Beachfront Resort in Laid-Back Grand Bahama Village
Out islands, in Caribbean parlance, refers to those remote, barely inhabited islands known for their unspoiled nature and untamed wildlife. Grand Bahama, the fourth-largest island in the Bahamas chain and home to two major urban centers, is certainly no out island—but its town of West End sits way out on the western tip and certainly feels like one. The town still has traces of the sleepy fishing village it used to be: a prevailing slow pace, secluded beaches, and an abundance of boats. It also houses the Old Bahama Bay Resort & Yacht Harbour, a gated beachfront resort with colonial Caribbean style.
Though the resort taps into West End’s casual nature—the infinity-edge swimming pool has a lounging area with massage jets—it still has plenty of upscale amenities. Chaise lounges line the beach. There’s a beachfront restaurant and tiki bar, Teaser’s, where you can sip tropical cocktails, dine on jerk chicken wings, and watch seasonal live entertainment. If you need to unwind further, massages are available as an in-room service or at the onsite spa room.
Make the most of West End’s proximity to reef formations, shipwrecks, and offshore cays with Old Bahama’s onsite dive center. See tiger sharks and colorful corals on a diving trip or embark on one of the daily snorkeling excursions to swim with wild spotted dolphins. Fishing is another popular activity at the resort, which has its own marina. Fishing poles and bait are available onsite, and the activities center next to Teaser’s makes it easy to schedule charters for reef or deep-sea fishing or to catch bonefish.
West End, Grand Bahama: Secluded Port Town Known for Watersports
West End, as the town’s name implies, sits on the westernmost tip of Grand Bahama Island. This puts it only about 55 nautical miles from Florida. Because of this proximity to the United States, West End is typically the first port of call for those entering Bahamian waters. It’s also within easy reach of both shallow and deep Caribbean waters, which is why it’s popular with sportfishers, who come here to reel in red snapper, spiny lobster, and bonefish.
For a more urban scene, head inland about 28 miles (45 km) to the neighboring towns of Freeport and Lucaya. The Port Lucaya Marketplace is the island’s shopping mecca, with duty-free shops that sell jewelry and designer clothes. It’s also where visitors go for live music; the market’s central square plays hosts to bands in a range of genres. At night, DJs spin tunes at nightclubs in Freeport’s International Bazaar.
While you’re in the Freeport area, check out the Rand Nature Center—one of the island’s three national parks and the closest to West End. There, a half-mile nature trail shows off nearly 130 types of native plants and wild birds, including red-tailed hawks and Cuban emerald hummingbirds.
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