Things to do in Grand Bahama
Here you'll find everything under the sun, even when the sun goes down. Port Lucaya Marketplace is a vibrant, open-air shopping and entertainment hub set on a five-acre peninsula overlooking the waterfront. Whatever you are looking for on your trip to Grand Bahama Island, you are likely to discover it here amid the collection of booths, specialty venues and overflowing stalls. Here, international flair intersects with rich local traditions, and you'll find one of the largest Straw Markets in the Bahamas selling beautiful, hand-crafted treasures beside upscale boutiques with international designer labels such as Gucci and Nautica. Expect plenty of good bargains in duty-free crystal, fine jewelry, gemstones and haute couture as well as an array of island gear, trinkets and souvenirs.
The entertainment is virtually non-stop with a full calendar of events each month that includes an eclectic mix of cultural Junkanoo evenings, dance bands, Karaoke and Sunday Gospel music. Most performances center on Count Basie Square, the heart and soul of the marketplace, which honors the memory of the famed musician who made Grand Bahama his home. This busy outdoor stage showcases both local talent and established artists. The Jewel of Grand Bahama Island, the Port Lucaya Marketplace is a shopper's paradise.We are the only premier shopping, dining and entertainment complex on Grand Bahama Island.This multi faceted complex has everything you came to Grand Bahama for and so much more. Features over 40 specialty stores and boutiques, 14 Restaurants, 6 Bars & 3 late night bars/lounge in addition to 3 Watersports operators. 110 Straw Vendors & Authentic Bahamian Craft Artisans designing their handicrafts that can be personalized at the customers' request.
Grand Bahama Island is considered one of the premier destinations in the world for sport fishing. If you’re ready for a good fight, then strap yourself in and prepare to take on a Marlin, Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Bonefish, Wahoo or Barracuda—to name a few. Grand Bahama’s sparkling, clear waters are full of some the most fascinating and diverse marine life in this region. Fishing enthusiasts from around the world travel to the island every year to participate in annual competitions and seasonal expeditions looking to catch “the big one”. Your fishing experience may include deep-sea fishing, fly/bone fishing or reef/line fishing. Bonefish – the island’s number one game fish – is usually found in the flats off Deep Water Cay. Go on an expedition with experienced guides who can show you the best spots to get your catch of the day.
If there is a best-kept secret on Grand Bahama Island, it probably rests somewhere on a secluded beach, within the lush tangle of a mangrove swamp, or in the colorful folds of a coral reef. Most people who come to the island never realize that its natural attractions are its finest assets, an oversight resulting from the simple fact that few of them ever stray far from the resorts and nightlife of Freeport/Lucaya. They have no idea what they're missing.
To begin with, there are three national parks on Grand Bahama Island. Lucayan National Park, the star of the triad, is the only place in the Bahamas where visitors can see all six of the island's ecosystems – a collection of plants and wildlife that offers an unparalleled view into the complex interaction of native land and sea. Also within the park is one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems – a sprawling network of tunnels resulting from the island’s unique limestone geology. The Rand Nature Center, with its resident flamingo colony, and reef-enveloped Peterson Cay National Park are equally thrilling in their beauty. Both the Lucayan National Park and Rand Memorial Nature Center are easily accessible, but Peterson Cay can only be reached by boat.
Birdwatchers and plant lovers in particular will enjoy Grand Bahama: the island has 18 of the 28 species of birds endemic to The Islands of The Bahamas, including the striking Abaco parrot, and 52 species of orchids. The Hydroflora Gardens, a research center where plants are grown without soil, and the Parrot Jungle's Garden of the Groves, are excellent natural excursions right inside Freeport/Lucaya.
And then there is the sea. As part of one of the largest reef systems on Earth, the reefs of Grand Bahama Island are spectacular in both geographical scope and biological diversity. They are so numerous, in fact, that at one time people here made a living by merely salvaging the ships that wrecked on them. Among the island’s underwater treasures are the Hawksbill turtle, seahorses, dolphins, Caribbean reef sharks, and dozens of species of both coral and fish. Grand Bahama Island is filled with natural wonders that make it a fascinating place to explore, whether on land or sea. Don’t miss out on the natural attractions that are some of our finest assets and best kept secrets.
