Playing tourist in Nassau

After a week of bad weather in Palm Cay Marina, we started to get a little bit stir crazy. So when Demario offered us a discount on a car rental, we jumped at it! Mike and I combined forces with Robert and Rhonda on Eagle Too and we spend an entire day playing tourist.

I hadn’t really felt any need to see Nassau. I’d always heard it is crowded and even dangerous. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the historic district is also very beautiful. We started our tour at the Queen’s staircase, 102 feet of stairs and a narrow canyon carved into a limestone mountain as an escape route from the city fortifications. This morning, athletes were using the steep climb as an outdoor gym…sort of like Red Rocks in Colorado.

Fort Fincastle at the top of the hill provides amazing views of Nassau and the harbor.

Quite a bit of colonial architecture remains, hosting government buildings and businesses. This is Government House, the home of the governor of the Bahamas, Marguerite Pindling.

The library is housed in the hexagonal former jail building. They store books in the cells.

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the beautiful Greycliff Hotel and gardens. When we win the lottery, I’m staying here for a week!

In addition to the lovely hotel, restaurant, and gardens, the Greycliff Complex includes several artisan shops selling chocolates, wine, and cigars hand-rolled on premises. They say they are better than Cuban cigars. I think they all smell equally foul.

Colorful public art is everywhere in Old Town Nassau… no admission fee required.

I got it into my head that I wanted to eat lunch at Fish Fry. It’s not one particular restaurant (and not all the fish is fried!) but a cluster of casual, inexpensive eateries, shacks, and food trucks just off the bridge to Arawak Cay. You can try any type of Bahamian food here, and locals have their favorite shack, mostly named after the cook.

My friends humored me, and agreed to the fairly long walk in the heat to fish fry. I have to say, the people watching on the walk over was worth it!

As we approached Fish Fry, a tout with a sign grabbed us and started fast talking, ” You lookin’ for Fish Fry? Follow me to Fish Fry. I’ll take you right there!” It’s hard to resist the sales pitch, especially when your feet hurt and you are hot and thirsty. So we followed him into the nearest restaurant and ordered a drink. But then I had to put my foot down. I’d done my research, read reviews, and I’d be darned if we were going to act like cruise ship sheep and eat at the restaurant with the pushiest tout! I was going to eat at Goldie’s, gosh darn it!

So my long suffering friends paid for their drinks, got up and left the restaurant without ordering food, and followed me to Goldie’s. I’m glad we did! We sat out on the water overlooking a veritable mountain of queen conch shells and had a feast.

Rashid showed us how he cleans and preps the conch before cooking.

But I have to admit, by this point in our Bahamas travels, I was a little bit conched out. Is it ok to admit it? So instead I ate some amazing grilled snapper with vegetables and the signature cocktail – Goldie’s Call A Cab. What is it with the Bahamas and green cocktails?

In an effort to see how the other half lives, we decided to crash Atlantis for the afternoon. Here we are driving up the the front door (basically NO ONE actually drives to Atlantis, we might have given ourselves away with that one)

Here’s the marina we didn’t stay at, because it’s crazy expensive. We met folks at Compass Cay who stayed at Atlantis Marina for two nights and the bill was $850.

We enjoyed exploring the public areas of this resort, particularly the Atlantis themed aquarium. I was obsessed with getting a selfie with an eagle ray… not entirely successfully.

And …. much better fish pictures, no Jenn!

Our last attempt to pretend we are resort people, not cruisers, was a stroll through the casino. The highlight is definitely the Chihuly glass sculptures. I got in trouble taking the first picture. I guess I wandered into one of the gambling pits… oops!

So we walked our legs off, ate great food, and enjoyed amazing colorful art, all for the cost of a $60 rental car split between four people. Not bad at all! This might have been the best value sightseeing tour in Nassau that day!

4 thoughts on “Playing tourist in Nassau

  1. Hi Mike and Jenn. It’s Lyn and Paul here. We met you at the bar at Palm Cay comparing notes on the strong winds. We were the ones with the crazy captain who jumped off the boat into the dinghy mid-way across the bank.

    Did you get to Florida safely? I enjoyed your adventures in Nassau.

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    • Of course I remember you! Thanks for looking us up! I am woefully behind on the blog, but we did make it four long days from Nassau to Key Largo, then a week in Marathon, a week in Key West, and we are now halfway through a 35-hour sail to St Petersburg and home for the summer! Hope you are doing well!

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