Hunting the Best Beach in Nassau

Hello my friends! Today I’m at the Best Beach in Nassau. I hope you are having a nice relaxing day in anticipation of the upcoming holidays!

This is the time of year I think about finding a spot for a winter break. When I want a relaxing break, I head for Nassau in The Bahamas. Nassau is relaxing, affordable and very convenient!

Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas but it is cosy with only 275,000 residents. It was founded in 1670 as “Charles Town” but was renamed after William III in 1695. “William of Orange” along with his wife, Mary, were the rulers of England following the “Glorious Revolution”. Dutch-born William was from the House of Nassau and this German name replaced Charles Town.

Nassau was a wild town from its very beginning and has always had a notorious reputation with its neighbour, the United States. From 1703 – 1718, it had no appointed governor so it became a haven for pirates. In fact, in 1713 the pirates banded together to name Nassau the capital of their Pirate Republic. Perhaps the most famous pirate of The Bahamas was Edward Teach, better known as “Blackbeard”. During and after the American War of Independence, Nassau became home to displaced loyalists from the nearby former British colonies. Then, during the American Civil War, Nassau supported blockade runners from the secessionist southern states who were supplied by the British. Again, The Bahamas profited extensively from American Prohibition in the 1920s as a major producer of rum. Finally, after the USA stopped allowing travel to Cuba in 1960, Nassau developed casinos and resort hotels. Nassau has thus enjoyed a reputation for being unruly, fun and edgy!

Here’s a pro-tip: Nassau has rebranded itself over the past twenty years as a place for family fun but it is also an inexpensive tropical getaway for giving yourself some much needed pampering!

Nassau - Queens Staircase

The Queen’s Staircase is cut from a single rock!

I mostly go to relax in Nassau – perhaps with a bit of diving followed by sipping cocktails while sunning on the beach. However, there are some pretty cool things to see in Nassau. Bay Street is the heart of downtown and is great for strolling and buying duty free goods. The Straw Market offers locally made arts and crafts. The Queen’s Staircase is a 102 foot staircase (31 metres) carved  from a single limestone rock by slaves in 1793.

Government House is the current seat of the independent government and the former seat of the British Governor General. The Duke of Windsor’s (former Edward VIII) American wife, Wallace Simpson, renovated Government House in 1940-1941 when “David” was the Governor General of The Bahamas during World War II. Lyford Cay (“Cay” is pronounced like “Key”) is the luxury neighbourhood around Old Fort Nassau, where billionaires keep homes and where James Bond (Sean Connery) was a long-time resident. In fact, Casino Royale (2006) was filmed partially in Lyford Cay as a nod to the former Bond star.

Nassau - Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte is the official name of Old Fort Nassau

Reaching Nassau is very simple with non-stop flights from the United Kingdom and many services via Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other cities on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Nassau’s airport, Lynden Pindling International Airport, has pre-clearance with the United States and saves time when travelling to or from the USA. Once you arrive, there are taxis available but no ride-sharing services.

Here’s another pro-tip: Nassau is compact so you will probably walk instead of take taxis. However, if you do need a taxi, book from the hotel and don’t hail from the street as there can be fake taxis that take advantage of visitors.

Hotels in Nassau are excellent and offer a wide range to fit any budget. Atlantis is the largest hotel on nearby Paradise Island and has a fabulous casino as well as family fun with great waterparks. The SLS Baha Mar is the newest hotel on Cable Beach and it is an excellent and relaxing property. Breezes and the Sandals offer all-inclusive resorts. Other properties are scattered throughout New Providence and nearby Paradise Island.

Nassau - Conch Salad

Conch Salad is Nassau’s answer to Ceviche

Bahamian food delivers creole seasoning on some of the freshest fish and seafood in the world. Try Bahamian recipes at the Poop Deck, either on East Bay street or, my favourite, at Sandyport. Café Matisse offers fine dining in a beautiful setting downtown with romantic sunset views. The Old Fort Bay Club at Lyford Cay offers excellent food in a relaxed setting.
Here’s a final pro-tip: for the ultimate Bahamian food and party experience, visit Fish Fry for a Conch Salad. The conch is pulled alive from the waters, cut up raw and mixed with onion, green pepper, chilis, spices, lemon and orange juice to make a tasty treat that always reminds me of fun times in Nassau.

Nassau - Fish Fry

The Fish Fry is a party area – not just for dinner!

Nassau is relaxed and always ready to party. In addition to Fish Fry, mentioned above, I love the Daiquiri Shack (aka the “Dak Shack”) which is iconic with an enticing set of fresh and colourful fruits to mix the perfect daiquiri. Fat Tuesday Bar and Restaurant is fun for relaxing afternoons and Aura at the Atlantis is a fantastic club for late night dancing to celebrate your wins from the casino!

So, what is the best beach in Nassau? Some will swear by Paradise Beach or Smuggler’s Beach on Paradise Island. Others like the exclusivity of Jaw’s Beach close to Lyford Cay. Sandyport Beach is relaxed but sees lots of stingrays and sharks – stingrays in the morning and tiger sharks at night. For me, though, Cable beach with its golden sands is still the best in Nassau. Regardless of which relaxing beach you visit, you’ll find the locals to be friendly and helpful!

Nassau - Cable Beach

Beautiful Cable Beach is perfect for relaxing!

Enjoy welcoming Nassau, it is fantastic and beautiful in The Bahamas!

Love,

 

Isabella

 

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Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Bay Street, Government House, Queen’s Staircase (https://www.bahamas.com

Where to stay: Atlantis, SLS Baha Mar (https://www.atlantisbahamas.com, https://www.slshotels.com/bahamar )

Where to party: The Fish Fry, The “Dak Shack”, Aura (http://www.fishfrynassau.com, https://www.atlantisbahamas.com)

Where to eat: The Poop Deck, Café Matisse, Old Fort Bay Club
(https://the-poop-deck-at-sandyport.business.site, https://www.cafematissenassau.com, https://the-island-house.com

What to buy: Duty Free!

Nassau is a great winter getaway!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Bay Street, Government House, Queen’s Staircase (https://www.bahamas.com

Where to stay: Atlantis, SLS Baha Mar (https://www.atlantisbahamas.com, https://www.slshotels.com/bahamar )

Where to party: The Fish Fry, The “Dak Shack”, Aura (http://www.fishfrynassau.com, https://www.atlantisbahamas.com)

Where to eat: The Poop Deck, Café Matisse, Old Fort Bay Club
(https://the-poop-deck-at-sandyport.business.site, https://www.cafematissenassau.com, https://the-island-house.com

What to buy: Duty Free!

Nassau is a great winter getaway!

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