Most individuals equate the buying scene in Nassau and sister island Paradise Island to the plethora of name-brand duty-free outlets promoting fragrance, liquor, cigars, electronics and particularly jewellery. It’s true it can save you round 40 p.c on such luxurious gadgets, however not as a lot as in another Caribbean locations. Verify customs limitations and don’t plan on bringing any Cuban cigars again to the US. They’re thought of contraband.
The duty-free outlets abound on and round downtown Nassau’s Bay Avenue buying space and in addition on the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. The completion of the BahaMar resort improvement in Cable Seashore come December 2014 will convey yet one more crop of retail choices.
Apart from duty-free items, buyers in search of really genuine souvenirs of the Bahamas can discover them in artwork galleries, craft outlets and markets and specialty shops interspersed all through the dual islands of New Windfall and Paradise. Do not miss Doongalik Studios on downtown’s outskirts and The Plait Lady at Atlantis resort’s Marina Village.
If you happen to do, relaxation assured that you will see that loads of native merchandise – together with duty-free gadgets and generic tropical souvenirs – to select from on the airport, though it’s essential to anticipate to pay larger costs.
Picture courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton
One of many Atlantis resort’s hubs for designer merchandise, Crystal Court docket carries all of the names you might be in search of in an arcade between the on line casino and Coral Towers. Store right here for purses, footwear, crystal, objets d’artwork, clocks, attire, fragrance, watches and different jewellery.
Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Cartier, Bulgari, Lalique and Gucci are only a few of the acquainted names, and there is additionally a John Bull store. Purchase your Atlantis memento put on at Atlantis Signatures and Atlantis Youngsters, the latter of which additionally carries plush sea-themed animals and different toys.
Cole’s of Nassau shares a choose line of girls’s resort and night put on.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: For duty-free buying, it has the nicest ambiance and choice in a handy gathering.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Purchase your Cuban cigars at Havana Humidor, however keep in mind to smoke them earlier than you get on the airplane to the U.S.
Solely steps from the cruise ship port, the Bay Avenue Straw Market has been a Nassau custom for the reason that 1940s.
The unique straw market comprised a block’s value of distributors underneath one roof; it burned down in 2001. In 2011, a sturdy, concrete, two-story constructing changed a short lived tent construction.
The brand new market, though not as domestically colourful because the one which burned down, supplies a extra snug, air-conditioned setting.
With the brand new constructing got here new requirements for artisan wares, however you continue to discover largely low-cost jewellery and T-shirts imported from Taiwan, knock-off designer baggage and different trinkets that don’t have anything to do with hand-crafting within the Bahamas.
As in most island markets, the distributors anticipate you to discount with them on costs. In addition to 400-some distributors the brand new straw market additionally has a stage for dwell leisure.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: A longtime Nassau custom, regardless of its imported low-cost wares, it stays one of many prime buying locations on the island.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Beware, of the too-good-to-be-true T-shirt offers – the shirts typically shrink to nothing after one washing.
Opened in 2005, this 65,000 sq. foot buying and eating advanced is harking back to a Caribbean open-air market, with palm timber, colourful structure (designed by Doongalik’s Jackson Burnside) and a vigorous ambiance enhanced with common performances by native musicians.
Amongst its 21 outlets are excessive finish boutiques resembling Carlo Milano, Colombian Emeralds Worldwide, Leather-based Gallery and La Perfumerie.
5 eating places and quite a few snack outlets and carts provide all kinds of refueling choices, from the upscale Cafe Martinique and Seafire Steakhouse to Starbuck’s and Ben & Jerry’s. Native arts and crafts can be found from a wide range of artwork galleries and kiosks.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: Here is the place Atlantis resort tries its hardest to suit into Bahamian tradition with its structure, music, arts and meals.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Break for up to date Bahamian type meals at Bimini Highway.
That is the unmissable orange, yellow and white constructing on the entrance to the cruise ship port. The primary tourism workplace and a put up workplace are conveniently located right here, together with a plethora of colourful native arts, crafts, items and edibles.
Its shut proximity to the cruise ship docks, nevertheless, means costs are scaled accordingly, i.e. excessive!
The best native artists and crafts individuals maintain cubicles right here, making it an important vacation spot in case you are trying to find particular mementos of your journey.
Stay Junkanoo musicians lend an much more festive air on sure days, normally when cruise ships are in. They work together with buyers and supply photograph alternatives.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: It is a one-stop buying place for Bahamas souvenirs of upper high quality than you discover within the Straw Market.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: If you’re arriving by cruise ship, examine costs right here with different downtown outlets before you purchase.
The brand new departures terminal at Lynden Pindling Worldwide Airport presents some nice final minute alternatives to purchase genuine souvenirs at numerous outlets.
One other Graycliff retail area sells cigars, wine, rum, chocolate and associated items. It has a smoking lounge the place you possibly can get pleasure from these cigars and an out of doors sunning deck, from the place you possibly can order a sandwich and cocktail. There’s additionally a nonsmoking lounge.
