Bahamas

Things to do in Bahamas

It’s only logical to try out water sports and island activities while staying in the Bahamas. Most hotels and resorts provide access and information for all kinds of adventures and experiences either on-site or right nearby. One of the world’s largest open-air aquariums, Atlantis Waterscape, is right in Nassau at the Atlantis Resort at “Paradise Island.” It holds over 200 marine species, not to mention the waterpark with a lazy river, waterslides and a personal dolphin experience.

Stuart Cove’s Aqua Adventures is Nassau’s primary experiences for diving and snorkeling. Their dive sites are open for beginners to event he most experienced divers. The snorkel adventure visits three sites, including one with sharks (for the daring to participate). The Pirates of Nassau is Nassau’s pirate museum, where you can learn the history of pirates on the island and in the Caribbean itself, and even board a replica pirate ship. Above and Below Abaco also provides diving experiences, but does island-hopping tours as well, including one to the Mystical Blue Hole, an island sinkhole with crystal clear water.

The first land-and-sea preserve in the world (it was established in 1959) encompasses 176 square miles of stunningly clear water, along with dozens of cays, islets, and beaches.

On Bay Street, between Rawson Square and the British Colonial Hotel, you'll find all the usual Caribbean duty-free suspects: John Bull, Solomon's Mines, Colombian Emeralds.

It’s really pretty simple: Briland’s east-coast beach, a 3.5-mile stretch of uninterrupted pale-pink sand the consistency of talcum, is the Bahamas’ most spectacular.

The Scene: Relive your favorite James Bond moments at this sexy, open-air beach bar on Paradise Island where parts of Casino Royale were filmed. Attracting world-class athletes, actors, filmmakers, and musicians, the place is a celebrity magnet.

If you remember the scene in Thunderball where James Bond is chased through a chaotic, crazily costumed tropical street parade, then you’ve already seen a scaled-down version of Junkanoo.

Arthur's Bakery bustles as "the" meeting place for residents and visitors in Harbour Island. They come for coffee and freshly baked bread and pastries made by Robert Arthur and his wife, Anna.

A simple stone cross at Fernandez Bay, on San Salvador’s west coast, commemorates Christopher Columbus’s first landfall in the New World. Many a visitor has snapped the sun setting into the water with the monument in the foreground.

Atlantis' 141-acre waterpark, called Aquaventure, pumps more than 20 million gallons of water throughout its maze of water slides and lazy river. Once you enter Atlantis' backyard, there's no doubt that water is the cornerstone of the resort.

Owner Pip Simmons sells items like Le Monta Society linen sheets and shell-encrusted mirrors.

The only zoo in the Bahamas, Ardastra relies on donations to keep its operation running. It has a surprising variety of animals, from a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig to a jaguar.

Located inside a pink building with white columns, Bamboo-Bamboo is the designer's place to shop for island-style home décor and accent pieces.

An 1840 gingerbread cottage, where Gabrielle Kenedy and John Fondas stock the shelves with Graham Kandiah tunics and delicate pashmina shawls made by Flying Fig.

This tiny white-and-green joint on a quiet stretch of coastal road just west of crowded Cable Beach hasn't changed much in 30 years. It feels like sitting on your own back porch—except this one is steps from the ocean. Cocktail hour is the best time to come for a fresh banana daiquiri—or two.

The vibrant blue of the ocean and colorfully painted Bahamian cottages have drawn artists to Harbour Island for 100 years. Princess Street Gallery is the place to see a sophisticated collection of world-class art, illustrated books, home accessories, and locally made crafts.