The largest city in the Bahamas and also the capital, Nassau sits on a colorful harbor reminiscent of an old world port. With so many activities, tourist attractions and beautiful beaches, visiting Nassau is magic. With a tropical climate, island breezes and the natural beauty of swaying palms and flamboyant blossoms in its many gardens, Nassau is a popular tourist destination, especially for the boating, snorkeling and diving crowd.
Located on New Providence Island—one of many dozens of islands which make up the Bahamas—Nassau's close proximity to the U.S. (just 180 miles from Miami) makes it an easy destination for Americans. The well-known Atlantis mega resort receives thousands of guests each year.
Starting the day after Christmas, Nassau celebrates Junkaroo, a highly-charged colorful city-wide parade full of the brightest and splashiest elaborate costumes you’ve ever seen—and music to match. This is a great time to visit if you're interested in watching the parade of a lifetime, or possibly, joining in with the locals. And since they love Jukaroo so much, Bahamians celebrate it again in the summer with Junkaroo June, a month-long festival showcasing the best of the festivities—food tasting, costume making, dancing lessons—but without all the fanfare of the parade itself.
Nassau has been a Hollywood star in several James Bond movies, the most famous being Thunderball and Casino Royale. The Junkaroo festival plays a major role in Thunderball which starred Sean Connery. Nassau also played a prominent role in the Beatles movie Help!
Things to do in Nassau include a visit to Pirates of Nassau, an excellent interactive museum. Realistic recreations of the life of pirates—who were notorious in the Bahamas—are in every direction as you walk through the museum, along with all the seafaring sounds—some of them quite frightening—of the era. For dinner, try the Pirate’s Bar inside the museum.
For nature lovers, there's Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Park. A walk around the gardens with its luscious scents of blooming lotuses, colorful birds singing in trees, crawling iguanas, and pink flamingos makes you feel as if you're in a tropical paradise. Also in the gardens is the endangered Bahama parrot, bred in captivity in the park.
Government House, the impressive pink Georgian building sitting on top of Mount Fitzwilliam is the official home of the Bahamas governor general. You can walk around the surrounding gardens any time of the day, and twice a month, you can actually have tea with the governor general’s wife if you make arrangements.
For eating out, Buena Vista Restaurant is a popular standard, housed in a faded old mansion full of historic charm.