What to Do on a Rainy Day in Nassau
A rainy day in Nassau. That never happens…right? It’s true, most days of the year (340 out of 365 to be exact), there is more sunshine than possible for the eye to take in around these parts. But sometimes, especially during our rainy season (May-October), our beloved islands of sun, sand, and sea do find themselves under threat of rain clouds and dark skies. After all, we do need some rainfall during the year to keep all of our beautiful flowers and trees healthy and so full of colour and vitality! And, in the spirit of full disclosure, the truth about rain showers in Nassau is that they simply lack stamina. It’s an anomaly when a downpour lasts longer than 25 minutes. Ironically, the sun seems to shine more brightly than ever in the aftermath!
In any case, we want you to be prepared for whatever the weather may bring during your time on our island- including those days where you might have to trade in sunglasses and sunscreen for an umbrella and raincoat. Of course, our Bites of Nassau Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Toursoperate rain or shine. And when you can’t be on the beach anyway, doesn’t that make exploring downtown Nassau’s culinary gems by foot even more exciting? Moreover, from traditional high tea to breathtaking aquariums to indulgent chocolate making workshops, New Providence offers a number of activity options for days when the weather is less than ideal. See, no need for sad faces after all.
Meet for Afternoon High Tea at The One&Only Ocean Club Luxury Resort
If rainy clouds let loose on a warm afternoon, why not meander through the interior of Paradise Island’s One&Only Ocean Club for a traditionally English Afternoon High Tea? Just follow signage to “The Library”, located within a receptional hall of the once colonial estate. Starting at 3pm, hotel staff will serve tea and gourmet treats on a three-tiered sterling silver tray. Indulge in a variety of scones, decadent petit fours, clotted cream, pastries, and delicate finger sandwiches. If the historic ambience of this former colonial home is not enough to take your breath away, you’ll also be able to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean. (Added bonus: This hotel’s setting is such perfection that it served as a backdrop to the James Bond 2006 film, Casino Royale. How’s that for celebrity treatment?)
If those rain clouds happen to appear on the last Friday of the month (in January through November), you can even attend the ultimate People-to-People Tea Party at Government House, hosted by the Governor General and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Continuing the English “high tea” tradition and recognizing our Colonial heritage, this free event has a bit more of a local Bahamian flair- complete with native Bahamian bush teas, live music, and a variety of beloved pastries and sandwiches prepared by the on-site staff kitchen.
- Location: The Library at One&Only Ocean Club Resort on Paradise Island *across the bridge from Nassau
- Opening Days & Hours: Every afternoon, 3pm to 5pm
- Cost: $39.50 per person *with additional costs for caviar and champagne, if desired
- Contact Info: www.oneandonlyresorts.com or (242) 363-2501 *For the monthly tea party at Government House, contact http://www.bahamas.com/people-to-people-tea-party or (242) 356-0437
Meander through The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
If you couldn’t tell from our recent post on “6 Outstanding Art Galleries to Visit in Nassau”, we’re a big fan of celebrating local art throughout the island. As the largest gallery in New Providence, theNational Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) is located on the outskirts of downtown Nassau in the extensively renovated 19th century mansion, the Villa Doyle. This indoor venue is a perfect spot to seek refuge from the rain or storms brewing outside. Featuring a broad collection of paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media installations, the NAGB invites curious visitors and local Nassuvians alike to explore thought-provoking cultural themes through visual mediums, created by Bahamian and international artists. If you’re a bonafide art lover (or want to try it out for a day), you could also cover a circuit of all the awesome indoor galleries on the island (most of which are accessible via local bus service or within walking distance of each other) including: D’Aguilar Art Foundation, Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery, Doongalik Studios, Popopstudios, Liquid Courage, and Hillside House.
- Location: West & West Hill Street
- Opening Days & Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Sunday, 12pm- 4pm (*Free for locals the 3rd Sunday of every month)
- Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for students/seniors, and free for kiddos under twelve. Evening talks by artists are often also free of charge- check their calendar for details.
- Current Exhibitions: “40 Years of Bahamian Art”, drawn from its Permanent Collection, “Creation’s Grace – Minnis Family Retrospective”, featuring 160+ paintings by Eddie Minnis, his daughters Nicole and Roshanne, and son-in-law, Ritichie Eyma.
