Located on the island of New Providence, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and a major tourist attraction. There are many things to do in Nassau, and if the city isn’t enough, just across the bridge is Paradise Island, a small island devoted to high-end resorts. Nassau is the most popular cruise port in the Bahamas for caribben vacations. This article provides details about caribbean vacations in Nassau and Paradise Island, including: things to do, the weather and best times of the year to go.
The commercial center and capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Nassau hosts millions of visitors each year and provides some of the most delicious weather conditions in this part of the world, with daytime temperatures remaining between 70 and 90 degree Fahrenheit all year long. With hundreds of activities ranging from swimming with dolphins to coral reef diving to horseback riding along trails surrounded by beautiful tropical foliage, Nassau represents the idea of the utopian vacation. Sports fishing for marlin and snapper, swimming, boating and exploring hundreds of exotic shops featuring handmade items are always just a short walk away from your beachfront hotel. Also recognized for its traditional Balinese healing therapies, Nassua is home to numerous spas offering therapeutic massages, body wraps, soothing saunas and other beauty services designed to pamper, heal and energize your mind and body.
The Bahamas climate is generally warm, with cooling trade winds from the Atlantic. temperature in Nassau and Paradise island average 80 ° to 85 ° Fahrenheit, with a cooler period of 70 ° to 75 ° between September and May.
Like the rest of the Bahamas, Nassau and Paradise Island are in the Caribbean hurricane zone. Hurricane season lasts from the beginning of July to the end of November. The chances of a hurricane affecting an Nassau / Paradise island vacation is remote, but tourists should be aware of any weather warnings if they stay in the Bahamas during hurricane season.
When to Go to Nassau
Peak tourist season for Nassau and Paradise Island is from December to February. During this time accommodations are much more expensive than during the tourist off-season, and both Nassau and Paradise Island can be crowded with vacationers.
Travelers to Nassau should also be aware that the city is a popular destination during Spring Break season. Hordes of college students descend on Nassau between February and the beginning of April. If you want a quiet vacation, Spring Break season is not the time to visit Nassau.
Things to do in Nassau
Whether you like to relax on the beach, scuba dive, shop, or explore colonial castles, there are things to do in Nassau that will catch your attention. Nassau’s most notorious resident was the pirate Blackbeard, who for a short period was in control of New Providence. The influence of Blackbeard and other pirates influence can still be seen in Nassau, from the dungeons of imposing Fort Charlotte to the delightfully campy Pirate’s Museum.
Other historical landmarks offer more things to do in Nassau. You can see Victorian mansions, impressive cathedrals, and the pink-stoned Parliament building. Nassau also offers a wide range of shopping opportunities, from chintzy souvenirs to world-class boutiques. Straw Market is the place to buy souvenirs, but watch what you buy: often you can buy it cheaper in downtown stores.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are obvious things to do in Nassau. if you’d rather stay dry and still see sea life, head across the Cay to Coral Island, which includes an underwater observatory where you can view reef life, including impressive sting rays.
One of the most exciting things to do in Nassau is to take a trip to Paradise Island. Once known by the unappealing name of Hog Island, Paradise Island is now home to ritzy upscale resorts, gold courses, and restaurants. Movie buffs might recognize parts of Paradise Island from the movie Thunderball. The 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale was also partly filmed on Paradise Island, so if you want to order a martini shaken, not stirred, you bartender will probably oblige you.
You’d expect to see swank resorts and high class restaurants on Paradise Island, but a Middle Age Augustine monastery that came all the way from France? The Cloisters were originally built in France in the 14 th century. William Randolph Hearst bought the Cloisters and had the entire building disassembled and shipped to America in the 1920s. Hearst did nothing with the monetary, and the stones languished in a warehouse until 1962, when they were purchased and reassembled on Paradise Island.
During the tourist season, accommodations in Nassau can be quite expensive, and hard to find during the bustle of Spring Break. during the off-season, resorts, motels and rental cottages are less expensive and easier to book.
Accommodation on Paradise Island is also less expensive during the off-season. Given the many high end resorts that populate Paradise Island, accommodations there are usually more expensive than Nassau itself.
Culture in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are part of the British Commonwealth, having gained independence from Britain in 1973. English is the national language, and is closer to British English than American English. English in the Bahamas is also spoken with a distinctly Bahaman accent and local dialect, which can confuse visitors.
The unit of currency is the Bahaman dollar, which is tied to the U.S. dollar. as a result, U.S dollars can be used interchangeably with Bahaman dollars in many parts of Nassau and Paradise Island.
Some of the most attractive things to do in Nassau and Paradise Island are water sports and beach activities. Tourists may be tempted to wear beachwear off the beaches. Bahaman society frowns on beachwear on the streets and in restaurants or shops. most Nassau restaurants insist on shirts and shoes. This requirement may be relaxed in the Paradise Island resorts, but don’t be too surprised if it is enforced.