Things to Do in Nassau: Pirates of Nassau:

One of the best things to do in Nassau is Pirates of Nassau, an attraction appeals to the kid in all of us, especially with the spate the recent "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. It’s a step back in time to a world we’ve only been able to experience on the silver screen or in books, such as Treasure island.

Pirates of Nassau

Above: The kind of thing you'll see at Pirates of Nassau

The golden age of piracy lasted for about 30 years, from 1690 to 1720; Nassau was at its heart. It was well suited as a pirate center of operations: its waters were too shallow to allow passage for the men-o-war, but deep enough for the shallow-draft vessels favored by the buccaneers. Consequently, Nassau attracted the largest concentration of pirates ever seen in the New World. From here they infested the trade routes, devastating merchant shipping, and causing havoc across the shallow seas. Pirate gold and stolen goods formed the basis for a thriving economy in and around Nassau and attracted rogues and merchants from far and wide. It was said that when a pirate slept he did not dream of going to heaven, but instead of returning to Nassau.

This attraction is unique. As you enter the dark building, it takes a moment or two for your eyes to adjust. Then you find yourself standing on the dock under the bow of the pirate ship Revenge. It’s not full-size, but it’s big enough to create the illusion. Across the street, just a few yards from the side of the ship, are reproductions of the dockside inns, shops, and tenements that might have been found in any port of the times. As you pass along the dock your guide provides a running commentary explaining exactly what it is you’re seeing. The tour takes you onboard the ship for a look at the living quarters, gun decks, surgeon’s quarters, and so on. From there you move on through the exhibit to experience a shocking true-to-life depiction of pirate lives and times. It’s all rollicking good fun and an educational experience as well. Give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.

Pirates of Nassau is at the junction of Marlborough and George Streets. Admission: $12 adults, $6 children age three-18, free for kids under three. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 6, Sunday 9 to 12:30 pm. % 242-356-3759; www.pirates-­

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Getting There:

For visitors arriving by air, the Bahamas are served through Nassau by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe, and to a slightly more limited degree through Freeport.

The Out Islands are served mainly by Bahamas Air via connections in Nassau and Freeport.

The Bahamas is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry

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