Blue Lagoon Island

Explore_The_Island_header1Is one of my favorite places to take visiting friends. Nassau can seem like a lot of hustle and bustle, yet a short boat ride away all the world melts away to the beauty of Bahamian waters and beaches.

Boat Ride

Blue Lagoon Island operates a ferry from Paradise Island to the island. To be able to take advantage of a full day on the island the boat leaves Paradise Island at 8:30 a.m. A short ride through Nassau’s historical harbour and about a mile outside the harbour is the beautiful Blue Lagoon Island (Salt Cay).


Besides the beautiful beaches other activities include:BeachDay_Header-1

  • Snorkeling
  • Ocean Kayacing
  • Water Bikes
  • Paddle Boards
  • Volley Ball
  • Ping Pong

There are hammocks and picnic tables located under a canopy of palm trees. The island is set up for total enjoyment.


There is a grilled lunch provided. As you can see all bases are covered. The menu includes both American and Bahamian cuisine for your enjoyment. The menu includes hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled chicken, veggie burgers, peas n rice and more.

Who Is This Activity For

The people that I have taken to Blue Lagoon Island are a divers bunch ranging from those who can’t stand being with out some activity going to those who would rather curl up in a corner with a book. Of all of them not one has had a bad day on Blue lagoon Island. There is enough to keep the busy person busy, and hammocks enough to satisfy the person who’d rather sit. Kids I can tell you have a blast. The Lagoon is so calm and tranquil that they become quickly comfortable with the water.

You can visit the official web site here

Boutique hotel to open early 2015

The Holowesko family’s 30-room boutique hotel, under construction in western New Providence, is progressing smoothly towards an early 2015 opening, says project manager Lauren Holowesko.

Source: Boutique hotel to open early 2015

Looking for a true getaway to the Bahamas. Intimate is the word. No large crowds competing for the good lounge chairs around the pool. No crowded beaches. Come to Nassau and unwind with a real vacation in paradise.

View Contact Information.

Checkers Cafe, Local Bahamian Food

Bahamian food is such a diverse rich experience. It would be a real shame to visit the Bahamas and not experience the food of the locals.

The unfortunate thing is that the main restaurants in Nassau do not pay tribute to the local palate.

The fortunate thing is Checkers Cafe serves many local dishes the way locals like them at the price that locals like.

Because Checkers Cafe caters to the local people, it is a little off the beaten path. To get there a taxi ride will be in order. Bahama John is a local taxi driver who is recommended by many as a good driver with good knowledge of the island.

Checkers Cafe servers the dishes that most bahamians grew up on in the more rural parts such as the other inhabited islands of the Bahamas.

Lots of the food has it’s roots in the Cajun parts of the USA. There are foods that resemble such things as Gumbo. One of my favourites is called Stew Conch. It is a bahamian gumbo cooked with the meat of Conch. They will serve other things such as “Steamed Pork Chops,” Peas-n-rice,” “Steamed Chicken…” The Steam food is not at all steamed as you would think, but is cooked in a rich tomato gravy sometimes with potatoes and carrots as well as the meat. I suppose it is more like a stew.

Breakfast is also rich. Bahamians don’t traditionally eat eggs and bacon. Rather things like “Stew Fish” or “Steam Fish and Grits” There is even one called “Fire Engine.” I have taught many friends from different countries how to cook this traditional breakfast, and years later they cook it more than I do.

So please step out and experience a little of the Bahamas while in Nassau. Check out Checkers Cafe.

Nassau Points of Interest/Attractions Overview

Most points of interest, or local attractions in Nassau are reachable by foot from the Cruise Ship terminal.


There are three standing forts in Nassau and a few batteries. These were built to defend against foreign invaders which would have included the Spanish, French navies and Pirates who made Nassau their base of operation for a time. These attractions are found interesting by those interested in history and photography. The views of Nassau and the harbour from the forts are really good. I suppose this was why they were built in these locations.

Fort Montagu

The only existing fort in Nassau to have seen action. Fort Montagu was constructed between 1741 and 1742.

Fort Montagu was constructed to defend the eastern end of Nassau Harbour.

Fort Fincastle

Built on Bennett’s Hill in 1793 with the purpose of defending Nassau from foreign invaders. The fort overlooks the Harbour and is within a 5 minute walk from the Cruise Ship Terminal.

Admission to the fort is free. There are knowledgeable guides on location. Fort Fincastle is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.m daily.

The Queen’s Staircase

Built to make quick access to Fort Fincastle. The Queen’s Staircase was renamed to honour Queen Victoria. There are 65 steps each said to represent a year of her reign.

Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte was built as a military complex and actually consists of three forts. Construction began in 1787 and the complex was completed in 1819.

