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There’s nothing like the feelingof flying into a destination with clear blue water on all sides. This trip was our dream honey-moon— Michelle & I constantly travel for work, but this was the best trip ever when we made it to The Bahamas. It’s a short flight away and a welcome slice of paradise. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get around — everyone speaks English, we could use.U.S. dollars everywhere, and the locals are so friendly. Like most tropical destinations, there are elements of The Bahamas that speak directly to a cruise-ship driven economy. However, once we made our way out of the most-trafficked spots on the island, there were plenty of hidden gems to be found. Read on for how to experience the best parts of Nassau Paradise Island.

Where to Stay

While there’s plenty to explore on-island, the place you stay in Nassau will dictate the experience you have. In addition to the popular all-inclusive resorts, there are options for laid-back hotels, boutique hotels, or house rentals. No matter where you end up, you’ll also want plenty of opportunities to try the local food and culture!

Hotels in Nassau

Sandals Royal Bahamian –$$$$ – while an all-inclusive resort isn’t typically our go-to, Sandals’ private offshore island was definitely a highlight for its pristine beach. We also loved their oceanside restaurant, Gordon’s on the Pier.

Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant

$$$ – Located in the heart of Old Town, Graycliff hotel is a historic colonial mansion with tropical gardens and pools that provide a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the island. Their wine cellar features over 250,000 bottles sourced from around the world, just a short walk from their on-site chocolate shop, which offers lessons in chocolate-making. We received a private tour exploring the grounds of this property, thanks to our concierge!

The Ocean Club,

A Four Seasons Resort

$$$$ – transport yourself into luxury at this historic Four Sea-sons resort, which has played host to travelers and celebrities since 1962. It’s a unique and romantic property: we loved the stretch of white sand beach and the Versailles-inspired garden, complete with cloisters from a 12th-century French Augustinian monastery.

Atlantis Paradise Island

$$$ – this oceanside resort has it all: bars and restaurants, a water park, golf course, casino, spa, and more. We had a blast visiting for the day to see the aquarium. It’s an iconic property that’s been known to attract celebrities since its opening 22 years ago.

British Colonial Hilton Nassau

$$$ – Historical setting, synonymous with pirates, the iconic hotel was built on the ruins of Fort Nassau during the 18th century, and was also the setting for two James Bond movies.

Airbnbs in Nassau

Palm Cay

$$$– a located 30-minute drive from Nassau’s international airport and a little over 10 minutes from downtown Nassau and Paradise Island. Arrangements for airport pick up to and from the airport can also be made for guests at the time of the booking. Renting a private villa in The Bahamas is amazing, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the reasonable rates and quality accommodations.

Cottage Ocean View

$ – a bright and cheery home away from home with stunning views of the local beach.

Grand Suite #8

$ – this quaint suite is great for traveling as a couple, ten minutes from downtown.

White Beachfront Home

$$ – located in a quiet area on the western side of Nassau, steps away from the beach.

Secret Garden Villa

$$$ – a nice retreat located on three lush acres of tropical gardens.

Paradise Island Villa

$$$ – located in a beautiful gated complex walking distance from Atlantis Resort.

Where to Eat

Bahamian Cookin’ – this localspot is a must-try at some point during your trip. It’s simple and features classic Bahamian dish-es, like conch fritters, cracked lobster, and steamed chicken.

Biggity – this family-owned restaurant was built by hand with re-purposed wood and natural elements. Their menu is simple and healthy, with flavors that pack a punch—a must for a laid-back, cozy meal downtown.

Café Martinique – we weretreated like royalty and visited with the General Manager for hors d’oeuvres & cocktails. Atlantis guests and vacation-ers on Paradise Island will find a culinary treasure in Marina Village. Café Martinique is the resort’s newest and only restaurant to feature a seasonal, plant-forward menu with local Bahamian ingredients to create unique Mediterranean-inspired flavors.

Louis & Steen’s – recommend-ed by a local on the island, this New Orleans-style coffee house is eclectic (read: purple cottage) and serves up typical Cajun-style dishes and excellent coffee.

Graycliff Restaurant – thisproperty is on our list twice for a reason! We had the honor of sharing an incredible lunch at this elegant restaurant. Afterward, visit their chocolate shop and have a cigar directly from the shop on site. At the very least, go for the atmosphere and wine selection alone.

Athena Cafe & Bar – thoughconch is not typically a ‘Greek’ dish, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavors at this no-frills Greek cafe. Perfect if you’re craving something filling while exploring Nassau’s downtown.

Social House – for fresh sushi,try Social House. Their lunch menu offers deals for the afternoon, or make it an evening and sample their small plates for an unforgettable experience.

What to Do

Swim with the pigs – This experienceis not to be missed! If you’re staying in Nassau, the closest option is the Sandy Toes experience on Rose Island.

Visit the Atlantis Marine Habitat– the Atlantis property is huge and home to an amazing aquarium. You can buy day passes on their site to visit and explore for a day, which is also a great activity if you get hit with tropical rain.

Go on a food tour – This is becominga regular activity for Michelle and me when we travel, and I have to say it’s always one of our favorite parts of the trip. I’m always curious to see what places locals recommend, and any excuse to eat is a plus. Tip: if you go on the food tour we went on, you’ll stop at Bahamian Cookin’, Athena Cafe, and Biggity.

Take a boat tour – as with mostdestinations; we loved exploring local islands off Nassau with a private boat for the afternoon. Don’t miss Gilligan’s Island and the sandy beaches of Rose Island for pristine water all to yourself. Private boat tours offer awesome snorkeling, exploring untouched beaches, swimming with turtles & more! The Demi Experience with Demitri Darville is the adventure for you.

Explore the local shops – a lot ofon-island artists are represented. We loved visiting Doongalik Studios and Craft Cottage, located next to one another. The studio features artist’s work on display, and Craft Cottage has a variety of handmade gifts for purchase. I bought a hand-carved ornament here for my mother.

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