Things to Do in Bahamas

Pat Ford

If the Bahamas ran out of land crabs it would be a national travesty, hence the existence of the Crab Replenishment Reserve on Andros Island, the land... Read More

Crooked Island once served as a major transfer point for cargo ships sailing between Europe and the Americas. All communications to the archipelago were... Read More

The island of Andros doesn't just stand out because it is the largest in the Bahamian archipelago. It's also renowned for its world-class, salt-water... Read More

Sprawling, unspoiled Andros has a coastline threaded with mudflats, bights, and shallow lagoons: prime territory for catching bonefish. These elusive,... Read More

Androsia is an Andros-made line of batik fabric, made by stenciling with a hand carved sponge. Island-inspired designs are waxed onto fabrics, which are... Read More

Check back with me after nurse sharks become friends with sea urchins and I will tell you if I ever met a child who did not like AquaVenture, the water... Read More

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... Read More

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... Read More

Atlantis' 141-acre waterpark, called Aquaventure, pumps more than 20 million gallons of water throughout its maze of water slides and lazy river. Once... Read More

There's nothing small-island about this big city-style club, at Atlantis on Paradise Island. You can reliably find upscale, decadent fun on Aura’s... Read More

One of the few Bahamian-owned spas in Nassau, the Baha Retreat, is a full-service facility set in a clapboard colonial estate house. Although the wood... Read More

The Bahamian answer to Lilly Pulitzer, this locally owned company (which began, like Lilly, in the mid-1960’s) stocks clothing, handbags, and home... Read More

The core business of Bahama Hand Prints is the creation of hand-printed fabrics; however, inside its flagship boutique in Nassau, the company transforms... Read More

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.... Read More

If a club wants to maintain a certain chic standard, it is expected they will enforce a dress code and be selective about their admissions. This Nassau... Read More

If you want to catch a billfish, you head to the Berry Islands; it's as simple as that. Known more commonly in the Bahamas as the blue marlin—our... Read More

The old city of Nassau is bordered to the south by a number of historic African townships, including Bain and Grants Town. These areas, generally known... Read More

The big game fish (marlin, wahoo, bluefin tuna) that drift through the warm waters of the Gulf Stream along the outskirts of Bimini fatten themselves to... Read More

Lucky boaters will brag about that one time they sailed in the Bahamas accompanied by a pod of wild dolphins. The stories are true; dolphins will... Read More

There are few places in the world where you can have a guaranteed experience with wild dolphins and Bimini, in the northern Bahamas, is one of those... Read More

Tucked away deep inside the pine forests of Andros Island are bodies of water so deep they are uncharted and so mystical they are home to mythical... Read More

The last time I visited Blue Lagoon island there was an inflatable slide that read children only. I sweet-talked my way onto the slide and the ride... Read More

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

Hand-feeding a stingray is one of my all-time favorite wild animal encounters. At Brendal’s Dive Center in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, you can do just that... Read More

Many beaches are described as powder-white, but in two cases so far, I have walked on beaches that were also actually powder soft: Tropic of Cancer... Read More

The soundtrack for your getaway to Cat Island will be percussion-rich Rake and Scrape. This traditional Bahamian music is created with homemade... Read More

For Nassau standards, the Clifton Heritage Land and Sea Park is way off the beaten path. It is not even accessible by public transportation.... Read More

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,... Read More

Cole’s of Nassau is a family company that has thrived for three generations as a leading women’s boutique. Known for carrying lines with vivid colors... Read More

Thursday night is Bahamian night at this beachfront hotel bar and restaurant on Nassau. One of the island’s top local bands, Ira Storr and the Spank... Read More

The scent that greets you when you enter this brightly painted Nassau boutique is “cosmic mist;” it’s the name of a locally made petunia, sandalwood and... Read More

After an unfortunate fire consumed several buildings in downtown Nassau in 2011, Da Balcony —a favorite venue for late-night party vibes—closed for a... Read More

You can either conquer Dean’s Blue Hole from above or below, and unless you rank among the world’s elite few underwater cave divers, you should do like... Read More

What type of wine do you eat with lobster and artichoke ravioli topped with basil cream or avocado leaf-crusted tuna, jalapeno and blood orange... Read More

I never imagined an animal with more charisma then a dolphin, but sea lions truly top the list. And if you like wet and sloppy kisses you definitely... Read More

This Nassau gallery could just as easily be called a museum of Bahamian art, culture and heritage. Any Bahamian artist worth knowing or buying can... Read More

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.... Read More

In Delancy Town, a traditional African township from the era of colonial Bahamas, you will find the EduCulture Bahamas Junkanoo Museum. Junkanoo is a... Read More

The annual Jazz festival in Eleuthera gathers together prestigious international musicians and Bahamian Jazz artists for a weekend of staccato rhythms... Read More

When you visit Eleuthera for Pineapple Fest you should arrange a special trip to the Bahamas’ most famous pineapple farm. Everyone on the island knows... Read More

The mangrove-lined creeks of Winding Bay, on Eleuthera, provide quiet sanctuary for sea turtles of varying ages. Kayak at high tide through the canal... Read More

