White yacht passing by the houses on the shore of Grand Bahama Island

Things to do in  Grand Bahama Island

Swimming pigs, anyone?

Welcome to Grand Bahama Island—a destination that truly lives up to its name. The northernmost island of the Bahamas archipelago has turquoise waters, sugar-white sands, and lush landscapes. Immerse yourself in Bahamian culture at the bustling Port Lucaya Marketplace, then visit the mysterious Lucayan National Park, where ancient caves whisper tales of the Arawak. From thrilling water sports to serene nature encounters, you’ll never run out of things to do on Grand Bahama Island. And if you do end up needing a break, the island is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing spa day (or three).

Top 11 attractions in Grand Bahama Island

Port Lucaya Marketplace

A commercial hub spread across 9.5 acres (3.8 hectares), the Port Lucaya Marketplace is one of Freeport’s most popular attractions. After browsing dozens of handicraft vendors and specialty stores, unwind at one of the restaurants or bars, then head to Count Basie Square—the heart of the market—for live Bahamian music.More

Deadman's Reef (Paradise Cove)

Just off Paradise Cove on Grand Bahama’s southwest coast, Deadman’s Reef is one of the area’s top snorkeling spots. The shallow waters are teeming with coral, colorful reef fish, turtles, rays, and more, and are ideal for all levels.More

Lucayan National Park

The 40-acre (16-hectare) Lucayan National Park is home to some of the most spectacular secluded beaches in all of The Bahamas, as well as one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. Nature trails and boardwalks lead through mangrove, pine, and palm forests, home to a wealth of animals and vegetation.More

Garden of the Groves

This 12-acre (5-hectare) park was dedicated in 1973 to the Groves who founded Freeport. Walk the idyllic botanical garden to take in the lush plant life, native animals (including macaws, alligators, and iguanas), and, of course, snap plenty of Edenic photos.More

Bahamian Brewery

There’s just something about being on tropical islands that calls for an ice cold beverage, and Bahamian Brewery is where to find them when visiting Grand Bahama. Opened in Freeport in 2007, this wildly popular craft brewery has rapidly grown to become synonymous with sipping beer in the Bahamas. Their flagship drink, Sands, is ubiquitous throughout the island chain to the point where many would unofficially call it the national beer.While taking a tour through the Bahamian Brewery, hear the backstory of how it was founded and why small details, like the glass used for bottling, all add up to create tropical beers that are lauded throughout the islands. When touring the nearly 20-acre grounds, you’ll witness the 25 different steps that go into making the beer, and hear how the company is committed to sustainability and supporting the local community. At the end of the tour, belly up to the tasting room bar to sample the eight beers on tap, from the rich, bold, Strong Back Stout, to the grapefruit flavored Radler.More

Peterson Cay National Park

Located off the south shore of Grand Bahama, Peterson Cay island is home to the smallest national park in the Bahamas, which covers only 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares). Though compact, the cay is home to one of the most beautiful reefs in the Bahamas, offer abundant snorkeling and diving opportunities.More
Freeport Cruise Port

Freeport Cruise Port

Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Cruise Port at Lucayan Harbour is a popular and convenient jumping-off point for cruisers to experience the Bahamas’ famous white-sand beaches and water sports. In contrast with the other Bahamian cruise port in the capital city of Nassau on New Providence Island, this laid-back launch pad for Caribbean fun is less about the bustle and more about the beach break.More
Cooper's Castle

Cooper's Castle

Visit the lavish home of Bahamian entrepreneur Havard Cooper, who went from penniless to self-proclaimed prince of Grand Bahama by bringing fast food franchises to the island. Cooper built the now famous Cooper's Castle in the 1980s, its blue-and-white exterior like something from a children’s book, and today it dominates the southern skyline, perched atop the island’s highest point. The castle sits on 46 acres and the grounds include an orange grove and a mausoleum where Cooper’s wife is interred.More
Freeport Perfume Factory

