Best Nassau Attractions and Points of Interest
Here are Nassau attractions not to miss on your vacation! There are plenty of attractions for kids and adults alike. Go on an adventure to the Blue Lagoon Island - Salt Cay to interact with dolphins and sea lions, dip your toes in the sand on Sandy Toes island, visit the Ardastra Gardens, visit the Pirates of Nassau museum, admire the famous Queen's Staircase, take a day trip to Paradise Island, explore Fort Fincastle, and so much more! These and other Nassau points of interest are a must-see once you visit the beautiful Bahamas!
Underwater fans and divers cannot miss Stuart's Cove- fabulous Nassau attraction! You will get to explore the depths of the waters around the Island through scuba diving, shark diving, snorkeling, SNUBA and SUBS! Experienced divers can join the Dive Bahamas tours which offers up to 5 dives per day. Dive sites feature everything from steep vertical walls that plummet over 6000 to tranquil shallow reefs. There are locations with shipwrecks and airplane wrecks and some famous locations that were used in movies. Beginners can take a 3 hour lesson and dive with an instructor to get you hooked onto this fabulous sport, one of the best Nassau points of interest.
If you are super brave, join a shark feeding dive where you will get scarily close to these amazing creatures. For something more relaxing, snorkeling for the whole family makes a great day out and a wonderful bonding experience. If you haven't tried SNUBA, now is the time. It is Scuba diving without certification or any prior experience. Great for all ages and levels of fitness!
Photo by Joi Ito
Nassau's Blue Lagoon Island (Salt Cay) - Dolphin Encounters, Snorkeling and more!
Heading off to Blue Lagoon Island, also known as Salt Cay, offers a host of fun adventures in Nassau. This private island is a famous Nassau attraction - it welcomes all who want to experience the beauty of the Bahamas. Snorkel and scuba dive on the reefs to see the stunning colorful marine life, corals and sponges. Relax on the clean sandy white beaches and swim in the azure waters. Nature lovers can walk and hike to discover the bird and animal life in the tropical forests. Take a kayak trip and see the island from the water and then set off with the family for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure of swimming with the dolphins and encountering sea lions.
Photo by absoluteczech on Flickr.
Sandy Toes/Rose Island in Nassau
If you are one for relaxation and breathtaking scenery, take a trip to Sandy Toes, or Rose Island. First, enjoy a signature 'Sandy Toes' cocktail before making your way to the uninhabited private island a mere 4.7km away from Nassau.
The pristine private beach offers crystal clear waters which are perfect for kayaking, snorkeling and fish feeding. Join in a game of volleyball or just laze in the hammocks while being waited on. This quiet and secluded venue offers the perfect chance to totally unwind. Enjoy a buffet lunch and then sip a sundowner at the Beachfront Bar.
Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Park in Nassau
Go back to your childhood days! The Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Park is a great Nassau attraction for kids - an 80 year old lush tropical garden filled with birds, mammals and reptiles. The Ardastra Gardens has an incredible show of marching flamingoes, specifically trainedto follow the "orders" like soldiers. Another exciting show at this Nassau zoo is the possibility to hand-feed beautiful Lory parrots, who love apples! The zoo is open daily and makes a perfect get-away for nature lovers. Stroll along the winding paths through the gardens and discover secluded corners with a bench to relax, small bridges over ponds, archways bursting with exotic shrubs and colorful flowers, swans and exotic plants. Children will love having their picture taken with the famous Freddy the Peacock or Toby the Cockatoo. Buy a souvenir to take home to remind you of this beautiful venue.
Pirates of Nassau Museum
Becoming a pirate is a fun adventure for kids in Nassau and is the best Nassau point of interest. Take part in the Pirates of Nassau tour and have a fabulous adventure, or visit the museum by yourself. This recreation of Caribbean history brings to life the pirate days. Terrorizing the waters between 1690 -1720, these seafarers plundered and looted and ruled the oceans. The amazing museum displays all-things pirate and will enchant both adults and kids. Stroll around and learn about the Golden Age of Piracy from your knowledgeable guide. Make sure you have picture taken with your eye patch on.
Photo by David Malouf
Nassau Cruise Port
Head off to the Cruise Port - another great Nassau attraction. This bustling hive of activity is the starting point for many tours and shore excursions. You can shop up a storm in the many boutique stores and relax with a traditional dish at a restaurant. Listen to local music and soak up the vibe. The port is the launching pad for snorkeling and diving tours to some of the world's most renowned dive spots. Walk around and admire the colonial architecture, ride in a horse-drawn carriage or take a water taxi to Paradise Island. Strolling around the Cruise Port is the best way to get immersed in the history of this vibrant city.
