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During my time in Nassau, I managed to make it into town twice. The first time was in the middle of the day on a Saturday. And the second was a Monday night, which we quickly found out was not the best time to visit.
If you stay in Nassau (maybe because of the 4 free nights at the Atlantis from FoundersCard/Total Rewards Diamond status), you will probably end up on Bay Street at some point. Wait, I made a little map:
So that’s kinda what to expect.
And here’s what I did during my explorations beyond the Atlantis!
In This Post
Bahama Breeze Index
- Part 1 – Review of My Free Room at Atlantis Beach Tower, Nassau
- Part 2 – Exploring the Atlantis Resort in Nassau
- Part 3 – Wanderings in Nassau
Beach bummin’ in Nassau
1. Downtown/Bay Street
This would be “The Action.” Here, you’ll find Senor Frogs, where you can get a stiff margarita with a bunch of bros and retirees. We saw the bartenders pouring tequila down people’s throats… it’s that kinda place!
And the Straw Market, where you can buy cheap handmade trinkets. Be prepared to be very, very in a mood to haggle.
A restaurant called The Poop Deck came recommended, but I didn’t make it there. However, if the quality of the other restaurants is any indication, it should be quite good. Try the conch anywhere you go – it’s all locally caught and fresh. As is all the seafood, really. You can’t go wrong with the seafood, even in the touristy places.
I did hit up Lukka Kairi for dinner, which was fantastic. And grabbed beers at the Pirate Republic. They had some excellent local brews on draft. And the outdoor balcony overlooking the ocean was bliss!
There’s not much happening on a Monday in Nassau – Lukka Kairi was literally the only place open. We also popped into the British Colonial Hilton Nassau downtown for a quick beer before heading home, just to check out the property and enjoy a brewski.
We also got some Cuban cigars. I didn’t truly realize how close the Bahamas were to Cuba until I got there. Nor did I realize how good a Cuban can be. I’ve tried a few others since I’ve been back in Dallas, and can’t the Cubans off my mind!
A nice cigar is about $10. And we walked around the harbor, enjoying them.
In fact, I didn’t know the Bahamas had so many little islands. If you want to see one nearby, Harbor Island would make a good day trip. I might do that next time I’m there.
We popped into a couple of different bars and restaurants for snacks. I don’t remember the name, but there’s a Greek restaurant you can access via stairs from Bay Street. They had a drink called a “Sneaky Bitch,” which I thought sounded perrrrfect for me lol.
If you want something fun and innocuous to do during the day, check out the Pirates of Nassau museum. It’s $13 to get in. There’s lots of interesting stuff in there. And awesome photos and stories.
I also recommend simply wandering. Those are usually the best adventures. 🙂
2. Rum Cake Factory
While you’re downtown, definitely pop into the Rum Cake Factory. It’s located further down on Bay Street, to the east in the section labeled “Bombed Out Nothingness.” For serial though, there’s nothing but decrepit and crumbling old buildings. It’s insane how quickly it changes from tourist central to… whoa.
Just when you think you’ve gone way too far in the wrong direction, you’ll see it, probably with dozens of cars out front.
These make excellent and delicious gifts. They’re well-packaged and very rummy. I bought 2, but ate them both before I left. Oops. They were so good. Def try to stop in here.
3. The Fish Fry
This place is a short walk from downtown, on a path along the water. This is where the locals hang out. It’s super down-to-earth, the food is cheap and delicious, and so are the drinks.
You also simply must try a Sky Juice at least once. It has coconut milk, condensed milk, and a healthy dose of gin. Ask ’em to sprinkle a little nutmeg and cinnamon on top. *smacks lips* Mmm mmm good!
There’s also plenty of seafood and desserts, and even some food carts if you want a quick snack. Highly recommend walking through here at least once while you’re in Nassau.
Other things to note
In the section labeled “Museums n’ Stuff,” there are tons of old colonial-style homes, cute shops, monuments, and more museums. I didn’t get to explore this area nearly as much as I wanted to. But if you have more than a full day in Nassau, definitely give that area a wander, too. You’ll get a feel of the culture and history more than in the tourist areas.
Rum is so cheap there! We got a liter of rum for ~$12 – can’t beat that with a stick!
You’ll do well to pop into a liquor store and grocery store for a bit of drinking in your room and/or self-catering, anyway. Because the Bahamas are a tourist destination and the prices definitely reflect that.
However, goods for the locals are pretty cheap, so shop where they do to cut down on expenses. Keep in mind 1 Bahamian dollar is equal to 1 US dollar. And US bills are accepted everywhere as payment. Cabs prefer cash by far. But everywhere else is fine with credit cards.
If you stay at the Atlantis, you don’t have to take every meal in there. It’s very expensive.
The area directly outside has coffee shops, a couple of restaurants, and a souvenir store – all were significantly cheaper. So you can save by walking just a little bit on morning coffee, snacks, and things like sunscreen or little trinkets.
There’s a cute place called Anthony’s Grill across from the Marina Village. The food is just OK, but they have a 2-4-1 happy hour every day from 4 to 7pm, and $7 appetizers. Some of them were pretty substantial, so overall, it was a good deal.
There’s also a Margaritaville only a couple of blocks down. It’s touristy, but wasn’t crowded when I went. It’s not as expensive at the Atlantis, and the food was surprisingly fantastic (so was the service)! We sat at the bar and loved talking with the bartenders there.
I had a burger and 2 margaritas and fell fast asleep shortly after, full and warm.
I loved my time in Nassau. And now that I can get 4 more free nights there, I might return this year!
Next time, I’ll focus more attention on Nassau instead of the Atlantis.
With so many people docking from cruise ships, there’s a constant stream of peeps looking to have a good time, and the vibe is contagious. Everyone was friendly and open to chatting – and they were liberal with their tips on what to do around town.
So have a drink and chat up a local – that’s perhaps my best advice on how to have fun in this formerly British beach town.
Cigars are cheap here – and you can bring them back to the States now – so load up if you want a slice of Cuba. Definitely get a rum cake, try a Sky Juice, and have some seafood while you’re here – the sushi was phenomenal too.
If you’ve been to Nassau, are there any can’t-miss places I should check out next time?
And if you’re thinking of going, there are non-stop flights from the US on JetBlue, Southwest, and all the major carriers – keep your eyes peeled for a good deal (my tickets were $174 non-stop and round-trip)!
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