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30 Best Things to Do in the Bahamas

If you've never ventured outside of Nassau, you're only scratching the surface of this island paradise that's made up of 700 islands. Here's everything you need to do and see.

Yellow fish in the water, Paradise Island, BahamasPrezoom.nl/Shutterstock

Get your marine fix at Atlantis

At Atlantis Paradise Island, more than 250 marine species reside within 8 million gallons of ocean water and 14 lagoons throughout the aquarium cum hotel await. Whether you want to pet stingrays or hang with sea lions, you can explore the undersea world in a whole new way. Atlantis is one of the most luxurious hotels in the Bahamas. Check out this list of the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts to see more.

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS - 26 APRIL 2012: Sopping mall Port Lucaya marketplace. Freeport, Bahamas. Caribbean sea.Yevgen Belich/Shutterstock

Go shopping in Port Lucaya Marketplace

If your idea of a vacation includes some retail therapy, you can’t pass up a visit to Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island. You’ll find more than 40 boutique outlets, various unique eateries, and plenty of places to grab a Bahama Mama cocktail to cross off your list of things to do in the Bahamas.

Reef_Shark_in_Nassau_BahamasJim Agronick/Shutterstock

Dive with sharks in Stuart Cove

Want to take your diving excursions to the next level? Spend a day in Nassau, where a three-and-a-half-hour dive with two tanks takes you to Shark Wall. The first half has you swimming with Caribbean reef sharks, and the second trip involves feeding sharks at the end of a pole. Pretty cool!

Ben’s Cavern - Grand Bahama IslandThomas Lorenz/Shutterstock

Explore the caves at Lucayan National Park

Certified divers can follow up their shark excursion with one of the biggest underwater cave systems in the world at Lucayan National Park. Take a break at Gold Rock Beach, the super secluded beach in the area. Here, you can catch some rays, nap, or stay active with some seriously topnotch shelling opportunities—one of the best things to do in the Bahamas.

Tropical Caribbean Harbor Marina in Morning Light w/ Boats and Pastel HousesDave Allen Photography/Shutterstock

Explore Harbour Island’s pastel wonders

Harbour Island is one of the most gorgeous pink sand beaches in the world, and pristine clear ocean waters make for first-rate diving, fishing, and boating. The island’s Dunmore Town is one of the most picturesque little communities here, where quaint homes painted in varying hues make for a rainbow theme that complements island life perfectly. Check out these other equally stunning pink sand beaches while you’re at it.

Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island in Nassau,Bahamas.Worachat Sodsri/Shutterstock

Make a splash at Aquaventure Water Park

Atlantis Paradise Island is home to the Aquaventure Water Park, where a 141-acre floating river awaits. But with rapids and rocky waves, this isn’t your average “lazy river.”  There are also 11 swimming pools and a steep slide down the front of a Mayan temple, which made our list of world’s coolest water slides.

The pristine sands and crystal clear waters of Cable Beach, Nassau in the Bahamas.Sherry Talbot/Shutterstock

Spend the day at Cable Beach

This highly developed Caribbean escape along the northern coastline of Nassau has an array of things to do in the Bahamas, including a seemingly endless amount of golf resorts, casino halls, and luxury resorts.

conch fritters and conch salad with punchMevZup/Shutterstock

Fill up on the fish fry on Arawak Cay

On the other end of the spectrum, Arawak Cay is not known for its casino or pristine golf courses by any means, making it a perfect escape for anyone looking to enjoy historical Bahamian flair. Here, conch, shrimp, mahi-mahi, and other seafood delights await. Come on a Sunday for live local music to add to your list of things to do in the Bahamas. Discover more of the Caribbean’s hidden gems.

Little piglet in a water at beach on Exuma BahamasBlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

Swim with the Bahamian pigs

If nothing sounds more magical than splashing around in crystal-clear water with a bunch of snorting pigs, then a boat ride from Nassau to Exuma should be on your list. The hour-long ride takes you to the sight of the happiest and most infamous island pigs, who will take your beach experience to a whole new level.