Freeport Perfume Factory

Find a unique tropical scent or blend your own at Freeport's Perfume Factory. Located in a replica of a Bahamian mansion, the Perfume Factory offer a free, short tour that shows how they blend and bottle their fragrances, and then offers guests the chance to try their hands at perfume making. They offer myriad professionally blended fragrances for sale with tropical themed names like Bahama Mama and Conch Salad, as well as a variety of other products like body lotions and aftershaves.More
Port Lucaya Marina

Port Lucaya Marina

Lucaya Harbor serves as the official point of entry for Grand Bahama Island. This modern coastal suburb of Freeport appeals with its walkable collection of shops and restaurants, many centered on the open-air Port Lucaya Marketplace, which regularly features live music in Count Basie Square.More
Rand Nature Centre

Rand Nature Centre

The Rand Nature Center sits on 100 acres (40 hectares) of beautifully preserved land—home to hundreds of bird species, including a large number of wintering northern songbirds. In addition to the plentiful birds, the center has an extensive network of trails winding past pine barrens, coppices, wildlife ponds, and a native plant arboretum.More
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All about Grand Bahama Island

When to visit

High season in the Bahamas is mid-November to mid-April—travel within that window, and you’ll have your best shot at reliably sunny days and fully operational businesses. Outside of that window, you’ll still get that tropical weather, but certain businesses may be closed and you run the risk of hurricanes. To experience fewer crowds, lower prices, and reliable weather, look at late October to early November and late April into May.

Getting around

If you’re fine basing out of your centrally located accommodations, it's possible to explore Grand Bahama on foot, via taxi (likely waiting outside your hotel), or on a zippy scooter (many hotels rent them to guests). If you want to explore all the things to do on Grand Bahama Island and its natural areas at large, you’ll probably want a rental car. Just keep in mind that you’ll be driving on the left.

Traveler tips

Don’t miss Paradise Cove, a rare native-owned resort and beach on the island’s west side. It has the country’s longest man-made reef, aka Deadman’s Reef, where the snorkeling is right off-beach and superb. There are just a few villas, plus a walk-up bar and restaurant where you can drink, dine, and rent snorkeling and kayaking gear. Focusing on quiet sports, this spot is all about sustainability.


People Also Ask

What is Grand Bahama Island known for?

Just some 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Florida—and easily accessible via high-speed ferry—Grand Bahama is known for its tropical nature, beautiful scenery, and plentiful activities. Tourism is the island’s largest economy, and visitors tend to hit up spots like Taino Beach and Paradise Cove for white-sand beaches, snorkeling, diving, and more.

What activities do people in the Bahamas do?

Water sports are incredibly popular in the Bahamas, across all the islands. Locals and tourists alike tend to spend a lot of time on or near the water—whether that means swimming, kayaking, fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddleboarding, or something else entirely. The culture is heavily influenced by all things water.

What country owns Grand Bahama Island?

The Bahamas—including Grand Bahama—is a sovereign, independent nation. A British colony for 300-plus years until 1973, the country is a fully self-governing member of the Commonwealth and a member of the United Nations. All in all, the Caribbean country comprises nearly 700 coral islands, with Grand Bahama being the third-largest.

How many days do you need to see Grand Bahama Island?

That depends on what you’re looking to do. Many visitors will stay a week just to relax and recharge on the island’s beaches. Otherwise, three days is a good amount of time to explore all the things to do on Grand Bahama Island, from Paradise Cove to Lucayan National Park, Garden of the Groves, and more.

What is the difference between Bahamas and Grand Bahamas?

The Bahamas is an independent country made up of roughly 700 islands. Grand Bahama is the third-largest island of those 700. So, the Bahamas is both a country and a massive island chain in the Caribbean. Grand Bahama is a singular island, roughly the size of Houston, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Florida.

Is Grand Bahama Island worth visiting?

Yes. Grand Bahama—the third-largest island in the Bahamas—offers a slower, more idyllic pace of life than its counterpart New Providence Island, where you’ll find bustling Nassau. (If you can, experience both islands to take in the contrasts.) Grand Bahama also offers white-sand beaches, three national parks, fantastic snorkeling and diving, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions
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