Picture this: you’re waking up in your bed and sipping on coffee in Houston, Texas. By lunchtime, you’ve got a rum runner in hand and you’re in The Bahamas. All made possible by Bahamasair thanks to their new direct flight that now flies straight out of IAH and right into paradise – aka Nassau.
I recently spent a long weekend in The Bahamas with a few other bloggers and today I’m sharing the best ways to soak in everything Nassau has to offer – both on and off your resort property. With things to do, sights to see, restaurants to try, outfits to wear, and the only place you’ll want to stay – it’s all rounded up below!
Book with Bahamasair
My first tip when planning your tropical adventure: book with Bahamasair. With direct flights from dozens of destinations, your vacation can begin as soon as you board as opposed to landing. Cheery attendants greet you as you walk onto the plane, which is decked out in The Bahamas’ national colors, of course. And make sure you don’t forget to look out the window as you’re nearing the islands to spot the divide where the ocean changes from dark blue to the brightest turquoise you’ve ever seen!
Right now you can find nonstop flights as low as $245 one way from Houston.
As we were on the inaugural flight from Houston to Nassau, a traditional Junkanoo band greeted us upon our arrival. It was such a festive way to kick off our long weekend!
Stay at Baha Mar
There are many resorts scattered around Paradise Island, close to Nassau, but nothing shines as bright as the beautiful Baha Mar. Their tagline is Life Spectacular – and when you’re staying there you totally feel it! With the Caribbean’s largest casino and three hotels to choose from (The Grand Hyatt, SLS & The Rosewood), you can customize your experience and tailor it to each and every whim you’ve ever fancied. Think – food, fun, nature, nourish, chill & thrill. I’d like some of each pretty please!
Baha Mar only just opened this past year and as we were exploring the property it felt like we stumbled upon a lush and tropical oasis that was all our own. The lack of an abundance of crowds was so nice and serene!
Shop the Look:
Of course, I took every advantage to break out my favorite resort style!
With seven different pools to choose from, and even more outdoor bars and eateries, the exploring never stops Baha Mar.
Shop the Look:
Five Things I Loved About Baha Mar
- The Service. Each and every member of the staff was as friendly-as-can-be, going above and beyond my expectations. From simple greetings to offering you what you didn’t realize you needed before you even needed it. I felt completely taken care of at each and every moment.
- The Food. Baha Mar is not an all-inclusive resort, where every meal & drink is included with your room. And that is not a bad thing at all! Because of this, the restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, and bars are able to provide a creative & delicious culinary experience that is comparable to the luscious landscapes surrounding you. Naturally one of my favorite foodie spots was El Jefe, a taco truck situated right off the water. A tip: grab a breakfast taco and cup of coffee first thing in the morning and follow it with a quiet stroll along the beautiful beach.
- The Pools. With so many pools to choose from, and each offering something different from the other, no poolside experience is the same. I have to say my favorite was the pool with the cliffs & the Blue Hole to jump into! Instead of a diving board, guests can jump off the side of a rock right into the (15 ft.) deep blue! There’s also a hidden grotto to explore with waterfalls to swim in and out of and an aquarium lining the wall.
- The Spa. ESPA Spa sits high above the property with a view so stunning you don’t want to turn away. Providing a bespoke experience, ESPA offers guests treatments inspired by The Bahamas. I was able to try an aromatherapy massage and it might just have been the first time I truly relaxed since Annie was born.
- The Beach. The white sand beach that dips into the bright turquoise blue waters lining the edge of the resort’s property may just be the most exquisite beach I’ve ever seen! Guests can grab a glass bottom kayak or a paddle board to skim over the crystal clear waters whenever they feel the whim. After a round of water activities, I made sure to relax on my lounge chair to the sound of the waves crashing against the sand.
Probably my favorite spot in all of Baha Mar. PS: how cute is this Kortni Jeane swimsuit!?
We spent three nights at the resort and each and every morning I would do something different for breakfast. The last morning I couldn’t resist treating myself to room service and spending a little bit longer in bed. All that was missing was Annie and Patrick – next time for sure!
