With its compact city center and mix of historic pastel-hued buildings, lively bars, and sandy beaches, Nassau is easy to explore in just one day. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in the Bahamian capital city.
Arawak Cay, Nassau
Arawak Cay (also referred to as "Fish Fry") started out with a couple of local fishermen selling conch (pronounced “konk”) fritters on an artificial island made from leftover sand after Nassau Harbour was dredged in 1969. Over time, the makeshift tables developed into purpose-built food stalls that now line the island, and vendors have expanded their offerings to include fresh snapper and other classic Bahamian dishes. Of course, you can still get conch every which way.
Rent a 4WD buggy or a scooter and visit Arawak Cay, along with other Nassau highlights. Or, join a historical tour of Nassau and see Arawak Cay, the Straw Market, and other cultural sites. Arrive at dusk when the streets come alive as locals and tourists gather for sundowner cocktails followed by a fresh fish supper. Make sure you try a dash of local hot sauce, made with the island’s blend of local bird peppers and lime juice.
Things to Know Before You Go
Arawak Cay is named after the Bahamas’ indigenous Arawak Indians.
Try a glass of “sky juice,” a Bahamian recipe made with gin, coconut water, sweet milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Arawak Cay is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Arawak Cay is located west of Downtown Nassau, off West Bay Street. The no. 10 bus from Downtown Nassau stops nearby. There’s plenty of parking if you’re renting a scooter or buggy to get around the island, and it is walking distance from the cruise terminal/Straw Market area.
When to Get There
Opening hours for the majority of shops and restaurants in Arawak Cay are 10am–10pm, although this might vary slightly from place to place. The area can be especially busy when there are cruise ships in port.
National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
Explore the heritage and culture of the islands with a visit to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Featuring local artists, with a particular focus on 20th-century and contemporary art, the gallery has a range of permanent and special exhibitions covering painting, sculpture, and photography.
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