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Known for its warm breezes, sunny skies, and white beaches, Nassau's turbulent past is quite different from the serenity its imagery brings to mind. The capital of the Bahamas and the largest city, part of Nassau's allure comes from its notorious inhabitants of old. Once a lair and refuge for pirates, Nassau was home to famous plunderers such as Blackbeard. However, by 1720 most of the pirates were ultimately killed or driven out by the British. In the following years, Nassau would burn to the ground three times at the hands of the Spanish.
Today, the island's close proximity to the US gives Nassau a distinctly American flavour. This bustling hub of a city is a delightful and colourful blend of old world and colonial architecture juxtaposed with a busy, modern port.
Nassau draws attracts visitors with its beautifully preserved Victorian buildings, 18th-century fortresses, and the Queen's Staircase, the 66 steps of which lead to the most breathtaking view over the whole of Nassau - a must for any visitor.
Plant enthusiasts should visit the Royal Victorian Garden, which has more than 300 species of tropical plants and exotic creatures. Enthusiastic shoppers, on the other hand, would be well-advised to look out for great bargains at the Straw Market on Bay Street.
Alternatively, visitors can relax by spending an idle afternoon watching a cricket game at one of the many local sports grounds. After dark, Nassau comes alive with a rowdy bar and club scene, and the scent of fresh seafood permeates the air in the Fish Fry district.
This stunning city can also add at least four famous supporting roles in the movies to its resume, as the setting in three James Bond pictures, as well as the Beatles film 'Help!'. With the bright lights of casinos, upmarket resort hotels, and cruise liners, Nassau is overflowing with variety, colour and entertainment. A favourite holiday destination for active adventurers and beach bums alike, Nassau has something to offer everyone.
Nassau enjoys a tropical climate with summer temperatures rarely exceeding 92ºF (33ºC), while the winter months see daytime temperatures reaching between 68ºF (20ºC) and 80ºF (26ºC) with minimums rarely dropping below 50°F (10°C). The peak holiday season falls between December and April, when the weather is at its best and Nassau becomes very crowded. The rainiest months are July through October.
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