So as promised here is a quick and easy guide to the island of Grand Bahama. When we first decided to pop over to the Bahamas, we had the intention of exploring the blue holes and at least one more island on our trip. Unfortunately Sam ended up getting sick so we took it easy while still getting a good feel for the Bahamas. My number one tip is to go to the fish fry at Smith Point Beach on Wednesday night. It’s an island tradition that goes on every single Wednesday nights. It attracts the tourists but is attended by all of the locals, making it an authentic experience of life on the island.
You can obviously fly to the Bahamas but if you find yourself in the Miami area you can easily take a 3 hour ferry ride from Fort Lauderdale into Freeport. It’s a smooth ride. If you’ve never traveled on a large ship, it can be a fun experience. Once you’re there, you can take taxis around or the bus. My tip is to make friends with a taxi driver you like. You can hire them for the day to take you around. Don’t be scared to negotiate a rate, everything is negotiable. Our taxi driver offered us the most fragrant, delicious mangos. She was beyond thrilled that we were the 1st people to take her up on her offer.
Where to Stay:
Most of the resorts are all inclusive. Stay away from timeshare resorts (they are fine for place like Hawaii but are a huge no in the Bahamas). We stayed at the Grand Lucayan in Port Lucaya where we could opt out of the all inclusive package which is exactly what we did. It has a beautiful beach and a lush property situated across the street from a number of restaurants, small shops and a colorful straw market.
Where to Eat:
The most difficult part of being in the Bahamas was finding where and what to eat. Bahamian cuisine is heavily centered around deep frying foods. This was tough for someone who generally avoids fried food. It was nice to eat fried conch for the first 2 days but after a while both Sam and I were craving something fresh. The other downside is that restaurants with fresh offerings where unfortunately over priced tourist traps. With all of that said, we still found wonderful options. Our favorite ended up being Livity, a juice bar and vegetarian cafe where everything was fresh and made right in front of us. We also loved Agave for their $2 Taco Tuesdays. Most of the time I would defer to oversized smoothies served in giant coconuts from the tiny colorful stands that dot every market and town center. Although most of these stand offer the concoctions with booze, I would skip the rum to enjoy fresh island fruit flavors while cooling off from the heat. Sam on other hand freely indulged in all of the fried goodies for the both of us.
What to Do:
Nothing. The best thing to do in the Bahamas is grab a cold local beer like Sands and hit the beach. The water is crystal clear, warm, delightfully inviting. If you’re in the mood to explore, there are blue holes on the island as well as a national park perfect for hiking. As I mentioned earlier the Wednesday night fish fry is absolutely the place to be. The tourists come early and leave by 8:00pm. This is when the real fun begins. Sam and I stayed until midnight, walking around the beach to various oceanfront cafes blaring music and selling booze. We watched everyone laughing and dancing together, enjoying themselves to no end. We even ran into the mango lady who upon seeing us proceeded to rummage through her bag to give us more mangos. It was by far the best part of our trip.
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