DescriptionCapital and principal city of The Bahamas, Nassau is on the northeast coast of New Providence Island. This resort was a battleground for Spanish, British and French colonization efforts and a haven for buccaneers. It was here that the infamous pirate Blackbeard posted a lookout in his tower while he caroused around the islands. In 1718, a century after the first British colony was established, the British sent the first royal governor to The Bahamas. Nassau was named in 1729 for King William III of the House of Orange-Nassau. Residents call themselves “Nassuvians.”
There is always plenty to do in downtown Nassau: touring by surrey (a horse-drawn carriage), photographing the colorful buildings, dining, dancing, duty-free shopping or enjoying native entertainment during the holiday season. The focal point of Nassau is Bay Street, which runs along the water from Prince George Wharf. Directly across from the cruise ship docks is Rawson Square, anchored by the Churchill Building. Across from Rawson Square is Parliament Square. Here are the two chambers of Parliament and the Supreme Court. Visitors can watch the proceedings of the House of Assembly when it is in session by making arrangements with the Chief Clerk; to find out when the House will be in session, phone (242) 322-2041. Not far from the square is the Garden of Remembrance, with its cenotaph honoring Bahamians who died in World Wars I and II; nearby is the octagonal Nassau Public Library and Museum, once a jail.
Nassau's 18th-century forts also are worth visiting. Of the three forts, only Fort Montagu at the eastern entrance to the harbor was confronted by invaders. High above the city, Government House is host to tea parties held the last Friday of each month; shorts and jeans are not permitted. A colorful 45-minute changing of the guard ceremony takes place the second Friday of each month at 11 a.m.; phone (242) 302-2000.
Vibrant, sociable Nassau possesses almost every conceivable sports facility. Tennis courts and golf courses abound, as do local entrepreneurs marketing rentals or lessons for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and sailing. Nassau's many fine beaches include Cabbage, Goodman's Bay, Saunders, Delaport, Caves, Montagu and Western Esplanade.
The waters, noted for deep-sea and reef fishing, are most famous for giant blue marlin, but white marlin, tuna, wahoo, bonito and sailfish also are abundant. Nassau Yacht Haven on E. Bay Street is the charter and fishing headquarters. Sailing is popular in the bays and around the coral islands; local and international races are held by The Bahamas Sailing Association, Royal Nassau Sailing Club and the Nassau Yacht Club.
Visitor Information Bahamas Tourist Information Center Prince George Wharf Nassau, THE BAHAMAS . Phone:(242)323-3182 or (800)224-2627
Attractions Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre
Horseback Riding Happy Trails Stables
GAMBLING ESTABLISHMENTS Atlantis Casino at Paradise Island Resort
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.