Atlantis Paradise Island resort and surroundings in Bahamas

Things to do in  Bahamas

Good life, great beauty

A short flight from Florida will land you in the Bahamas, a tropical archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean known for its great beaches and laid-back island vibes. While many of the best things to do in the Bahamas involve lounging on the sand and splashing in the surf, there’s plenty of places to experience beyond the shore. You can explore Nassau’s historic highlights, such as Fort Charlotte and the Queen’s Staircase; visit massive aquariums at Atlantis on Paradise Island; or immerse yourself in local culture and history at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.

Top 15 attractions in Bahamas

Rose Island

Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.More

Government House

Built in 1801 on an estate on top of Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House is often considered the best example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all of the West Indies. The mansion is painted a vibrant pink with a bright white trim (a nod to Nassau’s famous conch shells) and is the residence of the Governor-General of the Bahamas.More

Fort Charlotte

High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is British-colonial era Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Built in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. You can also see hidden underground passages, a dry moat, remote dungeons; and even canons, which have never been fired in battle.More

Paradise Island

Just across the water from the Bahamas’ main island of New Providence, Paradise Island is a fun-filled destination with stylish resort hotels, beautiful beaches, restaurants, casinos, and more. Visitors come to take in a show, try their hand at the blackjack tables, or enjoy some wet-and-wild exhilaration at the world-famous water park.More

Queen's Staircase

The Queen’s Staircase, one of Nassau’s most visited attractions, holds an important place in Bahamian cultural history. Around 1793, slaves carved this 102-foot (31-meter) staircase, comprised of 65 steps, out of solid limestone. Later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign and her role in abolishing slavery in the Bahamas.More

Arawak Cay

The evening fish fry is a much-loved tradition across many Caribbean islands, and Arawak Cay in Nassau, Bahamas, brings the custom to life. Find colorful huts selling fresh fish dishes, such as conch salad and lobster, along with vendors making tropical cocktails, and there’s often live music, too.More

Fort Fincastle

Overlooking the city of Nassau from its vantage point atop Bennett’s Hill, Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to protect the island of New Providence from outside invaders. Much of the imposing building remains intact today. Visitors come to explore the fortifications and enjoy the view from the highest point in Nassau.More

Blue Lagoon Island

With its stretch of white sands fringed by coconut palm trees and a lush rain forest, Blue Lagoon Island—or Salt Cay—provides an idyllic escape from the crowds of Nassau, offering everything you'd expect from a tropical island. Bring the whole family along for some fun in the sun, or take it easy for a day of pure beachy bliss on Blue Lagoon Island Beach.More

Port Lucaya Marketplace

A commercial hub spread across 9.5 acres (3.8 hectares), the Port Lucaya Marketplace is one of Freeport’s most popular attractions. After browsing dozens of handicraft vendors and specialty stores, unwind at one of the restaurants or bars, then head to Count Basie Square—the heart of the market—for live Bahamian music.More

Deadman's Reef (Paradise Cove)

Just off Paradise Cove on Grand Bahama’s southwest coast, Deadman’s Reef is one of the area’s top snorkeling spots. The shallow waters are teeming with coral, colorful reef fish, turtles, rays, and more, and are ideal for all levels.More

Straw Market

The traditional craft of straw working is an integral part of Bahamian culture and industry. Each island has its own distinctive braiding style that locals use to create beautiful straw hats, baskets, and other goods. The Straw Market on Nassau is the ultimate place to pick up these traditional Bahamian souvenirs.More

Lucayan National Park

The 40-acre (16-hectare) Lucayan National Park is home to some of the most spectacular secluded beaches in all of The Bahamas, as well as one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. Nature trails and boardwalks lead through mangrove, pine, and palm forests, home to a wealth of animals and vegetation.More

Cable Beach

Famous for its golden sands, the Bahamas' Cable Beach is a popular water sports and lolling destination for visitors to New Providence Island. This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) stretch of idyllic beach is home to several massive resorts—including the Atlantis on nearby Paradise Island—each with their own claim staked in the sand.More

