From structural limestone walls, handcut passageways, and rusted old cannons protecting the harbour’s entrance, it’s difficult to enter downtown Nassau without noticing the influence of piracy. Nassau’s harbour was once riddled with lawless activity, during The Golden Age of Piracy between 1690-1720, and was renown as a pirate’s paradise, which attracted the greatest concentration of pirates ever seen in The New World.
On our Bites Of Nassau Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tour, we only scrape the surface of Nassau’s exciting pirate history; of this once thriving community of rogues, merchants, and wild women. There’s nothing quite like a good pirate story and we think this rich history is worth deeper exploration. So for you, matey, is a themed day of piracy, plunder, and spoils on your next visit into ye old Nassau by virtue of ship… or plane.
Pirates of Nassau Museum & Smuggler’s Restaurant
Credit: The Traveling Turtle
The year is 1716, your adventure begins on a moonlight dock with the sounds of lapping water and pirates celebrating in a nearby tavern. Board a replica of the ship “Revenge” and enter a world of cutlass wielding, bloodthirsty pirates. This museum is an absolute must-do while in Nassau. It’s interactive and enjoyable for children of all ages and also appeals to the history-buffs who will soak in guided, electronic tours and interesting facts throughout the experience.
Complete your museum tour and plunder of the gift shop with a quick bite (and booze for the 18+ big kids on board). Smuggler’s Restaurant has a diverse menu of local favourites and intercontinental cuisines well suited for the whole family!
Location: King Street, Downtown Nassau
Hours: Monday-Saturday (9:00am-6:00pm), Sunday (9:00am-12:00pm)
Admission: $6.50 kids (ages 4-17), $13 adults
Historic Graycliff Hotel, Relic-Coin Chocolate Booty
Credit: Tru Bahamian Food Tours
Nassau’s oldest and only five-star restaurant and hotel, Graycliff, located in historic Charles Townewith sweeping harbour views, is rumoured to have hand carved underground smugglers’ passageways leading all the way to the harbourfront. You certainly get a sense of the history of these grounds upon entrance to Graycliff Chocolatier (also a tasting location on our Bites of Nassau food tour) where a narrow, limestone archway and iron lantern beckons you. We say the best kinds of relic-coins are the edible kinds! And you’re in luck at the chocolatier where celebrity chef, Erika Dupree Davis has crafted decadent chocolatey pirate paraphernalia that’s sure to make it into your treasure chest of souvenirs.
Oh, and while touring the lush gardens at Graycliff Hotel, in search of booty and uncharted territories, be sure to snap a photo with their iconic seated pirate (one of several positioned throughout downtown Nassau).
Fun & Fascinating Forts… Fincastle, Charlotte, Montagu
Credit: The Bahamas Weekly
Protected by the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation, our forts are a treasured gateway to Nassau’s most unique historical sites. Luckily for our young adventurers, both Fort Fincastle (c. 1793) and Fort Charlotte (c. 1787) are within walking distance to Bay Street – Nassau’s hub for cruise ship arrivals, restaurants, and duty free shopping. There’s so much to discover at these well preserved forts and you’ll be exhilarated by the elevated views of the Nassau Paradise Island from those vantage points. Admission fees at both forts are very reasonable and make visiting them a fun and affordable family outing!
Bonus! Slightly out of city centre but only a quick taxi ride away is Fort Montagu, which once protected Nassau’s harbour to the east. This small but mighty fort is also open Monday-Sunday between 8:00am-4:00pm.
Location: Bennet’s Hill, Downtown Nassau
Open: Monday-Sunday (8:00am-4:00pm)
Admission: $3.00 (adults), $2.00 (kids)
Location: Haynes Oval, Arawak Cay
Open: Monday-Sunday (8:00am-4:00pm)
Admission: $5.00 (adults), $3.00 (kids)
Tortuga Rum For You, Cake For Kids
Credit: Eat The Caribbean
Just as Tortuga Rum Cake Factory is the sweet and final stop on our #BitesOfNassau food tour, we recommend finishing your ultimate pirate adventure on a high-note. Worthy of further exploration with lots of interesting rum cake flavours, rum teas, and spirits up for grabs, this a great time for tasting and takeaways! Choose from six different delicious cake flavours for adventurous palates including: chocolate, banana and coconut- all of which are safe for children to consume. The rum mixed in the cake batter gets evaporated at high temperatures, leaving a decadently moist pound cake with unmistakably rich rum flavour but none of the intoxicating effects.
Arrgh! Standing guard at the entrance to this souvenir shop, ensuring you cannot miss the door, is another friendly pirate who is ready for his photo opp.
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