One of the best parts of traveling is meeting the locals that make a place so special.
So, while the Bahamas is open to international tourists, including Americans, for those who can't make it there or still prefer to stay close to home, the country has launched a virtual People-to-People program.
Under normal circumstances, the program matches Bahamian volunteers with visitors who are interested in learning more about the country's local food, culture, and hidden gems. These Bahamian ambassadors take guests to the best spots for fried fish, show them around their favorite beaches, and even invite them to a "sip sip" — a good natured gossip session among neighbors. Though these local guides are still currently available for folks arriving in the Bahamas, the program has also gone virtual with a new set of activities and experiences.
For foodies, there's a Cooking Like a Local experience on May 1 ,8, 15, 22, and 29. Guests will virtually join fellow food-loving Bahamians for a walk through their kitchen and step-by-step instructions on preparing some of the destination's tasty classics. If wine and spirits are more your thing, there's a Happy Hour Like a Local experience on May 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 21, and 28. During this virtual meetup, the host will show guests how to whip up the Bahamas' namesake cocktail: the Bahama Mama. An ingredient list will also be sent to participants in advance, so they can concoct their drink in real time.
Beyond food and drink experiences, there's also a virtual walking tour through the country's most iconic locations; an introduction to its culture, history, folklore, and language; and a dance class with step-by-step instructions from Junkanoo (Bahamian carnival) dancers.
To see the full list of People-to-People experiences and register for one today, visit the program's website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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