Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island: The Hong Kong of the Americas

Where Nassau is a blend of the old and new, Freeport/Lucaya is a modernistic planned city, and is situated on the Island of Grand Bahama.

Grand Bahama Island is the second most popular tourist destination in the Bahamas. Here you will find long stretches of deserted clean-white beaches, inviting hotels, one major casino, night-time entertainment and world-class scuba diving facilities and land and sea sports.

Freeport is the resort center of the Island where much action can be found. On the eastern and western ends of the Island are serene and quaint settings and finding a hide-away spot is relatively easy. Shopping is also a feature as one can stroll through Port Lucaya Marketplace and discover duty-free treasures from around the world.

Like New Providence, the larger Grand Bahama boasts (more) miles of pearly white beaches, and luxurious hotels. Unlike Nassau, the less populated outskirts of Grand Bahama supply more serene and tranquil surroundings (read deserted beaches) popular amongst those who desire private hideaway spots reminiscent of the Family Islands. According to a census taken in 1990 stated that there are 40,898 persons living in Grand Bahama, of which 12% were non-Bahamians, and 88% were Bahamian.

For those into nature, Grand Bahama is also home to one of the oldest underwater cave systems in the world, situated at the Lucayan National Park. Whether your looking for modern luxury or want to get away from civilization, Grand Bahama offers the best of both worlds.

Recommended Grand Bahama Links

Air Cargo & Charters
GPS BahamasBars
Margarita Villa Sand BarConstruction
Waugh Construction
Car Rentals
K.S.R. Rent-A-Car Photography
Mark Da Cunha PhotographyRestaurants
Sabor
Margarita Villa Sand Bar
Sports
Freeport Rugby Football
YMCA Shelters – Animals
Bahamas Tennis
Gully Bowe Tennis CentOrphanage
GB Children’s Home

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Freeport: The Hong Kong of the Americas

Where Nassau is a blend of the old and new, Freeport/Lucaya is a modernistic planned city, and is situated on the the Bahamas’ second most popular tourist destination: the Island of Grand Bahama.

Grand Bahama Island is the second most popular tourist destination. Here you will find long stretches of deserted clean-white beaches, inviting hotels, one major casino, night-time entertainment and world-class scuba diving facilities and land and sea sports. Freeport is the resort center of the Island where much action can be found. On the eastern and western ends of the Island are serene and quaint settings and finding hide-away spots is not uncommon. Shopping is also a feature as one can stroll through Port Lucaya and discover duty-free treasures from around the world.

Like New Providence, the larger Grand Bahama boasts (more) miles of pearly white beaches, and luxurious hotels. Unlike Nassau, the less populated outskirts of Grand Bahama supply more serene and tranquil surroundings (read deserted beaches) popular amongst those who desire private hideaway spots reminiscent of the Family Islands. According to a census taken in 1990 stated that there are 40,898 persons living in Grand Bahama, of which 12% were non-Bahamians, and 88% were Bahamian.

For those into nature, Grand Bahama is also home to one of the oldest underwater cave systems in the world, situated at the Lucayan National Park. Whether your looking for modern luxury or want to get away from civilization, Grand Bahama offers the best of both worlds.

 

Grand Bahama Island is the second most popular tourist destination. Here you will find long stretches of deserted clean-white beaches, inviting hotels, one major casino, night-time entertainment and world-class scuba diving facilities and land and sea sports. Freeport is the resort center of the Island where much action can be found. On the eastern and western ends of the Island are serene and quaint settings and finding hide-away spots is not uncommon. Shopping is also a feature as one can stroll through Port Lucaya and discover duty-free treasures from around the world.
What To Do On Grand Bahama Island

Arts & Craft Market: Located across from the Our Lucaya Resort (Port Lucaya), the market offers a wide variety of what should be locally made (but often not) straw, arts, crafts and souvenir items.

Baseball & Softball: The Grand Bahama Softball Association has a full season of games.

Basketball: The Grand Bahama Basketball Association organizes a league amongst the local clubs and visiting teams from Nassau, culminating in selection of players for the National Squad in the Caribbean games and the Pan-American games.

Beaches: Crystal clear waters cuddle over 60 miles of pearly white beaches. The waves are usually absent thanks to an omnipresent barrier reef that surrounds the beaches.

Cinemas: There is one major movie center in Freeport.

Diving: This is the best place to do it, bar none.

Fishing: Marlin, tuna, sailfish are a plenty in the deep water near the island and on the reefs, grouper, snapper, yellowtail are waiting for you hook.  Charter fishing and rental boats are available at all the marinas.

