After spending two years in Nassau, Bahamas, I have come to love this island like a second home. I have found my favorite beaches and parks that are off the beaten path and rarely toured by visitors. These places are far from the frequently visited spots of downtown Nassau, and provides everyone who visits a unique experience.
Jaws Beach is my all-time favorite beach in Nassau. This beach was used to film the underwater scenes from the famous Jaws movie! Every day, one can count on Jaws Beach to be flat and calm. It is tucked away into an inlet protected by the natural curve of the coastline. I bring snorkel equipment here, because there is a lot of marine life to see. Often there are juvenile spotted eagle rays, and turtles along the beach. In addition to snorkeling, this beach is perfect for just swimming or laying out. It is a peaceful, spacious beach excellent for a relaxing day.
The Ocean Atlas
Just down the road, at Clifton Heritage Park is the best snorkeling site in all of Nassau. Here in twenty-five feet of water is the enchanting Ocean Atlas. She is the world’s largest underwater statue standing around twenty feet tall. Sculptured is a woman kneeling, and at low tide, she is holding the ocean up with the palm of her hand. In the same area is the plane wreck from Jaws: The Revenge. Aside from the statues, this snorkeling site is filled with tropical fish like sergeant majors, parrotfish, blue tangs, and so much more. I personally love visiting the Ocean Atlas, because of its unique beauty. Visitors to Nassau should not leave without seeing the Ocean Atlas for oneself.
The Cliffs at Clifton Heritage Park
The cliffs at the Clifton Heritage Park offer some of the best views on the island too. The cliffs drop straight down to the ocean providing a dramatic perspective of Nassau’s southwestern coastline. Allegedly, these cliffs are even the highest point in all of Nassau. A sunset from these cliffs is a memorable experience and one no one soon forgets. Also on the cliffs, enjoy the artwork The Sacred Space by Antonius Roberts. The graceful carvings curve toward the ocean and Africa in a location brimming with historical significance. I enjoy watching the sunset here during the summer months. With the cliffs facing west, it is the best location for the sunset in all of Nassau.
Bonefish Pond National Park
Bonefish Pond National Park holds gorgeous views of Nassau’s dwindling mangroves and wetlands. Here is a boardwalk extending 600 feet into the delicate ecosystems. Along the boardwalk, there are several staircases where visitors can even step down into the wetland and explore at their own risk. This park is home to over fifty bird species and plenty of fish. It is an offbeat, quiet park filled with wildlife making this an excellent location for an adventure. I enjoy visiting Bonefish Pond National Park, because it is so contrasting to the typical pristine beaches found all over Nassau. This park is a reminder that The Bahamas is filled with different ecosystems and surprises.
Paradise Island Lighthouse
On Paradise Island, there is an out of commission lighthouse. Walking to this lighthouse is not for the faint of heart, but anyone who dares to walk here is rewarded with spectacular sights. From Atlantis, it is about an hour-long walk along the beautiful beaches. The lighthouse sits on the very west point of the island. At the top of the lighthouse, there are 360 degrees of stunning views of Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island. These views make the walk all the more worthwhile. This lighthouse is by far my preferred spot in all of Nassau. The walk to the lighthouse is peaceful and deserted. The lighthouse itself is removed and isolated from the chaos of downtown Nassau. At the top, you can see everything downtown has to offer, without having to be in the middle of it.
The Cloisters, also located on Paradise Island, are a serene and tranquil escape. These elegant ruins are what is left of a 14th-century French monastery. They were deconstructed and brought to Nassau in the 1960s. Sitting on the ocean, they are surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden. The contrasting perspective of the ruins encompassed by the lush garden is not one to miss. The Cloisters are one of my favored locations found in the middle of the bustle of Paradise Island. I love taking a walk through the Cloisters and the feeling like I have traveled back to the 14th-century.
Get off the beaten path with a visit to any of these locations. Each place will provide anyone with a different adventure than the typical sights of Nassau. Come visit and explore the extraordinary Nassau, Bahamas.