With powder-soft sandy beaches; crystal clear, warm water; all-inclusive resorts; and colorful Caribbean sunsets, it’s no wonder so many couples choose to honeymoon in The Bahamas or get married there.
Nassau is one of the top destinations in The Bahamas because of the island’s beaches, restaurants, museums, parks, nightlife, casinos, and other activities. Plus, some of The Bahamas’ best all-inclusive resorts are at Nassau and Paradise Island.
If you’re headed there, you probably wonder what the best things to do in Nassau are. Read on for a full list of fun things to do in Nassau, Bahamas, including things to do in Nassau for free, unique things to do in Nassau, and things to do in Nassau for couples.
Hit the Beach (Obviously)
There is nothing more relaxing than laying on soft white sand in crystal clear water as warm as bath water. This is why most visitors to Nassau make a beeline for the nearest beach as soon as they arrive. In fact, it’s probably the top thing to do in Nassau, Bahamas for free.
Nassau has beautiful beaches to choose from that offer something for everyone, whether your ideal beach day involves wading into the shallow surf or getting wet and wild on a Jet Ski. If you’re craving more action, vendors can be found all over Nassau’s beaches selling adrenaline-pumping activities like Banana Boat rides and parasailing.
Cabbage Beach is centrally located near the Atlantis Resort and within walking distance of several trendy shops, bars, and restaurants. Nassau’s most popular beach, Cable Beach, has calm water that’s perfect for snorkeling and swimming, while nearby Saunders Beach is equally beautiful but with fewer crowds. There’s a local stable at Coral Harbour Beach on the southern side of the island where you can venture onto the beach on horseback.
Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling
Scuba diving in the Caribbean is a must-do and one of the best things to do in Nassau for couples who like exploring. The Bahamian island of Andros may be a more popular diving destination because of the blue holes scattered around it, but there are also great dive sites concentrated around Nassau’s west and southwestern sides.
For excellent reef, wall, and wreck diving, head to Stuart Cove’s Dive Shop, Nassau’s top-rated dive center. They offer full and half-day dive trips, multi-day dive packages, PADI courses for new divers, and even shark dives.
If scuba diving isn’t your thing, Stuart Cove also offers snorkeling and “snuba,” which is a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. If you’re staging at an all-inclusive Nassau resort like Sandals Royal Bahamian, you can go scuba diving and snorkeling for free.
Check Out the Junkanoo Festival
If you happen to be in Nassau around Christmas or during the summer, you can enjoy the Junkanoo Festival, which is celebrated on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Day, as well as every Saturday throughout July and August.
Junkanoo marks the history and culture of The Bahamas with elaborate costumes, music, art, food stalls, and a massive parade marching down Bay Street. This is another great thing to do in Nassau for free.
Shop ‘til You Drop
Head to Bay Street or the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island for Nassau’s best shopping. Duty-free shops and boutiques run by local artisans line the avenues, making them the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs.
For something a little more authentic, hit up the local markets to pick up traditional crafts, jewelry, and Caribbean food staples like guava jam, homemade hot sauce, and spice blends. Some of Nassau’s most popular markets include the Nassau Straw Market, open every day from 8 am – 8 pm; Festival Place, open from 8 am on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and Doongalik Farmer’s Market, open every Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm.
Swim with Pigs
There are quite a few theories to explain how the internet-famous swimming pigs ended up on various islands in The Bahamas. Some say pirates left them behind, while others claim that the pigs swam there themselves after the ship they were on sank. How they got there isn’t important, what is important is that you can spend the day swimming with adorable pigs and piglets.
The most famous swimming pigs can be found on Big Major Cay in Exuma, home to upwards of 20 pigs. To get there, you need to book a tour, charter your own boat, or try to catch a ride with a friendly local. Apart from Big Major Cay, you can also swim with pigs on Eleuthera, Rose Island, No Name Cay, and Ship Channel Cay. This is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Nassau.