- Contact: (242) 328-5800 or visit http://www.nagb.org.bs
Shake a Pair of Cowbells at The Junkanoo Museum
It may be gloomy outside, but the brightly-colored and festive Junkanoo Museum, sponsored byEduculture Bahamas Ltd, might be just what you need to lighten your mood. Inside the museum, guests have the opportunity to have an up-close and personal look at traditional Junkanoo costume pieces worn by competing local groups during the annual downtown Nassau street parades on the eve of Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day (January 1). With activities for the young and young at heart, roam at your leisure throughout the museum to learn more about Junkanoo’s historic legacy as a celebration of freedom by enslaved Africans and their descendants in The Bahamas, participate in pint-sized Junkanoo “rush out” or parade, or even create your own Junkanoo masks with strips of multi-coloured crepe paper and other traditional materials.
- Location: 31 West St & Delancey St (next door to NAGB)
- Opening Days & Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 1:30pm, Sunday, 12pm- 4pm (*Free for locals the 3rd Sunday of every month). Other times can be arranged via appointment.
- Admission: $5 for a self-guided visit, $10 for a full tour (lasting 30-40 minutes)
- Contact: (242) 328-3786 or visit http://www.educulturebahamas.com/
Explore the Sunken Ruins of The Dig, Atlantis Resort
Mythical or not, a walk-through of the interconnected passageways and underwater chambers of the marine exhibits of the Atlantis Resort make the ancient lost city of Atlantis come to life. Completely indoors, the portion of the aquarium known as “The Dig” features extensive exotic habitats for over one-hundred Indo-Pacific Ocean lionfish, five hundred piranhas, iridescent jellyfish, six-foot moray eels, ginormously-sized grouper, and tiny “jewel habitats” with brightly-colored tropical fish and seahorses. For even more fun with marine life there’s an interactive touch tank aquarium with conch, starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and horseshoe crabs.
- Location: 1 Casino Drive, Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island (across the bridge from Nassau)
- Opening Days & Hours: Always open.
- Admission: Day passes are available $45 for adults, and $30 for kiddos 12 and under. (Free for guests of hotel.)
- Contact: (242) 363-3000 or take a virtual tour
Hang out at Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant
There is so much to explore on the historic property of Graycliff Hotel, named after a pirate Captain John Graysmith who built an original home there in 1740. More than just a hotel, this landmark destination in downtown Nassau boasts a plethora of culinary and historical gems. For starters, their newly-opened Heritage Museum of The Bahamas in Graycliff Historical Village is highly recommended for an awesome overview of Bahamian history from the prehistoric times of our native Lucayan Indians to the present. You can also check out their Graycliff Cigar Company for one-and-half hour lessons on the history of tobacco, how to sort, clean, store, and roll your own cigar or visit their Grand-Award Winning Graycliff Wine Cellar for Wine and Cheese pairings (available by appointment). Last but certainly not least, we must point you in the direction of one of our favorite places on the block- Graycliff Chocolatier. We admit we’re a little biased, as we feature their delicious handcrafted chocolate bon-bons on our Bites of Nassau Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tours but they also host their own super fun and behind-the-scenes tours of their chocolate factory, which results in a good bag of chocolate you can escape with:)
- Location: 12 West Hill Street
- Opening Days & Hours: Monday to Thursdays, 9am to 5pm. Fridays, 9am to 7pm. On Saturdays, the chocolate factory is open 9 to 5pm. Tours available by appointment
- Admission: Free to enter the property, costs vary for specific tours
- Contact: (242) 302-9150 or http://www.graycliff.com
Swim in The Ocean
Is this not counterintuitive to avoiding the rain? Sort of. But- if there are no storms on the horizon, a light rain shower without lightning poses no threats to a potential ocean swimmer and can actually enhance your time in the sea. Simply venture out into the ocean close to the shore, and feel the full force of the natural elements around you. Fully exposed to the natural ebbs and flows of the ocean waves and rain droplets from above, you’ll feel like a true oceanic explorer. Just be sure to review the weather forecast before hopping in. Some of the more popular beaches in the area include Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island, Orange Hill Beach on the northwestern side of New Providence, and Jaws Beach on the southwestern side. You can find your perfect local beach by searching here.
Best of all, a walk along the beach after the rain or thunderstorm is a special and relaxing treat.