fort George used to defend Grand Cayman from attacks by Spanish marauders from Cuba; though piracy on the high seas was over by this time, there was still frequent lawless activity. The fort was also used as a coastal lookout for enemy ships as recently as World War II. Despite its small size, Grand Cayman was said to have had both German and British spies present during World War II, and a US Naval base was set up in the area behind the George Town Public Library. Caymanians did much to aid the allied efforts and several also enlisted in Trinidad to support the British during the war.
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Cayman Crystal Caves
Spectacular Crystal Caves located in a Lush Tropical Forest. Fully guide by local guides. One of Caymans newest and most popular tourist attrations: Situated in a lush tropical forest in Northside, Grand Cayman, Cayman Crystal Caves is the island’s newest nature tourist attraction All visitors receive guided walking tours. Tours are approximately 1 ½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 caves spectacular caves. When you visit Cayman Crystal Caves, you will be escorted with a knowledgeable Tour Guide, and you will join us on an adventure exploration of “Cayman Down Under”. You will venture into amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations, formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Tour through the unique tropical forest nature, under which the caves formed. Amongst the forest and caves is captivating tropical plant and animal life, including strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats…. Winner of the Governor's Award - The Tourism Industry Conservation Award One of the very highest rated top "Things To Do in Grand Cayman"
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Cayman Islands National Museum
Located in George Town and housed inside the oldest public building in the Cayman Islands, this museum showcases both the natural and cultural history of the islands through dynamic programmes, exhibits, and displays.
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Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a unique blend of natural beauty, culture and history. Enjoy the simple elegance of a traditional Caymanian garden with the startling beauty of an exotic floral display. Spend an hour or two… or a full day! One thing is certain, each of our visitors will leave with a greater appreciation for the delicate balance of nature and the dedicated care in it’s preservation. There are so many different gardens and natural areas to enjoy, providing something for everyone to enjoy at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
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Spotts Beach
Off Shamrock Road in the Spotts Newlands part of Grand Cayman is where you’ll happen upon Spotts Beach. Away from everyone else, Spotts Beach has homes and waterfront condos surrounded by iron-shore cliffs and white sand, while still providing plenty of space for a surfside walk. It’s a nice place to watch the sunrise since Spotts Beach faces to the south. There are cabanas along with some benches and tables available for barbecues or picnics. There is also great snorkelling due to the limited amount of watercraft.
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Pedro St. James
Discover the unique heritage and culture of Cayman via this lovingly restored window into the 18th century that’s only a 20-minute drive from George Town. At a time in the Cayman Islands when most people lived in tiny, thatch-covered houses, a wealthy Englishman, using slave labour from Jamaica, created an astonishing 3-storey building called Pedro St. James. In the 1990s, the Government of the Cayman Islands purchased Pedro St. James and painstakingly restored the Great House to the splendour of its 18th-century heritage. Today, visitors can stroll through the imposing edifice with its period furniture and authentic artefacts to experience what life was like so long ago in Cayman’s history.
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East End Lighthouse Park
The first lighthouse on Grand Cayman was erected at Gun Bluff in the early 1900s, which is approximately a half-mile from the present site of the East End Lighthouse Park. This was required under the Justices and Vestry’s East End Light Law (1906). A 60-foot ship’s mast stood on the Bluff and William James Watler was hired as a lightkeeper to ensure that a kerosene lantern was hoisted to the top of the mast at 6:00pm every evening and lowered at 6:00am every morning. A fine “not exceeding forty shillings” was to be imposed on him if it was discovered that he had been lax in his duties. The light could be seen 10 miles out to sea. The lighthouse at Gorling Bluff served until 1937, when the British Government gave order for five modern “navigational lights” to be erected around the coasts of all three Cayman Islands. The lights were to be placed on Crown Property, however, so that same year the Crown acquired Gorling Bluff. The replacement lighthouse was constructed by Mr. Morell from England, and it is this light which serves to the present day, though it is now solar-powered. Part of the wooden frame of the previous lighthouse remains, but the old kerosene lamp is now in the Cayman Islands National Museum.