When it comes to dining on Grand Bahama Island, we offer an array of restaurants and culinary styles sure to deliciously satisfy your appetite. Treat your taste buds to an unforgettable dining experience at an upscale Continental restaurant, join the locals for a traditional Bahamian fish fry or mini crab fest, or even sit back at an Irish pub for authentic fare and a pint of Guinness. Whatever you’re craving, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find it here during your visit!
When visiting on of our many dining establishments, be sure to try “Gully Wash”, the Bahamian cocktail made with gin, fresh coconut water, and condensed milk. You can find this drink at almost any restaurant and bar on Grand Bahama Island.
Churchill's - Illuminated with stunning chandeliers, Churchill’s boasts an old-world charm which sets the tone for a wonderful fine dining experience. Steaks and fresh seafood dominate the menu. Enjoy succulent palate-pleasers such as braised lamb and grilled wild king salmon with grilled figs.
China beach - If ambiance and haute Asian cuisine is what you're looking for, China Beach offers the perfect blend. With its modern oriental décor and an open kitchen, this restaurant promises to be a memorable dining experience.
Cappucino's - A quaint, family-owned and operated authentic Italian eatery. Menu items are made from ingredients imported from Italy. This may be the closest thing to eating in Italy, besides actually eating in Italy!
Flying Fish - With unmatched service & attention to detail, Flying Fish offers a blend of traditional & modernist cuisine techniques not used anywhere else in the Bahamas. Focusing on local seafood & indigenous ingredients prepared with the utmost skill & creativity.
Luciano's - This swanky French-Continental restaurant displays a certain sophisticated ambiance filled with glamour and romance. In the soft glow of candle light, peruse a menu which whispers to you in French – with English subtitles – and experience the flavours of classic European cuisine. After a splendid meal, order flambéed crêpes Suzette for two.
Giovanni's - A quaint family-owned and operated restaurant specializing in Italian, as well as Bahamian dishes. Located in Port Lucaya Marketplace.
Breeze Cafe - A perfect breakfast spot in the heart of the Port Lucaya Marketplace, they also serve up sandwiches, Austrian specialties (an interesting find in the Bahamas), and classic Bahamian dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The above are just a selection of the many restaurants in Freeport.
Lucayan National Park has great historical and cultural significance. The Lucayan Caverns—over six miles of caves, caverns and charted tunnels—is one of the longest underwater cave systems in the world! Part of the protected park is Gold Rock Beach, which supports Grand Bahama's mangrove ecosystem and features a spectacular variety of tropical vegetation.
The UNEXSO Dive Center is located in Port Lucaya area, within walking distance of Pelican Bay at Lucaya. UNEXSO provides a variety of activities for both experienced and non-experienced SCUBA divers, as well as various "swim with the dolphins" experiences. Some activities require a one-day advanced registration.
The Garden of the Groves features exotic and native vegetation, ponds and waterfalls as well as birds and butterflies. High up on the hill is a replica of Freeport's first chapel which Mr. Wallace Groves, the founder of Freeport, built in the Pineridge lumber camp. Take a meditative walk on the only Labyrinth in the Bahamas and shop for authentic Bahamian merchandise in the quaint shopping village. Here you will find books, Androsia fabrics, coconut jewelry, an art gallery and much more
A Grand Bahama institution, the Smith’s Point fish fry is an event not to be missed. Enjoy a traditional cookout with fried snapper, lobster, potato bread, conch salad and many more Bahamian dishes. Experience a delicious meal and make new friends as you sip rum punch to the traditional sounds of Bahamian music.
Grand Bahama Island is a golfer’s paradise! Golf enthusiasts of all levels will enjoy incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean in a tropical setting, and feel challenged by the 18 and 9-hole courses available on the island.
