New Providence and Nassau Bahamas
ew Providence and Nassau Bahamas!
Nassau is New Providence’s main city and the capital of the Bahamas. This 330 year-old city seems to portray an aura of history, colonial style and charm, however Nassau is the ‘hubbub’ of modern industry & communications, mainly in tourism and financial services.
Nassau’s resort areas are Cable Beach to the West and Paradise Island to the north.
In Nassau you can find colonial buildings, museums & art galleries, duty-free shopping, the largest straw market in the Caribbean, land and sea sports & cultural activities such as Junkanoo. The Junkanoo parade is held in the early morning hours of December 26th and New Year’s Day on the main downtown street – Bay Street – for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike.
Paradise Island connected to Nassau by two bridges, well known for its unbelievable beaches and superb golf course.
Paradise Island connected to Nassau by two bridges, well known for its unbelievable beaches and superb golf course. Also for everyone’s enjoyment is a world-class water park.
With its location about 160 miles from Miami, it is not surprising that New Providence is a popular destination for cruise ships. It also has both the good shopping and beautiful beaches needed to satisfy cruise ship passengers during a trip ashore. The best shopping on the island is in Nassau. There are stores like John Bull with cameras, electronics, and crystal and the Straw Market which offers just about anything that can possibly be made from straw. To experience truly Bahamian shopping, visit the market at Potter’s Cay where fresh produce, fish, and conch are sold daily.
New Providence is home to two large, attractive casinos. There is the Atlantis Casino on Paradise Island and the Crystal Palace Casino on Cable Beach. These two casinos dwarf the casinos found on most islands. Either casino could easily be mistaken for a major Las Vegas casino.
From tribal Indians to pirates, from explorers to slave traders, the Bahamas are steeped in centuries of rich and fascinating history.
New Providence is home to Nassau–the nation’s capital is the center of industry and commerce in the Bahamas and serves an interesting blend of old world colonial architecture, vast straw markets, and an abundance of people combined with sophisticated new world luxury.
Catch the spirit in Nassau, the bustling hub of the Bahamas since the days of the legendary pirate ‘Black beard’. This historic city seduces visitors with its tropical splendor combined with world-class shopping, gourmet dining and lively nightlife.
Relax on the world-renowned, powder white sands of Cable Beach by day and enjoy exciting casino action at night.
Linked to Nassau by bridge is the famed Paradise Island–home to luxurious beaches, a world class golf course, the most plush hotels in the Caribbean, gigantic casinos and of course world class entertainment.
The warm, crystal-clear waters that surround the islands of the Bahamas are a huge undersea playground for divers and snorkelers, with over 1,000 dive sites spread across 700 islands. Many dive operations offer excursions to coral reefs and shipwrecks, as well as other activities such as swimming with dolphins.
To experience Bahamian culture and art, you should make plans to attend Junkanoo.
The Bahamian festival of Junkanoo is an energetic, colorful parade of brightly costumed people gyrating and dancing to the rhythmic accompaniment of cowbells, drums and whistles.
The celebration occurs on December 26th and January 1st — beginning in the early hours of the morning (2:00 a.m.) and ending at dawn.
Junkanoo is reminiscent of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, but it is distinctly Bahamian and exists nowhere else.
Nassau, Places to Visit
– BOTANICAL GARDENS: This 18-acre garden boasts more than 600 varieties of shrubs, flowering trees and cactuses. Also featured are a vast collection of Bahamian and exotic orchids. Open from 9 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday and 9-4 Saturday & Sunday. Admission is $1.- for adults and 50 cents for children. Tel. no. 323-5975.
– FORT CHARLOTTE: Named in honour of the wife of King George III this fort was built in 1789 by Lord Dunmore. A fire has never been shot in battle from Fort Charlotte. It includes dungeons, ramparts, draw-bridge and a waterless moat. A beautiful view of Nassau Harbour can be seen from the Fort. Admission is free. Tours are conducted Monday – Sunday, 8 am to 4 pm. Tel. No. 322-7500 (Ministry of Tourism) or 325-9186 (Fort Charlotte).
– ARAWAK CAY: This Bahamian ‘Fish Fry’ location is situated on the harbor across from Fort Charlotte. This little village is rich with cultural ‘goodies’ sold by vendors such as conch salad and fried fish. Arawak Cay is popular among the locals who gather there in the evening especially on weekends.
– POTTERS CAY: Beneath the Paradise Island bridge is Potters Cay a Bahamian Marketplace where fishermen and vendors sell their good to locals & tourists. This area is also the dock for mailboats which transport passengers, livestock & goods between Nassau and the Family Islands.
– STRAW MARKET: For the purchase of native items and crafts you must visit the straw market located on Bay Street in downtown Nassau. You may bargain with the vendors to buy straw hats, dolls, straw baskets, straw mats, as well as t-shirts and other Bahamian souvenirs. The straw market is open from early morning until the evening.
– PARLIAMENT SQUARE: Located on Bay Street, this square is the home of the House of Assembly, the Senate, the Chambers of Parliament and the Victoria Statue.
– RAWSON SQUARE: Center of the Government of the Bahamas located in the heart of downtown Nassau, Bay Street.
– QUEEN’S STAIRCASE:Recently renovated, this is Nassau’s most frequently visited attraction. You can climb the 65 steps carved out of limestone by slaves in the late 18th century. The staircase is 102 feet high and was named in honor of the 65 years of Queen Victoria’s reign.
– PRINCE GEORGE WHARF: This is the largest ship port in the Caribbean and is located in the heart of downtown Nassau.
– THE WATER TOWER: This is the highest point on the island-216 feet above sea level-which offers a view of New Providence Island, coast to coast.