In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage across the island. Many places closed for rebuilding. Frommer's recommends that vacationers check in advance with all businesses before traveling.
Fabulous beaches, unspoiled beauty and warm waters continue to make Grand Bahama Island, just 50 miles east of Florida, a year-round destination. Of its two main urban centers, Freeport is a stimulating mix of restaurants, shops and nightlife, while Lucaya, called the "Garden City," pleases with its restaurants, fine beaches and marketplace shops. The rest of the island is filled with long stretches of beach, broken by inlets and fishing villages. Away from the beach Rand Nature Centre, its national park, invites peaceful strolls along paths of casuarina, palmetto and pine trees.
Things to Do
Grand Bahama has enough shoreline space for everyone, and you'll find plenty of spots in the sand to sun at Xanadu Beach and Lucaya Beach. If you want to get away from it all, Fortune Beach is a gem of secluded white sand. Get in the water to commune with dolphins on a dolphin dive at the Underwater Explorer Society. For a more fragrant and surprising experience, immerse yourself in the invigorating scent of pine trees as you wander through Lucayan National Park, with its underwater caves, forest trails and quiet beach.
The brightly-painted huts at Port Lucaya Marketplace, along the waterfront, are filled with handicrafts and souvenirs. At Freeport's International Bazaar, you can fill your shopping bag full of duty-free cameras, perfumes and clothing. A straw market next door to the International Bazaar contains items with that special Bahamian touch -- brightly hued baskets, hats, handbags, placemats and an endless array of T-shirts.
Nightlife & Entertainment
Lively restaurants and bars keep things hopping at Port Lucaya, while DJs keep the dance floors rocking in the clubs around the International Bazaar in Freeport. Spin the slot machines at the Isle of Capri casino at Our Lucaya Beach Resort. For the island's best live music, check out what's playing at Count Basie Square in the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
Restaurants & Dining
Bahamian cuisine dominates the dining rooms in Grand Bahama, but you can also expect everything from steak and kidney pie (from the days of British colonial rule) in the backstreets of Freeport to creative Italian and Pacific Rim fare at the resort restaurants. Along Taíno Beach and at Lucaya, beach shacks serve up sumptuous specialties such as conch, grouper, Bahamian lobster and conch salad, the Bahamian favorite. A traditional dish to try is meat souse (boiled mutton), accompanied with fried plantain, macaroni pie or peas 'n' rice.