What New Providence lacks in size, it more than makes up for in energy, attitude and devil-may-care spirit. In fact, this 34km-long powerhouse of an island is a perfect fit for the extroverted tourist with money to burn. Plummet down a 15m waterslide, puff on a hand-rolled stogie, place your bets on a high-stakes hand and carouse like a pirate into the wee hours – it’s all there for the grabbing.
But all is not lost for quieter types, who can escape the beach-bar and cruise-ship scene with minimal effort. Behind Nassau's eager touristic facade are engaging museums, historic buildings and locally owned restaurants that are crowd-free and full of personality. The western end of the island is set aside as a handsome heritage park, and there are some good snorkeling and diving sites a little way offshore.