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Topics include Transportation, Bahamas: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Most of the touristic activity on Grand Bahama centers around Port Lucaya. The International Bazaar area, once a hotbed for dining and entertainment in Freeport, largely disintegrated following the closure of the Royal Oasis resort and casino. Almost all of the international dining restaurants on the island are located at Port Lucaya, as is the largest straw market, watersports companies, the island's only casino, shops, and nightlife.
If you are staying in the Port Lucaya area, you'll probably not want to rent a car, except maybe for one day to explore the island. If you are staying elsewhere on the island, a car might be a good option. To get a native flavor, you'll want to venture out of the Port Lucaya area. The best beaches are located on the Eastern half of the island, where endless stretches of virgin white sand beaches await you. There are plenty of beaches where you may not even see another person on it all day. These beaches will require a car to get to. Also to the East, you'll find several beach bars and expat hangouts at Taino Beach Park, Churchill Beach, and Fortune Beach. You can travel further out to the smaller settlements of Freetown, High Rock, Pelican Point and McLeans Town to get a more native experience.
To the west is largely residential and industrial, there is not a lot for tourists west of Freeport with a few exceptions. Paradise Cove at Deadmans Reef is popular for snorkeling off the beach, and West End is a bustling fishing village full of conch shells and several native hangouts along the water. It is also home to Old Bahama Bay, the resort at the very west end of the island. Along the way you can find deserted beaches for shelling, random conch stands, and the Pier One restaurant, known for its nightly shark feedings.
Information on Grand Bahama is largely hard to find once on the island, so make sure to do your research in advance. Many tours will go out only on cruise ship days, or only when they have enough people signed up in advance. There are a lot of things to do in Grand Bahama, but you have to do your research to find out what they are. Also check out the Bahamas People to People program, where a native will show you around the island.