Things to Do in Grand Bahama Island
Discover the natural beauty and the wildlife of the Bahamas at the Garden of the Groves, an idyllic botanical garden filled with lush plant life, native animal life, and plenty of photo opportunities.
The 12-acre park was dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Groves, the founders of Freeport, in 1973, and since that time, it has been transformed into the eden of the Bahamas: with over ten thousands plants and hundreds of birds and other animals, the Garden is the perfect place to take a stroll.
In addition to the exotic macaws, alligators, and iguanas that live on the grounds, there is a wonderful petting zoo that allows children to interact with the pot-bellied pigs and pygmy goats of the Garden. There is also a wonderful playground for the younger visitors.
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 his 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.
Paradise Cove is a beach resort in the Bahamas that has close proximity to a popular snorkeling spot: Deadman’s Reef. Deadman’s Reef is accessible by swimming out to it from the shore of Paradise Cove and its shallow nature means it is ideal for all levels of snorkelers. Though on the smaller side, the reef is teeming with sea life. You’ll see many different colors and sizes of fish, plus there’s a good chance you’ll even see stingrays and sea turtles. If you’d like to take a break while snorkeling, there are floating rafts available by the reef so you don’t have to swim all the way back to shore. After you’re done snorkeling, you can go for a walk along the beach of Paradise Cove or grab some fresh seafood or frozen drink in the beach-side bar and restaurant.
Peterson Cay, a tiny island off the south shore of Grand Bahama, is home to Peterson Cay National Park, the smallest national park in the Bahamas, covering only 1.5 acres. Small though it may be, the cay is home to one of the most beautiful reefs in the Bahamas, and the gorgeous coral structures are replete with snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Past the initial soft coral near the beach, the main reef is a short swim off the shore, so be sure to go past the initial soft-branch. There is also a wide variety of aquatic life that calls the reef home, so keep your eyes out for tropical fish, and even manta rays and barracuda.
The pristine sandy beaches provide a perfect spot for quiet relaxation and afternoon picnics, and the calm atmosphere of the island is ideal for any Bahaman vacation.
Freeport has the unique distinction of being on the Bahmanian island nearest to Miami. Located a mere 50 miles East of the Florida coast, Grand Bahama Island is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and water activities, from snorkeling to sea fishing.
The Freeport Harbor is located on the west-central part of the island, and you will have to take a ten minute taxi ride to get into the main area of Port Lucaya. Most taxis will offer to make the trip for a flat fee of around $15 USD. Also, there are often group vans that will shuttle cruisers from the pier to the International Bazaar at Port Lucaya, which run in the range of $5 USD per passenger.
More Things to Do in Grand Bahama Island
This incredible 40-acre park has some of the most spectacular secluded beaches in all of the Bahamas. Filled with mangrove, pine, and palm trees, Lucayan National Park features incredible plants in bloom as well as a plethora of waterbirds and saltwater fish.
Snorkel in the amazing turquoise waters or explore the world's largest underground cavern system. If you're interested in the history of the area, look into a tour of the burial grounds of the indigenous Bahaman people.
Surround yourself with true Bahaman beauty in this lovely national park, and enjoy the protective care that its delicate environment demands.
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