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Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is the capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and is located on the island of New Providence. Once considered a stronghold for pirates, Nassau is the largest city and center for commerce and government in the Bahamas. With such a close proximity to the United States (just 200 miles from Miami), Nassau provides a popular vacation escape. Featuring beautiful beaches, large resorts and an active downtown area, Nassau is sure to have plenty of activities to make for a delightful vacation. 5 Must-See Attractions
  1. Atlantis: on Paradise Island, Atlantis provides entertainment for the whole family. Whether it’s Dolphin Cay, the waterpark, or golf, Atlantis is the most famous attraction in the Bahamas.
  2. Fort Fincastle: The fort is home to the highest point on the island offering 360° views of the city.
  3. Queen’s Staircase: Climb the 65 steps of this staircase which was carved into limestone during the 18th century It was named in honor of Queen Victoria and provided British troops access to Fort Fincastle.
  4. Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounters: With an emphasis on education and research, Dolphin Encounters has something for the entire family including, of course, swimming with the dolphins. You can spend the full day on the island enjoying the beach, watersports, lunch and tropical drinks.
  5. Sandy Toes Beach: Accessed via ferry, this private beach will allow you to escape from the crowds and relax where the locals go.
5 Kid Friendly Sites
  1. Pirates of Nassau: Kids will love stories of famous pirates like Blackbeard and you will be entertained through the many interactive exhibits, including a pirate’s ship. Guided tours are available during the week.
  2. Blue Lagoon Island Dolphin Encounters: With an emphasis on education and research, Dolphin Encounters has something for the entire family, including swimming with the dolphins. You can spend the full day on the island enjoying the beach, watersports, lunch and tropical drinks. Fun for the whole family.
  3. Ardastra Gardens and Zoo: The first and only zoo in the Bahamas offers four acres of gardens and a variety of animals. See the national bird, the Caribbean flamingo, and even hand-feed parrots.
  4. Horseback Riding: After some brief instruction, hit the trails and ride through the woods right to a gorgeous beach.
  5. Stuart Cove: Snorkel, scuba, “SUB” (Scenic Underwater Bubble), Stuart Cove offers fun for the whole family.
  5 Free Things To Do
  1. Straw Market: Browsing is free and it’s a great way to spend an hour or so. You’ll find all sorts of handmade crafts and souvenirs at great prices. Bargaining is encouraged.
  2. Paradise Beach: Check out the main attraction in the Bahamas, beautiful white sand and clear ocean water.
  3. Queen’s Staircase: Again, this hand-carved staircase is a free, must-see attraction in Nassau.
  4. Parliament Square: Take a walking tour of the pink buildings and enjoy the colonial architecture while brushing up on your history.
  5. Versailles Gardens: Open 24 hours a day, you can always tour the gardens, statues and artwork at your leisure.
5 Great Restaurants
  1. Café Matisse: Dine al fresco at this Italian restaurant located downtown, near the Parliament buildings
  2. Graycliff Restaurant: Located at the Graycliff Hotel, the restaurant which serves creative cuisine, was the first five-star restaurant in the Caribbean and has become an institution.
  3. Van Breugels: Sample Euro-Caribbean fusion cuisine in this charming restaurant in downtown.
  4. Andros the Fish Fry: Popular with locals, the Fish Fry offers large portions of fresh fish and home style sides such as macaroni and cheese and rice and peas in a fun, casual atmosphere.
  5. Montagu Gardens: A family friendly choice offering excellent fresh seafood and beef, Montagu Gardens is relaxing and romantic and offers a touch of Caribbean elegance.
5 Nightlife Recommendations
  1. Casinos: Atlantis and the Baha Mar complex (scheduled to open in December 2014) both offer a favorite nightly pastime in the Bahamas.
  2. Hammerheads Bar & Grill: This island bar & grill is fun with locals and tourists alike. Live music on Fridays, a variety of pub-style foods, and happy hour specials are available.
  3. Club Waterloo: Several bar options under one roof, and they’ve been in business for close to 30 years. You’ll find a very diverse crowd of tourists and locals at Club Waterloo.
  4. Aura: Located at Atlantis, this is the island’s most upscale club always filled with a lively crowd dancing through the night.
  5. Senor Frogs: Located in downtown along the waterfront, this chain bar offers a fun night out for tourists looking for a real party atmosphere.
5 Romantic Getaways
  1. Swim with the Dolphins at Atlantis: Whether you choose a shallow water interaction or a deep-water swim, engaging with these amazing sea creatures is sure to be an experience you’ll remember.
