One of Nassau’s most important crossroads, this shady square is a bustling hub traversed by government workers, vendors, musicians and tourists.
Rawson Square is the heart of Nassau and an ideal starting point for exploring the city. This small cobblestone square is lined with colonial-style government buildings and serves as the site for numerous events and festivities. Check out the interesting monuments dotted around the square or have your hair braided at the open-air pavilion.
Look for a bronze bust depicting Sir Milo Butler in the center of the square. The former shopkeeper became a prominent politician in the years leading up to Bahamian independence and went on to become the first native Bahamian governor general of the independent nation.
View the unassuming Churchill Building on the south side of the square. This building was used by controversial Prime Minister Lynden Pindling for more than 25 years until he was ousted in 1992 and is now used by the current prime minister and other government agencies.
Stroll to the west side of the square to find horse-drawn surreys, which will take you on a half-hour ride through Nassau’s streets for a fee. You’ll also see an open-air hair-braiding pavilion between the square and Festival Place, where you can have your hair styled. Note the life-sized bronze statue of a woman holding a small child, which honors the role of Bahamian women in society.
The north end of the square connects to the Woodes Rodgers Walk. Stroll here and browse the market stalls selling fresh fish and produce along the harbor. Stop for a drink at one of the cute cafés and watch tourists from cruise boats searching for souvenirs.
Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Junkanoo festivities, which are held on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and in the summer. During this time, the square is particularly colorful as thousands of locals and tourists crowd here to watch an elaborate parade that runs from after midnight until the following morning.
Find Rawson Square on the south side of Bay Street, where it connects to Prince George Wharf. The wharf is the docking point for many large cruise ships. Reach the square on foot from most other areas of town.