If you’ve visited Nassau Paradise Island in the past, you know that The Bahamas are unlike any other country on earth. No matter where you travel, you’ll see that The Bahamas has a flavor all its own. One-of-a-kind music and dance, unique food and drinks, distinctly colorful art and architecture, and stunning natural beauty combine for an experience that’s truly Bahamian – one you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Looking for a uniquely Bahamian vacation? You’ve come to the right place! Here are three of our favorite picks for distinctly Bahamian experiences that you can try here in Nassau Paradise Island.
Learn about Junkanoo culture.
What began as a temporary celebration of freedom for slaves who were given three days off for Christmas soon blossomed into a colorful and exciting annual parade.
Today, Junkanoo is the ultimate expression of Bahamian culture, completely unique to our islands.
How to do it: For the biggest and best representation of Junkanoo culture, visit Nassau Paradise Island over the holidays – specifically, December 26 or January 1 – when you can take in the biggest Junkanoo parades of the year. You can also go to Atlantis Paradise Island on Wednesday and Saturday nights, when Junkanoo bands make their way past the Marina Village shops. Or head to the Educulture Junkanoo Museum in downtown Nassau, where you can dive into the history of Junkanoo, see authentic costumes, and even make a little Junkanoo music of your own!
Feast on conch.
The unofficial national food of The Bahamas, conch, is found on just about every menu in Nassau Paradise Island.
Conch can be enjoyed many different ways – prepared raw with lime juice, mixed with fresh vegetables in a salad, or deep-fried and served as cracked conch or fritters. If you’re a seafood lover, conch is a must-try dinner item during your Bahamian vacation!
How to do it: Head to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay for an authentic conch feast! A Nassau Paradise Island staple since 1969, the Fish Fry is a favorite dining destination of locals and visitors alike. Depending on when you visit, you might also be able to take in a live music performance or even watch the Junkanoo parades.
Be a pirate for a day.
During the late 1600s and early 1700s, Nassau Paradise Island was a popular destination for pirates. Thanks to our turquoise waters that were too shallow for a large man-of-war ship, but the perfect depth for pirates’ draft vessels, Nassau became the ideal base of operations for all kinds of shady characters. During the 17th century, a Privateer’s Republic was established in Nassau, and Blackbeard himself declared that he was Nassau’s magistrate.
The Privateer’s Republic came to an end shortly after 1718, when England sent three warships to Nassau Paradise Island and order was restored. Today, testaments to our pillaging past still remain throughout the islands of The Bahamas.
How to do it: Visit the Pirates of Nassau Museum, located in downtown Nassau, where you can board a replica pirate ship and learn about this colorful phase in The Bahamas’ history. Spend some time touring Nassau’s three historic forts, which were used to defend the islands against surprise visits from pirates.