Staniel Cay lies 129km (80 miles) southeast of Nassau at the southern end of the little Pipe Creek archipelago. It's a 13km (8-mile) chain of mostly uninhabited islets, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and bonefish flats. There are many places for snug anchorages, making this a favorite yachting stopover in the mid-Exumas. Staniel Cay, known for years as "Stanyard," has no golf course or tennis courts, but it's the perfect island for "the great escape." It's home to just 80 full-time residents.
An annual Bonefishing Tournament is sponsored here every July, during the celebration of Bahamian Independence Day. There's a straw market where you can buy crafts, hats, and handbags.
The Staniel Cay Yacht Club arranges charter flights from Fort Lauderdale on Watermakers Air (tel. 954/771-0330; www.watermakersair.com). Tickets cost $260 to $347 per person one-way; flight time is 3 hours. Call for more information.