Top Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas

The top 10 things to do while visiting Nassau, Bahamas

Rose Island, Bahamas
Rose Island, BahamasZach Stovall

1. Rose Island For an island getaway from your island getaway, take Sandy Toes' Rose Island tour, a full- or half-day jaunt from Paradise Island to a tiny white-sand islet nearby. The all-inclusive packages cover domestic drinks and buffet lunch, live entertainment, snorkeling and kayaking for one of the top things to do in the Bahamas. Tip: If you don't want to spring for a towel in the sand-floor gift shop, be sure to BYOT.
From $70. 242-357-4887; sandytoesroseisland.com

2. Virgil's Real Barbecue Hand towels pull double duty as napkins at this Atlantis restaurant, where gargantuan platters of piping-hot, sauce-soaked barbecued meat flow from the kitchen with alarming frequency. Pull up a saddle-topped stool and chow down on a side of Trainwreck Fries (a tasty mess of potato wedges topped with jalapenos, cheeses, ranch dressing and barbecue sauce) with an ice-cold locally brewed Bush Crack beer.
242-363-3000; virgilsbbq.com

3. Real Bahamian Conch You can't leave town without trying some conch. Get yours "cracked" (deep-fried) at Oh Andros, our fave Arawak Cay eatery. The decor is nothing special, but the fare (think platters of fried fish, grilled lobster and shrimp) sure is.
242-326-7115

4. Nettie's Place The only thing more colorful than the art in the Cable Beach boutique and gallery at Nettie's is the ebullient personality of the proprietor and artist, Nettie Symonette. In between running her 30-room guesthouse, restaurant and cultural center, the tell-it-like-it-is matriarch finds time to create vibrant island-inspired acrylics on canvas, which retail for $1,500 and up. 242-327-8153

5. Mahogany House It's all about elegance at this culinary newcomer in the posh east-end enclave of Lyford Cay. Wood, stone and glowing pendants decorate the open-plan dining room, where our favorite on the Mediterranean-inspired menu is the Hog Pizza, embellished with roast pork, aged cheddar and whole-grain mustard instead of tomato sauce. (Mahogany House also boasts an epicurean market and, secreted below stairs, a handsome wine cellar turned private dining room.)
242-362-6669; mahogany-house.com

6. Bahamas Segway & Beach Experience It takes only 10 minutes to master a Segway, and then you're free to explore an unspoiled, seldom-seen side of the Bahamas. Guides lead riders along the casuarina-fringed trails of a 210-acre estate, offering eco and historical knowledge along the way. The 90-minute excursion ends with a swim at breezy Paradise beach, where scenes from Casino Royale were shot.
From $65. 242-376-9016; http://www.segwaynassau.com/

7. Nassau's retail and commercial hub is Bay Street, a lively thoroughfare teeming with cruise-ship passengers and lined with duty-free emporiums and souvenir stores. Swing by the straw market, relocated to brand-new digs in an arcade at Bay Street's western end, for bags, baskets and hats.

8. Local Art Shopper or not, don't miss local artist Maya Hayuk's compelling piece Our Junkanoo, an eye-poppingly colorful and camera-ready mural on the corner of Bay and Frederick streets.

9. Souvenirs The perfect souvenir should be locally made and equal parts beautiful and useful. My Ocean's line of glycerin soaps, soy-wax candles and ceramic tableware ticks all the boxes. Snag a soap or a clay platter at the Festival Place store downtown or in the U.S. departures terminal at the airport.
242-328-6167; myocean-bahamas.com

10. Beach Resort & Casino This high-rise set on Nassau's marquee strand at Cable Beach offers 700 rooms and three pools. Its Telegraph Bar references Cable Beach, where the first telecommunications cable connecting the Bahamas to the United States was laid in 1892, and celebrates the achievement with the Cable Runner, a mix of vodka, Bacardi Limon, blue curaçao and white wine. 242-327-6000; sheraton.com