New Providence and Paradise Islands

New Providence is the Bahamas' most urban island, but that doesn't mean you won't find beautiful beaches. Powdery white sand, aquamarine waves, and shade-bearing palm trees are easy to come by, regardless how populated you like your beach to be. Whether you crave solitude or want to be in the middle of the action, there's a sand spot that's just right for you.

Cable Beach and the beaches near Atlantis are where you'll typically find loud music, bars serving tropical drinks, and vendors peddling everything from parasailing and Jet Ski rides to T-shirts and hair braiding. Downtown Nassau only has man-made beaches, the best being Junkanoo Beach just west of the British Colonial Hilton. But the capital city's beaches can't compare to the real thing. For a more relaxed environment, drive out of the main tourist areas. You'll likely find stretches of sand populated by locals only, or, chances are, no one at all.

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  • 1. John Watling's Distillery

    The former Buena Vista Estate, which featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale, has been painstakingly transformed and taken back to its glory days,...Read More

  • 2. Pompey Museum

    The building, where slave auctions were held in the 1700s, is named for a rebel slave who lived on the Family Island of Exuma in...Read More

  • 3. Adelaide Village

    The small community on New Providence's southwestern coast sits placidly, like a remnant of another era, between Adelaide Road and the ocean. It was first...Read More

  • 4. Balcony House

    A delightful 18th-century landmark—a pink two-story house named aptly for its overhanging balcony—this is the oldest wooden residential structure in Nassau and its furnishings and...Read More

  • 5. Christ Church Cathedral

    It's worth the short walk off the main thoroughfare to see the stained-glass windows of this cathedral, which was built in 1837, when Nassau officially...Read More

  • 6. Clifton Heritage Park

    It's quite a distance from just about any hotel you could stay at, but for history and nature buffs, this national park, rescued from the...Read More

  • 7. Fort Charlotte

    Built in 1788, this imposing fort features a waterless moat, a drawbridge, ramparts, and a dungeon with a torture device. Local guides bring the fort...Read More

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  • 8. Fort Fincastle

    Shaped like the bow of a ship and perched near the top of the Queen's Staircase, Fort Fincastle—named for Royal Governor Lord Dunmore (Viscount Fincastle)—was...Read More

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  • 9. Government House

    The official residence of The Bahamas governor-general, the personal representative of the Queen since 1801, this imposing pink-and-white building on Duke Street is an excellent...Read More

  • 10. Gregory's Arch

    Named for John Gregory (royal governor 1849–54), this arch, at the intersection of Market and Duke streets, separates downtown from the "over-the-hill" neighborhood of Grant's...Read More

  • 11. Heritage Museum of The Bahamas

    So many artifacts are on display in this small but interesting museum nestled in historic Mountbatten House that you can easily spend an hour wandering....Read More

  • 12. Nassau Public Library and Museum

    The octagonal building near Parliament Square was the Nassau Gaol (the old British spelling for jail), circa 1797. You're welcome to pop in and browse....Read More

  • 13. Parliament Square

    Nassau is the seat of the national government. The Bahamian Parliament comprises two houses—a 16-member Senate (Upper House) and a 39-member House of Assembly (Lower...Read More

  • 14. Queen's Staircase

    A popular early-morning exercise regime for locals, “the 66 Steps” (as Bahamians call them) are thought to have been carved out of a solid limestone...Read More

  • 15. Rawson Square

    This shady square connects Bay Street to Prince George Wharf. As you enter off Bay Street, note the statue of Sir Milo Butler, the first...Read More

  • 16. Versailles Gardens

    Fountains and statues of luminaries and legends (Napoléon and Josephine, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, David Livingstone, Hercules, and Mephistopheles) adorn Versailles Gardens, the terraced lawn at...Read More

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