The Bahamas are a chain of Caribbean islands popular for both Bahamas cruises and vacations. Thirty islands in the Bahamas are inhabited. The most northerly is Grand Bahama island, arguably the most popular tourist destination in the Bahamas.
Grand Bahama Island Facts
Grand Bahama island lies just 55 miles of the coast of Florida, making travel to the island from America extremely easy. The official currency is the Brahmian dollar, which is tied to the U.S. dollar. Americans do not need to exchange currencies for Bahamas vacations: the exchange rate between the U.S and Bahamian dollar is one to one, and most businesses accept U.S dollars.
English is the official language of the Bahamas, so there’s no language barrier for English-speaking tourists on Bahamas vacations. English on Grand Bahama Island is spoken with a distinct Bahamian accent and dialect, and can take some getting used to for the untrained ear.
One note on local sensibilities: tourists on Grand Bahama Island are often tempted to travel around town in their beachwear. Try to avoid this temptation: Bahamas culture considers beachwear inappropriate in bars, restaurants, shops, and churches.
Weather on Grand Bahama Island
The Grand Bahama Island climate, like the rest of the Bahamas, is warm, averaging 80 ° to 85 ° Fahrenheit for most of the year. Between September and May temperatures are somewhat cooler, ranging between 70 ° to 75 ° . The cooler temperatures coincide with peak tourist season on Grand Bahama Island.
Cooling trade winds from the Atlantic help prevent Grand Bahama Island from getting uncomfortably warm. Hurricane season is between June 1 st and November 30 th, and Grand Bahama Island is vulnerable to hurricanes. While the chance of a hurricane striking during a Bahamas vacation is unlikely, tourists should monitor local weather conditions.
When to take a Bahamas Vacation
Grand Bahama Island explodes with college students during Spring Break season (February 28 th to April 10 th). Spring Break is thetime to go on a Bahamas vacation for most college students. Families and couples planning trips to Grand Bahama Island will probably want to avoid the crowds, noise, and general insanity of Spring Break.
Safety on Grand Bahama Island
Crime isn’t a major factor on Grand Bahama Island, but tourists are advised to exercise some precautions common to most vacations. Don’t walk streets alone, leave valuables in cars, on beaches or unattended in hotel rooms.
The single biggest danger during Bahama vacations is often other tourists. Jet-boats and scooters rental is rather loosely controlled, and every year people are injured trying to drive these devices without sufficient training.
Things to Do on Grand Bahama Island
There are a multitude of activities to be found on Grand Bahama Island. Freeport / Lucaya is the capital of Grand Bahama Island, and the center for most Bahamas vacations. Freeport / Lucaya boasts excellent tourist beaches, the International Bazaar for shoppers, and a wide variety of tourist shows, casinos, restaurants and nightclubs.
Out on the water a Bahama vacation can include snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing. Snorkelers and divers can see seahorses, turtles, Caribbean reef sharks, and, if lucky, even encounter dolphins.
A day-long Bahamas cruise on a sailboat is a must if you want to appreciate the coastline of Grand Bahama Island. Day-long Bahamas cruises are also available from Freeport/Lucaya to other islands in the Bahamas chain.
Outside of Freeport/Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island offers historical points of interest that includes Williams Town, founded by freed slave Joseph Williams. West End, a fishing village, is the oldest town on Grand Bahama Island and was a smuggling port for alcohol during Prohibition.
Don’t neglect Grand Bahama Island’s natural wonders. The island has three national parks that should be on the itinerary of any nature lover’s Bahamas vacation.
- Lucayan National Park contains six ecosystems and the largest series of underwater caves in the world.
- The Rand Nature Center is known for its flamingo colony.
- Peterson Cay National Park is surrounded by pristine coral reefs.
Vacation Packages to Grand Bahama Island
Vacation packages to Grand Bahama Island vary, and often include air travel, cab fare, and all-inclusive resorts. Most of the resorts offered in packages to Grand Bahama Island are for the beach front in Lucaya.
Vacation packages to Grand Bahama Island can save tourists money and the hassle of over-planning a vacation. All-inclusive resorts on Grand Bahama Island offer dozens of water sports and on-land activities.
While luxurious all-inclusive resorts up the price of vacation packages to Grand Bahama Island, they’re well worth the cost if you want a pampered Bahamas vacation. Tourists on a budget can find perfectly good packages to Grand Bahama Island that include stays at discount hotels, especially during the off-season.