There are dozens of reasons to visit the wonderful Caribbean nation of the Bahamas. The weather’s excellent and the beaches are spectacular, but there’s more to the islands than just that. These are some of the other reasons a trip there is always a good choice.
(photo by triterion)
1. The Pirate Museum
This intriguing, interactive museum sits in downtown Nassau and gives guests a realistic, in-depth look at the lifestyle of old-day pirates who used to terrorize the Caribbean back in the 18th century. It’s an ideal place for anybody who wants to step back in time and experience the mayhem that pirates caused.
2. Atlantis Paradise Island
This famous resort lies on Paradise Island, which is just off the shore of Nassau. It’s one of the most popular in the Caribbean and features a water park and casino. The resort also attracts some of the world’s top performers and has hosted shows by singers Katy Perry and Michael Jackson in the past as well as comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
3. The Queen’s Staircase
This is one of the most-visited sites in Nassau. The Queen’s Staircase consists of 63 solid limestone steps which were carved by slaves back in the late 1700s. The staircase is 102 feet in height and was named the Queen’s Staircase to honor Britain’s Queen Victoria. The staircase also leads to Fort Fincastle, which is another of the Bahamas’ fine attractions.
4. Bay Street
Bay Street sits close to the Straw Market in Nassau. It’s the most popular shopping districts in the Bahamas and you’ll have no problem finding some of the world’s top designer brands here such as Fendi and Gucci. The street is also home to some of the nation’s most beautiful architecture, which shows the influence of British colonialism.
5. Junkanoo Festival
The Junkanoo celebration is often compared to the Carnival in Brazil and New Orleans’ Mardis Gras. It’s an annual street festival that celebrates the local culture, food, dancing, music, and costumes. It’s such a hit with residents and visitors so it’s held twice each year. The biggest version takes place near the end of December and a smaller version is held usually on July 10th. It’s an ideal way to enjoy the local African-Caribbean culture.
6. The Straw Market
This vibrant open-air market takes place in the middle of Nassau, close to Bay Street. It features dozens of vendors who sell just about anything you can imagine when it comes to local arts and crafts. It’s a great place to do your shopping if you’re into haggling. In fact, you don’t even have to buy anything to have fun here, just soak in the atmosphere and the hustle and bustle of the market.
7. The Ardastra Gardens
This beautiful and colorful conservation opened up in Nassau back in 1937. The popular flamingos were added to it during the 1950s and the location quickly became the first zoo in the Bahamas. If you visit Ardastra Gardens today you’ll find hundreds of exotic reptiles, birds, and mammals from all over the globe.
8. Fort Charlotte
There are several colonial forts in the Bahamas, with Fort Charlotte being Nassau’s largest. It was built in the 1800’s and was constructed with everything you’d expect from a fort such as dungeons, a drawbridge, and a moat. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll actually be able to spot graffiti on some of the fort’s walls that was placed there by the soldiers who armed it. The fort also offers some fantastic views of Nassau Harbour, which is what it was designed to protect.
9. Local Sea Adventures
Since the Bahamas is surrounded by beautiful and warm ocean waters, it’s an ideal place to take a boat trip and smell the salt air. There are several boating trips to choose from as well as deep-sea fishing excursions. You can either take a leisurely cruise or quick-paced sea adventure.
10. Scuba Diving/Snorkelling
Speaking of beautiful, warm ocean water, the Bahamas is an ideal place for scuba diving and snorkelling. This part of the Atlantic ocean offers some of the best diving spots around. All of the scuba companies are approved and monitored by the Bahamas Diving Association, so you’re guaranteed to deal with a safe and secure firm when diving and exploring the crystal clear Bahamian waters.