Planning your next vacation to The Bahamas? You’re going to want to add these things to your bucket list pronto. These are the 10 best things to do in Nassau.
As a native Nassauvian, I know the ins and outs of my island, so I can tell you the places you’re likely to enjoy. Coincidentally, these are also some great spots to hit up if you’re looking to give your Instagram a colourful island makeover.
1. Compass Point Resort
If colour is what you’re after, you’re going to want to head over to the Compass Point Resort on West Bay Street. The resort, which sits on nearly two acres of waterfront property, features 18 hut-styled cottages and cabanas in the most vibrant colours you will find. It also boasts some of the most spectacular ocean views.
Even if you’re not staying at the resort, you can walk the property and take great photos. You may have to patronise the resort’s restaurant, first, though. So, buy some daiquiris and conch fritters and go for a beautiful walk on the property. Just call ahead of time to make sure they’re open and be respectful while there.
2. Bon Vivants: Stop For Coffee, Enjoy The Decor
One of my favourite places to sip coffee and chill is a beautiful cocktail bar called Bon Vivants. It’s located in Sandyport in the western portion of the island.
Stop by on any day and you’re likely to see local influencers, bloggers and fashion designers snapping selfies and sipping matcha lattes on the famous purple couch. This place is heavy on the atmosphere and the service is unmatched. You will be blown away by the decor. It’s a total vibe.
3. Aquaventure Awaits
Ok, so technically, this next activity is on Paradise Island, but I couldn’t leave it out. Aquaventure is Atlantis’ 141-acre waterpark. I can’t count the times I have been at this aquatic wonderland. It boasts waterslides, a lazy river (my fave) and tons of swimming pools.
If you’re bold, try the Leap of Faith, a 60-foot body slide that drops you almost vertically through a see-through tunnel surrounded by sharks and other marine life.
This is the one slide I am too scared to go on. I’ve gotten to the top several times and chickened out. It’s too steep for me. I get severe anxiety and run away. But, if you’re a thrill-seeker, you’ll be right at home.
4. One Of My Favourite Things To Do In Nassau: Tour The Island
Nassau, which sits on the island of New Providence, is only 21 miles long by seven miles wide. Translation: it ain’t big. You could travel the entire island in no time, unless you decide to set out during rush hour traffic.
New Providence is a beautiful island with lots of rich history. You’ll enjoy seeing the colourful houses (Bahamians love colour), as well as the colonial buildings. The Bahamas is a former British colony and there are lots of vestiges of the past.
You could either take a taxi tour – a wonderful way to support local entrepreneurs, or you could rent a scooter or car and set out on your own. The first offers a chance to get educated on the island. The latter allows you to discover at your own pace. If you do decide to drive, remember to drive on the left hand side of the ride. That’s another vestige of our colonial past.
5. Take A Boat Ride In Nassau
People don’t go to The Bahamas for the land, they go there for the sea. And we’re surrounded by it. The best way to experience Nassau is on boat. There are tons of charters offering excursions to nearby islands and cays.
You can take a 3.5 boat evening cruise around Nassau Harbour and see the gorgeous mansions and golf course on Paradise Island or just drink and chill on board.
One of my favourite things to do is visit Blue Lagoon Island, the home of the bottlenose dolphins and sea lions. But, honestly, my favourite part is the boat ride to the island.
If you’re travelling solo, you’ll meet people, trust me. If you’re travelling with your partner, family or friends, you will have the time of your life on the water. Bahamian water is gin clear. You will be amazed, I promise you.
6. Visit Parliament Square
If politics is your thing, you’ll enjoy Parliament Square. It’s located on Bay Street in Nassau’s downtown area. Parliamentarians typically meet on a Wednesday when the House of Assembly is in session. If you’re around, you’ll catch a glimpse of the legislators, and even the nation’s prime minister as they make their way to the House.
While there, make sure to grab a quick photo with the queen. Yes, British royalty sits in Parliament Square right in front of the Senate. A huge marble Queen Victoria statue, welcomes millions of visitors every single year.
7. Queen’s Staircase
Speaking of royalty, you’ll want to head over to the Queen’s Staircase. This historical landmark features 65 steps of solid limestone rock. According to historians, between 1793 and 1794, some 600 slaves carved out the steps.
It was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria, who reigned over Britain for 64 years.
A former colleague of mine had her wedding there and it provided the most spectacular background. It’s definitely someplace you should visit and take lots of photos.
Firstly, Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas. It’s also the place where most Bahamians live, so there’s bound to be more action and excitement than the other Bahamian islands were life is a little more slow-paced.
8. Visit The Slave Ruins
The Bahamas is much more than just sun, sand and sea. It’s more than just a vacation destination. It has a very rich history that few people actually know or talk about.
Slavery ended in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. But, there is a place you can go to if you want to step back in time: the Clifton Heritage Park.
You can visit the ruins to see where slave quarters once stood. You can also see the walls of the slave masters’ houses. There’s also an incredible art display known as “Sacred Space,” which features faceless carvings facing the ocean.
9. Visit A Local Church
Bahamians are a very religious people. If you want a true, authentic Bahamian experience, visit a church on Sunday morning. There are a variety of denominations in Nassau. The choice is yours. But, it’s a wonderful way to see how Bahamians worship and to feel connected to the people. Every church would gladly welcome out-of-town visitors.
10. Get A Conch Snack At Bamboo Shack
When it comes to food, I’m picky. I don’t eat at just any old spot and I certainly don’t tell people to eat from an establishment that is filthy or questionable. That being said, I think no trip to Nassau is complete without a stop to Bamboo Shack. It’s where the locals go for “chicken-in-da-bag” basically chicken and fries.
This takeout restaurant is a fave because it not only tastes amazing, but the food is consistently good. The facilities are also clean.
It’s no secret that Bahamians love them some conch. It really should be our national dish. Bamboo Shack also features conch snacks , which is basically battered, seasoned, deep fried conch and fries smothered with ketchup and hot sauce. You can add mayo and onions, if that’s your thing.
Besides it tasting absolutely delicious, I love the fact that the food is packaged in a nondescript brown paper bag. You’ll be able to smell the seasoned contents through the bag. It’s well worth a trip when you go to Nassau. If you go at lunch time, prepare for long lines.
To learn more about The Bahamas, watch my video down below.
This Bahamian Gyal