Grand Bahama Island has warm weather year-round and averages seven hours of completely sunny skies per day. Rain rarely lasts very long, so there’s no reason to limit playing on the island. Plan your next game of golf on Grand Bahama Island. Championship fairways and greens await.
18-hole Reef Course became part of Grand Bahama Island’s landscape in December 2000. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in a contemporary links style, a strong short game goes a long way on this breathtaking course.
The wide fairways may be a little forgiving but the huge bunkers that protect the greens are not. And the large, level greens may please the eye but their speed will harm your scorecard. Add that with an unpredictable ocean wind and you have yourself a formidable opponent. To top things off Jones brought water into play on 13 of 18 holes.
The Lucaya Course is far more a resort-styled course in comparison to the links-styled Reef Course. While challenging in its own way, the Lucaya Course - designed by Dick Wilson - brings an American resort golf feel and is a perfect play for golfers of all levels. Brilliant scenery of the islands will be a constant companion through your round at this well-maintained run that promises to delight golf fans from around the globe.
challenging Fortune Hills 9-hole golf course has the longest par 5 in The Bahamas (530 yards) and has a friendly Club House Bar where you will feel right at home after the game. This 36-par, 3,458 yard course is designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee and gives golfers welcoming greens, brilliant scenery, and stern challenges, especially on the No. 3 hole.
A truly exceptional way to experience the natural beauty of Grand Bahama is by kayak, a mode of transportation ideally suited for exploring the many mangrove swamps and creeks of the island’s north shore. Kayaking is easy and fun – everything you need to learn can be taught in 5 minutes or less.
Kayak through the quiet waters of Gold Rock Creek, where the water is never more than waist deep. The creek is a pristine mangrove environment and a habitat for bird and marine life.
Grand Bahama Island’s reputation as a diver’s paradise has been growing ever since the earliest episodes of Sea Hunt were filmed here in the late 1950s.
When you dive deep into the crystal clear waters of Grand Bahama, you’ll find detailed coral gardens, playful dolphins and inviting blue spaces. There is so much to discover beyond the beach! Oddly enough, many people barely enter this magical world. Instead, they seem to prefer other land-based adventures like relaxing in a chair by the pool and catching some rays or trying their luck at the casino, or. Trust us—if you go out on a dive boat, you’ll be completely captivated by everything you see in this amazing underwater world.
Snorkeling in Grand Bahama gives you the opportunity to see amazing coral reefs and to feed reef fish out of the palm of your hand. You may also see dolphins, rays, starfish, turtles, and everything else the coral reef has to offer.
Though most of the best snorkeling spots in Grand Bahama are located offshore, there are a few choice spots that can be accessed directly from the beach, including Paradise Cove at Deadman's Reef on the southwestern tip of the island. It can be reached by driving about 15 minutes along Queen's Highway from the center of Freeport. There's a small beach resort there that rents snorkel equipment and flotation devices, with a cafe and snack shop. Stay over after snorkeling for a sunset bonfire on the beach, food and games.
Paradise Cove’s unique eco systems offer some of the best snorkeling in the Bahamas. In addition to a natural coral reef that is home to hundreds of species of fish, the location also has the largest contiguous man made reef in The Bahamas.
If you’re a tennis enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that getting court time is never a problem on the three asphalt courts in Shoreline and no shortage of neighbors happy to challenge you at all levels.
When it comes to tennis, Grand Bahama Island is unique. No other place in the world offers the tennis enthusiast a chance to experience playing like the pros, on all four different court surfaces in one day: the hard court featuring Decoturf which is the same surface used at the US Open; the Rebound Ace court, which is just like the playing surface in Melbourne; the perfectly manicured English grass court featured in Wimbledon; and the French red brick clay court imported from Paris.
Be adventurous at sea! There’s nothing quite like skimming the turquoise waters of Grand Bahama Island at high speeds on a jet-ski while surrounded by spectacular scenery. Most resorts and hotels offer jet-ski rentals and tours, as well as water-skiing and banana boat rentals if you’re looking for even more excitement on the water.
