Nassau Paradise Island
• Bahamas Governor-General: Dame Marguerite Pindling
• Prime Minister: Dr. Hubert A. Minnis
• New Providence Island (Nassau) Population: 246,329 (2010)
• Tourist Visits: 3.59 million (2016)
• Average temperature high (December) 79°
• Average temperature low (December) 63°
• Official Website: NassauParadiseIsland.com
With the lure of a big city and the ease of tropical utopia, Nassau & Paradise Island are considered by many as, well, paradise. Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas, is a bustling metropolitan hub full of culture and modern amenities. To the north lies Paradise Island. Its name tells you everything. It’s 685 acres of pure euphoria, developed almost exclusively to delight and accommodate visitors. The island boasts resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops, nightlife, a golf course, aquarium and a casino.
Nassau, the capital city of The Bahamas, is located on 21-mile-long New Providence, the Bahamas’ 11th-largest island. Nassau’s main harbor is protected by Paradise Island. The harbor attracted settlers in the early days, particularly pirates. In fact, Nassau’s population consisted mainly of pirates until 1718, when The Bahamas first Royal Governor, Woodes Rogers expelled them, restored order and built Fort Nassau. The Bahamas for centuries adopted Rogers’ motto, “Expulsis Piratis, Restituta Commercia,” which means, “Pirates Expelled, Commerce Restored.” Now, 246,000 people call New Providence Island home, with a large portion of them residing in Nassau.
Nassau & Paradise Island is very accessible by air and sea. Visitors can arrive by scheduled and chartered flights at Lynden Pindling International Airport, as well as by cruise ship into the Prince George Dock. Bahamas Ferry Services provides daily, twice-weekly or weekly service from several islands on a fully air-conditioned vessel, and there is weekly (or more frequent) mailboat service from all of the other islands.
The Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), lies 10 miles from downtown Nassau and is serviced by more than 40 non-stop flights from most major U.S. cities. JetBlue provides direct daily service to Nassau Paradise Island from Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, New York, Boston and Washington D.C. Other airlines offering non-stop service include American Eagle, AirTran, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Bahamasair, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways.
Junkanoo, a Bahamian national festival, is a kaleidoscope of colors and sound. The rhythmic sounds of cowbells, goat skin drums and whistles, accompanied by an array of brass instruments, create a sweet musical beat that will move you; while brilliantly colored costumes capture your eye, and bring much visual delight. This bi-annual cultural highlight takes place on Bay Street in New Providence and other Family Islands during the early morning hours, from 1-9 am on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and New Year’s Morning.