Top Things to do in Nassau, Bahamas
Best places to visit
You will surely know that most tourists visit Nassau and Paradise Island (the twin islands in Bahamas) for the fabulous white sandy beaches, and perhaps you too will eventually spend much of your time on the sands and water. But to know and feel Nassau and Paradise Island in its true spirit, you must also visit several other attractions that reveal the deep heritage, culture, ecology and history of the places.
Atlantis Aquarium, Paradise Island
Photo: bobbsled, flickr, cc by-sa 2.0
For a comprehensive list of 'Things to do' in Nassau (New Providence) including attractions, sightseeing tours and cruises, activities and adventures, go through this Viator Website Page
where you can check the details, user reviews, rates and book activities or tours of your choice.
While the top beaches are described in the following section, here are the other great attractions.
One of the largest and best public aquariums in the world - Marine Habitat located in Paradise Island houses over 50,000 fish and other marine life,
A large water park complete with super fast slides and river rides - The Aquaventure also in Paradise Island,
Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island where you can play and swim with dolphins, snow lions and even feed sting rays,
The Ardastra Garden and Zoo in Nassau showcasing many domestic animals and birds including the national birds of Bahamas - the Caribbean flamingos,
National Art Gallery that captures the history of Bahams and its slavery period through Bahamian fine arts,
Dolphin show at Blue Lagoon Island
Photo: Boris Kasimov, flickr, cc by 2.0
And there are many historic buildings that reflect the colonial architecture, forts and lighthouses, museum that showcases the era of Piracy which was once rampant in Nassau from late 1600s to early 1700s, and lot more. In several of the above places there are guides available for a guided tour so that you are involved and able to appreciate the subject. You can visit most of these attractions by taxi, some are on public bus routes, best is to have a rental scooter or a car.
The Best Beaches
Out of the numerous beaches in Nassau and Paradise Island, there are few that stand out from the rest when it comes to the picturesque settings, convenience to reach, public facilities etc and some stand out for seclusion as if you are on an Out Island beach, and some are great for families with kids offering shallows for ideal swimming and having an adjoining children's park. Here are the very best beaches:
Cable Beach, Nassau
Photo: NivCube, Shutterstock
is a very popular and beautiful white sandy beach in Paradise Island. It's fringed by large resorts including Atlantis, Riu Palace etc and remains quite crowded. The beach also has public access. Named as one of the 10 best beaches in the world.
is another popular beach in Nassau (New Providence) little away from the downtown and lined with several resorts, restaurants, bars and casino. Also quite crowded. Has public access to areas which are not occupied by the resorts.
is mostly a local's beach on north shore of Nassau (New Providence), this beautiful beach is relatively free of crowd and has enough space on the sand. Water is great for swimming and there is a children's park.
is a city beach in downtown Nassau overlooking the harbor. Due to its location and proximity to cruise terminal this is a popular with both cruise visitors and locals. It's a lively beach with beach bars, beach rentals, vendors offering food and souvenirs, washrooms etc.
Best Sailing and Boating Tours
There are plenty of options when you are looking for water tours ... you get sail boats or catamarans to watch spectacular sunset and have dinner on board, or just go out on a sailing sightseeing tour for half or full day, or get to another private island by boat where you can engage in many beach and water activities and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Here are few popular ones:
Tour Boat in Nassau Harbor
Photo: Lauren_vdM Pixabay
Rose Island trip by Sandy Toes is a full day group excursion to the nearby Rose Island. It takes 15 minute boat ride one way from Paradise Island ferry dock. The operator Sandy Toes offers full day on a private island beach where you can relax, swim, go for guided snorkel tour, have a traditional Bahamian lunch (all included). You can additionally buy drinks and snacks from the beach bar.
Powerboat Adventures trip takes you to private island in high speed boat where you feed stingrays, watch sharks feeding, have great beach time and of course great food, cocktails and beverages... an all inclusive adventure package.
Sunset and Dinner Cruise operated by Seahorse Sailing Adventures from Paradise Island marina is great for watching spectacular sunset while sailing on a catamaran on the harbor and followed by dinner and drinks on board.
Bahama Boat Excursions offer private charter cruises where they take you to an island destination like Rose Island or Exuma Cays for half or full day. You can enjoy private beach, hammocks, cabanas, snorkeling and even kayaking. In Exuma Cays, you can swim with the pigs or feed the rare iguanas. While they provide drinks and snacks, you can bring your own food or let them arrange for you.
Best City Tours and Excursions
Nassau Land and Sea Tour by Seahorse Sailing Adventures shows you several attractions like lighthouse, forts etc as you cruise on a catamaran, and several other historic sites in Nassau like Fort Fincastle, Queen Victoria Staircase, Governor General's official residence, Bay Street, famous Atlantis resort complex in Paradise Island etc from air-conditioned bus.
Nassau Bus Tour
by Majestic Tours follows a circuit similar to the one explained in Self guided walking tour of Nassau
, however instead of walking, you can be in an air-conditioned bus with a guide.
There are several other guided tours available in Nassau including Art and Dine tour, Culinary and Cultural tour, Bahamian Heritage Center tour, Horseback Riding tour, Segway self drive tour and more.
Best Snorkeling and Diving
Plenty of reefs, wrecks and walls are scattered in the waters around New Providence island which are teeming with marine life and colorful corals.
Several snorkel operators offer daily snorkeling cruises to reef sites or island beach sites. Most of them are located conveniently from the cruise terminal or downtown Nassau.
There are also several PADI certified scuba dive operators offering 2-tank and 1-tank dives daily. Most dive sites are around the New Providence island where you can experience walls, coral reefs, wrecks (both shipwrecks and that of aircraft) along with myriad of marine life including sharks. You can in fact specifically go for shark diving where reef sharks would follow you to the feeding area and later see a trained diver hand feed them.
There is also weeklong liveaboard scuba diving vacation offered by an operator and they take you to the largest underwater park in Caribbean in Exuma and also to South West Eluthera.
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