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... Read More

Beneath the blue at this beautiful Exumas preserve you will find some of the most vibrant reefs in the Bahamas, all concentrated in one area. This is... Read More

There are at least 52 named shades of blue in the color spectrum: from Brandeis to Tiffany to Egyptian blue. What they all hold in common is the waters... Read More

In the depths of the Exuma Sound, where baited lines troll above 6,000-foot, deep blue chasms, Exuma’s massive groupers, red snappers, dolphin and tuna... Read More

Pigs aren't exactly the most appealing animals, but when they are lounging on the beach under the Bahamian sun (instead of wallowing in mud), they can... Read More

The boutique at Firefly Sunset Resort is a go-to spot in Hope Town, Abaco for stylish resort wear. The shop carries many reliable, high-end brands... Read More

The first time I went spear fishing it took me over 15 attempts to catch my first lobster, but it was well worth the copious consumptions of salt water... Read More

The view of Nassau is one of Fort Charlotte’s best attributes. While standing on top of the imposing limestone structure, overlooking the waterless moat... Read More

Gaulding Cay is a small neighborhood of private homes set a short distance away from Eleuthera’s signature attraction, the Glass Window Bridge (a narrow... Read More

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... Read More

Above all other islands, Harbour Island is probably the celebrity destination in the Bahamas. The island strikes a delicate balance when it comes to... Read More

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... Read More

There are three ways to get to the ultra-private Highbourne Cay: by helicopter, seaplane or private boat. However you arrive, though, you’ll find you... Read More

This Nassau gallery and art studio is the domain of master wood carver and painter Antonius Roberts. The art at Hillside House comes from current... Read More

Ibiza Bahamas is a versatile nightclub, open for both daytime and evening partying. The club’s interiors are dramatic black with multicolored neon light... Read More

Inagua lives up to its name as the birding capital of the Bahamas. You will not see flamingos walking around town, but it only takes a short drive out... Read More

You do not have to be a birder to appreciate the remarkable bird watching attractions inside the Inagua National Park, because no one can escape the... Read More

If it feels like a much cooler version of the United Nations General Assembly that is because this food festival was conceived to celebrate United... Read More

Four words will tell you if Islandz Tours is the company for you: Think Outside the Beach. The company’s slogan truly speaks to its philosophy of... Read More

Your first visit to this Abaco shop will probably be to grab a morning cup of coffee, which you can pair with fresh-baked muffins and sweet pastries.... Read More

Every first Sunday of the month, for just $10, you can enjoy concert-quality jazz at Jacaranda House, an old Bahamian mansion in downtown Nassau. Keep... Read More

If you remember the scene in Thunderball where James Bond is chased through a chaotic, crazily costumed tropical street parade, then you’ve... Read More

You must squeeze and weave through the crowd as it packs up downtown Nassau for a front-row seat to Junkanoo. The main streets are closed to car traffic... Read More

Spectators can grab a whistle and experience the thrill of Junkanoo in the summertime at this downtown Nassau street party. Every Friday and Saturday in... Read More

As you lay face down over the glass window floor at overwater sanctuary, you’ll be soothed by the music of lapping waves below. Set at the end of a... Read More

My one exception to buying locally made goods is Kura Kura, an eccentric back-alley souvenir shop in Nassau’s city center. Stocked fully with imported... Read More

A simple stone cross at Fernandez Bay, on San Salvador’s west coast, commemorates Christopher Columbus’s first landfall in the New World.... Read More

Who needs a hospital in Eleuthera when you have the Leon Levy Plant Preserve, where you can find an entire collection of medicinal plants neatly curated... Read More

Today’s experiential traveler wants to participate rather than merely observe. But while working a harvest usually means backbreaking, dawn-to... Read More

Nature walks through the Lucayan National Park will introduce you to the major ecosystems of the Bahamas, including the towering pine forests, low lying... Read More

You need an invitation to get behind the gates at Lyford Cay, an ultra-lavish residential community on the western tip of New Providence Island. If you... Read More

Mandara Spa is a rejuvenating sanctuary inside the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. Soothing massages, refreshing body wraps and cleansing scrubs are... Read More

Just outside the security-gated mansions of Lyford Cay is a tiny shop full of crisp Tory Burch caftans, romantic Calypso Christiane Celle dresses, and... Read More

Head by the regatta site in Great Exuma and ask for Marilyn’s; you’ll be directed to this gift shop full of blessings that can actually be bought. Check... Read More

If you need a trendy but affordable weekend outfit, Melissa Sears Fashion is a local favorite on Nassau. This homegrown women’s boutique sells a... Read More

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

Located at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas in Nassau, Mixed Media sells merchandise from all past and present exhibitions held at the gallery.... Read More

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

While the term “regatta” usually connotes sailing competitions in other parts of the world, in the Bahamas it primarily refers to the concerts and food... Read More

When it comes to interior design, this Grand Bahama nightclub has a strange aesthetic: Crude black pillars punctuate the space, doubled by their... Read More

If it's good enough for James Bond, then it is just right for a celebrity. (I just made that up, but the saying is true.) James Bond has a storied... Read More

