Paradise Island is actually part of The Bahamas capital city, Nassau, technically. The contrast between the two couldn’t be much starker, however. While the Bahamas is a rich country (it is the richest per capita in the Caribbean and one of the richest in the Western Hemisphere), Nassau does not look particularly well off. While there is a great deal of new construction going up, the majority of the buildings appear fairly run down. Paradise Island, by contrast, looks more akin to Disney Land, or maybe Las Vegas, and feels like a cross between the two.
Paradise Island is basically a large resort island, dedicated 100% to tourists who want a retreat from reality in a luxurious tropical paradise, emphasis on the “luxurious.” There is no shortage of things to do, places to eat and drink, or beaches to explore, and if you have the money to splurge, there is no better way to see Nassau. There are even several beautiful casinos for your gambling pleasure.
Paradise island includes a number of all-inclusive resorts as well as plain old-fashioned (though not old in any other sense) hotels. Depending on the time of year and day of the week, rooms can be found starting around $100 (plus tax etc), although some resorts also start upwards of $1,000 (just to give you an idea of the range of accommodations).
Hotels in down town Nassau start right around the same price, although there is at least one hostel that is considerably cheaper. So if Paradise Island looks like the kind of place you would enjoy and you’re planning a trip to Nassau, it may actually provide a reasonably priced option if rooms are available.
Two long bridges connect Paradise Island to down town Nassau and there is also a ferry service to the island from several points along the downtown Nassau water front. The ferry only costs a couple of dollars but if you are up for it, take a stroll across the bridge to enjoy some fantastic views of Paradise Island, the harbor, and Nassau. It really isn’t that strenuous of a walk although admittedly it does look pretty intimidating. There is also bus service across the bridge to Nassau proper if you don’t feel up to taking a boat or hiking across the bridge yourself.