THE CARIBBEAN // THE BAHAMAS // NASSAU PARADISE ISLAND
City/Settlement: Nassau, the nation’s capital
Location: 179 miles east of the Florida coast
Size: Nassau, also known as New Providence Island: seven by
21 miles; a bridge links Paradise Island (which measures
685 acres) to New Providence Island
Population: Approximately 172,000
(New Providence Island / Paradise Island)
Images Courtesy of: Bahamas Tourist Office
British colonists first discovered Nassau Harbour in the late 1600s. In 1670, King
Charles II of England gave The Islands Of The Bahamas to six British noblemen who
brought British settlers from Bermuda to New Providence. These settlers built a city
and fort, originally named Charlestown but later renamed Nassau, to honor William,
Prince of Orange-Nassau and successor to the throne of England. During the
Revolutionary War, British Loyalists who left America settled in Nassau, adding to
the town’s architecture, population and prosperity. Nassau/Paradise Island also
possesses a long tradition associated with pirates.
Shopping in The Bahamas provides the opportunity to purchase unique foods,
spices, ceramics, crafts, art, and music. Nassau boasts stylish boutiques on Bay
Street, outdoor fruit and vegetable stalls and fresh fish market, and the famed
Nassau provides numerous sporting opportunities, including golf, fishing, sailing,
windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, snorkeling, and of course, fabulous scuba
Nassau/Paradise Island is only two-and-a-half hours by air from New York, little
more than three-and-a-half hours from the Midwest and only 30 minutes from
The following airlines provide service to Nassau:
- Air Canada (888-247-2262)
- American Airlines (800-433-7300)
- Bahamasair (800-222-4262)
- Continental (800-523-3273)
- Delta (800-241-0824)
- United Airlines (800-864-8331)
- US Airways (800-428-4322)
- airTran (800-247-8726)
- JetBlue Airways (800-538-2583)
- Spirit Airlines (800-772-7117)
There are a wide range of accommodations in Nassau and Paradise Island, from
budget to deluxe. A number of resorts have golf courses and marinas, and all are
within easy access of the casinos.
Listed below are some of the more popular hotels and resorts:
- Paradise Island/The Cove/The Reef (888-877-7525)
- A Stone’s Throw Away (242-327-7030)
- British Colonial Hilton Nassau (242-322-3301)
- Graycliff Hotel (242-302-9150)
- One&Only Ocean Club (242-363-2501)
- Paradise Island Harbour Resort (242-363-2561)
- Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island (1-888-Sandals)
- Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort (242-327-6000)
- The Marley Resort & Spa (242-702-2800)M
- Comfort Suites Paradise Island (242-363-3680)
- Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino (242-327-6200)
- Breezes Resort (877-Breezes)
Prince George Wharf:
Up to a dozen cruise ships can be in port at any time, stopping on either short jaunts from Miami or during weeklong cruises to Caribbean islands.
Located on Prince George Wharf, Festival Place is a colorful
marketplace designed in the style of a Bahamian village. Bahamian artists and
artisans offer crafts and souvenirs, and island tours and excursions can be arranged
Fort Fincastle is the highest point on the island, sitting 200 feet
above sea level. It provides incredible views of Nassau and the harbor from its
126-foot tall water tower.
The official residence of the Governor-General of The Bahamas
since 1901, this house has accommodated such notable occupants as the Duke and
Duchess of Windsor during World War II. The Changing of the Guard ceremony
occurs here every Saturday at 10 a.m.
Junkanoo parades, similar to those that take place during Mardi
Gras, are held in the early morning hours on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas)
and New Year’s Eve. At the entrance to the wharf are exhibits of the fantastic
costumes revelers wear during these annual Bahamian Junkanoo celebrations.
During the late 18th century, slaves carved 65 steps (originally
66) into a solid limestone cliff in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign. Queen’s
Staircase is located at the top of Elizabeth Avenue Hill, off Shirley Street.
Pirates of Nassau Museum:
This museum (located in the Lofthouse building on
Marlborough Street) offers a world-class, interactive and educational experience
into the 18th century era when pirates dominated the Bahamian waters.
Fort Montagu is the oldest of the island’s three forts. Built as a
stronghold to repel Spanish invaders, it was made from local limestone in 1741.
Beyond the fort stretches a public beach overlooking Montagu Bay, the location of
several international yacht regattas and Bahamian workboat races.
An ideal spot for experiencing local-style Bahamian food, Arawak Cay
is one of the best places on New Providence to try fresh conch, conch salad, native
fish fry or a traditional drink of coconut and gin.
Ardastra Gardens and Zoo:
The five acres of tropical greenery include an aviary of
rare tropical birds and other exotic animals from different parts of the world. The
Zoo is renowned for its marching flamingos, the national bird of The Bahamas,
which perform daily at 11 a.m., 2 a.m. and 4 p.m.
This fort, built during the late 18th century, includes a waterless
moat, a drawbridge, ramparts, and even dungeons. Lord Dunmore, who built this
fort, named the massive structure after George III’s wife. The fort lies about one
mile west of central Nassau.
The most exclusive enclave on the island is a 4,000-acre preserve
where Nassau’s “old money” pioneers started settling more than 30 years ago,
when wealthy Canadian E.P. Taylor developed it as an exclusive colony. Today, the
preserve includes a private golf course and 200 homes owned by the wealthy in
search of mild, sunny climates during the winter months.
U.S. currency is accepted and is interchangeable with the Bahamian dollar. In
September through May, the temperature on the Island averages 70 to 75 degrees
Fahrenheit; the rest of the year is warmer, with temperatures between 80 and 85
degrees. Nighttime temperatures are generally cooler by 5-7 degrees. All U.S.
citizens and foreign nationals traveling to/from the United States to/from The
Bahamas are required to present a valid passport, passport card or WHTI-compliant
document to re-enter the United States. All Canadian citizens traveling to/from
NPI Fact Sheet – Page 5
Canada to/from The Bahamas are required to present either a valid passport, an
official birth certificate or an original naturalization/citizenship certificate. For more
information please visit Bahamas.com.
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