Fort Charlotte stands today as a museum. The fort is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. There are guides on site.

Admission: Adults $5.00, Seniors $3.00, Children 6-12 $ 2.00, Children 5 and Under Free

Fort Charlotte is a 10 – 15 minute walk from downtown Nassau.

Ardastra Gardens

Ardastra Gardens is the only zoo in the Bahamas. The zoo’s main focus is on the national bird of the Bahamas, the Flamingo. The Ardastra Gardens is always a great hit with the young ones. There is a Flamingo show each day.

The Ardastra Gardens is open daily.

There is an admission charged at the gate.

Ardastra Gardens is about a mile from the port.


Download our free Guide. It is an epub file. The guide includes much more information including a map and restaurants all in comfortable walking distance of the port.

Nassau Guide2

Nassau Guide (zipped)

Beaches Overview

There are a few beaches on the Island of New Providence. Most of the beaches consist of the typical powdery white sand that the Bahamas is famous for.

The sea in the Bahamas is almost pool clear and the ocean temperatures vary from 73 – 85 degrees f.

Cabbage Beach

Located on Paradise Island. Cabbage Beach is about a mile and a half long. For most of the year it is calm and great for swimming. At the centre of the beach the water gets deep rather quickly so for young children or people not to comfortable swimming it is best to avoid the middle part of the beach and swim on either end.

More on Cabbage Beach.

Junkanoo Beach

Junkanoo Beach is sheltered inside the harbour entrance so it is almost always calm. Junkanoo Beach is also an easy walk from the cruise ship terminal on Bay Street. There are vendors of food and drink in Tiki Hut type places on the high side of the beach. There is also a volleyball net.

Saunders Beach

Saunders Beach is a favourite among bahamians. It is easy to get to and sheltered for easy swimming. Across the street are a few fast food restaurants, and a gas station that sells refreshments. There is a small park located at the western end of the beach and seating along the roadway.

Goodman’s Bay

Another bahamian favourite! There is a park between the road and the beach that attracts runners and others looking for a quiet place to workout. There is good parking at the eastern end of the beach.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach is a nice stretch of beach occupied by a few hotels. It is a few miles of powdery white sand, and almost always calm for swimming due to the barrier reef that runs along it’s length. There are generally water sports operators there for Para Sailing and other fun water activities.

Caves Beach

This is a beautiful small cove just off the side of the road. Bring your snorkelling gear. There are small coral reefs just off the beach. Usually calm and good for swimming. There is a lunch and open air bar across the street so it would be easy to make a day of it.

Orange Hill

White sand beach just over the dune from the main road. Parking is a bit dicy but the beach is good for swimming and possibly snorkelling.

Birds of a Feather

A Flamingo at Ardastra Gardens Zoo Nassau Bahamas.
A Flamingo at Ardastra Gardens Zoo Nassau Bahamas.

“Birds of a feather flock together” is what I have always been told.

At Ardastra Gardens Zoo you have an opportunity to literally get face to face with the magnificent Flamingo. The Flamingo is definitely the star of the Show at Ardastra Gardens. Twice a day the parade them around the small arena showing off their incredible beauty. Visitors get a chance to take photos in the ring with these gorgeous birds. I ask, Where else can you go to get a pic with live flamingos? One of my favourite photos of my kids is in this little arena with the Flamingos and my two now almost grown kids standing on one foot. Priceless!!! I have not posted that image to save them the embarrassment.

There are many other indigenous bahamian animals as well as a collection of exotics at the zoo to enjoy. Ardastra is a definite hit with the young ones. You may not want to take the teens there unless they are animal buffs.

Another rare opportunity at the Ardastra Gardens is the opportunity to meet up close and personal the Bahamian Boa. Opportunities are given for anyone who wishes to have a photo opportunity with a Boa draped over your shoulders. It’s quite an experience as some of these snakes are 40 lbs plus.

Ardastra is a great little zoo, and in my book worth the trip.

There is a small concession stand where snacks and drinks can be purchased. The gift shop next to the concession stand is sure to please with gifts not found anywhere else.

Top Hotel Value

The Hilton BC
HIlton, on historical Bay St. Nassau Bahamas.

In my travels I have come to realise that a diversity of activities on a vacation are important. I’m not sure if it’s the rebel in me, or just the need to see what a country or state is really about. The thing that bothers me most about travel today is the drive of resorts to keep us on their properties. They can be at times remote, or at other times made to seem remote thus causing us to stay in the boundaries of the resort.

I am always looking for the local experience, or the history of a location, or local specialities. The challenge in finding these things is two fold. 1. actually getting the information about them. 2. Getting to them.

