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Things to do in the Bahamas

Things to do in  Bahamas

Welcome to Bahamas

Just 182 miles (293 kilometers) off the coast of Miami, the coral archipelago of the Bahamas rises out of jewel-toned seas, complete with swaying palms, virgin beaches, and a richly Caribbean culture. Most visitors to the islands find themselves in bustling Nassau or Freeport, where the cruise ships dock. Known for nonstop partying, an intriguing pirate past, and street vendors hawking goods to passersby, both Bahamian cities can be explored in the company of a local guide for off-the-beaten-path experiences. Explore hidden culinary gems in Nassau on a walking and tasting tour; get the inside scoop on local landmarks; or take a shore excursion from Freeport to the less-crowded part of Grand Bahama Island. There, Lucayan National Park is home to one of the world's largest underwater cave systems and visitors can stroll along miles of unspoiled beaches. Those in search of an even more laid-back experience still should head to the Out Islands; thanks to tours that provide aquatic transportation, getting there couldn't be easier. Watch for wildlife—including swimming piglets—on the Exumas, accessible via powerboat tour from Nassau; or cruise over to Rose Island for snorkeling or kayaking. Regardless of your vacation agenda, there's an island or a cay in the Bahamas that's got you covered.

Top 15 attractions in Bahamas

Rose Island

Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.More

Government House

Built in 1801 on an estate on top of Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House is often considered the best example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all of the West Indies. The mansion is painted a vibrant pink with a bright white trim (a nod to Nassau’s famous conch shells) and is the residence of the Governor-General of the Bahamas.More

Queen's Staircase

The Queen’s Staircase, one of Nassau’s most visited attractions, holds an important place in Bahamian cultural history. Around 1793, slaves carved this 102-foot (31-meter) staircase, comprised of 65 steps, out of solid limestone. Later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign and her role in abolishing slavery in the Bahamas.More

Paradise Island

Just across the water from the Bahamas’ main island of New Providence, Paradise Island is a fun-filled destination with stylish resort hotels, beautiful beaches, restaurants, casinos, and more. Visitors come to take in a show, try their hand at the blackjack tables, or enjoy some wet-and-wild exhilaration at the world-famous water park.More

Fort Charlotte

High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is British-colonial era Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Built in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. You can also see hidden underground passages, a dry moat, remote dungeons; and even canons, which have never been fired in battle.More

Fort Fincastle

Overlooking the city of Nassau from its vantage point atop Bennett’s Hill, Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to protect the island of New Providence from outside invaders. Much of the imposing building remains intact today. Visitors come to explore the fortifications and enjoy the view from the highest point in Nassau.More

Arawak Cay

The evening fish fry is a much-loved tradition across many Caribbean islands, and Arawak Cay in Nassau, Bahamas, brings the custom to life. Find colorful huts selling fresh fish dishes, such as conch salad and lobster, along with vendors making tropical cocktails, and there’s often live music, too.More

Deadman's Reef (Paradise Cove)

Just off Paradise Cove on Grand Bahama’s southwest coast, Deadman’s Reef is one of the area’s top snorkeling spots. The shallow waters are teeming with coral, colorful reef fish, turtles, rays, and more, and are ideal for all levels.More

Port Lucaya Marketplace

A commercial hub spread across 9.5 acres (3.8 hectares), the Port Lucaya Marketplace is one of Freeport’s most popular attractions. After browsing dozens of handicraft vendors and specialty stores, unwind at one of the restaurants or bars, then head to Count Basie Square—the heart of the market—for live Bahamian music.More

Cable Beach

Famous for its golden sands, the Bahamas' Cable Beach is a popular water sports and lolling destination for visitors to New Providence Island. This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) stretch of idyllic beach is home to several massive resorts—including the Atlantis on nearby Paradise Island—each with their own claim staked in the sand.More

Garden of the Groves

This 12-acre (5-hectare) park was dedicated in 1973 to the Groves who founded Freeport. Walk the idyllic botanical garden to take in the lush plant life, native animals (including macaws, alligators, and iguanas), and, of course, snap plenty of Edenic photos.More

