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New Providence and Paradise Islands Travel Guide

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Plan Your New Providence and Paradise Islands Vacation

An incongruous mix of glitzy casinos and quiet shady lanes; splashy megaresorts and tiny settlements that recall a distant simpler age; land development unrivaled elsewhere in the Bahamas, and vast stretches of untrammeled territory. This is New Providence Island, a grab-bag destination. The island, home to two-thirds of all Bahamians, provides fast-paced living, nightlife that goes on until

dawn, and high-end shopping strips. And when all the hustle and bustle becomes too much, it's easy to find quiet stretches of sandy white beach where the only noise is the waves rolling in.

In the course of its history, the island has weathered the comings and goings of lawless pirates, Spanish invaders, slave-holding British Loyalists who fled the United States after the Revolutionary War, Civil War–era Confederate blockade runners, and Prohibition rumrunners. Nevertheless, New Providence remains most influenced by England, which sent its first royal governor to the island in 1718. Although Bahamians won government control in 1967 and independence six years later, British influence is felt to this day.

Nassau is the nation's capital and transportation hub, as well as the banking and commercial center. The fortuitous combination of tourist-friendly enterprise, tropical weather, and island flavor with a European overlay has not gone unnoticed: each year nearly 2 million cruise-ship passengers arrive at Nassau's Prince George Wharf.

There's a definite hustle and bustle in this capital city that's not found elsewhere in the country, but that doesn't mean you have to follow suit. From shark diving and snorkeling to bicycle tours, horseback riding, tennis, and golf, active pursuits abound in New Providence. Avid water-sports fans will find a range of possibilities, including waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing. Or simply cruise the clear Bahamian waters for a day trip or an evening ride.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Beach hop New Providence beaches, though less secluded than those on the Out Islands, still tempt travelers with their balmy breezes and aquamarine water. Choose between the more remote beaches on the island's western end, action-packed strips on Cable Beach, or public beaches in downtown Nassau.
  2. Dine with the best of ’em New Providence is the country's culinary capital. Eat at a grungy local dive for one meal, then feast in a celebrity-chef restaurant for the next.
  3. Experience Atlantis Explore the world's largest outdoor aquarium, splash around in the something-for-everyone water park, or dine at one of the 40+ restaurants, all while never leaving the resort property.
  4. Celebrate Junkanoo This uniquely Bahamian carnival takes place the day after Christmas and New Year's Day. If you miss it, there are smaller parades in Marina Village on Paradise Island each Wednesday and Saturday at 930 pm.

Travel Tips

New Providence and Paradise Islands Travel Tips

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