Suppose you were to pick a vacation destination that had over 700 places to visit? Seems a bit overwhelming, right? Well, down in the Caribbean, the chain of islands, cays and inlets known as the Bahamas is really a collection of over 700 landmasses. Should you visit all 700? Not necessary when there are the standout stops. Zero in on Nassau, Abaco, Cat Island, Freeport and Andros as your vacation home base and you can’t go wrong. From there, it is just an island hop by boat or puddle jumper plane to explore a new environment. Here’s what you can look forward to:

The Beaches

Just as it would be hard to find a bad meal in Italy, it will be hard to find a bad beach in the Bahamas. While you might be lured to the convenience of stepping outside your chosen hotel and land on the beach there, a lot can be said for a little tropical exploring. One of the most popular beaches is Cable Beach on Nassau. That’s because it is close to everything. By everything, we mean restaurants, casinos and golf courses. Then there is the beach itself which is white, soft and idyllic. Over on the Abacos, you can dig your toes into the sands of Treasure Cay Beach, which was voted one of the top 10 beaches in all of the Bahamas. The Exumas is terrific snorkeling territory. For a unique beach look, be sure to spend the day on the pink sands of Harbour Island. The one big drawback with any of these beaches? You won’t want to leave.

The Snorkeling

You could spend all your time on the beaches of the Bahamas and do just fine but you might find it hard to miss the siren call of the sea. Snorkeling is a great way to find your own versions of Nemo. For a premium, snorkeling adventure check out the Thunderball Grotto. This is where they filmed some classic James Bond action and now it’s like a huge underwater snorkeling park. If you’ve never been snorkeling, then take a quick course to get the basics. Make sure you’re covered in sunscreen and then get to diving.

The Dolphins

For a more guided experience with nature, you’ll want to hop over to the Grand Bahama Island for the one-of-a-kind Dolphin Experience. There you can interact with these beauties in one of the biggest dive programs in all of the Caribbean. It’s great fun for the whole family. This is where you’ll get some amazing pictures. Bring a Santa Claus hat to make a cool Christmas card!

Port Lucaya Marketplace

This marketplace is all about “Duty-free.” Translation: great deals. On Grand Bahama Island you’ll find that market place that is teeming with over 80 shops at a single location. There are also 30 restaurants and live music throughout the day. Clearly, you could kill several hours here taking a break from the beaches. Your amazing Bahamas vacation awaits.