If you love immersing yourself in the culture of the places you visit and going deeper than just enjoying the sun and sand, then you’ll want to explore the rich and fascinating culture of the Bahamas. Though you could just try making friends with locals wherever you go, there are some cultural hotspots that you simply must visit during your stay. Check out these ideas for a great arts and culture getaway to the Bahamas!
Day One: Visit Fort Charlotte
Though an 18th-century fort may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Bahamas,” Fort Charlotte provides a fascinating window into the history and culture of these islands. Located on a ridge overlooking Nassau, the fort also provides stunning views of Nassau Harbor (and it only costs a dollar to visit!). The solid limestone buildings offer an interesting look into 18th-century life, and staff (in British uniforms) are happy to share their expertise with you. You can visit Fort Charlotte in the morning, and still have time to spend the afternoon at the beach!
Day Two: Visit the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
While you’ll find many small art galleries and shops throughout the Bahamas, the biggest public collection of art is on display at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. This museum in Nassau is open from Tuesday through Sunday every week (excepting Bahamian holidays), and is happy to offer tours until 4 pm daily, to help visitors learn more about the artworks. They also have a gift shop where you can find unique souvenir options, and additionally, if you are a painter yourself, the National Gallery offers the convenience of renting easels to visitors for $3 per day (no delivery is available, must pick up at museum). Come on in and enjoy some authentic art!
Day Three: Art Shop on Harbour Island
The tiny Harbour Island is home to a fun collection of galleries in the quaint Dunmore Town. Enjoy a day spent roaming the streets, seeing what treasures you find! Princess Street Art Gallery is an old standard, having been in business for more than 20 years, and their collection of tropical-inspired artworks has brought smiles to many a visitor. Please keep in mind that the gallery is normally closed during the months of September and October. Another fun one is Briland Art on Pitt Street, which carries hand-painted souvenirs, driftwood and canvas paintings, fish mobiles, and lots more.
Day Four: Browse the Nassau Galleries
Being the capital of this far-flung island nation, Nassau is home to the greatest concentration of arts and artists. In Festival Place, you’ll find the Mango Arts Gallery, a masterful collection of original paintings, fine art reproductions, and handcrafted gifts. On East Street, look for Third Eye Artwork & Collections, where you’ll find unique and authentic Bahamian artworks. And just about everywhere else you look, there’s another gallery or shop waiting to be discovered around the corner!
Day Five: Study Some History With These Places to See in Bahamas
Take a day off from your art shopping and steep yourself in some more Bahamian history. Two museums in Nassau run by the Antiquities, Monuments, & Museum Corporation (AMMC for short) are fascinating glimpses into the past. First, stop at the Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation for a look inside an 18th-century slave marketplace, which today provides an education on the impacts of slavery in these islands. Next, enjoy visiting Balcony House, which was once the home of the first black person to hold elected office in the Bahamas. Its fascinating architectural mishmash makes it a unique places to see in the Bahamas (the mahogany staircase is thought to have been salvaged from a ship!).
Day Six: Visit the D’Aguilar Art Foundation
One of the most comprehensive private art collections in the Bahamas is on display just a few blocks away from the National Gallery, and sometimes shares its works with them. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the public is welcome to visit the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, which is located in a lovingly restored Bahamian home. As one of the most significant contributors to the art scene in the Bahamas, D’Aguilar Art Foundation is one of the best things to do in the Bahamas not to be missed!
Day Seven: Do It Yourself!
Now that you’ve soaked up arts and culture all week, you’ll be ready to try your own hand at painting, whether you consider yourself an artist or not. Call up Bahamas Paint Parties and plan a fun time for you and your group to enjoy sipping wine and painting your very own masterpiece indulging in one of the best things to do in the Bahamas! Guests can choose between painting on canvas or creating their own coconut purse or jewelry. All supplies are included, just bring yourself! Call (242) 558-7974 to reserve your spot.
Enjoy your arts and culture journey to the Bahamas!