This wondrous Bahamian city is located on the island of New Providence. It is a bit odd that anyone living on New Providence considers themselves to be from Nassau. In effect, all of New Providence is actually the city of Nassau.
We always fly to Nassau however; cruise ships dock there all of the time. It’s best to fly in on a major airline. Booking a flight with Bahamasair is no guarantee that you will arrive in Nassau on time or leave there on time, for that matter. We’ve used Bahamasair three times and each time, we were more than four hours late to either arrive or depart. A major and reputable carrier is the best way to go.
Getting off of the plane is an experience in itself. Flyers deplane right onto the tarmac at the airport. The first time that we travelled there I was shocked that this was how to deplane there. It doesn’t mean that anything was wrong with the plane; it’s just how they do things in Nassau.
Do rent a car while you are in Nassau. The taxis are extremely overpriced so you will fare better by using a car rental agency. It also gives you more opportunities to explore the island.
Leaving the airport is only the beginning of one of the best holidays that you could imagine. As soon as you exit the airport, you will come across a roundabout. Look off to the side and you will see an antique airplane next to you. For a great photo opportunity, pull off the road and jump out for a picture. This is completely acceptable in Nassau.
After settling into your hotel room, you can begin to explore all that Nassau has to offer its visitors. There are many things to do so be sure that you are well rested before starting out.
The beaches of Nassau are some of the most beautiful in the world. The sand is soft and white. It feels as if you are walking on a cloud. The most visited Bahamian beach is Saunder’s Beach and is located between the British Colonial Hilton Hotel and the Fish Fry on West Bay Street. It is usually quite crowded so if you are looking for a bit of privacy, you might want to travel to another beach.
Love Beach is by far the best of all of the beaches on Nassau, in my opinion. It is about fourteen km from downtown Nassau but is well worth the trip. Oftentimes, the beach is completely void of people so visitors seeking a secluded beach for a little romance would find Love Beach to be the perfect place.
Once you’ve enjoyed Love Beach and are heading back toward the hotels, be sure to stop by Seagrapes. Seagrapes is a wonderful little boutique located next to the Traveler’s Rest restaurant. They have a variety of wonderful finds at fair prices.
The Traveler’s Rest Restaurant offers Bahamian fare at really low prices. Diners can enjoy fresh grouper, friend chicken and of course, conch. The steamed pork chops are to die for and are incredibly delicious. The banana daiquiri is the Traveler’s Rest specialty and they are the best on the island.
The Cave is located just outside of Gambier Village and is a must see. It is the only cave that is located in the Bahamas. Although it is a wee cave, it is a quite unique place to visit and it’s free. Be sure to snap a photo of your family member sitting in the stone Pirate’s chair positioned in front of the cave overlooking the water.
Gamblers will love Cable Beach. There are a host of casinos there for them to try their luck and skill. Shirts and shoes are required inside of the casinos but there is no formal dress code defining the type of shirt. Bahamian casual is perfect for visiting any of the casinos.
The one thing that visitors to Nassau just mustn’t miss is Arawak Cay, more commonly referred to as the Fish Fry. This is where the local Bahamians mingle with visitors in a social setting. Every building houses a small restaurant and pub offering true Bahamian fare as well as alcohol. In my opinion, Twin Brothers is always crowded and the food is pretty good. Personally, we prefer Deep Creek. The owner, Jason and his band perform live several nights each week. They serve great conch fritters, cracked conch and steamed grouper. Visitors can get up and dance to the sounds of Jason Burrows and the Cool Survivors.
The restaurants at Arawak Cay offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Usually, there are quite a few local Bahamians sitting at tables outside slamming dominoes. This is a favorite pastime. Ask to join in on a game and you will be thrilled by their friendliness and enthralled by the conversation. If you don’t know how to play, they will be happy to teach you.
Those who visit Arawak Cay in the daytime should take a few minutes to walk behind it and see the bulkhead. This is where some smaller ships dock. You’ll see some really old yet working boats here. It’s also a great fishing area where locals hang out.
It’s best to visit Potter’s Cay around noontime. This is the place for fish that has been taken directly off of the boats. Visitors can watch the fish be cleaned and see how Bahamians make a fresh conch salad. It’s located under the bridges that lead to Paradise Island. If you order a conch salad, be sure to ask them if you can have the conch shell. It will be a wonderful souvenir to take home with you.
Adelaide Village is quite off the beaten track but a great place to visit. This is the home of the walking crabs. In the morning, the crabs meander across the road and make their way to the water. At night, they cross the road again to sleep in the tall grass. The beaches at Adelaide Village are rockier than the other beaches however; there are jetties that are perfect for fishing. Visitors will also find Sea Grape and Knap Trees bearing fruit for the picking. The trees are located at the edge of the beach and it is legal to pick all that you want. I must say that the Sea Grapes and Knaps are delicious.
For those who are interested in celebrities, the grave of Playboy Model Anna Nichol Smith is located in Nassau, Bahamas. The serene Lakeview Memorial Gardens is where she and her son were laid to rest. It is a lovely cemetery with a beautiful landscape and lush, tropical flowers.
At the end of Blue Hill Road, you will find a beach that has very shallow water. Visitors can walk out for a long time and still only be in waist deep water. You can get some wicked pictures at this beach.
It is important to mention that you should never pass through St. Gregory’s Arch. This turns into an unsavory area. Should you choose to venture into Grant Town and Bain Town, keep your doors locked and windows closed. You will see firsthand that many Bahamians live in wee shacks without running water. It is a sad and depressed area but it can also be dangerous as well.
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