Queen's Staircase in Nassau
If you're up for a history lesson like no other, then the famous Queen's Staircase is a must visit Nassau attraction. Friendly locals tend to greet and give an in depth lesson of how the stairwell came to be by a slave labor entirely by hand (a tip is highly appreciated!). As you climb the stairs, you are surrounded by flowers and foliage which adds to character of this attraction spot. One can either climb from the bottom up or from the top down, or both if you are up for it! The staircase is 102 feet high and has 65 steps. Slaves carved it out of solid limestone rocks, using axes and hand tools, creating a marvel of construction. The staircase was named in honor of the Queen Victoria's 65 year reign and her her role in the abolition of slavery.
Paradise Island in Nassau - Atlantis Resort
Visiting Paradise Island of the Atlantis Resort - you are in for an incredible experience! If you are among the lucky ones, here you will find Nassau attractions that appeal to all ages including the Aquaventure Water Park offering marine interactions, buzzing nightlife, casinos, fine dining and elaborate water parks. All on one island! If you don't stay at the Resort, you can obtain day passes to experience everything the Resort has to offer. After a fun filled day, take a stroll on the beach and stop by one of the many beach bars to enjoy a night cap. Paradise Island offers some of the best Nassau points of interest a host of Nassau attractions, ideal for families, groups and couples. Explore them all and make your vacation one to be remembered!
Start off at the Water Park which features over 20 million gallons of water in fabulous attractions like massive water slides, pools, real-life beaches, crazy rapids and daredevil rides for the brave. Then head off to Dolphin Cay, a huge man-made marine habitat and animal rescue centre. Swim and play with dolphins, explore a spooky underwater Atlantis and become a dolphin trainer for a day!
Marine Habitat is home to barracuda, piranha, eels, dolphins and sharks. Snorkel into the ruins and admire these amazing creatures. If you want to stay dry, observe them through the massive glass viewing windows, the experience is just as awesome!
Fort Fincastle in Nassau
With so many Nassau attractions, the options are unlimited when it comes to amazing scenery, adventure and history. Located next to the Queen's Staircase, you will find another great piece of history called Fort Fincastle. The fort served as protection for the city as well as a lighthouse for over a century. Be awed by the massive brick walls and cannons looming over the top. Inside, you will find friendly guides ready to tell you about the history behind the castle, interactive exhibits, placards explaining interesting facts and a rustic one-of-a kind souvenir shop. After experiencing all this, climb to the top of the Fort to enjoy impressive views of the Island.
Straw Market in Nassau
Bargain for locally made craft at the popular Nassau attraction - Straw Market. Head off to Straw Market for a fun-filled shopping adventure. This open-air market, nestling between the high end shops, is a traditional venue selling handmade straw crafts, souvenirs and trinkets. With friendly vendors willing to bargain, authentic crafts and craftsmen taking special requests, you are sure to find a bargain, duty free, especially if you can haggle! Buy a hat with a unique braided design, each artists has his own style! Choose a special wooden carving to take home as a gift. Stroll around and soak up the atmosphere of this world famous market.
Arawak Cay Area in Nassau
A casual and interesting Nassau attraction - Arawak Cay is where you mingle with the locals. Located 15 minutes from downtown Nassau, one will find this seafood paradise, known locally as The Fish Fry. Home to a host of local eateries with a plaza-style layout, this is the place to sample all things fishy. Get a real taste of favorites such as conch salad, fried fish, shrimp, lobster and snapper. Make sure you ask for the hot sauce made with limes and spicy peppers. The streets come alive at night, making this the perfect place to have dinner before knocking back a Kalik beer, chatting with locals and watching a fast-paced game of dominoes.
Photo by Carlitos
Fort Charlotte in Nassau
Nestled in between downtown Nassau and the Cruise Ship Port, one will find Fort Charlotte, the biggest of the forts overlooking the Nassau harbour. Like Fort Fincastle, it has never been used in battle. The forts and military formed such a major defence system that potential battles were thwarted. Take a guided tour and explore the grounds to find historical engravings made by the fort's soldiers, hidden passage ways, dark and formidable dungeons and the waterless moat. The exhibits explain the terrible conditions endured and the history behind the fort. The fort features cannons that are exact replicas of the real ones erected on the fort before. Looking for an interesting Nassau attraction? A visit to the Fort is the ideal option.
Government House on Duke St. in Nassau
There are so many Nassau attractions when it comes to history and heritage sites. Built in a Georgian Colonial fashion, the Government House stands proud on a hill known as Mount Fitzwilliam with an imposing statue of Christopher Columbus gazing back at the public. Not usually open for public viewings as it is a working governmental building, visitors are allowed to enter and explore the grounds. The building offers a fabulous example of Colonial architecture and the coral color depicts the Islands iconic conch. Climb the hilltop to see amazing views and then come down to view the band and see the changing of the guard.
