SI Swimsuit 2019 Destinations: Nassau, The Bahamas

SI SWIMSUIT DESTINATIONS: SOUTH AUSTRALIA | COSTA RICA | KENYA | EXUMA | PUERTO VALLARTA | ST. LUCIA

Everyone needs to visit Nassau at least once in their lifetime! The capital of the Bahamas is made up of vibrant culture, delicious, traditional cuisine and views that will take your breath away. This destination really is the definition of paradise. You’ll fall in love with the turquoise waters from the moment you step onto the beach. Whether you enjoy snorkeling through the colorful reefs or soaking up the sun on one of the white-sand beaches, you'll never want this trip to end! One thing is for sure, it really is better in the Bahamas. 

FAQS
Everything you need to know before a trip to Nassau, The Bahamas.

Where is Nassau, The Bahamas? 

Nassau is less than an hour flight from Miami.

How do I get to Nassau? 

Several major national and international airlines offer daily, bi-weekly and weekly flights to Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) from key hubs, including New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta, Houston, and Chicago.

Are there any interesting historic notes about Nassau? 

Nassau was first discovered by British colonists and has a long-standing history of pirates, dating all the way back to 1696, when Privateer Henry Every landed in Nassau Harbour with a ship loaded with loot. After bribing the Governor of The Bahamas, Nicholas Trott, with silver and gold, the city of Nassau was established as a safe haven for pirates’ operations.

Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism
Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism
Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism

What is the weather like year-round in Nassau? 

Like many of the islands in The Bahamas, temperatures in Nassau range from 68 to 86 degrees during the day and 62 to 70 degrees at night, year-round.

What is the best time of year to travel to Nassau? 

With beautiful weather year-round, Nassau is a great destination to visit anytime, but if you’re looking to experience the jubilant celebration of Junkanoo then head to Nassau during the holiday season to catch the action on Boxing Day, December 26, and New Year’s Day.

What are the beaches like in Nassau? 

With the many beaches of Nassau and Paradise Island, you can relax beneath a palm tree and enjoy a picnic on one and snorkel and enjoy water activities on the next. Top beaches include Cable Beach, Montagu Beach, Paradise Beach, Cabbage Beach, Arawak Beach, Love Beach and Junkanoo Beach.

Kelsey Hendrix
Kelsey Hendrix

What should I bring home from Nassau? 

Pick up conch shell jewelry or Junkanoo artwork in Downtown for a Nassau keepsake.

What are some must-have meals in Nassau? 

• The Poop Deck – Don’t be fooled by the name, this Bahamian restaurant is one of the best in town and favored by locals and visitors alike. Enjoy casual waterfront dining and fresh seafood in this family style and friendly seafood restaurant and take in the view of Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island, at our Yacht Haven Marina location or enjoy outdoor, fine dining while gazing at the crystal clear waters of the bay on a sandy beach at the Sandy Port location.

• McKenzie, former conch fisherman turned restaurateur, is a bit of a local celebrity. Twenty-five years in the same location, McKenzies Conch Shack is well-advertised in an easy-to-find, prime location. His is the first shack on the west side of the bridge.

• The biggest, most extravagant Fish Fry in The Bahamas can be found on Arawak Cay, Nassau. Just one long strip that begins with traditional sitdown restaurants and ends beachside, where beach shack barbecues serve up a whole new vibe.

What are some must-have drinks in Nassau?

Every visitor must stop at John Watling’s Distillery, home to John Watlings Rum the Spirit of The Bahamas. Enjoy a Sky Juice cocktail at Sip Sip at Atlantis Paradise Island, and if you’re in the mood for wine, head to Graycliff’s Bahamas Barrels, the first winery in The Bahamas.

Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism
Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism

What are the top five must-have experiences in Nassau? 

Arawak Cay (The Fish Fry) is a popular community and home to a variety of authentic Bahamian restaurants that specialize in seafood delicacies and serves up the famous refreshing Bahama Mama drink, and Kalik, "The Beer of the Bahamas."

• Tru Bahamian Food Tour for an entertaining and delicious culinary adventure through Nassau's vibrant downtown neighborhood.

• The People-to-People Experience pairs inquisitive travelers with locals, offering the unique opportunity to connect on a deeper level through conversations and a traditional Bahamian feast.

• Nassau’s landmarks make for social-worthy experiences, including The Queens Staircase, Parliament Square, Fort Fincastle and Bahamian murals throughout the city.

• Beneath the soaring overpass connecting Nassau to Paradise Island rests the sleepy fishing docks, lively fruit markets and brightly colored conch shacks of Potter’s Cay. All day long, roughly 40 chefs in forty different shacks cook fresh conch dishes in 40 different ways.

What is the meaning if Junkanoo?

The most popular theory surrounding the name [originally referred to as John Canoe] is that John Canoe was an African trader on the West African Coast during the era of slavery. Whatever the origin of the name, the celebration began with the slaves who were transported across the Atlantic. Under British law, slaves in British colonies were given three days holiday at Christmas. Junkanoo has been documented in the former British territories of Jamaica, Belize, and North and South Carolina, but only in the Bahamas has Junkanoo grown into such an elaborate festival, one of which all Bahamians are justly proud.

Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism
Courtesy of Bahamas Tourism

What is the Junkanoo festival?

Junkanoo is The Bahamas greatest pride-filled cultural celebration taking place on Boxing Day, December 26, and New Year’s Day, January 1, on Bay Street in downtown Nassau each year. The parade is filled with one-of-a-kind costumes, explosive dancing, live music made from conch shells, goatskin drums, cowbells and more. It’s truly a magical experience unlike anything.

How are the Junkanoo outfits created?

Months before the Junkanoo Festival, artists and craftsmen imagine their costumes, begin planning and sketching them, followed by sculpting, painting and assembling their works of arts. Fun fact: The base material of Junkanoo costumes is cardboard.

What does Junkanoo symbolize?

Junkanoo is the spirit of The Bahamas and is considered a magnificent celebration of life and freedom.

For an adventurous traveler, what can I experience in Nassau? 

Nassau is the perfect destination for adventurers seeking a Caribbean, off-the-beaten path vacation – from the exotic animals at Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre to the many underwater activities of Stuart’s Cove SUB Bahamas, including shark diving, snorkeling and SUBing with marine life. Travelers can hike to the top of Nassau’s three historical forts or enjoy a guided, island jeep tour.

If I am looking for some R&R, what can I experience in Nassau? 

Travelers seeking tranquility in The Bahamas can find it in Nassau and Paradise Island, as the island home to several resorts, many whom have their own private beaches, oceanfront spas and beachside ready-to-order cocktails.

What makes Nassau so special?

While Nassau/Paradise Island is the tourism hub of The Bahamas, it still holds true to the authentic Bahamian culture and roots. It’s an easy-to-get-to Caribbean getaway filled with explosive culture, stunning beaches and beautiful Bahamian locals. Travelers can opt for an ultra-luxe vacation or an off-the-beaten path adventure in Nassau, and that’s the beauty of the island – there’s so much to do, or not do!