Nassau, Bahamas

Living in Nassau

Iyna Bort Caruso

The Bahamian capital of Nassau presides over the island of New Providence--one of 700-plus islands that make up the archipelago--and is home to more than 70 percent of the population.

The city is a favorite among second-home owners and expats, and not just for its location less than 200 miles from the Florida coast. Its Afro-Euro-Caribbean culture, colorful pirating past and barefoot luxe lifestyle make it an easy destination to love.

The bulk of international buyers hail from the U.S., Canada, France and the UK. A permit is required if the purchase involves an undeveloped parcel of two or more acres. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on the purchase of Nassau real estate by international buyers, and residents benefit from favorable tax laws.

Nassau’s main harbor is sheltered by Paradise Island. A pair of bridges connects the two isles offering the sun-and-sand set access to miles of sugar fine beaches and top yachting facilities.

Because of its location near trade routes, the area was popular with pirates, most famously Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard, until an expulsion order was put into place by the Royal Governor of the Bahamas in the 18th century. Today a hotel sits on the site of Blackbeard’s former residence, and relics of the era can be found at the Pirate Museum. Bahamian culture is celebrated at a number of historical museums and monuments throughout the island and in festivals like the Junkanoo street carnival, one of the world’s largest, that takes place every December 26 and January 1.

Nassau’s high profile property owners find low key luxury among grand estates and condominiums in exclusive gated communities. For those seeking family-oriented compounds, many offer private guest wings or separate guest villas.