If you are on a cruise and only have limited time to explore Nassau, this is the perfect list to choose of options you can take advantage of. Plan your day in Nassau, it will be great.
Nassau Straw Market – Browsing through the market in Nassau is much the same as native markets elsewhere in the Caribbean and the Americas. Bay Street is Nassau’s main street. It is lined with historic buildings, boutiques, shops and restaurants. Selling articles made from straw is one of the oldest industries in the Bahamas, so a visit to the Straw Market in Nassau is intriguing. Many other locally crafted items are sold here including wooden carvings, batik clothing and T-shirts. Barter !!!
Bacardi Store– The Bacardi store it’s impossible to miss – not only because it’s right in the center and a few steps away from the harbor – but manily because of its bright red color. You may buy all sorts of Bacardi-related things, including hats and t-shirts. The store is pen six days a week, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. There used to be a bacardi distillery on Nassau but after talking to some locals we found out it was closed down.
John Walking Distillery – This is a great place to check out. You can get a free tour from one of the staff who just ask for a tip in return of your choosing. They are fantastic! We had such a blast here, and the Pina Colada is delicious. Check out my video on my the St. Martin page, Would love to come back here.
Queens Staircase – Nassau’s Queen’s Staircase was built by slaves in 1793-1794 to honor Queen Victoria. These old photos of the Queen’s Staircase are very interesting. The Queen’s Staircase is near the Nassau Water Tower and Fort Fincastle. It has 65 steps to the top; one for each year of her reign. The staircase is 102 feet tall, is carved from limestone, and provides a shortcut up Bennet’s Hill in Nassau.
Beaches -Nassau has several public beaches, including Junkanoo Beach, which is within walking distance of the port. However, the most popular area on New Providence Island is Cable Beach, a three-mile taxi or jitney (public bus) ride west of downtown. There are several resorts on Cable Beach as well as a gigantic development called Baja Mar, which is currently under construction. Active visitors can take part various watersports, jet-skiing, snorkeling or SCUBA diving or, if relaxing is more your thing, just pick a spot on the beach, sit back and catch some rays.
Long Island -for the (rather eerie) experience of a lifetime – swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving the site of the biggest blue hole in the world! Dean’s Blue Hole measure 202 meters (663 feet) deep and is home to various fish species, whilst on Long island, pass through historic yet quaint Clarence Town where St. Paul’s Anglican Church offers superb views over the secluded beaches and bays beyond.
Swim with Dolphins at Blue Lagoon Island
Stuart Cove’s: The first and last name in underwater adventure in Nassau, Stuart Cove’s operation is located on the island’s west end, but provides pickups from most major resorts. Most popular, the half-day snorkel trip takes passengers to three different sites. The first two are fish-full reefs, the third involves hovering at the water’s surface to stare down at some 30 reef sharks feeding on chum 30 feet below. (Staff swear no one has ever been harmed by the scavenger sharks.)
Fish Fry – Native Way is on the right hand side of the Fish Fry. The food is really fresh. We ordered grilled seafood which meant that the seafood, vegetables and aromatics are sealed up in tin foil with some broth and put on a grill. Ok, this isn’t grillin’ like up in Pennsylvania, but it was absolutely wonderful! Our party of four had conch, snapper, shrimp and grouper “grilled fish”. Some of the dishes were good and spicy, some milder but still good. They’re served in a bowl so you have the seafood piled on various vegetables sitting the broth that it was cooked in. The beers and drinks were cold and much cheaper than on Paradise Island. Native Way is comfortable and looked much like what you would expect at the Fish Fry and the service was superb. Dinner here is well worth the cab ride over. We went mid-week but we heard that the Fish Fry is the place the locals hang out at on Friday nights
Favorite Dish: Our favorite dish was the conch fritters. We shared them as appetizers. They were light but tasty and had plenty of conch. They were served with a nice dipping sauce (some sort of aoli?). The other dishes we had were great and we shared them, but everybody loved the fritters. There’s a strip of native resturants at Arawak Cay that the locals refers to as the Fish Fry. You can’t miss it if you’re taking the 10 bus from Cable Beach (tell the bus driver to let you off at the Fish Fry) or headed west on Bay st. from downtown. Do go there sometime!! The food is very good and authentic, not to mention the prices are easy on the wallet!!
DON’T BUY DRUGS We were surprised with the amount of people trying to sell us drugs. If this is your thing watch out for the undercover cops. We saw a few people ending their vacation in hand cuffs. Find some other way to party.
TAXI- Don’t let yourself get scammed by taxi drivers. The Frommers guide says all cabs should have meters. However none of the metered cabs were running their meters. And let me clarify what a cab is in the Bahamas. Most of them were old Toyota or Mitsubishi mini-vans. Some were old Suburban’s or Mercedes, but they all have Taxi written on the front of the vehicle. There is a chart that says how much a cab should be from Point A to Point B. For example $12 from Cable Beach to Downtown, or $15 from the airport to Cable Beach. We were not aware of this chart and ended up paying $20 for our ride from the airport to the Wyndham on Cable Beach. Be sure to verify your fee before getting in the cab. There are local fixed rates. Don’t go into private cars with no clear taxi markings.
Straw Market tips –The local people will continually ask you to buy their items at the straw market…learn to say ‘ No thank you‘ or you will be buying everything. Although it didn’t happen to us, people on the ship said they were approached by locals that put bracelets on them and then said they had to pay for it since they wore it. So beware.
Hair braiding Scam- ask first how much per braid and how many braids they will put in and the length of them. Many found after they had their hair braided that the bill was $100 US dollars. Ask and make it clear what you want.