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Nassaucreate your own vibe

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Nassau Basics


Photo By: Pam McLean

Life in the Bahamas moves a little slower. The vibe is Caribbean chill crossed with a colonial edge. While Harbour Island and some of the Bahamas’ Outer Islands have been getting much of the press, Nassau and nearby Paradise Island have plenty to lure visitors—including those who aren’t just stopping there on a cruise ship. Originally inhabited by the Lucayans, the island of New Providence was later “claimed” in the early 1700s by one of the world’s ultimate pleasure-seekers, Edward Teach, or Blackbeard, who turned it into a base for privateers and pirates. Nassau later became the center of the British royal colony in the Bahamas; during the American Revolution, it lured Americans loyal to the British cause. The Bahamas are now independent but remain part of the British Commonwealth, and you’ll find British colonial architecture along with colorful Caribbean influences, making for fun and interesting walking tours. Don’t miss the pink buildings in Parliament Square, including the former Nassau Gaol (jail), a striking octagonal building that’s now a public library and museum.

Of course, there are also great beaches, from the four-mile stretch of Cable Beach in Nassau to the quieter Paradise Beach on Paradise Island, where the rising of the massive Atlantis resort made Sol Kerzner the second-largest employer in the Bahamas (after the Bahamian government).

Above all, Nassau is a place where you can create your own vibe: Channel James Bond over a stirred-not-shaken martini at the Dune Bar, or grab a daiquiri beachside at the walk-up Daiquiri Shack across from the Wyndham. Order grouper at Oh Andros!, a low-key spot in a row of restaurants on Arawak Cay known as the fish fry, or reserve a table at Jean George V’s Café Martinique. Spend the day shopping for duty-free baubles or diving off a charter boat. Or just lie on the beach and soak up the Bahamian sun. You’re on vacation, after all.

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