Not many places in the world are as beautiful as Nassau. A beach lover’s paradise and one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, the capital of the Bahamas oozes charm on every turn. Whether you wish to explore the city’s vast array of cultural attractions such as the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Parliament Square, enjoy miles of soft sands and crystal-clear waters, or shop for local handicrafts at the popular Nassau Straw Market, a visit to Nassau promises to be a memorable experience.
Nature lovers can look forward to visiting picturesque destinations such as Ardastra Gardens and Primeval Forest National Park, while travelers looking for a perfect beach holiday vacation will have a chance to explore places like the Blue Lagoon Island and Cable Beach. Make the most out of your stay with this list of the best things to do in Nassau, Bahamas.
1. Atlantis Bahamas
Start your Nassau travel adventure with a visit to Atlantis, a luxury 63-acre aquarium, water park, hotel, and entertainment venue that offers a wide range of activities for the entire family. From some seriously awesome water slides and lazy rivers to family-friendly activities like swimming with dolphins and sightings of mammoth manta rays, this fabulous entertainment complex has it all. Make sure to check out the fantasy aquariums, as well as the Leap of Faith. Visitors will also come across many food outlets, clubs, and bars within Atlantis.
2. Nassau Straw Market
Nassau Straw Market is an ideal place to visit for travelers who wish to mingle with the locals and score some cool souvenirs to take back home. Located on Bay Street, this historic market offers everything from the traditional baskets to fine wooden carvings, hats, mats, beaded necklaces, and t-shirts. It’s basically a place where you will find a bunch of island-themed souvenirs, although woven items are the most popular options for purchase.
3. Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Centre
The first zoo in the Bahamas, Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Centre was established in the 1930s by a horticulturist Hedley Vivian Edwards from Jamaica. It is home to nearly 300 animals ranging from jaguars, monkeys, and reptiles to those cute Madagascar lemurs and pot-bellied pigs. The zoo is spread across 4 acres of tropical gardens with picturesque walkways. The Bahamas’ national bird, the Caribbean flamingo is definitely one of the most popular animals at the zoo. Bird lovers will be happy to hear that Ardastra Gardens is also home to a variety of bird species. You can even feed some of these colorful birds.
4. Fort Charlotte
A British-colonial fort from the 18th century, Fort Charlotte is one of the must-visit historical attractions in Nassau. Located on a hill and spanning 100 acres, this extraordinary fort boasts a large number of dungeons, tunnels, and passageways that you can explore during your guided tour of Fort Charlotte. The tours are led by local historians who will tell you everything there is to know about the history of the fort. The on-site staff is dressed in period costumes and can show you their awesome basket weaving techniques. Want to hear more good news? A cannon-firing ceremony is held every day at noon.
Visiting Nassau with the little ones? Spend a day at the lovely Atlantis’ Aquaventure and enjoy its amazing aquariums and waterslides. Both adults and kids will have a great time here exploring all of the park’s attractions. In case you get hungry, many local vendors selling snacks and refreshing drinks can be found on-site. You can purchase limited day passes which are btw limited or stay at one of the Atlantis resort properties that offer free entrance to Aquaventure.
6. Queen’s Staircase
No visit to Nassau is complete without climbing the 65 steps from Fort Fincastle to downtown Nassau. Carved out of a limestone wall, Queen’s Staircase was built by 18th-century slaves in the honor of Queen Victoria. The stairs are a great place to snap some cool photos and are one of the most popular destinations in Nassau. Visit this landmark early in the morning to beat large crowds of visitors on cruise ship shore excursions.
7. Cable Beach
The beaches in the Bahamas are one of the main reasons why millions of tourists choose this Caribbean paradise as their holiday destination. While staying in Nassau, we recommend paying a visit to the picturesque Cable Beach. Expect to find many resorts on this stretch of coastline, as well as soft white sands and crystal-clear waters. The waters here are suitable for swimming and the beach boasts all the necessary facilities and amenities. The good news is that the beach offers free public access which means you don’t have to stay at posh resorts like the Sandals Royal Bahamian to get in.
8. Blue Lagoon Island
Located just a short drive from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island is a truly magical place. This private island is also known as Salt Cay and offers everything from watersports and encounters with dolphins to tranquil lagoons, spectacular beaches, and colorful coral reefs. Admire the beauty of the island’s lush natural vegetation, visit the three-acre marine mammal facility, and tour the island on a Segway. If listening to the sounds of swaying palm trees and enjoying water sports like fishing, water-skiing, and snorkeling sounds like something you might be into, a visit to the Blue Lagoon Island should definitely be included in your Bahamas travel itinerary.
9. Pirates of Nassau Museum
Located in the downtown area, the Pirates of Nassau Museum is a fabulous interactive museum that takes you back to the early 18th century and tells you everything there is to know about the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean. For those who don’t know, Nassau was actually a pirate haven back in the 18th century, so it comes as no surprise that many displays of authentic pirate exhibits can be found here. See the replica of the famous pirate ship called Revenge, interact with local pirate hosts, and discover many exhibits and dioramas. It’s one of the best places in Nassau to visit with kids.
10. Baha Mar Casino
The only casino in the city and the largest casino in the Caribbean, Baha Mar Casino is located in the lobby of the posh Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort. With hundreds of slot machines, table games, race betting, and gaming salons, this casino is spread across 100,000 square feet. Apart from your classic gaming fare, expect to find several boutiques, bars, and restaurants. It’s a great place to come in the evening after a day on the beach in Nassau.
11. Stuart Cove’s
Welcome to Stuart Cove’s, one of the most famous full-service dive resorts in the Bahamas. They even worked as dive coordinators in popular Hollywood movies like the Flipper. Opened way back in 1978, Stuart Cove’s offers everything from diving lessons for beginners and snorkeling to underwater scooters and riding aboard an innovative mini-sub. You can even dive with wild sharks and explore shipwrecks near Nassau.
12. Junkanoo Beach
The closest beach to the cruise port, Junkanoo Beach is a popular destination for spring breakers and offers an abundance of activities to enjoy. Thanks to its proximity to both the downtown area and the cruise ship docks, the beach is popular with vacationers who wish to have the comfort of enjoying all the necessary beach amenities and being close to their accommodation. Junkanoo Beach is also home to a cluster of stands that offer alcoholic beverages like beers and cocktails.
13. John Watling’s Distillery
Located close to the Government House in Nassau, John Watling’s Distillery is situated at the lovely Buena Vista Estate. Go on a tour of the distillery and sample barrel-aged rums including three varieties: Buena vista, pale, and amber. You can also enjoy spectacular views of the harbor and listen to informative tour guides who will tell you everything to know about this amazing distillery and its history.
14. Versailles Gardens and French Cloister
With its lush landscape, grassy terraces, and blossoms of hibiscus, Versailles Gardens and French Cloister is a must-visit destination for nature lovers exploring Nassau Bahamas. From tropical trees and shrubs to 12th-century statues, there is plenty to look forward to when visiting this hidden treasure on Paradise Island. Climb the terraced lawn to see the Augustinian cloister or bring a mat to watch spectacular views over Nassau harbor. Since this is one of the most popular attractions on Paradise Island, we recommend visiting the gardens early in the morning to avoid large crowds of fellow tourists. This is definitely one of our favorite relaxing things to do in Nassau Bahamas.