Golf: The Island has four 18 hole championship courses.

Library: The Sir Charles Hayward Library situated in down town Freeport has an small collection of books and periodicals.

National Parks: There are 2 national parks on Grand Bahama Island: Petersons Cay which is 7 miles due east of Freeport is a small islet with an unspoiled reef and a small sand beach. The Lucayan National Park is 20 miles east of Freeport and features a wide variety of mini eco-systems complemented by with hammocks, caves, blue holes, a footbridge over a natural creek, a small cay and one of the best beaches on the island. The parks are maintained by the Bahamas National Trust.

Rugby: The Freeport Rugby Club has a clubhouse on Settler’s Way adjacent to the YMCA. They host matches between Nassau clubs, and clubs from the U.S and UK as well as hosting a Rugby festival each year for teams from Qatar, UK, California, Jamaica, and Canada.

Sailing & Boating: Ride the banana boat, para-sail, or a jet ski (or do all of the above!) at Superior Watersports. Excellent docking facilities with full service bait and tackle shops, gas docks are available at most marinas.

Shopping: Excellent selection of merchandise from all over the world at Port Lucaya with competitive prices on perfumes, jewelry, cameras, designer clothes as well as beautifully carved native art-work.  There are two supermarkets–Winn Dixie– in Downtown Freeport and another Winn Dixie on Sea Horse Road in Lucaya as well as food stores like Butler’s Specialty. There prices are somewhat expensive due to their monopolistic position, and the general cost of shipping food over by ship.

Snorkeling: Because of the excellent visibility of the waters (due to the fact that the soil in the Bahamas is not rich, there is nothing to color the water) snorkeling is a year round event–though in the winter the water is too cold for my tastes (though those Canadians don’t seem to mind). If you snorkel in the winter, I would suggest a wet suit.

Soccer: Soccer matches at the Grand Bahama Football League

Squash: Four courts are located at the Grand Bahama Tennis & Squash Club located behind Freeport High School.

Straw, Craft and Souvenir Markets: Straw work in the form of hats to placemats, and dolls can be easily found and bargained for.

Tennis: Tennis is growing by leaps and bounds. See BahamasTennis.com

Taxis: Taxi cabs are located at the Grand Bahama International Airport, at the Lucayan Harbour, and major hotel and tourist locations.

Theatre: The Regency Theater is home to the Freeport Players Guild which performs several plays a year. The Theater also occasionally features professional performers including opera, and ballet.

Water Sports: Water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, wind surfing and banana boat rides can be enjoyed off the Lucayan and other beaches.

YMCA: The YMCA is features several large playing fields, a gym, an indoor basketball court and 25 meter swimming pool.

Grand Bahama Island

Grand Bahama Island National Parks

There are 2 national parks on Grand Bahama Island:

(1) The 40 acre Lucayan National Park is 25 miles east of Freeport and features a wide variety of mini eco-systems complemented by with hammocks, pine forests, caves full of stalagmites, blue holes, a footbridge over a natural creek, a burial ground of the now extinct Lucayan Indians, a small cay and one of the best beaches on the island.

Grand Bahama Island is home to six ecosystems, all present at Lucayan National Park. As you stroll along the wooden boardwalk through the mangrove, you will encounter ferns, many species of native and migratory birds and dozens of rare flower species, including orchids.

Also a part of the park is one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems, accessible by both land and sea. Diving in the caves is allowed in certain areas.

(2) Petersons Cay which is 7 miles due east of Freeport is a small islet with an unspoiled reef (except by hurricane damage) and a small sandy beach — which is sometimes used for weddings.

The parks are maintained by the Bahamas National Trust.

Archeological Discoveries on Grand Bahama Island

Artifacts and bones have been found inside the caves at the Lucayan National Park and at the beachfront to Deadman’s Reef. Bones of Lucayan Indians were found in the Lucayan underwater cave system, which is believed to be from an ancient burial site. Artifacts found at the Deadman’s Reef included bones of animals, pieces of pottery, and beads from shells — estimated to be dated to 1200 A.D.

Boating on Grand Bahama Island

Fishing: Marlin, tuna, sailfish are a plenty in the deep water near the island and on the reefs, grouper, snapper, yellowtail are waiting for you hook.  Charter fishing and rental boats are available at all the marinas.

Sailing & Boating: Ride the banana boat, para-sail, or a jet ski (or do all of the above!) at Superior Watersports. Excellent docking facilities with full service bait and tackle shops, gas docks are available at most marinas.

