If you have some time to stay in Nassau, and are not coming for just a few days at a big resort, you may be looking for a less expensive option where you can settle in. I'd suggest the Orange Hill Beach Hotel. It's clean, reasonably priced, and in the safe West Bay Street area, not far from the airport. We stay there a lot if we get stuck in Nassau trying to get to the Family Islands. The Casuarinas Hotel in Cable Beach is a bit scruffy, but it would do if you want to be closer to town. From the Casuarinas you can walk to the Cable Beach casinos or take the jitney (mini-bus) to downtown or Paradise Island.
Attractions I'd suggest for non-resort guests: Potters Cay where the fishing boats come in, Ardastra Gardens for the flamingos, Arawak Cay and/or the Straw Market for a tacky but fun taste of Bahamian street life, the Junkanoo (like Carnival) Museum, Atlantis on Paradise Island has a nice underwater walk-through aquarium. One of the colonial forts to pretend you're a pirate. Downtown Bay Street if you need a new watch, some cologne or perfume, etc. Ask your hotel about parasailing, tours, jet boats, etc, if that appeals to you. You might also check into the "People to people" program whereby you get to spend a day or evening with a Bahamian family.
HOWEVER, to know the real Bahamas, if you have the time, you have to leave New Providence Island where Nassau is located. Take a commuter flight (the opposite end of the airport from the international flights) to one of the other islands, which are so VERY different from Nassau. Most of the inter-island airlines have inclusive deals with Family Island (also called Out island) hotels. The Bahamas Fast Ferry system, which leaves from the base of the Potters Cay bridge in town, sails to many of the out islands and I think also has some trip-hotel deals.
On the island of Andros (my home and just a 15 minute flight), I can HIGHLY recommend Small Hope Bay Lodge. Family owned and run, so it's just you in a stone cottage right on the beach, all meals and drinks included.
Fondest memory: The sound of the wind off the water in the casuarina and palm trees.
This is one of the Locals siting on the street in Nassau painting. He had several he had painted and was really good at it. He has them lined up outside the Back end of the Straw Market. With different prices on each picture. That’s on my list to get one next Feb. When I go back.
Fondest memory: Meeting so many nice people.
This is a picture I took While in Nassau it shows a family hunting and cleaning Conch shells to resell. They do seem to sell good at the Straw Market. I could buy one for about $10.00
Fondest memory: My best memory of Nassau was just pulling up to the dock and seeing it for the very first time.
This small obelisk is devoted to the men (no women) of the Bahamas who gave their lives in the World Wars and something that happened on a ship in 1981, which I can't identify.
Fondest memory: 14 men from the Bahamas gave their lives in WWII, and about 40 in WWI. Their names are recorded on the plaques adorning the sides of the obelisks.
We all know who she is. Rule Brittania, Brittania rules the waves. Here she is memorialized once more outside the government offices of Nassau.
Fondest memory: It always amazes me how you can see Queen V just about anywhere from Singapore to Nassau.
When visiting Nassau you must walk throughout the city. Take a bus - known as jitneys, rent a scooter, a car or bicycle, ride in a water taxi, ride in a horse-drawn surreys. If you go in the weekends it's very crowed with tourist. I believe I saw more tourist the residents from Nassau. You must go to Blue Lagoon - snorklling, scuba diving - a relaxing island with a beautiful beach. You have to go To Paradise Island - Cassino and Atlantis Hotel, wow! In Nassau, if you have long hair, prepare yourself. You will be sick and tire to hear if you want to have your braided. Go to the straw market. You have a lot to do. Put your must comfortable shoes that I will take you there!!! Are you ready?
Fondest memory: What I miss the most is the beach. The clear water with white sands and the fishes swimming close to you. I wish be back every other month. I wish!!!
Favorite thing: In spite of the development of Paradise Island and the port which is most definately on the stop-over route of virtually all Caribbean cruises, time in Nassau feels as if it stopped in the 1950s. Very much a British colonial town, pink and white clapperboard dominates, the pace is relatively slow, time is made for conversation, and while the traffic may be quite heavy on the main thoroughfare, step round the corner and you will be transported back in time.
Favorite thing: Don't be afraid to use the bus service to get around -its cheap and easy. Shopping downtown was much like any other cruise port. We managed to catch some of Junkanoo which is the annual New Years Parade. The costumes where spectacular.
When I travel I really love to walk and see all that I can see. Most of my trips I go by myself. I put my comfortable sneakers and I go get the city. I walked on West Bay Street along the shore for about 3 miles or so.
Fondest memory: Some of the views that I really appreciate.
When visiting Nassau you absolutely must visit the Water Tower. For just 2 quarters you can climb the stairways of the tower and enjoy the spectacular view of Nassau. As a matter of fact on the Water Tower you will get to see the entire island of New Providence.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Nassau was meeting up with a homeless man who happened to live on the beach. As I was taking pictures he approached me and asked me if he could pose for me on the Palm tree, he said it would be a great souvenier for myself. I was quiet hesitant on his proposal, he said he did not want money for it, but he explained his situation , and I agreed on having him climb the tree and me taking his picture. He was a very friendly man and I still give 5 U.S. dollars for the picture. I thanked him and wish him much luck with his life. The picture of the man on the Palm tree can be seen above. It also reafirms my motto 'A World with citizens that care is a smiling World' so the Bahamian man on the palm tree smiled.
Favorite thing: In fact, here is a photo of one of those walls.... Hopefully, you should be able to zoom in and make out some of the scribblings.