But if you’re in search of something a little slower paced, then we have just the answer! Hop on a paddleboard and explore the shorelines of Grand Bahama’s beautiful beaches. In addition, independent tour operators are often located along the beach offering a myriad of water sports for you to try.
Not only is parasailing a thrilling experience, it’s probably the best way to get an unobstructed view of Grand Bahama Island. If you’ve never parasailed before, you are in for a most memorable experience. After you are attached to a harness and parachute, a speed-boat offshore pulls you 400 feet into the air for a spin. Truly exhilarating! The views will be so breathtaking; you’ll forget how high in the air you actually are. Parasailing concessions are located on both Xanadu and Lucaya beaches.
If you’ve got a good sense of balance, you will surely find windsurfing to be one of the most relaxing and stimulating watersports around. Just about every major resort, hotel and beach has windsurfers for rent, as well as professional instructors for beginners.
Some of the world’s most beautiful stretches of sea surround Grand Bahama Island. That’s why many visitors choose to arrive the old fashioned way: by sailing into port. There are several marinas and ports of entry, so if you plan to arrive via boat, please make sure to check out our Getting Here page for more information.
Every June the annual Grand Bahama Sailing Regatta is held, attracting a large number of visitors to the island and Taino Beach where the event takes place. It’s an event not to be missed, especially for all boating enthusiasts.
If you enjoy the view from the water but prefer to sit back and relax, there are plenty of sightseeing and sailing tours available. Some tours feature fine dining, beach parties and magnificent sunset views.
Horseback riding is one of Grand Bahama’s most fascinating eco experiences. For a uniquely romantic or adventurous experience, ride our “sea horses”! Let these beautiful animals gallop their way into your heart while giving you the ride of a lifetime.
There is a fun-filled and informative 2 hour guided tour which starts at the highest point on Grand Bahama Island. The bridle path winds its way through the islands’ endangered pine forest and around a picturesque Coopers Castle. Under the dense canopy of the hardwoods and along the edge of the swash, the trail leads to a secluded beach on the south shore. These experienced island-born horses turn to the west along the white sand and plunge into the turquoise sea. Dress appropriately because you will get wet!
Bring the fantasy of horseback riding on the beach to life. Enjoy romance, adventure, and stunning views as you gallop and trot along the sparkling shoreline.
The Regency Theatre presents a collection of original and classic dramas, musicals, comedies and many other types of live performances, staged by the Freeport Players Guild. This Bahamian performing arts center can entertain a crowd of up to 500 people. Join the Freeport Players Guild for a night of great theatrical performances! View upcoming events: www.regencytheatregbi.com
The 5 screen GALLERIA 5 in Mall Drive, Freeport opened its doors in 2000 and always has the very latest films available with several showings 7 days per week.
There's much more to the Bahamas than meets the eye. Feel like doing some exploring? You're in luck — the Bahamas are one of the world's premier island-hopping destinations. There are many to choose from, they all have something different (and spectacular) to offer. With 35 inhabited islands and 50 airports all the islands of the Bahamas are easily accessible whether by boat or plane, commercial or private. So many different islands and so much exploring to do.
just 55 miles from West Palm Beach, Grand Bahama is in a perfect location to make shopping trips to the USA. With Miami and Fort Lauderdale just a short hop away any island fever you might get can be quickly overcome.
After a 30 minute flight you can be experiencing the huge shopping malls, restaurants and night life on offer in the USA.
The Freeport Rugby Football Club, founded in 1965, is home to the 2008 Rugby Bahamas Cup champions and the GBFL Men's Soccer champions. It offers some of the best youth programs in The Bahamas, and the best amateur club facilities in the Caribbean. Features / Specs: Floodlit Rugby Pitch, Two practice pitches / one 5 a side pitch, Club House, Changing and Showering Facilities, Swimming Pool, Satellite TV offering the latest sporting matches, Kitchen and Dining area, Pool table, table tennis and dart board.