Nassau Public Library & Museum
Don't think a library is a boring Nassau attraction! It won't be at Nassau Public Library & Museum. Situated in a peaceful and quiet area, the Bahamian National Library is the largest of five libraries in Nassau. Housed in an historic octagonal building in the back of the Government House grounds, it was believed to have served as a colonial jail at one time. In 1879 it was converted into a library, reading room and museum. The small prison cells are now used to store and display books, artefacts, newspaper clippings and a collection of historic prints and colonial documents. Admission is free and visitors can enjoy a rest in the tranquil park after visiting the library.
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
When you are searching for a Nassau attraction that portrays the culture, history and natural environment of the area then you should plan a trip to the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas. Located in downtown Nassau on West Hill Street, the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is situated within the larger historic Graycliff complex inside the Mountbatten House which was constructed in 1850 and sports an interesting colonial architectural design. The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is much more than a house museum with period furnishings and contains such artifacts as a 4.5 billion year old meteor; Spanish armor from the 17th century as well as hundreds of artifacts that help explains the life of a plantation slave including items such as an original slave bench complete with shackles. Other interesting items within the museum are exhibits on piracy along the coastline including artifacts of plunder, fashion and clothes worn by the plantation elite as well as an exhibit on the surrounding marine life. The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas offers guided tour with audio devices throughout the day.
Versailles Gardens and French Cloister (At One And Only Ocean Club)
Nature lovers cannot miss the Versailles Gardens, another stunning Nassau attraction, located at the One And Only Ocean Club. This magnificent garden was created by Swiss industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren who was inspired by the Gardens at the Chateau de Versailles.
Beautiful terraced, landscaped gardens filled with flora and fauna slope down to the sea. Stroll around and see the stunning stone fountains and the marble statues that are scattered around on the lawns. Relax on a bench under a tree and soak up the atmosphere. Then explore the magnificent 12th-century Augustinian cloister which was shipped piece-by-piece from France and built on site.
The Club itself is a world class luxurious resort, with exclusive accommodation, a pampering Spa and fine-dining experiences, indoors, on the beach and at the sparkling pool. Make a plan to spend time here and bring your cameras!
Photo by feministjulie
John Watling's Distillery
Discovering the 'The Spirit of the Bahamas' is the next must-do Nassau attraction. It is located in the beautiful Buena Vista Estate in the historic region of Downtown. The distillery uses age-old traditional English methods to make their world renowned brands and is home to the iconic John Watling's Rum. This brand was named after the pirate John Watling who landed on the Island in the 18th century and supposedly buried his massive looted treasures somewhere, yet to be found! Join a tour and learn all about the blending, filtering and ageing of Rum in barels. Wander through the fascinating Museum and then stop to sample some Rum and a few signature Bahamian cocktails at the Red Turtle Tavern, this Nassau point of interest will sure please your taste buds. Every product is hand packaged, making a superior and wonderful gift to take home. You must be over 18 to join this tour.
Photo by Danielle Bauer
Clifton Heritage National Park
The Clifton Heritage National Park is located on the western most tip of the Island and is a fabulous Nassau attraction for those interested in culture and history. Long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the ancient tribes called Lucayans lived here in log huts and used the natural caves for rituals and worship.
During the 18th century, colonialists established sugar plantations and built massive homes, but with this came the horrific slave trade and heart breaking stories. Explore the Johnstone Ruins and the Slave Village. See the Turtle Pen and then get in some me-time at the Sacred Place. Sports lovers can snorkel and take a hike through stunning scenery with panoramic views. Romantics can enjoy a picnic on the beach and the family can bird watch with a guide. This protected Nassau point of interest preserves Bahamian heritage, beautifully showcased for the world to explore.
Photo by noeltock
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
After your sun tanning and snorkeling, soak up the ambiance of another beautiful Nassau attraction, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
It is located in the historic Villa Doyle, a beautiful old house in Downtown Nassau and offers a fascinating insight into the Bahamian Art. Contemporary art and experimental art practices are also showcased, making this venue even more exciting. Exhibitions change every few months, so you can visit again and again. See the 'From Columbus to Junkanoo' exhibition which highlights the different elements of the Bahamian story. Local artist K Smith displays his skill with graphite and colored pencils. Exhibitions featuring sustainable local art are very uplifting and inspiring.
Photos are not allowed inside but you can take photos of the statues outside the Museum and then buy a small memento from the gift shop.
