If you’re ever visiting Nassau, The Bahamas do not call me, unless you’re interested in an exhaustive day filled with non-stop history, culture, food and fun! I absolutely love when I have the opportunity to share my little piece of paradise with friends and family from around the world. There’s truly no place in the world quite like it and there’s something for just about everyone.
Twenty four hours just isn’t enough to truly experience the vibrant and laid back capital of The Bahamas, but it is enough to whet your appetite and ensure you return for more. You can find miles and miles of white sand beach, yummy food, locally distilled drinks, centuries-old history and the most glorious kisses from the sun. If you’re blessed with only 24 hours or less in Nassau, here are some of my favorite locations to see, eat and do.
- John Watling’s Distillery – What’s better than free rum? Head on over to the Buena Vista Estate located Downtown Nassau and tour the John Watling’s Distillery where Bahamian rum and spirits are made. The free tour takes you through one of the most historic estates in Nassau and gives you a history of the estate and the infamous pirate John Watlings. Ask for free samples in the Red Turtle Tavern.
- Clifton Heritage National Park – You can easily spend your entire day at the Clifton Heritage National Park exploring the rich history of the Lucayan Indians, Loyalists or African slaves who all found refuge on the westerly side of New Providence. You can hike through the native coppice forest, snorkel the underwater sculpture garden featuring the 18ft tall Ocean Atlas, largest underwater sculpture or simply enjoying the white sandy beaches!
- The Queen’s Staircase – Most commonly known to us locals as the 66 steps, this historic stairwell named in honor of Queen Victoria is a must- visit. You will find a beautiful waterfall in addition to lots of foliage making this one magical spot.
- Rawson & Parliament Square – These two historical squares located in the heart of Downtown Bay St., is where you can find remnants of our colonial past; a statue of Queen Victoria, and our flamingo pink Parliament buildings and a bust of our first Bahamian Governor-General.
- Potter’s Cay Dock – If you love great food, this authentic local hangout is the only place you should eat. I know, looks may be deceiving but, Unda Da Dock, as it affectionately called serves up some of the most flavourful Bahamian eats. Try a whole fried snapper with a serving of peas n rice, Bahamian macaroni (not to be confused with any other macaroni) or anything conch!
- Dino’s Conch Shack – One spoonful and you’ll understand why there’s almost always an hour wait for a conch salad, a Bahamian must-have. Dino’s has become the go-to for fresh scorched, tropical and regular conch salad alongside an ice cold Bahamian beer. With unobstructed views of the Bahama blue sea, you could spend hours simply shooting the breeze.
- Ardastra Gardens + Zoo – Visiting the only zoo in The Bahamas to glimpse the national bird, the flamingo is a treat for the kiddies! While there are talking parrots, stunning peacocks, snakes and many other animals, the star of this show is the marching pink flamingoes! Get up close and personal to these elegant birds at the flamingo encounter, where you can take photos and stand THIS close as you admire their beauty.