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George Town has a colorful history, despite the fact that it appears so sleepy today. (With so little street action, it doesn't even need a traffic light.) Pirates used its deep-water harbor in the 17th century, and those called the "plantation aristocracy," mainly from Virginia and the Carolinas, settled here in the 18th century. Over the next 100 years, Elizabeth Harbour, the town's focal point, became a refitting base for British man-of-war vessels, and the U.S. Navy used the port again during World War II.

There isn't much to see here in the way of architecture except the confectionery-pink-and-white Government Building, which was inspired by the architecture of Nassau's Government House.

In Search of the Red-Legged Thrush

Under the protection of The Bahamas National Trust, Exuma National Land and Sea Park begins at Conch Cut in the south and extends northward to Wax Cay Cut, encompassing Halls Pond Cay, Warderick Wells, Shroud Cay, Hawksbill Cay, Cistern Cay, and Bell Island, as well as numerous other small, uninhabited islands. It lies to the northwest of Staniel Cay.

The park is some 35km (22 miles) long, and much of it is a sea garden with reefs, some only 1 to 3m (3-10 ft.) beneath the water's surface. The park is reached only by chartered boat and is very expensive to visit.

This is an area of natural beauty that can be enjoyed by skin divers and yachties, but it's unlawful to remove any plant, marine, or bird life. Before 1986, visitors were allowed to fish for spiny lobster, hog fish, conch, and such, but the park is now designated a marine replenishment nursery.

Many bird-watchers visit the park, looking for the red-legged thrush, the nighthawk, even the long-tailed "Tropic Bird," plus many, many more winged creatures.

This was once the home of the Bahamian iguana, which is now found only on Allan's Cays, a tiny island group just north of Highborne Cay. The government is taking belated steps to protect this creature, which is found nowhere else in the world.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.