Bahamas as a Travel Destinationadmin
Last Updated December 17th, 2018
Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas has been the commercial center of the country ever since the 18th century. Being the largest and one of the busiest hubs, the city is the perfect amalgamation of vintage and modern infrastructure.
On one hand it boasts of modern golf courses, resorts and casinos that will lure any luxury loving self.
Then on the other hand, the royal architecture and beautifully preserved churches add an old world charm to it.
After braving invasions of pirates, Spanish, British and American forces before the eighteenth century, Nassau is now the quintessential representation of what Bahamas is famous for.
Though one the smallest Islands in Bahamas, the city will pleasantly surprise with the number of things it nurtures within the small space. Beaches, luxury hotels, parks, museums, you name it and you will find it.
Culture and Climate
The first thing that will strike you once you step foot in Nassau is the burst of colors! The sight of blue water, luscious green trees, brick buildings with bright red windows and graphic wall art will instantly brighten your spirit.
Pink, yellow, peach, blue and red colored houses will greet you on the shores. Even the parliament building is painted pink, and the law officers still wear full white wigs!
It is this very natural beauty combined with lot of playfulness and quirkiness that has earned Nassau a spot in everyone’s must-visit-once list.
The climate is semi-tropical and best during spring and fall. It is breezy and warm around that time. Be prepared for heavy rainfall during June and November. March & April are the peak months where you can grab amazing deals, discounts and offers on travel and stay.
Locals are warm and friendly and are a fun loving lot. They love music, arts and crafts. You would notice the culture to be heavily inspired from the British, African and Spanish cultures, as it is reflected in every art form of theirs.
Getting in and around
US citizens do not require special visa to enter Bahamas but non-US citizens do need to apply for a visa. On arrival everyone has to sign an immigration form and have to declare their luggage
By Flight – Lynden Pindling International Airport is situated around 16 kms from Nassau. Most US airlines offer regular flights to this island. Limited flights also take off from London and Toronto.
You will get several taxi cabs and shuttle vans outside the building that can take to your final destination. Fares are fixed (you can check the rate card) but they are subject to change.
By Ship – A desired stopover of cruise ships sailing to the Bahamas is Nassau. Many tourists step into this city via ship or boat.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney Cruise, and Norwegian Cruise Lines are some of the many popular cruises that dock at Nassau. Ships dock in Prince George Wharf that is situated below Paradise Island and near downtown Nassau.
Getting Around Town
Nassau is a very crowded and busy city with various modes of transport. You can easily find taxis, buses (locally identified as jitneys), rental scooters and rental cars.
Taxis are the most reliable mode of transport to move around the city. It is advisable not to drive yourself, especially if it’s your first trip.
First familiarize yourself with the local driving style and roads, and then attempt to drive around the city. Remember that in Nassau it is left-hand drive, the way it is in UK.
The Pirate Museum – As mentioned earlier,, pirates and Nassau have a long history. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there is a museum dedicated to pirates to showcase the history.
Once you enter the museum you will be greeted by huge ships accompanied with background music and light show. All in all a thrilling experience.
Nassau Public Library and Museum – Besides the remarkable octagonal shape, another interesting thing about this library is that it used to be a jail once.
The entire place has been revamped and the cells that once kept prisoner’s captive are now lined with books and museum artifacts.
Pompey Museum – Named after the slave Pompey, the place has an interesting past. It was a place where slave auctions were once conducted.
Now it has been transformed in to a museum that displays local history and culture. It specifically paints the picture of slave culture and the history of liberation in the Bahamas.
Exploring the Bahamas
When you think of the Bahamas, you immediately think of its beautiful stretches of beaches. Therefore, upon arriving in the country, one’s first instinct is to hit the beaches right away.
The Grand Bahama Island is without a doubt the most popular island destination in the Bahamas because of its caves and cays, reefs and white-sands beaches.
If you wish to see the country’s best example of its ecosystems, then the Grand Bahama Island is where you should certainly go.
