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Grand Bahama

Despite the name, Grand Bahama has always run second to bigger, more glamorous Nassau (New Providence). Yet if you’re looking for a laid-back, accessible getaway with a minimum of fuss and more infrastructure than the Out Islands, Grand Bahama has some good beaches, watersports, diving and golf courses. The streets of Freeport, its main city, and Lucaya are wide and traffic is light. Its golden beaches and aquamarine waters are rarely overcrowded, even in high season. The frequent cruise-ship arrivals ensure that just enough amenities – dive shops, restaurants, pubs, boutiques – are all open for business and centrally located. A high-speed ferry from Florida makes Grand Bahama accessible for weekend breaks or even day trips for US visitors.

Outside the city, the 85-mile-long island is a little explored expanse of mangrove swamps, sea caves and sandy cays. There’s world-class diving and snorkeling, great kayaking and fishing. All this just a hop, skip and 55-mile jump from the US.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Grand Bahama.