 

Grand Bahama Beaches

Crystal clear waters cuddle over 60 miles of pearly white beaches. The waves are usually absent thanks to an omnipresent barrier reef that surrounds the beaches.

 

 

Grand Bahama Construction and Building Supplies
Construction
Waugh Construction

 

 

Grand Bahama Island Weddings

Requirements For Obtaining a Marriage License in The Bahamas

1. Both parties must be in The Commonwealth of the Bahamas at the time of the application.

2. Persons wishing to be married in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas may do so after one day. That is to say, if a person arrives in The Bahamas on Monday, they may come into the Registrar General Office on Tuesday, obtain a Marriage License (while waiting), and be married on the same day.

3. If either part has been divorced, the original final decree or a certified copy must be produced. If either party is widowed, being certified of the deceased spouse must be produced. If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a U.S. Consul at the American Embassy, Nassau, The Bahamas.

4. If either party is unmarried, being a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths in that country and must accompany the application for the marriage License.

5. The parties must produce some form of identification which has a photograph attached. The identification document must have been issued by a Government Office in the country where the parties reside.

6. The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Bahamas.

7. Persons desirous of being married in a family Islands (any Island outside of New Providence) can obtain a Marriage License at the Commissioners’ Office on that Island and need not come to Nassau.

8. No blood test is necessary.

9. The fee for the license is $100.00.

 

Bahamas Wedding Photographer

Mark Da Cunha Photography
Bahamas Wedding Photographer

 

Orphanges and Shelters on Grand Bahama

The Grand Bahama Children’s Home was formed to help care for children who needed to be removed from their families for reasons of abandonment, abuse or neglect. The Grand Bahama Children’s Home was opened in 1980. The home cares for up to forty (40) children ages 0 to 12 years. Funding The home is jointly funded by the Bahamas government, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited and the Grand Bahama Community.

Related Websites: Grand Bahama Children’s Home

 

Animal Shelters

Grand Bahama Humane Society
The Humane Society of Grand Bahama will provide this animal with vet care, food, and shelter. Contributions are vital to the very survival of the Humane Society. Our shelter is in fear of closing due to lack of funds. Should you find it in your heart to help these animals, please make a donation to our shelter. No donation is too small. Our four legged friends will thank you!!

Taking Car Of Your Pet

These simple tips will help you and your pet enjoy each other’s company for many years to come. If you ever have questions, contact the Grand Bahama Humane Society. Their talented staff stand ready to help you best care for your pet.

  • Spay/Neuter your pet
  • Give your pet it’s monthly heartworm medication
  • Treat your animals for fleas and ticks and make sure your animals are given monthly medication to prevent flea and tick infestation
  • Animals must be trained with positive reinforcement – never by cruel or harsh methods
  • Always make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and shade in the garden.
  • Never leave your pet tied in the sun
  • Never tie your pet to a short rope
  • Never leave your pet in a car with the windows closed. In a matter of minutes a closed car becomes an inferno.
  • Take your pet for its annual check up and vaccinations
  • Animals require dental care, especially as they age. Untreated conditions may lead to infections, even to permanent damage of the heart and liver.
  • Make certain your children are kind to animals. Respect for animals should be stressed from an early age.
  • Make sure your yard is properly fenced in to prevent pets from escaping and getting lost or injured.
  • Abandoning a pet is an act of extreme cruelty. If you can no longer care for a pet be sure to surrender it to a Humane Society.
  • Never give animals as presents at Christmas or any other occasion. Too many of them end up being abandoned by owners who cant care for them or quickly lose interest in them.
  • Animal abuse ranging from acts of cruelty to neglect must never, at any time be tolerated any more than child abuse. Report all cases to the Humane Society or the police.
  • Make sure you have plans to deal with your pets if a hurricane strikes. Never leave them tied up outside.

 

 

Sports
Olympic Gym
Freeport Rugby Football
YMCA

Watersports
Superior Water sports

Baseball & Softball: The Grand Bahama Softball Association has a full season of games.

Basketball: The Grand Bahama Basketball Association organizes a league amongst the local clubs and visiting teams from Nassau, culminating in selection of players for the National Squad in the Caribbean games and the Pan-American games.

Diving: This is the best place to do it, bar none.

Fishing: Marlin, tuna, sailfish are a plenty in the deep water near the island and on the reefs, grouper, snapper, yellowtail are waiting for you hook.  Charter fishing and rental boats are available at all the marinas.

