“Hey, I’m headed to Andros South. I think I’m going to spend some time in Nassau on my way down. What should I do?”
We hear this a lot. Today’s post is by no means meant to be an exhaustive guide to Nassau. It’s simply meant to answer that question – if you have some time in Nassau, here are a couple of options on how to spend it.
You Should Go to Atlantis
Atlantis is a giant Vegas-style hotel/casino/restaurant/beach club complex on Paradise Island, a ~$30 cab ride from the airport. Is it a relaxing, authentic view into real Bahamian life and culture? No, not at all – but that’s what you’re going to get on South Andros. If you’ve got the better part of a day to spend, Atlantis is worth checking out.
The aquarium complex is amazing and worth the trip by itself – with open-air lagoons, underwater tunnels, and some of the biggest bonefish, tarpon and grouper you’ll see in your life. You can get a day pass for the aquarium area if you’re not staying at the hotel (they claim ‘limited availability’ but we’ve never had a problem).
If you’re looking for big-time night life, Atlantis is definitely the best option in Nassau. The casino is pretty big, pretty nice, and an excellent spot for people watching. There are also a bunch of bars, a handful of restaurants and a night club.
Here are the caveats.
- The cab ride goes right through downtown Nassau, and traffic can be bad. Plan on 30 – 45 minutes, and don’t bother making the trip if you can’t go for 3 or 4 hours.
- It’s not cheap. Food, drinks, cab rides…none of it is ‘value priced’.
- Again, it’s a big, fairly polished production – do not expect authenticity!
You Should Eat at Indigo
Our favorite restaurant in Nassau is called Indigo Cafe. It’s a short cab ride from the airport.
Most of the patrons seem to be locals. The menu is varied, with some traditional Bahamian dishes and some that range more towards Italian. The dining room is nice, and there’s a great outdoor seating area. The service is really friendly. Prices are quite reasonable for very good food.
Here’s the caveat.
- It’s a restaurant in Nassau, therefore the service is not very fast. Relax, go when you have more than an hour to spend, and you’ll be just fine.
If you’re coming in late and leaving in the morning and want a nice, clean room that’s close to the airport, you should check out the Sandyport Hotel and Resort. The web site makes it look like just a residential development, but they have nice units where you can stay by the night.
If you’re spending more time and want to settle in a bit, we like the Comfort Suites on Paradise Island. The equation here is very simple – it’s clean and perfectly nice, and it’s right next door to Atlantis – so you can have your fun at Atlantis without paying the very, very high room rates at the Atlantis hotels.
We Think You Should Avoid
- Casinos that aren’t Atlantis. They’re not much cheaper, they’re not nearly as nice, and they don’t have anywhere near the people watching.
- The ‘downtown shopping district’. There’s not much to see here, and somehow we think there are better places to buy your Rolex.