The Great Outdoors in Old Fort Bay
On the west end of New Providence is the community of Old Fort Bay. As the name suggests, it was originally the site of a British fort that was built in the 18th century to protect the island from pirates. The old fort was used as a plantation house in the 1800s, but when it changed hands in the 1920s – the property was won in a card game – it began to take on more of an exclusive character. The wealthy new owners traveled extensively and decorated their home with objects from such far-off places as Spain, Portugal, Holland and even Tibet.
Old Fort Bay Today
Development of a private neighborhood and club in the area began in 2002, and Old Fort Bay is now a private gated community. The clubhouse itself sits on the ridge top where the old fort once stood, overlooking what many consider to be the most beautiful beach on the island. For those wanting an opulent and sumptuous Bahamas getaway, a luxury villa or vacation rental in Old Fort Bay is the only way to go. The Bahamas is best known, of course, for its incomparable natural assets: oodles of sunshine, perfect year-round weather, world-class beaches and gorgeous, sparkling turquoise water. You’ll no doubt want to spend as much time as possible outdoors to take full advantage of all of this. If you’re staying in Old Fort Bay, there are plenty of nearby activities to keep you busy in the warm tropical sunshine.
Sun and Sand, Of Course!
The beach at Old Fort Bay is as pristine and picturesque as any on the island. If your accommodations are within the community, you can easily walk there. It’s a positively breathtaking piece of shoreline; you can see singles, couples and families enjoying the soft sand that curves gently along the coast. The beach is located on the island’s west end where the water is clear and calm. Water sports are quite popular here. Palm trees line the beach, so you can find a nice shady spot and set up your own private sanctum for the morning, afternoon or all day if you like.
If all that sun and sand work up an appetite, you might want to check out what’s to eat around the community itself. Several restaurants just outside of Old Fort Bay – particularly to the west – offer great outdoor dining opportunities.
Clifton Heritage National Park
At the western tip of New Providence, less than a 15-minute drive from Old Fort Bay, is Clifton Heritage National Park. Walk the trails and enjoy the native flora and fauna of the Bahamas as well as several different ecosystems. You’ll see native woodlands, cliffs, coastal wetlands, dunes, rocky shorelines, beaches and offshore coral reefs. Grab some binoculars and observe the local birdlife. A park is a popular place for hiking, fishing, camping, snorkeling and picnicking. Panoramic views from the cliffs – especially at sunset – are absolutely breathtaking. Just off the park’s pier, you can put on a mask and snorkel and visit one of the most unique places in the Bahamas. It’s an underwater sculpture garden comprising more than 75 works sitting on the seafloor. The highlight is the magnificent 18-foot, 60-ton statue of a Bahamian girl carrying the weight of the ocean on her shoulders in a nod to the ancient Greek myth of Atlas. The statue is called Ocean Atlas, and it’s the largest underwater sculpture in the world. The sculptures are perfect places for coral to grow so the garden is also a great place to see countless colorful reef fish.
Enjoy your stay in Old Fort Bay, and indulge in the many amenities and comforts of this exclusive enclave. But remember that not too far away – both inside and outside the gates – are many ways and places to explore the splendid outdoors in the beautiful Bahamas.
Head just a few miles east on West Bay Street to the charming coastal area of Cable Beach. You can explore the town at a leisurely pace and then spend some time on the spectacular beaches in the area. You’ll love the low-key vibe, and it’s not unusual to hear the strains of island music wafting through the air from a nearby hotel or restaurant. Speaking of restaurants, there are plenty of al fresco dining opportunities. Caribbean dishes are particularly popular!
Hit the Links
There is nothing quite like lining up a tee shot while feeling the tropical sun on your back and the ocean breeze caressing your face. And just south of Old Fort Bay there’s a golf course located in the exclusive enclave of Albany gives you that exact opportunity. The Ernie Els-designed par-72, 18-hole course plays at an impressive 7,400 yards and incorporates desert features, windswept dunes and plenty of water hazards. Play nine or eighteen, or hone your driving, chipping and putting skills at the driving range and practice putting green. Private lessons and clinics are also available.