  2. Take a romantic stroll: With so many lovely spots like Sandy Toes beach or even Delaporte Beach on Paradise Island, a day on the beach can be very romantic indeed.
  3. Snorkel or diving trip: Many vendors offer organized excursions under the beautiful waters. Explore reefs, shipwrecks and even the famed “Lost Blue Hole,” a 200-foot deep dive site. You can even learn to scuba dive here.
  4. John Watling’s Rum Distillery: The distillery at the beautifully renovated Buena Vista Estate is perfect for lovers of both rum and history.
  5. Luciano’s: Dine outside, overlooking Atlantis. With its waterside location and Tuscan menu, Luciano’s is a perfect setting for a romantic dinner al fresco.
  5 Great Hotels
  1. Atlantis: New Providence Island, Nassau 33324, Bahamas
  2. British Colonial Hilton: One Bay Street, Nassau, New Providence Island
  3. Sandals Royal Bahamian: Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas
  4. Melia Nassau Beach Resort: 4914 W Bay St, Nassau, Bahamas
  5. One & Only Club Bahamas: Paradise Island Drive, Nassau, Bahamas

5 Must Try Foods:
  1. Conch: Whether fried, raw or in soups, conch is probably the most famous food served in the Bahamas
  2. Souse soup: Prepared with onion, lemon juice, vegetables, and meat such as chicken, pork or lamb, this is a dish that shouldn’t be missed.
  3. Peas and rice: There are many varieties of peas and rice; the dish often includes salt pork, tomatoes and seasoning. When served as a side dish, hot sauce is usually added.
  4. Johnnycake: Made of butter, flour, milk, sugar, salt and baking powder, Johnnycake (once called Journey Cake) is cooked in a pan and was originally made by fishermen on the decks of their boats.
  5. Fresh seafood: Aside from conch, you’ll find grouper, bonefish and crab, which are all delicious choices.
Climate and What To Pack: Nassau has a tropical monsoon climate and temperatures average in the mid-80’s year round. In the summer months, highs can approach 90° and usually temperatures don’t fall below 70° Shorts and tops are great for day touring. In the evening, slacks and tops, or dresses are appropriate attire. Don’t forget your swimsuit, sturdy walking shoes, evening shoes and flip flops or water shoes for the beach. Electrical Converter Information: Most electrical outlets throughout Nassau are equipped for standard US plugs, best for 120 volt appliances and 60 Hz. Cultural Differences: English is the official language, and the Bahamian people are usually very hospitable. Handshakes are the norm and if you’re there on business, be sure to exchange a business card and treat the ones you receive in a respectful manner. Bahamians are very respectful and polite, yet they do have a sense of humor. Transportation: Ferries, public buses, jitneys and taxis are available to aid the visitor in getting around the island. Rental cars are available at the airport and at locations in the city. Safety Precautions: It’s important to keep in mind that Nassau is a big and crowded city. Because of this there are always precautions to take that reduce the risk of loss and theft. Scan all major documents and email them to yourself before leaving, so even if your bag goes missing you still have copies. Be sure to keep a list of your emergency contacts with you at all times and always send your itinerary to a friend. Both men and women should avoid carrying valuables in their pockets, especially in their back pockets. Women should consider wearing an over-the-shoulder purse with a zipper; we carry a great brand of these bags called PacSafe, which greatly helps in reducing the risk of theft. Paperwork Required: To travel outside of the U.S., you will need a valid passport with sufficient blank pages. Before traveling we recommend that you consult your local consulate of the country you are visiting to ensure you obtain the proper paperwork and identification. Air Travel Information: Nassau is serviced by one major airport: Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS). The airport has ample public transportation and taxi services to carry you to and from your destination. Nearly all major airlines fly to this airport such as: JetBlue, United, Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, and more. Trip Highlights: With the excitement of Atlantis, the beautiful beaches and water, and close proximity to the US, Nassau is a popular place for vacationers. Be sure to spend time in town, and take advantage of the climate and many outdoor activities. Best Luggage to Use: Wheeled luggage is the way to go because often in the city you are walking from block to block for a taxi or subway. Also, a small over the shoulder bag would be useful for daily travels. Must Have Travel Accessories: As with any city, it is best to carry your money and credit cards in your front pocket. To accommodate this, try using a small money clip to keep in your pants pocket. Also, these garment bags maybe useful if you plan to bring a suit or dress for a night on the town check out our garment bags.

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