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.

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.

The beach stretches nearly the length of the island. Protected by the third-longest barrier reef in the world, it has some of the gentlest surf in the Bahamas.

Nassau was established in 1670, when King Charles II of England gave the island to six proprietors. Unfortunately, few examples of 18th-century architecture remain.

Today’s experiential traveler wants to participate rather than merely observe.

They may not have the same cachet as Cubans, but the Bahamian cigars hand-rolled at this 18th-century downtown compound (which includes a formal restaurant, wine cellar, and hotel) are every bit as good.

Over the years, Nassau's many protected shoals and islets have provided the ideal base for the most notorious Caribbean pirates, including Blackbeard and Calico Jack, who destroyed the entire town in 1695.

New York City and Los Angeles gym rats swear by Physique 57's program of exercise, stretching, and interval training to turn their bodies into lean, mean, muscle machines. The four-day program is now offered twice annually at the One&Only Ocean Club.

The Bahamian answer to Lilly Pulitzer, this locally owned company (which began, like Lilly, in the mid-1960’s) stocks clothing, handbags, and home accessories all made from its signature hand-printed fabrics.

On an island where so many venues feel like they just sprang up yesterday (they did!), the Waterloo, in an old colonial mansion on a saltwater estuary, is an institution, with a sports bar, open-air pool bar, and a bar dedicated to Bacardi.

India Hicks and Linda Griffin’s darling little boutique sits just a few shop fronts away from The Landing, the boutique guesthouse and restaurant Hicks designed.

For years, owner Clare Sands has visited the Out Islands, sourcing intricate basketwork to sell on Bay Street. She's now in Atlantis's Marina Village, selling her palm baskets, bags, and trays that have been either bleached by the sun or blackened by kerosene.