With 700 tropical islands scattered around the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas offer a postcard-perfect destination. White-sand beaches and translucent turquoise water attract visitors from around the world. The capital, Nassau, on New Providence Island, is a fascinating cultural hub. Dance to calypso music, savor fried crab or play dominos with locals in the diverse city. Don't leave without also learning about the country's interesting past.
Once a pirate haven, the Bahamas have a colorful history, much of which is centered around Nassau. Go to the Pirates of Nassau Museum to understand the lawless existence of the seafarers who once dominated the Caribbean and the role the British had in driving them from the area. Visit historic buildings such as Parliament House, distinctive because of its pink exterior. Climb the Queen’s Staircase, a set of 65 stone steps that were carved by hand in the late 18th century. The stairs lead to Bennet’s Hill, the tallest point on the island, and were made as a route to and from Fort Fincastle, built in 1793.
Many other attractions are located within the Nassau's Old Town and can be reached on foot. These attractions include The Retreat Garden National Park and the Arawak Cay entertainment precinct, the best place to try the local seafood dishes the Bahamas are known for.
The Bahamas is also famed for its beaches, several within easy reach of Nassau. Cable Beach offers child-friendly swimming conditions and a range of accommodation options. Cabbage Beach, on nearby Paradise Island, is home to many of the Bahamas’ larger resorts, including the iconic Atlantis resort. Here you can spend the day at the Aquaventure water park or the Atlantis Aquarium.
Buses serve other areas of New Providence and Paradise islands. Ferries and charter boats at Nassau harbor go farther afield.
The Bahamas are located just 187 miles (300 kilometers) southeast of Miami, and are easily reached by plane and boat. There are more flights to the Bahamas in the winter peak season. Some visitors prefer the slower pace of local life off-season for a relaxed and more affordable tropical getaway.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Nassau page.
Beaches, Islands and Excursions
Ride Jet Skis and fly parasails, soak up the sun or relax at a beachfront bar at this popular resort-lined beach.
This enormous water park is one of the largest in the world. You’ll find something for everyone in the family within its 11 pools and 18 waterslides.
Overlooking the city of Nassau, these historic ruins were once responsible for protecting the city from invading forces.
White sand, crystal-clear water and lively beachfront establishments have made this the go-to beach for visitors to the most populated island of the Bahamas.
Named to celebrate the 65 years of Queen Victoria’s rule, these limestone stairs flanked by a waterfall are an important landmark in the nation’s capital.
Chat with local vendors and shop for handicrafts and Bahamian souvenirs at this bustling market.
Hop aboard a high-speed powerboat and jet across the waves to the serene and stunning Exuma Cays. Encounter the endangered Bahamian dragon, feed stingrays and sharks, kick back on a pristine beach, and enjoy a delicious waterfront lunch with an open bar during your day on this secluded isle.
See Nassau with fresh eyes during a guided sightseeing experience in a custom Jeep Wrangler with unlimited soft drinks. Experience the gentle sea breezes wafting in through the windows, travel to historical gems, legendary forts, natural caves, and a fish fry where you can sample local treats.
Sail through Nassau harbor on a 20-minute catamaran cruise, then arrive at beautiful Blue Island Lagoon, where you’ll spend the day relaxing on white sandy beaches and swimming in a calm turquoise lagoon.
Delve into the underwater world of the Bahamas, exploring marine movie sets, eerie sunken wrecks, and vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical sea life on this guided snorkeling excursion.
Journey to a private island where you have the exciting chance to interact with dolphins. Learn all about their behaviors from a worthy trainer, and then spend the remainder of your day experiencing all the relaxation of island life.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Nassau with a relaxing visit to a neighboring island just a mile off the shoreline. Upon arrival, staff will direct you toward the beach with rows of inviting lounge chairs, dotted with umbrellas for shade and a perfect beach day.
See why the Exuma Cays are some of the most extraordinary islands in the Caribbean
Experiencing local food and fun in the capital of the Bahamas
Making the cruising experience your destination