Though Lucaya is the main tourist town on Grand Bahama, West End is actually the capital. Activity in this area dates back to the days when pirates and bootleggers made use of the island. These days itís a laid back fishing village with picturesque churches, quaint restaurants and atmospheric bars. The main tourist attraction in West End is now the Old Bahama Bay resort, which attracts many visitors each year, and is well equipped to service the beautiful beaches nearby.
One attraction on the island is the straw market. For Bahamian women in the early 1940ís the plaiting of straw was a major industry. This market is to be found on the western edge of the Port Lucaya marketplace, and is a showcase for the many artisans on the island who sell their jewelry, carved goods and straw handicrafts.
The first botanical garden on the island was the Garden of the Groves, and today itís an excellent place to visit for those who appreciate natural wonders. Visitors can enjoy in excess of 10,000 different species of trees, plants and flowers, all of which attract a dazzling array of butterflies and birds.
It would be almost impossible to choose a favorite beach on the island, but Gold Rock Beach in the protected Lucayan National Park has everything thatís wonderful about this part of the world. There are tropical trees, lush vegetation and a mangrove ecosystem exists behind the sands. Accessed via bus or car, the beach has limited amenities but visitors can take advantage of picnic tables and barbecue facilities. Views from the beach are truly spectacular. The seas are calm and shallow and feature the magical blues of postcard images weíre all familiar with.
With a rich history and some of the most awe-inspiring natural beauty anywhere on Earth, Grand Bahama Island is the place for a holiday of a lifetime.