Flying over the Bahamas it’s easy to see why so many North American migrants call this place home during winter. Long strands of powdery beaches, sparkling warm, green waters, and dense tropical vegetation attract “snowbirds” of all kinds, both avian and human. Grand Bahama is a place shaped by the sun and the sea, where rolling dunes meet impenetrable coppices that protect a serene native long-leaf pine forest. With its postcard-perfect beaches and large tracts of unaltered native vegetation, it is an absolute paradise for birders, nature enthusiasts, and other tourists. It’s one of the best examples of a place where great birding mixes with more general tourist appeal, and one of the few places you might be able to sneak excellent birding into an otherwise “normal” vacation! A respect for nature is ingrained in the local population here, which leads to an appreciation of the developing ecotourism business on the island. Grand Bahama Island has a birding population of more than 200 species during migration including resident and Bahamian Specialty birds. The island has three national parks as well as a tropical Garden, a beautiful shoreline and vast mangrove wetlands. Birding sites are accessible by car and there are many good trails for walking.
If you’re looking for a pristine white-sand beach, bordered by gorgeous, crystal-clear, turquoise waters that stretch for miles, you’ve come to the right place. Grand Bahama Island’s sprawling, reef-protected shoreline and cays are filled with an array of picture-perfect beaches that will simply take your breath away.
There are generally two types of beaches on Grand Bahama Island: activity beaches and secluded beaches.
When you visit an activity beach, you’ll find plenty of fun and games to keep busy, including everything from snorkeling, waterskiing, windsurfing, diving, fishing, sailing and parasailing to beachfront dining, bars, Bahamian entertainment and more. Everything is at your fingertips! The best-known activity beaches on Grand Bahama are Lucaya Beach, Xanadu Beach and Taino Beach.
If you’re seeking solitude, set your sights on finding a secluded beach. Start with the southwest or southeast area of the island and follow the main highway in either direction. The most spectacular beach on the island is without a doubt Gold Rock Beach, part of the protected Lucayan National Park. The beach is often secluded at low-tide when it unveils its signature rippled sand, which the locals call their official “welcome mat”.
The Coral Beach Bar is actually called the Coral Reef Beach Bar & Grill. It's located beachfront with all seating out doors on the patio or at the meandering bar. Seasonal seafood is always on the menu. English Fish & Chips a house specialty.
Bishop's Resort,a.k.a. Bishop's Place, is the perfect spot for those who prefer a quiet and relaxing island vacation experience. It is located in the settlement of High Rock, East End, Grand Bahama. Bishop's Resort is owned by Ruben "Bishop" Roberts and features the Beach Club Restaurant and Bar,Hotel, and Beach Bar. It is located on a luxurious secluded beach and is ideal for fishing, snorkeling or any water related activity.
On the beach with two upper-side decks and sand throughout the premises is the Margarita Villa Sand Bar, a five minute walk down the beach from Shoreline or a 5 minute drive from Port Lucaya. Central Air conditioning, 3 flat-screen TV's and an extensive menu - Margarita Villa Sand Bar is the place to be.
Directly on Fortune Beach and a short walk from Shoreline, Banana Bay is a great place for lunch or daytime cocktails, whether you sit on the restaurant's shaded deck or on a lounger in the sand. As the tide rolls out the beach grows, creating a wonderful shallow lagoon and sand bar, perfect for wading and for frolicking kids. On windy days, you will have a front row seat to kite surfers in action. A few times a week, cruise ships drop off tourists en masse, so you can expect service to get a little slow...which will give you more time to enjoy your piña colada.
There are many more wonderful beach bars in Freeport including Billy Joe's, Tony Macaroni's, The Ritz, Junkanoo Bar, Pirates Adventure and more...
Gambling in The Bahamas means big-time excitement. Take some time away from the beach and indulge in Las Vegas-style gaming action in the heart of Grand Bahama Island at the Treasure Bay Casino. This 14,500 sq. ft. playing space features 200 slot machines and 25 gambling tables, and provides non-stop gambling fun. Try your luck at a variety of slot machines or try your hand at one of your favorite Table Games featuring Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Three Card Poker or Mini Baccarat. Win or lose, the casino on Grand Bahama Island adds up to an exciting evening.