Named one of the Best Caribbean Destinations in Trip Advisor's Inaugural Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards, Grand Bahama Island and the city of Freeport, is a Caribbean gem situated just 70 miles from Florida. A backdrop of turquoise blue waters lap gently on the pearly-white sand beaches, creating a Caribbean paradise perfect for all travelers. Unlike its more-traveled sister, New Providence, Grand Bahama Island is home to miles of deserted beaches, the ideal spot for a private Caribbean getaway. Home to secluded coves and unspoiled bays, Grand Bahama Island creates the perfect retreat, where time rolls along slowly as the warm tide gently caresses the soft sand beaches.Package includes:
- Choice of accommodations
- Roundtrip transfers between airport and hotel
- Hotel taxes and service charges
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
A destination for everyone, Grand Bahama Island provides travelers with undisturbed fine-sand beaches, palm trees swaying in the soothing ocean breeze, and enough private beaches, resorts, and activities to satisfy the most daring, as well as the most relaxed travelers.
Grand Bahama Island's elegantly fine beaches, combined with perfect, gentle weather all year round make this island a paradise for those who love to lie on the soft sand, bask in the sunshine, and frolic in the amazing, aquamarine Caribbean waters.
Observe a different, but sublimely beautiful world underneath the shimmering sea, from a kaleidoscope of marine life, including unique coral formations, astonishing fish, octopus, and sea horses, to twisted shipwrecks, and plunging ocean depths.
What's the climate like?
Water temperatures in the Bahamas seldom dip below 72 degrees.
How do I get around town?
Transfers from the airport to your hotel are included with your air and hotel package.
The government sets the taxi rates and cabs are not metered. Make sure to agree on a price in advance. Typical fares are $3 for the first quarter-mile, and 40¢ each additional mile. Additional passengers are typically $3 each. The ride from the airport to Freeport or Lucaya should take about 10 minutes.
Bike or Scooter
Bikes and scooters are a great way to get around the island, as most of the roadways are nicely paved. A bike is also an ideal way to see parts of the island that most visitors miss.
A rental car is the best way to see all the island has to offer, from the metropolitan, commercial areas of Lucaya and Freeport, to the secluded outskirts of the island. Grand Bahama Island is long and skinny, 73 miles in length and only about 4 – 8 miles in width. It is important to note that drivers drive on the left on Grand Bahama Island, though traffic is usually light.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Several of the hotels in Grand Bahama Island feature their own restaurants, serving up a variety of cuisine from typical American dishes to Greek and local favorites. Venture outside the hotel areas to find more authentic Bahamian dishes. Most of the restaurants in the Freeport area are smaller and more intimate, whereas the dining spots in Lucaya are more upscale and cater mostly to the tourist populations.
Luciano's overlooks beautiful Port Lucaya, and has featured a menu with classical entrees of Europe and favorite Island dishes for more than 25 years.
With its innovative fusion menu and Latin beat, Sabor is one of the hottest restaurants in the Bahamas.
- Shenanigan's Irish Pub
The premier Irish pub on Grand Bahama, Shenanigan's serves up pints of Guinness, Harp, and Killians along with International cuisine.
- Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar (Le Med)
A simpler and cheaper alternative to Luciano's, this place serves surprisingly sophisticated food that has attracted many celebrities over the years.
Serving up Bahamian food and seafood dishes, this restaurant is where the locals eat, and is one of the best places to sample conch, prepared the way you like it.
- Ferry House
Facing the ocean and designed to look like the inside of a ferryboat, with brown, wood-trimmed walls, this dining hotspot serves the island's most illustrious and upscale cuisine.
There is only one casino on Grand Bahama Island, the Isle of Capri, located in Our Lucaya Resort. At the center of Port Lucaya Marketplace, the beat of live bands or pumping discos can be heard, while smaller, more intimate hotspots can be found outside of Lucaya.
Where should I go shopping?
