Nassau is back in business. The main port of the Bahamas quickly bounced back from Hurricane Matthew last fall, with resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions on line. If you’re planning a first or return visit this spring, here is how to explore the Caribbean destination right now, from sampling fresh catches to diving to relaxing on secluded beaches.

 

Explore like a local

A couple miles from downtown Nassau is Goodman’s Bay, a vibrant beach where you can find cookouts, parties with bright umbrellas and locals swimming and snorkeling on the placid beach.

To eat like a local, too, head to a fish fry, like Nassau's Fish Fry, near Goodman's Bay. And at Twin Brothers (multiple locations, twinbrothersbahamas.com), try classic Bahamian cuisine like grilled mahi mahi, rice and plantains.

 

Water activities

For something quite unique, head to dive resort Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas (stuartcove.com) on the southwest side of the island and explore underwater in a SUB aquanaut, a machine that combines motorcycling and scuba diving. Be sure to watch out for pirate fish, seabass, yellow tail snapper and stingrays.

Hop on a boat and head to Blue Lagoon Island, a secluded nursery for more than 100 species of marine life. Choose between shaking fins and wet kisses from dolphins or sea lions with an animal encounter (dolphinencounters.com), then rest up at the adults-only VIP beach.

 

Pick up some souvenirs

For boutique shopping, head to the downtown Nassau area, along West Bay Street. Highlights include Straw Market, where a plethora of vendors selling colorful Mexican wares like baskets, blankets, and tchotchkes, and Cotton House, which sells colorful boots with intricate designs.

 

Where to stay

The all-inclusive Melia Nassau Beach (melia.com) is a kid-friendly resort located on Cable Beach, about a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Nassau. The most scenic views of the beach can be taken in on one of the wrap around balcony suites; if you have a family or a group of friends, opt for the 2-bedroom/3-full-bath suite. Indulge in the selection of free water sports like water biking, kayaks and stand-up paddle boarding. Fancy getting certified to dive? The property offers a complimentary scuba diving introduction at the pool area. The on-site restaurants offer a selection of cuisine from all over the world, from the Marketplace buffet restaurant, where dinner is themed each night, to the tapas bar Estavida.