To see the best of Nassau, the British Colonial Hilton in my opinion is the best of the hotel/resorts to do this from. It is located on historical Bay Street. It actually stands on the location of what was Nassau’s largest fort, Fort Nassau. Fort Nassau being long gone, the BC Hilton has risen in it’s place.

The amenities of the hotel include a private beach a pool and a few restaurants and bars. The real treat though is it’s location. When one needs a break from beaching, simply step out the from door of the Hilton and you’ll be standing on Bay St. Just a few steps from the Hilton’s front door are most of the attractions of Nassau, including, shopping, site seeing, great restaurants, even a Rum Distillery.

Click here for hotel details.

Cabbage Beach

beach framed cedarCabbage Beach

The beach that runs along the Northern coast of Paradise Island. As you can see in the photo at the left Cabbage Beach is a beautiful white sand beach. The sand is very loose and so almost impossible to drive any kind of vehicle on.

Seeing this view always manages to take my breath away, it never gets old. As you can see the beach is not over crowded. The first time I saw a beach with people strewn on every square inch I almost could not believe my eyes. We do not have overcrowded beaches in the Bahamas!

Beach Details

As noted already the sand is very loose. It doesn’t do well for sand castle building. The extreme ends of the beach are very good for young children. The ends of the beach are shallow for a good ways out. The middle part of the beach can be a bit unnerving for young children as the water gains dept very quickly.

There are a few cabana type structures in front of the Atlantis resort, but for the most part there is not much protection from the sun. Plan for this. We locals tend to swim on this beach early morning or evening time. The midday sun is brutal on Cabbage Beach.

The sun on any beach in the Bahamas can be unforgiving due to the reflective properties of both the water and sand. Be sure to use sun block and drink lots of water.

Mos of the year the water is calm and clear. There are a few times of year when it can get a bit rough. the end of the summer tends to bring in large swells that can make swimming here very difficult if not impossible. About the same period there can be sea thimbles as well. These are small jelly fish that sting. At times late spring can be a bit choppy too. There may be pretty high winds that stir up the sea.

Happy Swimming!

Life’s a Beach

In the Bahamas it can be said that life is a “beach.” Some of my favourite memories growing up were in the summer vacation. We would all meet at a friends house pretty early in the morning in anticipation of what we may do for the day.

There were always those in the group who slept late, or got going really slow, so we’d busy ourselves what ever came to hand. Life was good!

Most of the time we’d end up finally making our collective minds up to go to PI (Paradise Island). P I beach was easy to get to and not too far from where we were gathered. Quickly we’d eat a sandwich or scarf down whatever else was available, jump on our bikes, and take off like wild things.

We had many adventures on the bridge, most of which my mom cringes at when she hears the stories. At that time there was one bridge on and off PI. We’d go directly to a dirt road that led to Cabbage Beach. I can still see the magnificent blue water in my mind’s eye as we approached the dune. It still leaves me in awe to see this gorgeous beach, the stark white sand and cool blue inviting waters are forever etched in my mind.

There are many great things about beaching at Cabbage Beach. One that I really like is the depth of the water. A few steps into the sea, and you’re at neck depth. Perfect for cooling down. The water of the Bahamas is at just about the perfect temperature for relaxing. In the winter it can get as cool as 73 degrees, much too cool for us bahamians, but in the summer it can go into the mid 80s, perfect! One can stay in the water the whole day if desired. The hands and feet get a bit wrinkly but that’s okay.

There are a few hotels built on Cabbage Beach. The Rio, Atlantis to name two.

Take a visit to Cabbage Beach. I’m sure your mind and body will thank you for it. That is living!

East Villa Restaurant

Table set at East Villa

The East Villa Restaurant is a bit of a walk from Paradise Island. It can be done! If you are not up for the walk, it is one of the Restaurants that is a must in Nassau. So get a Cab.

This is one of my favourite restaurants in Nassau. Not only is the food good, but the atmosphere is also good. I enjoy being able to sample foods that I may not have ordered as they are set in the centre of the table. My kids also enjoy going here, they seem to think it’s great fun.

The East Villa has been serving it’s mouth watering dishes for more than 20 years. They have a reputation not only for great Cantonese, and Szechuan food, but the also do a mean steak. The duck is out of this world. I know if you like duck you’d appreciate the duck at the East Villa.

The restaurant is a family style setting. Order several Entrees and a few appetisers. They all go onto the lazy Susan in the centre of the table. This is a lot of fun because of the variety that can be enjoyed at one meal.

There is also a full bar. The bar tender will be happy to make those wonderful tropical drinks that slide down much too easily. The Bar Tender will also be able to make any of your normal drinks.

Pricing ranges from $15.50 to about $32.00 per Entree.

Bring your appetite and enjoy.