It happens, plans change. Whether you find yourself with an unexpected layover in Nassau, or choose to explore New Providence Island on your own accord, here are some of Max & Liz’s favorite things to do in the big city.
[Please note: operating hours may change. Be sure to call ahead to ensure they are open.]
John Watling’s Distillery: We’d be lying if this wasn’t our first stop every time that we have the pleasure of touring Nassau. After all, they call rum the “Spirit of the Bahamas”. The distillery is housed at the beautiful Buena Vista Estate of 1789. Offering four types of rum including their Buena Vista, described as comparable to a 12-year-old scotch, there is something for everyone (of age, of course). Wild and colorful roosters roam the property as you tour the facility, sipping on the local creations & learning the history behind it all. Reservations are not required. Bottles are available to purchase, as well as John Watling’s merchandise. They are open 10 am-6 pm daily, with added hours on Fridays. You can get more information on their website, www.johnwatlings.com, or give them a call (242) 322-2811.
Junkanoo Museum: Junkanoo is one of the most talked-about and most anticipated events every year. Held on Christmas & New Year’s, the exuberant parade rolls through the streets of Nassau long into the early morning hours. Its history goes back over 200 years, to the times of slavery. The museum features costumes, traditional Junkanoo music as well as dancing. They are open Monday through Friday 9 am – 5 pm. This is a true taste of local culture & tradition.
Arawak Cay Fish Fry: If waiting for the delicious food at Andros South is too much, we recommend Arawak Cay Fish Fry. It is a great place to enjoy local cuisine, such as conch fritters, conch salad, fried fish, etc. all while enjoying the busy life at the harbor. This is also a great spot for people-watching. Here you can get your hands on exotic local drinks, such as a Gully Wash or Sky Juice (coconut water, condensed milk & gin delight) or a tasty Bahama Mama. It is a very colorful spot and a great place to stretch your legs.
Pirate Museum of Nassau: Pirates had a long presence in Nassau, lasting from 1690 – 1720. The Pirate Museum offers an in-depth look at their history, including descriptions of their hearty plunders and unfortunate demises. The museum is a self-guided walking tour with photos, audio & informational placards. They are conveniently located in the heart of downtown. Open Monda through Saturday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Sunday from 9am – 2pm.
Pirate Republic Brewery: If you’ve spent any time in the Bahamas, you’ve probably gotten your hands on a Kalik or a Sands beer. What you might not know is that Nassau is now home to the first and only craft brewery in the Bahamas. With staples such as Black Beer’d Stout, Gold & Haze of Piracy, and Long John Pilsner, Pirate Republic offers a new take on Bahamian beers. You can grab some conch fritters & maybe even catch some live music all while enjoying one of their cold brews.
Queen’s Staircase/Fort Fincastle: If you are a history buff, both Fort Fincastle & the Queen’s Staircase are worth checking out. Both made out of limestone between 1793-1794. You can take a self-guided tour or walk through yourself. Open from 8am – 4pm.
If you don’t have enough time to explore Nassau, but find yourself hungry and stuck at the Nassau airport, not to worry. Just outside the doors in the airport parking lot are two small food stands with authentic local cuisine. One has adult beverages & one does not.
Whatever you chose to do, enjoy it. The people are extraordinarily friendly, the food is fantastic & the scenery isn’t so bad either.