Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas on the island of New Providence, offers endless beaches and watersports galore. But it’s also a city brimming with history, notable restaurants and art. Nassau has a robust banking industry, attracting business travelers from all over the world (British Airways even operates a daily nonstop flight from London). In addition, many companies host meetings and conferences in Nassau because it offers more than 50 event venues and at least 30,000 hotel rooms to accommodate large groups.
Graycliff is probably the most well-regarded restaurant in the Bahamas. Located in an 18th-century home-turned-hotel, it’s a fine-dining eatery that’s not at all stuffy. Dinner starts in the parlor with drinks, while dishes are influenced by Bahamian traditions and constantly change. That could mean conch chowder, grouper Dijonnaise or pasta studded with shellfish caught that morning.
Art Walk Through Charles Town
Charles Town is a district with several art sites, and prolific artist John Cox recommends an excursion here. The National Art Gallery and D’Aguilar Art Foundation feature collections of work by local artists, some acclaimed, others lesser known. Hillside House hosts artists for residencies. For a break between sightseeing, stop at the distillery John Watling’s for a quick drink.
Comprised of three hotels—the ultra-luxurious Rosewood; SLS, catering to the see-and-be-seen set; and Grand Hyatt—the property is a favorite for business travelers. You can spend a week here and still not take advantage of all the amenities: They include more than 11 swimming pools, an arts center, 45 restaurants including Café Boulud and Katsuya, and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Clifton Heritage National Park
Get a dose of both nature and history at this scenic national park on the island’s western coast. Spanning more than 200 acres, it’s full of beaches, dunes, tree-lined walking paths and remnants of villages of the Lucayans, who once inhabited the Bahamas. Also, the snorkeling is divine—you’ll see numerous coral reefs and the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden, featuring Ocean Atlas, the world’s largest underwater sculpture.
Day Trip to the Exumas
A chain of 365 stunning islands, the Exumas are an hour’s speedboat ride or a 30-minute seaplane trip from Nassau. You can enjoy many diversions here, including diving or snorkeling to see shipwrecks and wildlife. A memorable experience is swimming with pigs and nurse sharks, friendly animals that welcome human interaction.