Scuba diver swimming over a Ship wreckShane Gross/Shutterstock

Dive the waters around Andros

Miles on miles of barrier reef await around the island of Andros. The marine life abounds, specifically with parrotfish, trumpetfish, scorpionfish, and blue tangs. Underwater blue holes and shipwrecks also entice.

At Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas. WBAlexe/Shutterstock

Swim with the rays at Stingray City

A visit to the super gentle and playful rays at Stingray City Park just off Nassau needs to be on the bucket list of any animal lover. Go ahead and let them swim up to you for a kiss on the head! Discover more of beaches with some of the clearest water in the world.

Four flamingos on the beachMasterPhoto/Shutterstock

Frolic with the flamingos at Great Inagua Island

Great Inagua Island is home to over 80,000 flamingos. Along with the national bird of the Bahamas, the island hosts 140 species of native and migratory birds, making it a birding enthusiast’s ultimate paradise.

The beautiful Iguana resting on the sandy beaches of the Exuma cays in The BahamasTrae Rollins/Shutterstock

Admire the iguanas at Sandy Cay

Sandy Cay is home to coral white sands that mesmerize. The low-lying sandy coral island is about 61 acres in size, and, along with some truly beachy beauty, you’ll find the critically-endangered resident rock iguanas.

Nassau, Bahamas - November 12: View of Blue Lagoon, a private island near Nassau, Bahamas on November 12, 2014.Victor Maschek/Shutterstock

Spend the day at Blue Lagoon Island

Located a few miles from Nassau, Blue Lagoon is a private island that offers a remote vibe where nature reigns supreme. Relax on the beach, dip in the clear blue ocean, admire the dolphins and sea lions, and pick up a beach read or figure out the next thing you’re going to do in the Bahamas.

Orchid flower in tropical garden.Phalaenopsis Orchid flower growing on Tenerife,Canary Islands.Orchids.Floral backgroundPPinkaew/Shutterstock

Check out Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve

This plant-based palace features native flora like ferns and orchids, mangroves, and cacti that go for miles and miles. The 25-acre national park on the island of Eleuthera was named for Leon Levy, a Bahamian who took a special interest in native plant life.

Aerial drone bird's eye view of kayak cruising in tropical rocky seascape with turquoise and sapphire clear watersAerial-motion/Shutterstock

Kayak the 365 Exuma Cays

The Bahamas are home to some of the most breathtaking ocean kayaking locations in the world. The Exumas offer much quieter, less developed areas than other destinations in the Caribbean. The 365 cays offer white-sand beaches, room temperature waters, and incredible sheltered waters to explore by kayak. No matter what type of Caribbean vacation you’re looking for, be sure to check out this list of the best Caribbean island vacations to beat your winter blues.

The Queen's Staircase in Nassau, Bahamas, also known as the 66 steps, a major landmark in the Fort Fincastle Historic Complex in Nassaudnaveh/Shutterstock

Look up to Queen’s Staircase

Located on New Providence Island, Queen’s Staircase consists of 65 steps. The landmark was created by 600 slaves in the late 1700s, who carved out steps made of limestone for the British to connect Bennet Hill’s Fort Fincastle to the capital city of Nassau.

Crowd of trendy young people having fun in raving nightclub party, beautiful girls dancing on dim smoky dance floorSeventyFour/Shutterstock

Indulge in the nightlife of the Bahamas

Whether you’re looking for upscale clubs or rustic bars, there’s something for everyone who’s looking to let loose in the Bahamas. Check out Aura, an extravagant bar and nightclub in the heart of the Atlantis Casino, or head to a full moon party at Cracker P’s Bar & Grill.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - OCT 15, 2016: People in the Pirates of Nassau Museum, a small museum documenting the city's history as 18th-century pirate base, with replica pirate ship & exhibits.dnaveh/Shutterstock

Check out The Pirates of Nassau Museum

No, this isn’t a museum dedicated to the Pirates of the Caribbean, but instead documents the real period in Caribbean history called the Golden Age of Piracy that lasted from about 1690 to 1720. For a more rustic thing to do in the Bahamas, you’ll learn about the damage the massive concentration of pirates caused, particularly on Nassau.

