Local Insight: A great source of pride to the locals, sparsely populated South Bimini boasts a pool said to be a fountain of youth. Or try the Healing Hole in the beautiful waters off Bimini, which also reportedly holds rejuvenating powers.

ABACOS
Vital Stats:
The most popular, and populated, Out Island cluster stretches nearly 130 miles. The "bustling" town of Marsh Harbor has the only stoplight in the Abacos. Telephone service became a reality in 1988.

Claim to Fame: Hands down, the sailing and yachting capital of the Bahamas. Gorgeous white-sand beaches, topaz-blue water, secluded inlets, and a variety of cays and New England-style villages.

Sleep/Eat/Drink: Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbor (800-468-4799) in Marsh Harbor bookends many a seagoing journey. Walk the property and drool at the mega fishing yachts, then have drinks at the open-air bar. The more remote Treasure Cay Resort & Marina (800-327-1584) rests on a world-class 3-plus-mile beach on one side and full-service marina on the other. And guess where most of the restaurant's delicious seafood comes from?

Shop: The Iggy Biggy boutiques, in Marsh Harbor and must-see Hope Town, carry a cool selection of handmade gifts, jewelry, clothing, and Bahamian music. Also check out the shops at the pastel settlement of New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay.

Play: Abacos by boat is the best way to go. Captain a rented sailboat or hire a crew, both through the Moorings (800-535-7289) in Marsh Harbor. If a powerboat is more your speed, try NauticBlue (800-416-0224) or a local captain like Perry Thomas (242-367-3753).

Local Insight: Where's the party? It's at Nippers, on Great Guana Cay, especially during Regatta Week in the summer, when the dancing and drinking crowd swells into the hundreds. Don't get so nipped that you miss a long walk on the amazing beach you're overlooking.