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. Aquaventure

    From near-vertical slides that plunge through shark tanks to a quarter-mile-long lazy river ride, this 141-acre water park allows you to both unwind and get...Read More

  • 2. Ardastra Gardens, Zoo, and Conservation Centre

    Marching flamingos give a parading performance at Ardastra daily at 10:30, 1:30, and 3. Children can walk among the brilliant pink birds after the show....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. 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

  • 5. 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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  • 6. 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

  • 7. Junkanoo Beach

    Right in downtown Nassau, this beach is spring-break central from late February through April. The man-made beach isn't the prettiest on the island, but it's...Read More

  • 8. Pompey Square

    This open space at the western end of Bay Street overlooks the busy Nassau Harbour and is the spot to catch local festivals and events,...Read More

  • 9. Potter's Cay

    Walk the road beneath the Paradise Island bridges to Potter's Cay to watch sloops bringing in and selling loads of fish and conch. Along the...Read More

  • 10. Prince George Wharf

    The wharf that leads into Rawson Square is the first view that cruise passengers encounter after they tumble off their ships. Up to a dozen...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. The Retreat

    Nearly 200 species of exotic palm trees grace the 11 verdant acres appropriately known as The Retreat, which is managed by The Bahamas National Trust....Read More

  • 14. 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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