Beyond Baha Mar
When planning a trip to The Bahamas, I would definitely recommend choosing your resort first and then structuring the rest of your vacation around that. After all, you spend the majority of your time at the resort. But there is SO SO much to see beyond the resorts and hotels in the beautiful Bahamas that simply can not be missed!
We had the pleasure to be shown around the island by the Ministy of Tourism, getting an up close & personal experience to everything Nassau had to offer. I’m sharing a few of my favorites below!
Seven Things to See & Do in Nassau
- Queen’s Staircase – This stone staircase tucked into the side of a rock not only offers a great view of the island but it is also historically significant.
- John Watling’s Distillery – Come for the free historical tour of the property and stay for the handcrafted rum tastings on the sunny patio out front.
- Junkanoo Festival – A street carnival held twice a year (New Year’s and Summer) the boasts music, colorful costumes and traditional dances.
- Arawak Cay / The Fish Fry – According to our guide, it’s where the locals go on the weekends to dine on traditional dishes and enjoy the nightlife. Tourists are always welcome too, to stop by and try the famous fried conch fritters & sip on Kalik, “the beer of The Bahamas.”
- The Straw Market – situated steps from the cruise ship docks, the straw on the market is must-see for souvenier loving tourists. More on it below!
- People to People Experience – This is a program that the Ministry of Tourism offers to visitors and honestly it was the coolest part of our entire weekend! People to people matches visitors with local hosts to give them a real and authentic dinner a family’s home in The Bahamas. The five us of spent the evening with the sweetest family from Nassau where we were treated to heaps of traditional Bahamian cuisine along with hours of chit chat about how our cultures differ and are yet similar at the same time. I honestly felt like I was on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown – it was such a unique & rewarding experience!
- The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas – Pictured below, it’s worth the visit, especially if you find yourself on a rainy day away from the beach. Housed in a historic colonial home, it boasts four different galleries, some permanent and some rotating. Tourists and locals alike come to soak in the art and to get a better understanding of the unique culture of the locals living in The Bahamas.
Shop the Look:
The Straw Market is definitely a tourist attraction but it’s also a can’t miss for colorful souvenirs to commemorate your trip. Locals peddle delicate wood carvings, handmade straw baskets, hats, & purses along with embroidered dresses, silver jewelry and more. All of which are my cup of tea, so I was having a jolly good time!
I left with a straw tote for me and a matching mini one for Annie. We’ll just both have to carry them next time we find ourselves together in The Caribbean. 😉
The Woodes Rogers Statue sits in the heart of the city commemorating The Bahamas first Governor, who – fun fact – was the inspiration behind Robinson Crusoe.
Four Restaurants to Try in Nassau
- The Poop Deck – Come here for the fish of the day paired with a fabulous view of the harbor and Atlantis Resort off in the distance. I ordered the fish tacos … because apparently, I can’t get enough tacos even when I’m abroad!
- Luciano’s of Chicago – Romantic atmosphere and definitely a spot where the locals go to celebrate. Come here when you need a break from seafood and to try the delicious Italian dishes.
- Oh Andros – Large portions of traditional Bahamian cuisine – conch fritters, conch salad, peas and rice, plantains & fried grouper. Yum!
- The Restaurants of Baha Mar – Dozens of delicious restaurants to choose from. My favorites being Swimming Pig (British pub faire) & Katsuya (Asian inspired dishes & sushi.)
another kortni jean swimsuit combo I couldn’t resist
After a busy day sightseeing the city, nothing sounds as delightful as taking a dip in tropical blue waters!
If you’re planning a trip to Nassau anytime soon, I hope my recommendations helped. I honestly can’t rave enough about my experience in The Bahamas and I know I’ll be back again soon. After all, The Bahamas are made up of over 700 islands and there is SO much more to be discovered in this beautiful blue oasis. Now that it seems like Nassau is just a hop, skip & a jump from Houston, I have a feeling it’ll be sooner rather than later that I return for more to explore.
Thanks so much to Bahamasair, Baha Mar, and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for sponsoring this experience. It was absolutely delightful and I am thrilled to be able to share my Nassau travel guide with everyone. As always, all opinions are my own. If any of you reading are planning a trip yourself & have any questions about anything or would like to chitchat more about Nassau or Baha Mar, please send me an email at email@example.com. I love love to talk travel with y’all!