Glass of rum on a rustic wooden table with cigars and bottle.Kubisko/Shutterstock

Drink some rum at John Watling’s Distillery

This distillery, located on the famous 1789 Buena Vista Estate in downtown Nassau, is home to John Watling’s Rum, the “Spirit of The Bahamas.” Here, the namesake rum and other spirits are handcrafted, and you can get a tour and a tasting when you roll through.

Big game fishing. Marlin on the hookGo2dim/Shutterstock

Go sport fishing in the Out Islands

The Out Islands of the Bahamas offer incredible opportunities for sport fishing. The closest Bahamian island to the United States, Bimini is the deep-sea fishing capital of the world, where you can reel in giant tuna, white and blue marlin, barracuda, amberjack, bonefish, and tarpon.

Glass window bridge on Eleuthera island Bahamas where Caribbean sea meets Atlantic oceanBlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

The Glass Window Bridge

Travel along Queen’s Highway to snag one of the coolest views in the Bahamas. Glass Window Bridge consists of a strip of land and road that connects Eleuthera’s Gregory Town and Lower Bogue. At its narrowest point, the bridge measures a whopping 30 feet wide.

Red cocktail on white table set over oceanFoto2rich/Shutterstock

Grab a Goombay Smash at Rock House

Located on Harbour Island, Rock House is famous for its Goombay Smash. The drink is the signature Bahamian cocktail and consists of white rum, dark rum, and coconut rum in pineapple juice with a Myer’s floater. Yum! Check out the world’s most underrated travel destinations that you’ve got to visit.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS - OCT 15, 2016: The famous Nassau Straw Market, where local merchants sell hand-crafted straw and other merchandise. Straw vending is considered one of the country's oldest industries.dnaveh/Shutterstock

Explore Bay Street

Located in Nassau, Bay Street offers a cornucopia of fun. It’s home to one of the busiest duty-free districts in the Caribbean, as well as a famous Straw Market, where you can pick up a hand-woven straw hat and bag and other locally made souvenirs to complement your island life vibes as you do other things in the Bahamas.

beer tasting paddle DamoMH/Shutterstock

Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company

The country’s only brewery owned and operated exclusively by Bahamians, this drinking establishment was founded in 2007. The Sands Beer is the first beer the brewery made and is a local favorite.

Beautiful dolphins swimming. Dolphin jumping above blue waterSvetlana Turchenick/Shutterstock

Check out Dolphin Encounters

A marine habitat where trained dolphins perform and interact with visitors, Dolphin Encounters is the ideal family-friendly activity for unique entertainment. You can swim with them, feed them, and take pictures.

Cricket actionLance Bellers/Shutterstock

Eat conch fritters and watch a cricket game

A staple in the Bahamas, conch fritters can be found seemingly everywhere, but if you want food and a show, head to The Cricket Club Restaurant & Pub. Here, you can enjoy a mix of Bahamian and British foods while watching live streaming sporting events or take your food to the balcony to watch local cricket teams play on Saturdays and Sundays.

Group Of Friends Enjoying Drink At Outdoor Rooftop BarMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Sunday Funday with a pig roast at Nippers Beach Bar & Grill

This bright and cheerful beach bar on Abaco, one of the Out Islands, is a wet and wild experience with two big beachside pools, a lively tiki bar, and hopping dance floor. The weekly Sunday pig roast is a can’t miss.

High dynamic range (HDR) Aerial view of the city of Nassau, USAalarico/Shutterstock

Settle in at Baha Mar

A luxury Hyatt resort located on Nassau, this is a destination within a destination. Check out the sumptuous spa, snorkel with sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles at its Beach Sanctuary, and sample the countless culinary offerings. Find out when is the best time to go to Baha Mar and other spots around the globe with our list of the best places to travel every month of the year.

Deserted island view of Schooner Caypics721/Shutterstock

Head to Schooner Cays

If you want some serious R&R, Schooner Cays on Eleuthera is the place to go. Consisting of several long sandbanks and beaches, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the tourists and find your own slice of heaven to indulge in. Read on for 30 more secret island escapes around the world.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: livingbylex.com