Clifton Heritage National Park, New Providence, Bahamas

It’s become a tradition that the kids spend the first four weeks of summer with my parents and brother in Nassau. It’s a win all around. Stinky and Blinky get extra special bonding time with my family, it’s a fully immersive experience in my culture, and the DH and I get to reconnect as a couple. But not before enjoying a mini family vacation on the beaches I grew up on.

Clifton Heritage National Park

We all flew down Memorial Day Weekend and spent a wonderful afternoon at Clifton Heritage National Park. It is a 208 acre preserve on the Western end of New Providence. On this site are former slave ruins, a model Lucayan Village (under construction), Sir Nicholas Nuttal Underwater Sculpture Garden, and miles of beautiful shoreline.

We started with a guided tour of the grounds, which led us to Sacred Space – an area centering around a sculpture garden consisting of cedar trees modeled after African women ceated by Antonious Roberts and Tyrone Ferguson. We were told that these women – titled Genesis – mark the spot where many enslaved African women looked over the cliffs toward Africa.

Fun fact: As a middle school student, I did summer art classes with one of the artists, Antonius Roberts.

Next, we toured a former slave plantation owned by William Whylly. How Mr. Whylly acquired the land that is now Clifton Heritage National Park is interesting to say the least. It seems he was a risk taker and rule breaker, much to the ire of his counterparts. The guide painted him as a gentle slave owner (oxymoron), but I think he was just a very shrewd businessman. We were able to go inside the Great House and slave village.

Next, we were transferred to Johnston Beach, one of the private beaches for visitors to the park. We passed a model Lucayan Village under construction designed to teach visitors about the original inhabitants of the islands of The Bahamas: their way of life, their fishing techniques, and their extermination by the Europeans after Columbus discovered the New World.

We spent hours in the water and on the sand. The kids were too young to visit the underwater sculpture garden on tour, but they did snorkel and see hundreds of fish.

The guides nearly had to drag us away after a most perfect afternoon. I can’t wait until our next visit! This is definitely an excursion I’ll recommend to my clients with a land stay in Nassau.

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