Gorgeous Bahamian artwork decorates the terminal, plus there is a play area for teenagers. For real Bahamian souvenirs resembling domestically made rum muffins and scorching sauces, ceramics handmade on Abaco Island, straw work and Junkanoo dolls – take a look at The Final Straw, Uniquely Bahamian and My Ocean.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: It is a good spot to choose up final minute souvenirs which are genuinely Bahamian.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Like most airports, it expenses extra for merchandise you’ll find at native markets and outlets.
Downtown Nassau’s most important drag is a bustling, traffic-jammed avenue stuffed with Bahamians, cruise ship passengers and different vacationers in search of offers on jewellery, fragrance, designer purses, electronics and liquor
Most of the outlets promote flimsy, generally off-color souvenirs, however you’ll find some good high quality reward outlets interspersed and the identical complement of duty-free marts that you will note at Atlantis resort’s buying facilities. Little Switzerland is without doubt one of the extra well-known names carrying a wide array of bijou, crystal and tobacco.
Go to the Island E-book Store for a pleasant choice of books concerning the Bahamas and West Indies. Cease at Café Skan’s to rub elbows with the locals for genuine Bahamian grub.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: That is what first involves most vacationers’ minds after they suppose “Bahamian buying.”
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Downtown shops typically hike up costs when cruise ships are in port.
Graycliff, a brief uphill stroll from Bay Avenue, has been the primary title in lodging and eating in Nassau since 1973.
In 1977, it added a hand-rolled cigar manufacturing unit to its operations that deal within the finer issues in life. In 2012, homeowners opened a chocolate manufacturing unit.
Purchasing at Graycliff turns into an immersive expertise. You are able to do a tour of the factories and even sit in on chocolate- and cigar-making experiences.
Within the chocolate manufacturing unit’s store, purchase bars of tobacco chocolate (a lot better than it sounds), chocolate tea, chocolate formed like cigars, and bonbons in flavors resembling Nutella, mint, brandy cherry and chai tea.
Subsequent door on the cigar manufacturing unit, you might have your selection of wonderful smokes. You may also purchase sweets, cigars, Graycliff Espresso and different wonderful items within the Heritage Shoppe throughout the road. Plans are to show the encircling historic ruins into an artisan’s village.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: Graycliff is greater than eating, lodging and buying – it’s an expertise within the finer issues in life.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: In contrast to Cuban cigars you will see that in duty-free outlets, Graycliff’s wonderful cigars may be introduced again to the U.S. embargo-free.
Truth #1: The downtown Nassau Straw Market carries little or no Bahamian straw work. Truth #2: The true stuff is created totally on Out Islands resembling Lengthy and Andros Island.
Hand craftsmen dry, strip, plait and stitch collectively strips created from the silver palm fronds. They’ve developed greater than 150 patterns they trend into baggage, place mats and baskets.
So, the ethical of the story: If you happen to’re in search of handmade work, skip the imports on the Straw Market and head to this store in Atlantis’ Marina Village. In addition to stunning hand-plaited works, you will see that stunning pink ornaments and serving bowls and spoons carved from the within of conch shells.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: This – not the Straw Market – is the place to seek out genuine, hand-plaited Bahamian straw work.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: The coiled-weave baskets you discover right here come from Andros Island and are sometimes brightened with bits of Androsia Batik additionally made there.
While you enter the doorways of this reduce limestone constructing, you might be coming into over 200 years of historical past and a retailer really telling of native tradition and historical past.
Coin of the Realm is one in every of few native outlets that sells jewellery made with conch pearls, which vary from deep pink to gentle brown in shade.
The native conch fishermen present the pearls that they discover in just one out of each 10,000 conchs they seize. The conch pearl can’t be cultured, which means you’ll pay 5 figures for that flamingo pin or conch pendant set. Enamel Bahamian coin pendants and cuff hyperlinks make extra inexpensive items.
The 37-year-old store sells intelligent interchangeable necklaces that the pendants snap into. Interchangeable rings are additionally out there.
Because the title suggests, it additionally makes a speciality of jewellery created from historical cash and gold Bahamian cash, plus a large stock of different items.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: Coin of the Realm has been a downtown Nassau custom for many years, recognized for its conch pearl items.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Skip the luxurious chain jewellery retailer for some bling really consultant of the Bahamas.
Away from the Bay Avenue throngs, however well worth the taxi fare in case you are in search of genuine arts and crafts, Doogalik Studios was created by the late nice grasp of Junkanoo artwork, Jackson Burnside and spouse Pam, to advertise native tradition, artwork and heritage.
The restored historic dwelling shows the work of 40 Bahamian artists and is the centerpiece of three outlets together with the Craft Cottage – stuffed with native expertise – and the studio of Okay. Smith.
Flick through wonderful work and sculpture, recycled coconut sculptures, beautiful straw baggage which have made the O record, masks, goat pores and skin drums, jewellery, dwelling decor gadgets and and a tremendous choice of resourceful, inventive works created from repurposed gadgets. Saturday brings a farmers market.
Really helpful for Finest Purchasing as a result of: That is Nassau’s most extremely revered gallery for native artwork.
Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: For sincere Bahamian artistic endeavors on the market, additionally take a look at the reward store on the Nationwide Artwork Gallery of the Bahamas.
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