Things to See and Do
Experience all the pleasures that have made this Bahamian getaway so beloved and well-frequented. Nassau boasts outstanding shops and breathtaking beaches where you can spend a glorious afternoon sunbathing, swimming and relaxing on the soft sands. There are also a huge number of shallow wrecks for adventuresome divers to explore.
In Nassau's famed Old Town, you’ll find the city's Parliament Building. This structure is painted a unique shade of pink and helmed by a statue of Queen Victoria—a remnant and reminder of the island's British colonial past. A tour around the island—paid or self-guided—will reveal interesting old forts to explore, including the historic Fort Fincastle.
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If you’re on the hunt for souvenirs and handicrafts, pay a visit to historic Bay Street. Quirky boutiques and jewelry stores line this commercial center, with jaw-dropping bargains to boot. Among Bay Street's historic buildings, shops, bars and restaurants is the Straw Market, home to an amazing array of handmade mats, hats and baskets, woodcarvings, guava jellies and other treasures.
Built in 1788 by Lord Dunmore in honor of King George III's wife, Fort Charlotte is the largest and most interesting of the island's 3 forts. Though constructed for protection in battle, a shot has never been fired from Fort Charlotte. Visitors can tour its moat, dungeons, underground passageways, 42 cannons and 100 acres, or experience a real thrill at the top: an expansive view of Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island.
Queen's Staircase & Fort Fincastle
Nassau's most popular attraction is the Queen's staircase, a 102 foot climb up 65 steps carved from solid limestone by slaves in the 18th century. At the end of the staircase is an added delight: Fort Fincastle, with its famous visage shaped like a ship's bow.
Versailles Gardens & The Cloisters
This landmark sits on the eastern end of Paradise Island, overlooking Nassau Harbor. The Versailles Gardens are celebrated for their grand beauty and illustrious history. Wander through gardens in full bloom past statues, fountains, waterfalls and reflecting pools on your way to the Cloisters, which were assembled from stones that once stood as a 12th-century Augustine monastery. The original French cloister was purchased by media mogul William Randolph Hearst and imported piece by piece.
Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant
Delight in the only 5-star restaurant in the Bahamas and the Caribbean. This spot is renowned for having a wine cellar of over 170,000 bottles and a spectacular handmade cigar selection. Over its glamorous century-long history, Graycliff's gourmet dishes have been enjoyed by royal families and celebrities.
John Waitling's Distillery
Located on the famed and hallowed grounds of the 1789 Buena Vista Estate in historic downtown Nassau, John Watling’s Distillery is the home to JOHN WATLING’S Rum, the “Spirit of The Bahamas” – It is where its namesake rum and other spirits are handcrafted by Bahamian hands, using local materials and employing traditional English rum-making methods.