Lucayan National Park

The 40-acre (16-hectare) Lucayan National Park is home to some of the most spectacular secluded beaches in all of The Bahamas, as well as one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. Nature trails and boardwalks lead through mangrove, pine, and palm forests, home to a wealth of animals and vegetation.More

National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB)

For a real taste of Bahamian culture, head to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) in Nassau. Housed in a classic 19th-century colonial-style building known as Villa Doyle in the center of town, the gallery displays paintings, sculptures, and other pieces by local artists from the 1850s to the present day.More

Straw Market

The traditional craft of straw working is an integral part of Bahamian culture and industry. Each island has its own distinctive braiding style that locals use to create beautiful straw hats, baskets, and other goods. The Straw Market on Nassau is the ultimate place to pick up these traditional Bahamian souvenirs.More

Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is the ultimate resort and water park. Accommodations range from standard hotel rooms to villas and condos to the Bridge Suite (once ranked the world’s most expensive hotel suite). And even if you’re not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy some of the resort’s amenities, such as Dolphin Cay.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Nassau

How to Spend 1 Day in Nassau

How to Spend 2 Days in Nassau

How to Spend 2 Days in Nassau

Island Hopping Tours from Nassau

Island Hopping Tours from Nassau

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Recent reviews from experiences in Bahamas

Shawn_M, Oct. 2022
Scooter Rental (Drop-off & Pick-up Service around New Providence)
We were able to see everything we wanted
Shavon_W, Oct. 2022
ATV Island Tour with Jet Ski Bundle (Beach break, Lunch, pick up + drop off)
We cannot wait to visit beautiful Bahamas again!
Breathtaking views!
Daniel_G, Oct. 2022
Single Parasail Over Cabbage Beach, the Bahamas
Getting high above the beach and ocean to see the Bahamas was incredible!
I didn’t want to leave!
Raissa_S, Jan. 2023
Land and Sea Sightseeing Tour from Nassau
I definitely recommend snorkeling to see the Ocean Atlas the biggest sculpture underwater!
Awesome experience!
Rebecca_D, Jan. 2023
Sandy Toes Full Day Excursion to Rose Island
This excursion allows for the perfect amount of relaxation time on the gorgeous island with adorable pigs, and activities.
Awesome experience!
Jessica_Q, Dec. 2022
Single Parasail Over Cabbage Beach, the Bahamas
We are first-timers with kids and ALL of us agreed this was our favorite experience on the trip!
5 stars for Captain Ron!
Jessica_L, Nov. 2022
Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour
Thank you Captain Ron, and we hope to see you next time we’re in the Bahamas!
This is what you are looking for
Douglas_L, Aug. 2022
Exuma Full-day Experience
If you are in Nassau and want to see some of the real Bahamas, this is exactly what you are looking for.
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All about Bahamas

When to visit

Most travelers visit from mid-December to mid-April, when average highs reach roughly 80°F (26°C) and beaches are bustling. For a slightly quieter vacation, try visiting from May through June, when there are fewer tourists and temperatures are a bit higher, or from August to November, if you can handle some rain (and the possibility of hurricanes). There are festivals and public events all year round, including the Mardi Gras-like Junkanoo, which takes place on December 26th, January 1st, and on Saturdays in June and July.

Getting around

If you’re planning to spend your time on a Bahamian beach, you can probably get everywhere you want by taking occasional cabs and some organized tours. If you’re keen to explore by yourself, flag down cabs or local jitneys (minibuses); both are available in tourist zones like Nassau and Freeport. There are fewer options outside these busy areas and on the more distant Out Islands; consider renting a car, moped, bike, or even a golf cart. Island-hopping is easy, thanks to water taxis, ferries, and domestic flights.

Traveler tips

In the Bahamas (including in Nassau and Freeport,) taxis aren’t equipped with meters. Make sure you agree on a price for the trip—or at least a per hour-rate—with the driver before starting your trip. If you’re staying on one of the remoter Out Islands and plan to leave your hotel at night, be sure to take a flashlight; because traffic is sparse, there’s very little street lighting.

Bahamas information

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