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,... Read More

On the Northwest tip of Cat Island you will find Pigeon Cay, a coastal area bracketed by a beautiful stretch of beach to the west and scenic mangrove... Read More

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... Read More

This is not a beach for sport. And it’s not a beach for partying. The aptly named Pink Sands Beach in Harbour Island is a beach for rest and relaxation.... Read More

Piloting a boat through the Exuma cays is treacherous for novice navigators, because the waterways here are a labyrinth of shallow water. But this is... Read More

Over the years, Nassau's many protected shoals and islets have provided the ideal base for the most notorious Caribbean pirates, including Blackbeard... Read More

The name museum throws off some visitors, because this pirate attraction is thin on actual historical artifacts. That does not detract from it being a... Read More

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,... Read More

Pompey Square is a free-spirited social hub for local festivals, art shows, lounging and child’s play. There is an interactive water feature in the... Read More

Powerboat Adventures is a neatly-packaged bite-sized way to experience the Exuma Cays. It will cost you $200 per adult, but it is an all-inclusive day... Read More

The vibrant blue of the ocean and colorfully painted Bahamian cottages have drawn artists to Harbour Island for 100 years. Princess Street Gallery is... Read More

In the late 1700s, enslaved Africans carved a gorge, more than 100 feet deep, into a solid limestone hillside with axes and other sharp hand tools. This... Read More

Ragged Island is a southern chain of islets in the Bahamas that is almost completely off the grid. There are countless beaches on this spotty ocean... Read More

Fully experiencing this National Heritage Site requires athleticism and a bit of crazy. The coastal views from the crest of the cliffs are breathtaking,... Read More

Acklins is a very remote island in the south with scheduled flights only on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Visitors normally choose Acklins for peace and... Read More

Two worlds collide at the adjoining Rawson Square and Parliament Square, central bearing points in downtown Nassau. Rawson Square houses a half body... Read More

Located on the southern island of San Salvador, Riding Rock Resort and Marina provides access to some of the Bahamas’ most undisturbed reef ecosystems.... Read More

Pirates and rum runners capture the moat of the historic Fort Charlotte, transforming the dry stone fortress into a festival of rum, food and culture.... Read More

Rum Cay is a deep-water island with the shortest travel times to reach big game fish out of all the Bahamian islands. This remote southern landmass with... Read More

Though its vast and pristine beaches are the source of this island's beauty (in some directions, the coral white of the sand glistens all the way to the... Read More

This residential resort in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is attempting to lead the way in sustainable tourism development. It is a relatively new harbor village... Read More

Located at the Grand Isle Resort and Spa in Great Exuma. this spa is an ideal place to relax with an organic facial or a warming hot lava shell massage.... Read More

My childhood summer trips to the Exuma cays always involved a visit to Shroud Cay, where zipping currents run around a little beach peninsula known to... Read More

The energetic New Entry Band provides live music at Snappas, a lively waterfront bar on Marsh Harbour in Abaco. Every Friday and Saturday between 5:30... Read More

Known as the "Apostle of the Indies" and the "Apostle of Japan” for his missionary work in Asia, the legacy of St. Francis Xavier reached across the... Read More

The pale pink building housing this Harbour Island church dates back to 1768. This church has a history that is integrally connected to the wider... Read More

In Eight Mile Rock on Grand Bahama, the historic St. Stephen's Anglican Parish Church stands as evidence of the longstanding presence of Anglicans in... Read More

If you have a daredevil spirit, then you must try a Stuart Cove’s shark dive in Nassau. I did it as a 14-year-old high school student and I am living to... Read More

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

Beautiful beaches are so abundant in the Bahamas we cannot help but be prejudice when it comes to powder soft white sand and translucently blue shallow... Read More

Not all straw is created equal. Fortunately, there is no guesswork when it comes to shopping at the Plait Lady in Harbour Island. The straw work carried... Read More

Saturday is the night to free yourself of inhibition and step onto the makeshift dance floor at Tippy’s. Ellie and the Black Bellies Band sets the mood... Read More

Island-hop to the southern Bahamas and you will find San Salvador Resort and Spa, a beach cottage resort that because of its remoteness cannot help but... Read More

Once a year, the leading art galleries join together for a sprinting festivity, curating individual exhibitions around a common theme. As a group, they... Read More

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... Read More

In many cultures the ocean is represented by a female water spirit. Whatever the name of the Goddess, she could shop quite happily at Tropical Accents... Read More

You will be able to savor the taste as you sample Bahamian delights and other ethnic treats on this even-paced food and cultural tour. The Bahamas has a... Read More

Forget about swimming with dolphins in captivity. With UNExSO, the largest dive center in Grand Bahama, you can have the thrilling experience of... Read More

Music is always on the menu at this trendy Nassau nightspot. The location has changed names several times, but in each incarnation, the venue keeps live... Read More

For many years, Exuma artists were bursting with creativity while starved of a dedicated space. They found salvation in Wendy Cartwright’s Wenshua Art... Read More

Not to be confused with Winding Bay, Abaco, the private homes set along Eleuthera’s Winding Bay have one major asset in common: turtles, turtles and... Read More

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