If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in the Bahamas, you can’t go wrong with snorkeling near New Providence Island. (Photo: Stephen Frink / GettyImages)
Back in the day, shopping the Straw Market and playing the slot machines might have been some of the best things to do in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. But today’s Nassau has shed its tourist-trap stigma, and with more family-friendly activities than you can shake a conch shell at, it’s a breeze to get kids of all ages into the Bahamian spirit. Get started with these six.
Get Your Hiking Shoes On
Check out Fort Charlotte, constructed in 1788 and located near the heart of town. Cross the moat and drawbridge Indiana Jones-style to wander through the turrets and dungeons as if on an old-fashioned expedition. History buffs get their fill reading the well-marked info boards, but kids can let their imaginations run wild. Best of all? It’s free.
Climb the Queen’s Staircase
Carved by slaves in the late 1700s, these limestone steps lead up to Fort Fincastle on the highest land in Nassau. The staircase is an important part of the region’s history — and once you get to the top, you’ll find a great spot for photos.
Conch Out Over Seafood at Goldie’s
Young taste buds may favor grilled cheese and spaghetti, but Goldie’s Conch House at Arawak Cay is a local legend that marinates and fries the island nation’s signature dish — you just might get the kids to try conch. Wait until sunset, after the cruise ship mobs have left, so you can watch the cooking action. If you can’t sell the fresh-Bahamas-seafood idea, there’s always pasta on the menu!
Live fresh conch at the fresh fish market Montagu beach Nassau. (Photo: Richard Ellis / Alamy Stock Photo)
Argh, Matey, There Be a Pirate Museum
Hop aboard a replica of the pirate ship Revenge at the interactive Pirates of Nassau museum on George Street. Kids can check out the types of loot and booty pirates plundered — and even come face to face with buccaneers — before following a treasure map to the pub for snacks.
Try Snuba Diving
Combining the best parts of snorkeling and scuba diving, snuba diving is a great way to explore 14 lagoons (and more than 250 marine species) that make up the largest marine life exhibit in the Caribbean. Snuba diving is an activity the whole family can, um, immerse themselves in, and many resorts, including Atlantis Bahamas (a new member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection), offer it.
If snuba diving doesn’t suit you, go deeper by taking a submarine from New Providence Island to where plenty of fish (and the occasional shark) swim amid Technicolor coral reefs. You’ll also get a close-up peek at movie props that were used in the filming of two James Bond movies, including a sunken freighter and a bomber plane, on the sea floor.