Paradise Island is dominated by the large Atlantis resort, which includes an extravagant shopping mall, a casino and more than 40 dining venues. Many of the Atlantis’ facilities are open to non-guests, helping to make the resort a tourist attraction in its own right. If you’re looking for something more low-key, seek out the quieter beaches and gardens on this striking island.
It would be almost impossible to visit Paradise Island without checking out the Atlantis. Try your luck at the resort’s casino, with 75 gaming tables and 750 slot machines. It is open to non-guests. Dine at one of the resort’s extensive restaurants, join the guided “Discover Atlantis” tour to see some of its other impressive facilities or take one of the daily gaming lessons.
Head to the northern side of the island to visit Cabbage Beach, a 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of white sand bordered by sand dunes and casuarinas trees. Rent a Jet Ski to take out on the water or see the island from above on a parasailing excursion. To escape the crowds around the resort areas of the beach, walk west, where you can typically find more secluded stretches of sand.
See ships hauling in fresh fish and conch straight from the sea at Potter’s Cay, on the road beneath the Paradise Island bridges. Enjoy conch salad, pick up other fresh ingredients such as Bahamian peppers and herbs or buy empty conch shells as souvenirs.
Go for a stroll in Versailles Gardens, a lovely terraced lawn dotted with fountains and statues of famous figures. Although the garden is part of the One & Only Ocean Club, non-guests are welcome to visit after checking in at the security gate. At the top of the garden, find the beautiful Augustinian Cloister, the remains of a 12th-century stone monastery originally built in France, before being imported and rebuilt here.
Paradise Island is located just off Nassau’s north shore. Most visitors arrive in Nassau and then commute across to the island. Many hotels on the island offer airport transfers. Otherwise rent a car or take a taxi to get here.