Golf: The Island has three 18 hole championship courses.

Rugby: The Freeport Rugby Club has a clubhouse on Settler’s Way adjacent to the YMCA. They host matches between Nassau clubs, and clubs from the U.S and UK as well as hosting a Rugby festival each year for teams from Qatar, UK, California, Jamaica, and Canada.

Sailing & Boating: Ride the banana boat, para-sail, or a jet ski (or do all of the above!) at Superior Watersports. Excellent docking facilities with full service bait and tackle shops, gas docks are available at most marinas.

Snorkeling: Because of the excellent visibility of the waters (due to the fact that the soil in the Bahamas is not rich, there is nothing to color the water) snorkeling is a year round event–though in the winter the water is too cold for my tastes (though those Canadians don’t seem to mind). If you snorkel in the winter, I would suggest a wet suit.

Soccer: Soccer matches at the Grand Bahama Football League

Squash: Four courts are located at the Grand Bahama Tennis & Squash Club located behind Freeport High School.

Tennis: Tennis is growing by leaps and bounds. See BahamasTennis.com

Gully Bowe Tennis Center
Williams Tennis

Water Sports: Water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, wind surfing and banana boat rides can be enjoyed off the Lucayan and other beaches.

YMCA: The YMCA is features several large playing fields, a gym, an indoor basketball court and 25 meter swimming pool.

 

History of Grand Bahama Island

The Spanish gave the island the name “Gran Bajamar” — or great shallows.

Since the American Civil War the economy of Grand Bahama has been tied to the United States of America — during the Civil War Grand Bahama was a source of smuggled goods needed by the South; during prohibition it was alcohol; today, Bahamians import the bulk of their goods through the United States paid for by the money derived primarily from tourism (our “export”) — and smuggling still goes on through the illegal — in both the U.S. and Bahamas — drug trade.

Modern Grand Bahama Island is driven primarily by the vision of an American businessman Wallace Groves. Where others saw a mass of pine trees, Groves saw an international tourist destination for Americans, much like Cuba.

During the early 1950s American investor, Wallace Groves, and British financier, Sir Charles Hayward pioneered development on Grand Bahama Island. Their vision for development led to negotiations with the Government of The Bahamas and the signing of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. The Agreement, executed on August 4th, 1955, created, the ‘Port Area’, and gave birth to the City of Freeport — wherein the government granted 50,000 acres of land to The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA).

The agreement required the dredging of a deep-water harbour at Hawksbill Creek in the western sector of the Port Area. It also granted to GBPA responsibility for the provision, management, and administration of all infrastructure, municipal and community services, and for development of 50,000 acres of crown grant land which was later extended to 138,000 acres. This, together with an additional 12,000 acres purchased by the GBPA from other parties, forms the 160,000 acre ‘Port Area’.

The agreement also conveyed to the area the legacy of a “free port” with substantial tax concessions for financial, commercial and industrial enterprises (extended until 2054).

 

Grand Bahama Island Restaurants

 

 

 

K.S.R. Rent-A-Car “Komfortable, Safe & Reliable ” Bahamas Car Rental
Now with a new airport location! Located Only Minutes From the Freeport Harbor Facilities Fast, Friendly and Personalized Service Free Pick-Up & Drop Off (some restrictions apply) Unlimited Mileage on all car rentals! All Vehicles Air-Conditioned

 

 

Mark Da Cunha Photography
Bahamas Wedding Photographer, Events, Sports, Portraits and more…

 

 

Air Cargo/Charters
GPS Bahamas

 

Grand Bahama Airport Company

Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA) is a privately owned joint venture between Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) and The Port Group (The Grand Bahama Port Authority). This facility also includes an additional 741 acres of land adjoining the Airport and Harbour into one operating entity, known as the Sea Air Business Center(S/ABC).

The Airport has an 11,000-ft. runway capable of handling the largest aircraft in service and is within easy reach of all major U.S. destinations. Major upgrading and expansion to the facility were completed by March 2004, enhancing the position as a world class airport. The airport operates a 24 hours service daily.

Among the features available at the Grand Bahama International Airport are:

  • Full 24 Hours Weather Service
  • ILS (Instrument Landing System)
  • VOR System
  • PAPI (Position Approach Path Indicator) system
  • Distance Remaining Markers
  • Category seven (7) Fire Fighting Facilities
  • General Aviation services, including fuelling
  • Special Cargo/Freight handling area
  • US Pre-Clearance Facility