The Bahamas are one of the most famous and accessible vacation destinations for tourists. Often known as the gateway to the Caribbean because of its tourist-friendly atmosphere and a short distance from the American mainland, the Bahamas are visited more frequently by more cruise ships than any other Caribbean destination every year. For now, we've put together a list of the ten best things to do in Nassau Bahamas. Read on and discover how to make your trip to the Caribbean one you'll never forget.
What Is Nassau Bahamas?
Nassau Bahamas is the commercial heart of the Bahamas, a thriving city that lives on tourism and commerce. Filled with exciting attractions, up-close encounters with local ocean life, shopping opportunities, and a food culture that has something for everyone, Nassau welcomes even the most cautious tourists with familiar sights while offering adventures and off-the-beaten-path treasures for more adventurous and experienced visitors.
Only hours from Florida by cruise ship, the islands are a frequent port of call for three-day cruises. While the Bahamas are an island nation full of welcoming culture, natural beauty, and delicious food, most tourists will spend their first trip to the Bahamas exploring the archipelago's largest city - Nassau Bahamas. Unless you're in Nassau for an extended stay, it'll take more than one visit to discover everything the city has to offer.
Ten Things to Do
Nassau Paradise Island
Connected to the city of Nassau Bahamas by a series of bridges, this resort is the city's crown jewel. Featuring over a dozen hotels ranging from high-end luxury to budget hotels with a sense of flair, the resort boasts local cruises, fishing charters, up-close encounters with sea life, casinos, nightclubs, local tours, horseback riding, spas, and a world-class water park. The crown jewel of Nassau Paradise Island is the Atlantis resort, featuring six hotel towers and the famous water park Aquaventure.
Built around a stunning replica of a Mayan temple, Aquaventure features exciting water slides, and after a full day, you can unwind with an elegant meal at one of Nassau Bahamas' many restaurants. Families will find a variety of cuisines ranging from Italian to BBQ to Brazilian steakhouse at casual family restaurants while an assortment of luxury dining awaits those looking for a more adult dining experience. Nassau Paradise Island is the perfect all-inclusive resort destination for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of Nassau Bahamas in a family-friendly and luxurious environment.
When people think of a Caribbean vacation, they often think of the beach first. Nassau Bahamas features one of the most beautiful beaches you'll find anywhere, as Junkanoo Beach is a picture-perfect eden of blue water and white sand. Named after the country's most famous street festival, Junkanoo, it's located only minutes away from downtown Nassau. It's often the first stop of cruise ship passengers, but you can find plenty of locals there too. If you're hungry while enjoying the waves, this beach is lined with vendors that offer a wide selection of delicious Bahamian food and drinks.
Shark Wall at Stuart Cove
Looking to take a more adventurous approach to your visit to Nassau Bahamas? Scuba diving is a great way to get close with nature, but the Shark Wall is only for the hardiest diver. This three-and-a-half hour experience takes you to Shark Wall for a duo of encounters with the sea's most fearsome predators. First you'll swim with Caribbean reef sharks, and then you'll get to feed them with a long pole. There isn't a more exciting, and yet safe, way to encounter some impressive ocean animals up-close and personal.
The small village of Arawak Cay is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist-filled Nassau. You won't find any golf courses or casinos here - it's the ideal place to go if you want to experience Nassau Bahamas as the locals do. The fish fry is the most beloved culinary tradition on the Bahamas, and no one does it better than the locals of Arawak Cay. Conch, shrimp, Mahi-Mahi, and other local seafood delicacies make up one of the best fish fries you'll ever taste. If you're lucky enough to be here on Sunday, you'll get to enjoy live Bahamian music while you eat.
One of the most stunning architectural marvels in Nassau Bahamas is the Queen's Staircase. Standing an impressive one hundred and two feet tall, it is a testament to both human achievement and the darker parts of the Caribbean's history. Also known as the 66 Steps, it's a limestone staircase that was built into the side of Fort Fincastle by slaves over the course of sixteen years to give soldiers an easy way to access the fort from the city of Nassau in case of a sudden attack.
Pirates of Nassau Museum
This museum in Nassau Bahamas gained a lot of popularity in the wake of the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. The Bahamas were the center of the Golden Age of Piracy that lasted from 1690 to 1720, and the islands still bear a lot of scars from that violent era. This museum contains historical artifacts from the era, along with information about some of the most famous pirates that plagued the island. It's educational the interactive elements - such as the stocks - will fascinate children and adults alike.
John Watling's Distillery
The Bahamas have a reputation of having delicious rum, and if you're into drinking high-quality liquor a trip to Nassau Bahamas is not complete without sampling the elite spirits at the city's most famous distillery. Located on the famous 1789 Buena Vista Estate only minutes from downtown Nassau, this distillery is home to John Watling's Rum, nicknamed "The Spirit of the Bahamas". You can take a tour to see how the small-batch distillery functions and then indulge in a tasting of some of the Caribbean's finest rum.
Nassau Straw Market on Bay Street
Everyone knows you can't go on vacation without coming home with a selection of souvenirs for those back home. You won't find a better place to go shopping than the famous Nassau Straw Market. One of the busiest duty-free districts in the Caribbean, it's a great opportunity to save money. You can't leave without a famous straw hat, the symbol of Nassau Bahamas. You'll find hundreds of stalls manned by local vendors selling clothing, jewelry, and authentic Caribbean food. There's so much to see and do in this market, it's easy to spend hours.
Cricket Club Pub and Restaurant
The most common sport tourists play in Nassau Bahamas is golf, but if you want a taste of the authentic Caribbean culture, you'll want to take in a game of cricket. There's no better place to experience the unofficial sport of the Bahamas than at the Cricket Club Pub and Restaurant. While watching local teams face off in the game of balls and wickets, you can enjoy an authentic Bahamian meal at the sports bar. They serve Bahamian meals, including conch fritters, British meals, and simple grilled meats for American tourists looking for a taste of home. On a hot day when you need a break, it's the perfect place to relax.
Ardastra Gardens Zoo and Conservation Center
For a taste of the flora and fauna of Nassau Bahamas, head to this world-famous nature refuge. Founded in 1937 by Jamaican horticulturist Hedley Vivian Edwards, the complex boasts the largest botanical garden in the Bahamas. Adults will enjoy the natural beauty of the plants while kids will enjoy the diverse zoo. They can have up-close encounters with local wildlife including Parrots, Flamingos, Lemurs, Iguanas, and Boa Constrictors. The conservation center will give you an up-close look at how the dedicated botanists and zoologists protect and care for the native wildlife.
If you're planning to take your first cruise to the Caribbean, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the number of options. The Caribbean is a diverse place with dozens of distinct cultures and attractions. Nassau Bahamas is the best of all worlds as this tourist-friendly city has something for everyone. If you're looking to enjoy an all-inclusive resort experience with water slides and gourmet dining, you'll be happy at Nassau Paradise Island and its high-end resort Atlantis.
To recap, there are several things you can do visiting Nassau Bahamas. Enjoy authentic Bahamian cuisine at the Cricket Club Pub and Restaurant while taking in the local sports and enjoy the fish fry at Arawak Cay or the high-quality rum at John Watling's Distillery. Enjoy nature at Junkanoo Beach and Ardastra Gardens. Bring home souvenirs for everyone you love after a day of shopping at the Nassau Straw Market. Explore the history of the Caribbean at Queen's Staircase or the Pirates of Nassau Museum. The most daring tourists can embark on an adventure with sharks at Stuart Cove.
No matter what your dream vacation in the Caribbean may be, you'll find something to enjoy at the one and only Nassau Bahamas.