Take a Day Trip
Besides Nassau, there are so many beautiful islands that make up the Bahamas that it’s worthwhile to take a day trip to see what else there is. Blue Lagoon Island is a private island that’s home to a marine mammal facility and some of The Bahamas’ best beaches, complete with hammocks hanging from palm trees.
Slow it down and relax on Russell Island, a former fruit farming island that’s now home to friendly locals and has a reputation of being one of the safest communities in The Bahamas. Pink-sand beaches can be found on Harbor Island and, on a chain of islands known as the Biminis, you can walk the long, skinny beaches and witness the hundreds of animals swimming in the shallow reef.
Tour operators are always nearby to schedule your day trip, but if you want the freedom to explore some of the smaller lesser-known locations you can charter your own boat and hire a guide. This would be a wonderfully romantic thing to do in Nassau for couples.
Learn About the Island’s History
Nassau has a long and interesting history as a major commercial port, then as a home to some of history’s most notorious pirates. There are plenty of places to learn about the history of The Bahamas in Nassau. At the Junkanoo Museum, you can try on traditional garb and learn how to play Bahamian instruments, while the Pirates of Nassau Museum tells the story of the island’s pirate era.
At the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation, you can learn about the millions of slaves that were sold at auction at Vendue House and about the life of Pompey, a slave who led 43 others in rebellion against their master, Lord John Rolle, in 1830.
This is one of the best things to do in Nassau, Bahamas for couples who love to golf, as Nassau is home to five pristine and immaculately manicured golf courses. South Ocean Beach Resort has a golf course suitable for golfers of all skill levels, while Blue Shark Golf Course offers more of a challenge.
If you fall victim to the many water obstacles on Cable Beach Golf Course–16 holes are near lakes–at least you’ll enjoy the course’s scenic surroundings.
Chow Down Like a Local
When in Nassau, eat what the locals eat. The Bahamas has a delicious street food scene that features fresh seafood flavored with vibrant Caribbean spices. Conch is arguably the most popular ingredient used in Nassau street food, and you can find it prepared in various ways from conch fritters to conch salad in Nassau’s fish shacks underneath the Paradise Island Bridge.
Other popular dishes include fried fish, shellfish that’s been either steamed, boiled or baked, and savory fish stews. For dessert, try guava duff which are sweet, doughy concoctions made with guava and drizzled with rum or brandy sauce. Adventurous eaters might want to try souse, a stew made from vegetables, lime juice and meat from tongues, tails, and pig’s feet.
Head to the Caribbean’s Biggest Casino
For a glamorous night out, head to Baha Mar Casino, the biggest and swankiest casino in the Caribbean. There are over 1000 slot machines and 18 different table games, not to mention live sports betting booths and more than 45 posh restaurants and bars.
The casino is in one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts, the Baha Mar. It’s a massive property that offers three separate accommodations. The Baha Mar resort is also home to a beach club, waterpark, and wildlife sanctuary.
Have Delicious Seafood at Crabs and Ting
Ranked one of Nassau’s best restaurants on Tripadvisor, Crabs and Ting looks like a simple beach shack but serves up some seriously mouthwatering fresh seafood right on Junkanoo Beach. Does anything epitomize island life better than chill vibes, relaxing music, fruity cocktails, and fresh seafood by the ocean?
Sample Rum at John Watling’s Distillery
Finally, no trip to the Caribbean would be complete without sampling some rum. Rum-making is a craft that the islanders of The Bahamas have been perfecting for hundreds of years.
John Watling’s Distillery has been around since 1789 and features a tavern, a tasting room, a gift shop, and tours. Spend the afternoon touring the grounds and sampling small-batch rum until you find your favorite, then bring home a bottle of it.
Now that you’ve read our list of the best things to do in Nassau, Bahamas, are you ready to go? If so, you may want to check out our articles on what to pack, whether you need to have a passport, reviews of some top Nassau resorts, as well as our comparison of Sandals Royal Bahamian vs. Atlantis.
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central America, South America, and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.