The Bahamas, an archipelago of around 700 islands, is the quintessential relaxing Caribbean vacation spot. From gorgeous, white beaches and luxury hotels to historical sites and museums, the Bahamas has all the attractions you could possibly think of. Here are the 20 best attractions that you need to see.
The Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island
The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas is Nassau’s most popular tourist attraction. The enormous property features a Dolphin Cay, Casino and 141-acre waterpark called Aquaventure. Aside from the water playground that’s perfect for the entire family, Atlantis boasts six outdoor lagoons and aquariums that contain more than 50,000 animals from over 200 species.
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is a protected area in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas. The 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea National Park, built in 1958, is the first “no-take reserve” in the Caribbean and one of the most successful marine parks in the world. The Land and Sea Park is where many divers and snorkelers in the Bahamas come to explore the abundant marine life and clear blue waters. Exuma is also home to the Bahamas’ popular swimming pigs.
Port Lucaya Marketplace
The Port Lucaya Marketplace is considered to be the commercial hub of Grand Bahama. It is the largest shopping, dining, and entertainment open-air facility in the Bahamas, with over 40 specialty stores and boutiques, along with restaurants and bars.
Pink Sand at Harbour Island
The Pink Sand beach at Harbour Island is one of the most magnificent natural wonders in the Caribbean. The light pink sand gets its hue from thousands of broken coral pieces, shells, and calcium carbonate materials left behind by foraminifera that live in the coral reefs that surround the beach. Visit this natural phenomenon for yourself at Harbour Island in the Bahamas.
Dean’s Blue Hole
Located on Long Island in the Bahamas, Dean’s Blue Hole is said to be the deepest blue hole and the second largest underwater chamber in the world. The salt-water swimming pool sinks 663 feet and is surrounded by enormous cliffs that are perfect for diving. Visitors often go hiking on the nature trails nearby or diving and snorkeling on the surface of the waters.
Wyannie Malone Historical Museum
Residents of Hope Town, Bahamas thought it was necessary to have an establishment that showcased the origins and history of their community. Thus the Wyannie Malone Historical Museum (also called Hope Town Museum) was built in 1978 and named after the town’s founder. On display at the Museum are manuscripts, photographs, artifacts, pottery, and china from shipwrecks that took place in Hope Town.
Blue Lagoon Island
Blue Lagoon Island is a private island located near Nassau, Bahamas and is one of the popular tourist attractions in the Bahamas. The secluded island is surrounded by white sand beaches and crystal clear water and offers plenty opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and water sports. Guests are also given the chance to swim with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays.
Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre
The Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre is a peaceful 80-year-old retreat featuring lush tropical gardens and an impressive zoo with the largest collection of Bahamian animals and species in the world. The zoo is famous for being the home of the Caribbean Flamingo, the Bahamas’ Native Bird, while the gardens boast exotic fruit trees, coconut palms, orchids, and much other exotic plant life.
Nassau Straw Market
The internationally acclaimed Nassau Straw Market is home to handmade Bahamian goods such as wood carvings, conch shell jewelry, local foods, and a variety of hand-woven items. Straw vending, one of Bahamas’ oldest industries, is also popular in the market. Pick up a straw hat, handbag, or mat when you visit the Nassau Straw Market.
Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 by Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor at the time, to protect the island. Sitting atop Society Hill, the fort overlooks the city of Nassau and the Queen’s Staircase, the avenue through which many visitors access the Fort. Fincastle features huge brick walls with canons peeking at the top and gives an impressive view of the Bahamian waters.
The Queen’s Staircase, commonly referred to as the 66 steps, is a major landmark that is located at the bottom of Fort Fincastle. The steps were carved from limestone by slaves between 1793 and 1794. A century later, the staircase was renamed to honor Queen Victoria and her role in the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas. This complex is one of Nassau’s most significant and historical landmarks.
The largest fort in Nassau, Fort Charlotte, was built in the 18th century by Lord Dunmore. The fort has a waterless moat, dungeons, underground passageways, and 42 cannons, which have never been fired in a war. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the harbor, the Fort commands an impressive view of Paradise Island and the harbor of Nassau.
Pirates of Nassau
Escape to a world inspired by pirates at the Pirates of Nassau Museum. This wax museum is dedicated to the life and times of Pirates in the Bahamas and those who fought to protect the country against them. The self-guided tours offered by the museum gives visitors the chance to absorb aspects of the lives of pirates, pirate battles, the weaponry used, their living quarters, and much more.
National Art Gallery of Bahamas
The National Art Gallery of Bahamas is the perfect place to get an introduction to a visual aspect of Bahamian culture. The museum showcases a range of art mainly from Bahamian artists through exhibitions, the Art Library, and the construction of the National Collection. The collection holds a variety of art pieces including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and photography.
Lucayan National Park
This 40-acre national park, located in Grand Bahama, is one of Bahamas’ natural treasures. The Lucayan park features one of the most secluded beaches in all of Bahamas and is known for its charted underwater cave systems, one of the largest in the world. The Lucayan National Park is filled with exotic plants and flowers along with a variety of waterbirds and saltwater fish. Two caves, Ben’s Cave and Burial Mound Cave, are open to the public. Visitors can also go hiking along the nature trails or have a picnic near the beach.
Garden of the Groves
Garden of the Groves is the best escape for those searching for tranquillity, nature, and beauty. The 12-acre park is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Groves, the couple that founded Freeport in 1973. The Garden features exotic plants and flowers, waterfalls, Bahamian birds, and other wildlife. There is also an Arts and Crafts Center at the Garden, a gift shop, café, and chapel ideal for intimate weddings. For family fun, there is a kid’s playground and zoo where children can interact with pigs and goats.
Peterson Cay National Park
The Peterson Cay National Park, the only cay on Grand Bahama’s leeward shore, is a one-and-a-half-acre geological wonder. The protected area is home to one of the most beautiful reefs in the Bahamas, which is excellent for those who want to swim with Bahamian marine life and explore the turquoise waters. The cay is also perfect for bird watching, picnics, and relaxation.
Cable Beach in Nassau is famous for its clear, white sand and turquoise waters. Known as the hotel district of Nassau, the area features five first-class, luxury hotels that line the beach. The beach is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day in Nassau, soaking up the sun or engaging in water sports and activities. Cable Beach also has numerous dining options near the beach.
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas and the highlight of their Caribbean cruises. Being owned by Disney, the island is the perfect place for a family vacation. On the island, there are plenty of excursions to choose from, including guided jet ski tours, banana boat rides, parasailing, and snorkeling. There is a “Family Beach,” which is suited for all ages. There is also a “Teen Beach” and the “Serenity Beach,” for guests over the age of 18.
Junkanoo Expo Museum
The Junkanoo Expo Museum, located on the wharf in Nassau, offers visitors who can’t make it to the Junkanoo Carnival a chance to still experience the wonder. The vibrant museum houses a vast collection of Junkanoo costumes, detailed parade floats, and other memorabilia from throughout Junkanoo’s history, giving visitors a taste of the rich celebration any time of the year.