Nassau, a lively port town on New Providence Island, welcomes international visitors with its tropical climate, pristine white beaches, raucous nightlife, friendly locals, exceptional resort accommodations, and bustling cultural attractions. In addition to being an extremely popular vacation destination, the capital city of the Bahamas also has quite an interesting history.
When the explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, the islands were inhabited by the indigenous Arawak people. The Spanish and the Arawak Indians were long gone by the time the British Navy arrived in the mid Seventeenth Century and named their port Charles Towne, renaming it Nassau in 1695 after King William III of Orange/Nassau. Spain failed in its attempts to retake the Bahamas during the Eighteenth Century. The islands were briefly under the control of the future United States during the American Revolution. The Bahamas was officially named a British colony shortly thereafter. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Bahamian history occurred during the swashbuckling period of the Eighteenth Century, when nefarious pirates, such as Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Calico Jack Rackham, and Anne Bonney, utilized Nassau as a base of operations.
After the Bahamas achieved independence from British rule in 1973, global investors developed the islands into an international tourist destination. Paradise Island, once a meager isle named “Hog Island” where Providence Island residents kept their livestock, was developed into a luxury resort area in the 1960’s. Paradise Island is connected to Providence Island by a bridge. Portions of the world-famous Atlantis Resort were initially constructed in the 1980’s. Atlantis has continued to expand and improve its luxury facilities ever since.
Things to Do
Be sure to check out the Pirates of Nassau museum, for a lesson on Nassau’s colorful past. And pay a visit to the Ardasta Gardens and Zoo, where you can see iguanas lounging about, as well as over 50 other animal species from around the world. For the active traveler, there is golf, tennis, and swimming to enjoy. And being surrounded by the warm blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of sports and activities for water lovers to enjoy, including diving, snorkeling, boating, and fishing.
As you can see, Nassau is filled with things to do! There is also Coral Cay, which features a one hundred foot viewing tower and underwater observatory. There is the famed Paradise Island, home to the world-renowned luxury resort, Atlantis. There are public beaches filled with bustle, and there are secluded beaches for escaping from the rest of the world. There are charming villages to visit, and plenty of shopping for local wares. Add to that the incredible local food and drink of the Bahamas, and you have the makings for a very special vacation in paradise.
No island paradise would be complete without a stimulating nightlife to enjoy. Nassau features a multitude of nighttime entertainment choices. There are casinos, live shows, theater performances, clubs, discos, and even dinner cruises. There is something for everyone to enjoy during the evening in Nassau!
Nassau, located on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, is a port city with a long and storied history as a shopping center. The Straw Market in Nassau is an open air bazaar where countless local artisans sell their wares, including pottery, woodcrafts, jewelry, and woven hats, bags and other straw crafts. You’ll find plenty of locally constructed keepsakes as well as kitschy touristy items. Nassau is also home to a diverse array of clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and retail shopping centers.
The Bahamas also offers a good deal of duty-free shopping for many luxury items, including jewelry, watches, cameras, perfumes, leather goods, linens, chinaware and crystal. Duty-free shops display a prominent DFS sign. You will discover find a charming range of local vendors that will appeal to an array of tastes ranging from tacky to the most refined.
Nassau, on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, is home to an assortment of accommodation options that will suit your vacation budget and individual preferences, including quaint villas, luxury condominiums, family hotels and world-class resorts. Paradise Island, connected to New Providence Island, via a bridge, has a large amount of relatively new resort development, including the world-renown Atlantis Resort and Casino. The great thing about Bahamian accommodations is that you’ll never be far from a gorgeous beach.
The Gulf Stream moderates the climate in the Bahamas and supplies warm-water currents from the equatorial south. Average high daily temperatures remain comfortable throughout the year, ranging from the high eighties (Fahrenheit) in the summer to the high seventies in the winter. Fall and spring highs usually reach the low to mid eighties. Pleasant winds cool beachgoers during the day. The late summer through early fall are subject to more frequent thunderstorms, but annual rainfall is relatively light. Although the Bahamas is subject to the Atlantic hurricane season, most tropical storms pass by the islands to the south.
Average Water Temperature
The water temperatures in the Bahamas are great for all kinds of water-sports, including scuba diving and snorkeling. During the wintertime, divers can utilize a medium or light wetsuit; the water temperatures average in the low to upper seventies Fahrenheit during the coldest months, ascending to the middle to upper seventies in the spring months, and rising into the middle eighties once summer is in full swing. The transparent waters off the Bahamas allow excellent visibility for divers, averaging around one hundred feet.