Christ Church Cathedral
An interesting Nassau attraction that combines historic architecture with the history of religion within the Bahamas region and is great for everyone to see is the Christ Church Cathedral also known as the Mother Church. Located on West Hill Street in downtown Nassau, the present Christ Church Cathedral was constructed in 1754 and was the fourth church built after 1670 when King Charles II told the Lord Proprietors of Carolina to construct churches within the colony of the Bahamas. The present day Christ Church Cathedral was first constructed in 1754 with a Gothic architectural style constructed of locally cut lime-stone blocks which are held together more from gravity than from cement. The church incorporates a unique square tower which replaced the original steeple in 1830. The Christ Church Cathedral was expanded in 1841 as well as 1861 to include a sanctuary and a space for the choir. The inside aesthetics of the church include intricate stained glass, stone memorials to fallen parishioners and elaborate religious items. The church is a center piece within the community and is a perfect place to visit while you are strolling down Bay Street.
Photo by Roger W
If you are looking for a Nassau attraction that is great for all travelers including families who like numerous activities in one spot then you should take a stroll down Bay Street. Located in downtown Nassau, Bay Street runs parallel to the coastline and is the oldest street in Nassau. Originally constructed on reclaimed coastal land Bay Street is home to many historic buildings from the colonial period which now contain unique shopping venues, museums as well as numerous dining and entertainment venues. Bay Street is perfect for everyone with exciting Nassau attractions like the Pirates of Nassau Museum where you can learn about the plunders of pirates in the area; shopping is superb at the Straw Market where you will find hundreds of local vendors selling local arts and crafts; Parliament Square showcases phenomenal colonial architecture and you can even visit the filming sites of several James Bond movies. Bay Street boasts some of the best eateries in Nassau which specialize in local Bahamian and Caribbean cuisine. If this is not enough you can learn about more history of Nassau by viewing the Queens Staircase or stopping by the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation.
Photo by Roger W
Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation
One of the more interesting Nassau attractions to visit when you are seeking more knowledge about slavery in the Bahamas and the Caribbean is to make a stop at the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation. Located in downtown Nassau on the corner of George and Bay Streets, the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation is house within a 1760s Vendue House which was originally constructed and used as a market that sold everything from slaves to building materials to consumer goods. The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation focuses on the transatlantic slavery period within the region that surrounds the Bahamas. The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation was named after Pompey who led a slave revolt against living and working conditions on the Rolle Plantation on nearby Exuma Island. The museum has numerous exhibits with artifacts such as photographs, letters and journals that help describe the conditions of slavery from the transatlantic slavery period to the abolition movement to emancipation in 1834. The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation offers self-guided tours throughout the day.
Photo by Roger W
Balcony House Museum
One of the best Nassau attractions for history buffs and families that like to learn about living on the island centuries ago is the Balcony House Museum. Located in downtown Nassau just off of Market Street and East Bay Street, the Balcony House Museum is situated within the oldest standing home within Nassau and dates back to 1788. The Balcony House Museum has an incredible colonial loyalist architectural style with an interesting balcony feature that is supported wooden knee brackets and joints. Inside the Balcony House Museum you will find interesting features such as an all stone kitchen and beautiful mahogany staircase which was salvaged from a shipwreck. Besides being the oldest known residence in Nassau, the home is historically significant in the sense that the first elected black official in the Bahamas lived in the house during the mid-1800s. The Balcony House Museum was renovated in 1994 into the house museum which exhibits numerous period fixtures and furnishings from around the world as well as interesting exhibits that explain the history of Nassau. The Balcony House Museum boasts self-guided tours as well as guided tours throughout the day.
Photo by Roger W
When you are interesting in finding a Nassau attraction that includes several activities from the beach to marine life encounters then you need to visit Balmoral Island. Located off the northern coastline of New Providence Island within a short ferry ride from Nassau, Balmoral Island combines numerous activities into one place that can make for an enjoyable day of adventure. Balmoral Island has many different ways for you to enjoy this piece of paradise which include a day on the beach which you can experience alone or include with other exciting activities such as a dolphin or sting ray encounter with swim as well as mixing your beach day with a lunch. The private island boasts a spectacular beach club where you can lounge on the white sands with numerous watersport activities available from swimming to snorkeling to standup paddleboarding. You can relax by the freshwater swimming pool that overlooks the Caribbean Sea and there are four themed bars, a Starbucks as well as a restaurant serving fresh foods. Any time you have the opportunity to experience a marine life encounter is unique and at Balmoral Island you can swim with dolphins or play with hundreds of stingrays.
Map of Nassau Attractions