The Lucayan National Park in the Grand Bahama Island showcases all of the archipelago’s 6 types of ecosystems.
You can go inside the island’s famous limestone cave – considered as among the longest underwater caves of its type in the world, or you can loll by the beach and enjoy the view.
For water sports, you can go diving, snorkeling or sailing.
If you wish to swim with dolphins, head to Nassau where you will find Paradise Island. Within Paradise Island is Blue Lagoon Island, a private island that offers close encounters with dolphins in their natural habitat.
You and the kids will definitely enjoy swimming with the dolphins and playing with the sea lions.
After your encounter with the dolphins and the sea lions, why not get to meet some more animals but this time, on land?
In Nassau, there is the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre. Located in Western New Providence, this tourist hotspot is home to the island’s famous marching flamingos. The flamingos are trained and “march” to the orders of their trainer during a show.
After your close-up with the flamingos, explore the zoo where you will see various animals, reptiles and birds.
Museums, landmarks and shops are also worth a visit in Nassau.
The Grand Bahama Island meanwhile is the perfect spot for bird watching. Bird enthusiasts will have a field day watching both resident and migratory birds.
Among the resident birds are barn owl, great blue heron, mangrove cuckoo and blue-gray gnatcatcher.
Migratory birds include a variety of warblers and orioles plus Eastern kingbird and Pectoral sandpiper.
You may also come across some of Bahamas’ endemic birds such as the Bahama swallow, Bahama yellowthroat and the Bahama woodstar.
Junkanoo is the most popular festival in the archipelago. It’s a parade of sorts where locals and tourists shimmy to the beat of the bongos of Calypso music, with good helpings of Soca and Rake & Scrape music for good measure.
The festival takes place twice per year, in most towns in the Bahamas. Junkanoo is enjoyed every Boxing Day which is the day after Christmas Day and New Year’s.
In the Grand Bahama Island however, Junkanoo is also celebrated during summer.
Colorful and elaborate costumes and dances that tell a story are only some of the highlights of the festival. The start of the festival is signaled by lively street dancing that starts at about two in the morning and lasts up to ten of the same morning.
You’ve Cable Beach, Dolphin Experience, Port Lucaya Marketplace, Junkanoo Nightlife, Cabbage Beach and Lucayan National Park etc. that will eat-up your entire vacation period in entertainment. Get rejuvenated in the Bahamas.
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) August 12, 2018
Whether you love beaches or gardens, Nassau has it all. Atlantis, is a luxurious resort and one of the major attractions of the city. Guests can chose to stay here or make use of the Aqua venture Water Park at a nominal fee.
The Retreat Garden National Park that spreads over 11 acres houses over 175 various species of palm trees. Other places of interest are Junkanoo Beach, Dolphin encounter on Blue Lagoon Island, and Mario’s Bowling and Entertainment Palace.
Dining and Shopping
Fancy souvenirs for your loved ones can be picked from Straw Market and Bay Street. You can take your pick from colorful clothes, jewels, local artifacts and artwork.
Visitors have a choice of fine dining, casual eateries or buffets. Tourist’s can also head to the numerous shacks on the shores for the most delectable local food. It is affordable, authentic and amazingly delicious. For a glimpse of local fresh produce and fish, Potters’ Cay is the place to visit. You can dig into some of the freshest seafood delicacies here, like conch, shrimp and lobster, all prepared in local Bahamian style.
Paradise Island and Cable Beach is the place to be to enjoy night life in Nassau. Green Parrot, Senor Frogs, The Flamingo Café, Hammerheads Bar & Grille offer a great mix of lively music, entertainment, food and drinks.
For those who wish to try their luck at a Casino the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Wyndham Nassau Resort are the place to head to. The lively casinos here can keep you occupied the whole night.
Nassau is an ideal place for anyone who loves excitement, activity and energy. The people of Nassau celebrate good food and life. In the face of modernization, Nassau holds on its own through its rich, diverse and unique culture.
Post by Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.