Of the 700 or so islands that make up the Bahamas, Grand Bahama is easily one of the most charming destinations. Beyond the beautiful beaches on its south side, the elaborate and luxurious all-inclusive resorts and never-ending activities, this island is also well known for its cultural history and surroundings, including notable settlements like Pinder’s Point and Russell Town. Explore the island’s three districts —East End, Freeport/Lucaya and West End—for different experiences, and for the great adventurers, strap on your SCUBA gear and head down under for other worldly diving sights.
Check out our guide to the best activities for your visit to Grand Bahama.
Explore the History
Visit the colorful centers of Old Freeport, Williams Town and Smith’s Town, all of which play an important role in the history of the islands. Head west out of Freeport to see Pinder’s Point Lighthouse; the original structure was built in the late 18th to early-19th centuries, and now a more modern lighthouse stands on the site. Photos of the picturesque red-and-white lighthouse with a shimmering turquoise sea background makes the perfect back drop for an Instagram post, #nofilter.
Take a Trip into Nature
Grand Bahama is simply bursting with life, both by land and sea. Snorkeling, scuba diving, paddleboarding and kayaking are just a few of the water sports that will give you an up-close look at the island’s diverse marine life. Check out the underwater caves at Lucayan National Park either on a kayak tour or during a dive. For more nature and exploration, visit Rand Nature Centre, where flocks of native birds take over more than 100 acres of natural fauna in the heart of Freeport. Here, you can see 18 of the 28 species of Bahamian birds. If you’re looking for a break from the year-round sunshine, you’ll find more than shade in the Garden of the Groves, a botanical garden in Freeport with a waterfall, shady walk ways decorated with floral displays, and a low key cafe. Explore the island by renting bicycles, hiking or horseback riding. For the more adventurous, sign up for a wild animal encounter like swimming with nurse sharks or playing with wild pigs on a beach.
Sample the Nightlife
Grand Bahama doesn’t close when the sun goes down; the beach crowd filters out into the many after-dark venues on the island. Take your pick of local restaurants, clubs, bars and lounges with upbeat live music and lively dancing. Cruise goers can grab a refill at Sparky’s Bar right in Port Lucaya Marketplace in Freeport, or head to a more local spot, Fish Fry at Smith Point (stop by on Wednesday night for their famous fish fry). Be sure you complement whatever you do with the signature drink of the island, the Bahama Mama.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Stock up on luxury items in Grand Bahama, like perfume, leather, crystal and jewelry, etc., as duty free applies here. Visit Port Lucaya Marketplace in Freeport where more than 40 shops and boutiques, 14 restaurants, six bars and three lounges house some of the most unique gifts and treasures. Additionally, there are more than 100 straw vendors in the area, considered one of the oldest industries on the islands. If you buy something that says, “Authentically Bahamian,” you can be sure that it was made locally.
Stay at an All-Inclusive Beach Resort
For many, vacations begin upon check-in. Luckily, Grand Bahama serves up a wide range of accommodations, including stunning all-inclusive beach resorts. Choose from top options like Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, a family-friendly resort, Breezes Resort & Spa, Bahamas, a “super-inclusive” resort offering all-inclusive packages at a low rate, or the Grand Lucayan, an oceanfront property equipped with eight restaurants and a golf course.
Enjoy the Beaches
Of course, a visit to the Bahamas would be incomplete without some relaxing beach time. Grand Bahama has more than enough beach spots to have you covered, both active and secluded. Lucaya Beach, Xanadu Beach and Taino Beach are all in Freeport, and are popular among tourists. They are close to beach hotels, and offer plenty of family activities, water sports, shops and restaurants. For a more secluded beach experience, head just a few miles east of the frenzy of Freeport to breathtaking Gold Rock Beach, considered the premier beach on the island.