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American dollars are not only on par with Bahamian dollars, but happily accepted throughout the island. Shop the streets of downtown Nassau to find unique treasures and one of a kind finds all duty-free. If you're in the market for jewelry, luggage, leather handbags, perfume and other high-end items, Bay Street is the place to shop. For handmade Bahamian crafts, woodcarvings, straw hats and bags visit the world famous Straw Market on Bay Street, Festival Place at the Nassau Harbor cruise ship dock and the Paradise Island Craft Centre.
Don't miss the marching flamingos and other animals at Ardastra Gardens and Zoo as well as the beautiful flower gardens. Swim with dolphins and kiss a sea lion, drift down a lazy river or "fly" down an exhilarating waterslide at Atlantis' Aquaventure, for a fee - purchase a day pass when you get there at the Atlantis Royal Tower front desk. Great for kids and adults alike. But for adults only place a bet at one or both of the casinos; on Paradise Island at the Atlantis Royal Tower and on Cable Beach at Crystal Palace Casino inside the Wyndham Nassau Resort. Take in a round of golf at the Cable Beach Golf Course or One&Only Ocean Club Golf Course.
There are many museums and historical places of interest for the inquisitive traveler. The Pompey Museum of Emancipation and Slavery, Bahamas Historical Society Museum - lots of interesting history about the island, the capital Nassau, and pre-Columbus days including native Arawak/Lucayan Indians, the Lighthouse Museum, Balcony House - the oldest wooden house built in Nassau. Balcony House museum is like stepping back in time to the 18th century. Pirates of Nassau is excellent if you have children with you. It's a real life Pirates of the Caribbean, teaching about how the pirates settled Nassau and how life was to be a pirate and how the British government handled piracy. If you like art, Nassau has a restored 19th century mansion that houses the National Art Gallery which showcases Bahamian artwork as well as traveling artists.
There are also a few landmarks throughout the islands. For the best view of Nassau, go to the top of the water tower, climb the 102 foot staircase with 66 limestone steps of the Queen's Staircase with access to Fort Fincastle. Fort Charlotte has dungeons and a moat, really cool especially for kids! Fort Montagu is the oldest fort in Nassau built in 1741. Government House is one of Nassau's highest elevation points and is home to the Governor General.