Garden of the Groves

This 12-acre (5-hectare) park was dedicated in 1973 to the Groves who founded Freeport. Walk the idyllic botanical garden to take in the lush plant life, native animals (including macaws, alligators, and iguanas), and, of course, snap plenty of Edenic photos.More

Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is the ultimate resort and water park. Accommodations range from standard hotel rooms to villas and condos to the Bridge Suite (once ranked the world’s most expensive hotel suite). And even if you’re not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy some of the resort’s amenities, such as Dolphin Cay.More

Top activities in Bahamas

Swimming Pigs Encounter: Choose Morning or Afternoon
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Cabbage Beach Jet Ski Adventure

Cabbage Beach Jet Ski Adventure

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Pearl Island Bahamas Snorkeling Experience and Lunch
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Pearl Island Ocean View Cabana from Nassau
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Nassau Food and History Bus Tour
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Nassau Food and History Bus Tour

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All about Bahamas

When to visit

Most travelers visit from mid-December to mid-April, when average highs reach roughly 80°F (26°C) and beaches are bustling. For a slightly quieter vacation, try visiting from May through June, when there are fewer tourists and temperatures are a bit higher, or from August to November, if you can handle some rain (and the possibility of hurricanes). There are festivals and public events all year round, including the Mardi Gras-like Junkanoo, which takes place on December 26, January 1, and on Saturdays in June and July.

Getting around

If you’re planning to spend your time on a Bahamian beach, you can probably get everywhere you want by taking occasional cabs and some organized tours. If you’re keen to explore by yourself, flag down cabs or local jitneys (minibusses); both are available in tourist zones like Nassau and Freeport.

There are fewer options outside these busy areas and on the more distant Out Islands of the Bahamas; consider renting a car, moped, bike, or even a golf cart. Island-hopping is easy, thanks to water taxis, ferries, and domestic flights.

Traveler tips

In the Bahamas (including in Nassau and Freeport,) taxis aren’t equipped with meters. Make sure you agree on a price for the trip—or at least a per-hour rate—with the driver before starting your trip. If you’re staying on one of the remote Out Islands and plan to leave your hotel at night, be sure to take a flashlight. Because traffic is sparse, there’s very little street lighting.


People Also Ask

What is the Bahamas known for?

The Bahamas is known for having pristine white (and even pink) beaches, crystal clear waters, the third-largest barrier reef in the world, swimming pigs, and colorful pirate history. With more than 700 islands and 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s a popular tropical vacation destination.

What activities do people in the Bahamas do?

Home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, numerous blue holes, and underwater cave systems, the Bahamas is a draw for scuba diving, cave diving, snorkeling, and sport fishing. Relaxing on the beach is also very popular. Other things to do in the Bahamas include shopping, rum tasting, gambling, hiking, and wildlife spotting at Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve.

What is the most visited place in the Bahamas?

Nassau, on New Providence Island, is the capital of the Bahamas and easily its most visited destination, attracting more than half of all visitors. Its international airport and cruise port are the busiest ports of entry for the Bahamas. Nassau is also connected to Paradise Island and the popular Atlantis Resort.

What is the prettiest place in the Bahamas?

While there is no shortage of pretty places in the Bahamas, many people consider the Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island to be the prettiest. Other pretty places include the Tropic of Cancer Beach in Exuma, Green Turtle Cay, Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, Treasure Cay Beach on Great Abacos, and the French Leave Beach and Glass Window Bridge on Eleuthera.

What should I not miss in the Bahamas?

Some must-see attractions and things to do in the Bahamas include the swimming pigs of Exuma, the Pink Sand Beach on Harbour Island, the massive cave system at Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama Island, and the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. Make sure to try a conch salad or conch fritters and kick back with a Bahama Mama, a popular rum-based cocktail.

Is Bahamas part of USA?

No. Although the island of Bimini is only 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Florida—and the Bahamian dollar is pegged 1-to-1 to the US dollar—the Bahamas has never been a part of the US. It was a British territory for 325 years and became an independent country in 1973.

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