If you’re going to Paradise Island to shop, a great place to start is Marina Village next to Atlantis. With over 20 designer and retail shops spread over 65,000 square feet—plus dining options ranging from casual and fine dining restaurants to grab-and-go meals and Starbucks—you’ll love strolling around this vibrant outdoor marketplace as you try to narrow down your purchases by asking yourself, “Will this fit in my suitcase?”
The retailers at Marina Village in Paradise Island are as varied as they are unique. So if you’d like to go a delightfully different kind of shopping adventure, head to Marina Village for such stores as Atlantis Signatures, Columbian Emeralds International, La Parfumerie, Pirana Joe Resort Wear, Carlo Milano, Paradise Blue Surf Shop, Pandora, The Plait Lady, and more.
The extraordinary 14-acre environment of Dolphin Cay at Atlantis, Paradise Island showcases one of the largest and most sophisticated marine habitats and animal rescue-rehabilitation facilities unlike anything in the world.
In addition to caring for dolphins and sea lions and studying their behavior, Dolphin Cay offers unparalleled educational experiences. Visitors can participate in creative, non-disruptive “interactions” that build real awareness, stir emotion, and help fund our conservation efforts.
Wearing a wetsuit and sitting in waist-high water, you will have the chance to get close to the dolphins, face-to-face, feeling that personal connection. What could be better than swimming freely with these extraordinary mammals in deep water? Underwater acrobatics and the rush of feeling the dolphins swim beside you are only a part of this magical encounter.
Right in the middle of the high-end and boutique shops on Nassau’s Bay Street you’ll find the world-famous Straw Market. It’s home to handmade Bahamian crafts, gifts, souvenirs, and items such as hand-woven straw hats, bags, mats, dolls, conch shell jewelry, and wood carvings—and all available at very reasonable prices, especially if you’re good at negotiating!
Located on Bay Street in downtown Nassau, The Nassau Straw Market is an authentic representation of an industry that has been growing throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean since the early 1940′s. Originally, the craft and skills of plaiting, braiding, and weaving were useful when Bahamians led subsistence lifestyles, with baskets being used for carrying fruit and fishing traps. But following the end of World War II, many North Americans began visiting The Bahamas for their vacations, and straw craft souvenirs soon grew in popularity.
The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas opened in July 2014 and is the foundation of Graycliff new Heritage Village. Located in the historically preserved Mountbatten House opposite the Graycliff Hotel on West Hill Street, the museum offers visitors an in depth look at the history and heritage of The Bahamas, ranging from the prehistoric times to the present.
Browse the collection of Hamilton White, a well-known British antiques collector, his expansive collection greatly complements the history of West Hill Street with fossils, relics and treasures spanning the centuries. The oldest of artefacts being a slice of a meteorite, which is approximately 4.5 billion years old! The timeline explores natural history, the days of Columbus, the piracy era, slavery and plantation life, the Maritimes of the 18th century, life in the Out Islands during the early 1900’s, the days of the Duke of Windsor, the Royal Air Force, Bahamas Speed Weeks, and so much more.
Head to the heart of Nassau for a unique visit to the Ardastra Gardens Zoo & Conservation Centre. As the first and only zoo in The Bahamas, it features more than four acres of lush tropical gardens inhabited by a dazzling array of animal species—including the national bird of The Bahamas, the Caribbean flamingo. Hand-feed playful parrots, meet beautiful Bahamian boa constrictors and be sure to watch the world-famous marching flamingos in action.
Originally created as a nature preserve by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in the 1950’s, Ardastra Gardens & Zoo has developed over the decades into a tropical garden, conservation centre, boutique zoo and now wildlife rescue & rehab facility. Today, thousands of visitors visit Ardastra annually to marvel at the tranquil, restorative gardens and enjoy close encounters with a wonderful collection of over 135 animals, complete with a petting zoo, secret garden and flamingo arena.
Downtown Nassau isn’t the only place known for a fabulous straw market! Conveniently located across the street from Marina Village on Paradise Island is The Bahamas Craft Centre. It features Bahamian handicrafts, conch shell jewelry, Junkanoo art, wooden carvings, clothing, straw work, souvenirs, and more. It’s also a place where you can both test your bargaining skills and watch local artisans work their magic.
Located across the street from Marina Village and next to Anthony’s Grill and Dunkin’ Donuts, The Bahamas Craft Centre is quite recognizable, because even from the outside it has a style all its own. Noted architect Jackson Burnside of Doongalik Studios designed the large Art Deco building that is painted in many shades of pastel yellows, oranges, and pinks. Overall it has a more quiet and sedate atmosphere than its larger cousin on Bay Street in Nassau.
The Bahamas Craft Centre features approximately 100 booths selling everything from clothing to woven straw goods and everything in between. You’ll find Bahamian handicrafts, paintings, sea treasures, blown glass, conch shell jewelry, rum cakes and candies, Junkanoo art, steel drums, candles, driftwood paintings, straw work, and pine seed dolls, as well as Androsia, a unique Bahamian fabric.
Indulge yourself with the best European-style spa treatments infused with tropical Caribbean flair. At Red Lane Spa, natural island botanicals soothe and invigorate the body, mind and soul for a journey of relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation. Discover for yourself why Condé Nast Traveler readers named Sandals Royal Bahamian “Top Caribbean Spa Resort.” For a real treat, escape to Red Lane® at Sandals Cay, our private offshore island, and enjoy a salt scrub on the secluded beach or a massage on a sea raft.
From traditional stress-relieving Swedish massage like Tropical Bliss that will leave you island-style relaxed to Hot Stone Therapy and Feet First, which utilizes the ancient science of acupressure: Red Lane Spa will relieve tension and restore tranquility. Or for a different sensation, try the Scents of Love Couples Massage, which will take you on a side-by-side journey for two that will stay with you long after your vacation ends.
Located just three miles northeast of Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island (also known as Salt Cay) is home to dolphins and sea lions at Dolphin Encounters, but it also offers everything that you would want on a private island getaway. You can swim in a hidden lagoon with clear blue water, snorkel right off the beach and see coral reefs teeming with numerous species of tropical fish, sunbathe on white-sand beaches surrounded by coconut palm trees, and walk through lush natural vegetation that is the habitat for nesting birds.
You can purchase a package that includes round-trip boat transfer to Blue Lagoon Island, lunch, free access to the Inflatable Aqua Park, plus use of the facilities, beach sports and game equipment. Water sports equipment is also available to rent: paddleboards, kayaks, clear bottom kayaks, water bikes, underwater scooters, and snorkeling gear.
Garden of the Groves is Grand Bahama’s premier nature experience! Explore winding trails through lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls and sparkling fountains.
Visit the picturesque chapel, which has been consecrated and is a favourite place for weddings, prayer and meditation.
Explore the Garden Shops, discover the sacred beauty of the Labyrinth, enjoy lunch or dinner at the Garden Café and Bar, or children can play at the newly expanded playground.
At Garden of the Groves indigenous and migratory birds and butterflies sip nectar or take insects from the many flowers and shrubs that were newly planted to provide nectar, insects and berries for wildlife.