Shopping destinations in Grand Bahama Island are divided into 2 camps, the newer and more chic, tourist-oriented Port Lucaya Marketplace, and the older and more authentic International Bazaar in Freeport. The Port Lucaya Marketplace features several high-end boutiques as well as local merchant outlets along a spankingly well-kept complex. When the cruise ships are in port, the International Bazaar comes alive as a market square area featuring several unique shops with goods from some 25 countries, laid out along narrow, cobblestone alleyways.
When are the local events?
New Year's Day Junkanoo Celebration
January. This is a celebration honoring the African roots of the Bahamian culture. The New Year's Day Junkanoo celebration combines costumed participants, a parade, dancing in the street, and lots of music. You will see participants wearing intricate masks and dressed in brightly colored exotic costumes. Since this event celebrates the New Year, be prepared for wild fun and excitement.
Grand Bahama Sailing Regatta
June. During the last week of June every year, Grand Bahama Island hosts the Bahamas Regatta. Spectators from across the Caribbean come to view the traditional Bahamian vessels. A host of parades and festivals accompany the regatta.
August. This public holiday celebrates the 1834 emancipation of all slaves on the island and is sometimes referred to as August Monday. Taking place on the first Monday in August, the day starts off with an early morning "Junkanoo Rushout," a dance accompanied by drums, whistles, and bells. Following is an afternoon of music and cookouts and other cultural events, including "climbing the greasy pole."
Crab Fests and Fish Fries
December. This is one of the most-awaited annual festivals on the islands. The event includes live music; wine tasting, and a host of other activities. Check out the food stalls selling delicious Bahamian cuisine. Shop for trinkets, beads, and other special artifacts to show off back home.
Various. Get together with the local Bahamians to savor some of the scrumptious staples, caught fresh in the waters around the island daily. These mouth-watering get-togethers are a good way to eat like the locals do, and to enjoy some good conversations. Check local listings or resorts for times and locations.
What are my sports and recreation options?
Grand Bahama Island has seen a resurgence in golf in recent years, thanks to improvements to the island's courses. Professionally designed and inspired courses keep linkster's challenged while chipping shots along the island's beautiful courses.
Grand Bahama Island is ideal for snorkeling, with distinctive coral and reef formations around the island, and generally shallow, clear, aquamarine waters. Plus, you can snorkel right from the shore at most beaches along the island, where a window into the underwater world awaits, just a few feet away.
The invitingly warm water around the island is the perfect place to take part in watersports, including: snorkeling, parasailing, Hobie Cats, banana boats, water-skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and more.
Lucayan National Park
This 40-acre park is home to several awe-inspiring natural wonders. One of the world's largest underground freshwater cave system snakes its way underneath the park. Here 2 of the massive cave systems where pre-Columbian natives buried their dead are waiting to be explored.
Private sand beaches
Heading east from Port Lucaya and Taíno there is an array of secluded white-sand beaches to discover. These beaches are the perfect spots to get away from the tourist-heavy beaches along main hotel zone. However, most of these beaches do not have facilities, so come prepared if you decide to venture there.
When searching for souvenir bargains at shopping areas like the International Bazaar and the Port Lucaya Marketplace, never accept the first price given to you. Shop owners will definitely bargain with you and you may find a better deal on the same item at another shop around the corner.
Good to Know
|Freeport International Airport
||December - May
||May - November
||Bahamian Dollar, but U.S. currency is accepted everywhere; bring small bills if you are going to barter at the International Bazaar, Port Lucaya Marketplace, or other shopping areas.
||English, with an Irish/British/Scottish, and/or African lilt
||Eastern Time Zone, 1 hour ahead of the Central Time Zone
|Proof of Citizenship:
||Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
||All food, whether self serve or served at the table will have an automatic 15 percent gratuity added to the bill. There are rare exceptions to this, so check your bill carefully before paying. However, visitors are free to tip above this percentage at their own discretion.
||Casual, lightweight clothing is accepted and suggested for most events, however, swimwear is only appropriate at the beach. If going out at night, men should wear long pants and a collared shirt; women should wear long pants or dresses. January and early February can be a bit chilly, especially once the sun sets. Be sure to bring a sweater or a jacket.