When you think of the Bahamas, you envision warm weather, gentle breezes, beautiful beaches and a getaway from life’s hustle and bustle.

It also is likely, though, that you only think about Nassau, Paradise Island and, perhaps, Freeport.

But the Bahama Islands offer so much more.

Made up of 700 islands and many cays and islets, the Bahamas provide everything from tropical wilderness in Eleuthera to wild dolphin excursions off North Bimini to low-key, luxury key luxury in Exuma and the more familiar shopping, casinos, hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Nassau.

You still can’t beat Nassau for the more traditional tourist experience.

The Atlantis resort and waterpark on Paradise Island has something for just about everyone, from traditional hotel accommodations to villas to condominium hotel residents and a 600-suie tower.

It also features the Royal Towers, which contains the “Bridge Suite,” which is listed by CNN Go at No. 10 on the World’s 15 Most Expensive Hotel Suites.

Each area caters to a different group. So families can enjoy an area with a children’s pool and traditional amenities, including a sundry store, a harbor-front restaurant and shuttle service to Atlantis. For the hip and childless (or a couple escaping the kids for a while), there is an area with cabanas with sliding doors that open to the beach or to the pool.

Prices vary, depending on the time of year, specials the resort may be offering and whether you choose the meal plan or go a la carte on the amenities, can range from $200 per night at the Beach Tower to the Club at the Cove Atlantis, which runs about $650 per night.

The resort also features an Aquaventure, which combines slides, lazy rivers and rapids into one large waterscape with four waterslides, including The Current, a mile-long water ride with waves and artificial tidal surges.

If you prefer your entertainment dry, however, The Dig may be right for you.

A series of aquariums beneath the lobby of the Royal Towers, The Dig is an open air marine habitat with hundreds of different species, including manta rays, sharks, a variety of jellyfish, barracudas and stingrays. The experience is designed to evoke the legendary Lost City of Atlantis.

If you want to get away from the resort, you can go into town for a little shopping, have lunch, pick up some souvenirs at the historic Straw Market, visit Educulture Junkanoo Museum (educulturebahamas.com) and let historian Arlene Nash Ferguson fill you in on the background of “Junkanoo,” the national festival of the Bahamas akin to mardi gras, or go to Dolphin Encounters (www.dolphinencounters.com) for a swim with dolphins and be kissed by a sea lion.

Dolphin Encounters also offers a camp for $250 a week that helps high school and college students interested in marine careers gain experience, assist in research projects and fulfill internship or work-study requirements, assist trainers and participate in animal care and training duties. Volunteer opportunities and fellowships are available as well.

If you want to stay right in town, familiar chain hotels are also available. Accommodations at the Hilton, for example, start at $179/night and rooms at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort are available for about $199/night in mid-May. But specials are frequently offered and deeper discounts are available if you book a combination flight plus hotel package, either through the hotels’ website or travel sites like Expedia.com or Orbitz.com and Travelocity.com.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed, exclusive pampered experience, though, consider hopping a quick 30-minute flight from Nassau to Exuma, a string of islands and cays, stretching more than 100 miles, from about 35 miles southeast of Nassua to the western boundary of Exuma
Sound.

These islands offer hideaways, natural harbors, secluded beaches and privately-owned islands, which attract wealthy industrialists and celebrities, from magician David Copperfield, who owns a couple of islands, to country music stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, who have a vacation home there, and actor/writer/director Tyler Perry, who keeps his yacht parked at Staniel Cay Yacht Club .
Exuma boasts a Sandals resort, where the Four Seasons once stood, but if you want to get away from the all-inclusive experience, the Grand Isle Resort – a gated, townhome condominium community – provides the amenities of a resort, but the privacy of residential living, ranging from $250 to $1,500 per night.

Foreign nationals often buy the homes and turn them into rental property, earning income when they are not using the houses and avoiding Bahamian taxes.

With the rental of a townhome, a golf cart is provided to tool around the grounds and to shop at a nearby strip mall to pick up food and other supplies. The kitchen has all the pots, pans and cooking tools one needs. The townhomes also have washers and dryers and the community also boasts a full-service restaurant, a spa, a fitness center, pool, hot tub, access to a beautiful white-sand beach and a golf course. The villas also have wonderful views of the beach and the golf course.

Stay three nights or more between now and May 23 and get 25 percent off your stay and check the site often for frequent special offers.

Take a boat tour of the area, take a couple of snorkeling breaks and stop for traditional Bahamian cuisine for lunch at Chat’n’Chill on Stocking Island, which allows you to do exactly what the name suggests. Consider having a seafood dinner at Cheaters, another local eatery or cook at home.

In the evenings, live entertainment is available at the restaurant and bar in the community and moonlit walks on the beach beckon.

Whether saving up for a special vacation or splurging on a little luxury, the Bahamas have something for everyone.