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Guardian Blue Hole
The Guardian Blue Hole is said to have the second deepest cave in The Islands of The Bahamas, with a maximum explored depth of 436 feet (133 meters). The surface pond is fresh water, with a layer of hydrogen sulfide sometimes present at the halocline. The cave was named for a solitary barracuda that at one time inhabited the main entrance pond. Some of the walls of the cave are highly decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. Several deep pits within the cave drop from 45 m depths to more than 130 m.
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Hank's Place
Hank's Place Restaurant is unlike any other in Andros, because of its unique dining room and bar built over the water, providing guests a stunning view of Fresh Creek's harbor. It has two dining areas, one inside and one outside, and it serves Bahamian and American cuisine.
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El Meco
At Km 2.7 of the Puerto Juárez - Punta Sam highway north of Cancun, is El Meco. On the site you can see 14 structures with a main temple: El Castillo, which is a pyramid of five levels.
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The underwater Museum of Art.
This unique excursion offers a view of the ocean like you’ve never seen before! A perfect activity for all ages, you’ll be able to view the depths of the ocean without getting wet at all.
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Paradise Cove
Paradise Cove offers direct access to Deadman’s Reef on the island’s southwest side, which is rated the best reef on Grand Bahama Island. The reef is within swimming distance of the beach and teems with tropical marine life. You can explore the reef in a glass-bottom or ocean kayak. A snorkel tour is available that includes transportation, equipment and floatation belts. Available Equipment: Snorkel Gear, Wet Suits, Ocean Kayaks, Glass-bottom Kayaks, Sea Scooters, Floats with window, Lounge Floats. Amenities: Volleyball, Lounge Chairs, Beach Umbrellas, Covered Deck, Games, Bar and Grill, Gift shop, Rest Rooms, Fresh-water Shower. Site is available for exclusive functions.
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Leos Art Gallery
Vivid original paintings cover the walls of this small gallery. Leo, owner/artist and Nassau native, uses the space as a studio as well as a showroom, which somehow makes it more inviting. Leo has been painting since a very young age, and was officially discovered when the late GBPA Chairman, Mr. Edward St. George, saw his work and immediately offered him a scholarship to the school of his choice. Leo's paintings themselves depict exotic wildlife and religious scenes. As the artist is happy to explain, nearly every element of every painting is deeply symbolic, but even at first glance, the pictures are striking, colorful and complex.
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Port Lucaya Straw Market
Straw vending is considered one of the country's oldest industries with organized markets in Nassau, Cable Beach, Paradise Island and a number of The Family Islands. Stroll down to the famous native Straw Market where you can find bustling activity with vendors who are willing to bargain with buyers.
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Grand Lucayan Bahamas
Coconut palms sway in a fragrant breeze and crystal-clear turquoise waters lap gently along the shore. There's no impatient crowds, no rush to grab beach chairs, no boring restaurants. At Grand Lucayan, we work to strike the perfect balance between the luxuries of a modern-day resort and the magic of one steeped in Bahamian culture.
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Pirate's Cove Zipline & Water Park
Oceanfront activity center offering floating bouncy slides, a bar & grill, banana boat rides, jet skiing, zip lining, and much more. One of the newest attractions on Grand Bahama Island, Pirate Cove sits on nearly 7.5 acres of beachfront property where there is an array of energizing and tranquil activities for the entire family.
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The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of the natural environment.
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Henry B. Plant Museum
The Henry B. Plant Museum is housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, the Victorian railroad resort that defined the elegant frontier, now a National Historic Landmark. Unlike most museums dedicated to lifestyles of the past, it contains the actual furnishings enjoyed by the first guests to visit here. The Museum accurately reflects the opulence of turn-of-the-century America and the vision of American transportation pioneer, Henry B. Plant. The Museum seeks to transport the visitor through educational exhibits and events to the late Victorian period, the beginning of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the city of Tampa.