Only accessible by boat, Peterson's Cay is a small island located one mile from Grand Bahama's southern end. This is a protected park area, but tourists can still visit it. Great snorkeling can be found here with plenty of marine life and colorful coral, but it is best to take a tour to get here. Beautiful views (which make for stunning photographs) can certainly be found at this remote area as well. A number of outfitters offer kayak and snorkel combination packages. These make a wonderful way to spend a day during a cruise or island vacation and will likely be a highlight of any trip.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Its remote location and beautiful waters make this an isolated paradise.
Amber's expert tip: Contact tour providers well in advance, as many are on "island time."
Conveniently located only three miles from Port Lucaya, Mather Town Beach is the perfect place to spend the day. Conditions are ideal for swimming. Plus, it's near a stop for great regional cuisine or a specialty frozen drink at the not-to-be-missed Margarita Villa (the Sand Bar). As the name suggests, the bar and restaurant features a sand floor and serves up pina coladas, cracked conch, blackened mahi mahi burgers, and coconut shrimp (to name a few). Please note: this is not Jimmy Buffet's place but an authentic beach bar. Chat with the locals and you're bound to hear some fun stories.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: The Margarita Villa restaurant is reason enough to visit.
Amber's expert tip: It's difficult to find, but well worth it.
At Paradise Cove, the name fits because that's exactly where you will think you are! The location is not too far out of town, but it is far enough for you to feel like you are almost on another island. Positioned on a beautiful point of beach, this is an excellent place to spend a few hours or the whole day. There is a covered area with a bar and snack shack where you can enjoy the shade and listen to some great Reggae. Out on the beach you can get a tan, participate in water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking or enjoy a sunset. They have a kayak-like boat (called a spy cat) that has a glass bottom; it's a visitor favorite.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Reggae music in the sand, sunsets, and kayaking make this an easy choice.
Amber's expert tip: Be sure to visit during low tide.
Taino Beach is an active place! Several restaurants are located here, as well as a hodge podge of water sports, straw goods and hair braiding. This is a favorite place for families. Head down further to the Fish Fry area and the sands are much quieter during the day, with beach festivities on Wednesday nights. Not to mention, the Fish Fry is home to a scattering of beach-shack restaurants (like Tony Macaronis) with amazing local cuisine and tropical cocktails. Taino is a few minute's drive (or bus ride) from Port Lucaya Marketplace, so it is a convenient destination for those staying at Lucaya's hotels.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Taino Beach isn't as crowded as Lucaya Beach but nearby most hotels.
Amber's expert tip: Visit the beach near the Fish Fry during the week and you'll have the place to yourself (although some of the restaurants are closed).
Here you will find a mile-long stretch of beautiful beach that is a bit more protected from waves than some of the others. Although the resort is now closed, the beach is still stunning and offers a quiet retreat for visitors. Pack your own picnic lunch and have the stretch of sand all to yourself. Incredibly soft sand and shallow, iridescent water make this a slice of heaven. Although once a busting hub of water sports, Xanadu Beach is not the place to go for those seeking amenities because in recent years, most restaurants and other activities have shut down.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Most visitors will have this beach all to themselves.
Amber's expert tip: Be aware that beach amenities and water sports are no longer open.
A favorite among locals, William's Town Beach is located south of Freeport at William's Town settlement. A fairly secluded area, this 1.9-mile beach offers an ideal spot to sit, relax and enjoy. Many water sports can be found here as well like banana boat rides, jet skis and snorkeling. Don't be surprised to find a horse or two trotting along the sand. For a break from the sun, Out Da Sea bar and restaurant (the old Traveller's Rest, Bikini Bottoms) is the perfect spot for fresh seafood and tropical cocktails served on the beach patio. Saturday nights feature live music, Bahamian dancing, and drink specials.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Williams Town Beach offers the perfect blend of isolation and activities.
Amber's expert tip: Stick around until sunset and you will see some spectacular views.
The island's most popular tourist beach, Lucayan Beach is located across from the bustling Port Lucaya Marketplace. Water activities of all types can be found here including jet skiing and parasailing. This is also a great place to take a nice long walk or to interact with the party scene, and several restaurants and bars - both on and off the sand - can be found. Quiet it isn't: so expect to be asked to get your hair braided or sign up for a tour of some kind. If you keep walking to the left, you'll find less crowded spots for sunbathing.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Lucayan Beach offers a convenient location and plenty of tourist-friendly activities.
Amber's expert tip: Free access to this beach is available on the path to the right of the police station.
If not the most exotic beach on Grand Bahama, this is definitely the most secluded. Located east of the Grand Lucayan Waterway, Barbary Beach is known for its wide variety of shells and peaceful ambiance. A great place to get away from it all and enjoy the varied landscapes that nature provides. Since this wide stretch of sand is protected by jetties, you can sprawl out without worrying about the tides. Nearby hidden drives through the forest make ideal secluded picnic spots - just be sure to bring some bug spray. Visitors will likely stumble upon large conch shells that make excellent souvenirs.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: Located a short drive from Garden of the Groves, this spot is easily accessible by car but virtually empty.
Amber's expert tip: Watch out for briars in the wooded area: wear sandles!
This quiet stretch of sand is just far enough away from the tourist-filled Lucaya Marketplace, but close enough that it is still just a short drive. Those visiting Garden of the Groves can easily stop by this isolated beach and grab a bite to eat or tropical cocktail at Banana Bay. Lounge chairs, umbrellas, shaded patios, incredible conch fritters, and a seemingly endless sand bar can be found just in front of Banana Bay (which has a clothing option sign out front), but an empty beach - a stone's throw from the popular restaurant - can be found as well.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: With a quiet beach and creature comforts of a nearby restaurant, it is easy to lose track of time at Fortune Beach.
Amber's expert tip: Weekdays are especially quiet.
Gold Rock Beach is located in the Lucayan National Park about 45 miles from Port Lucaya, and is most easily accessible by car or scooters. The journey involves a relatively long drive with little to see, but it is worth the reward. This very secluded beach has picnic tables, benches and barbecue pits. A popular spot for locals on the weekend, but during the week it could be just you. After paying for parking, expect a short hike but lockers area available to keep your belongings. Enjoy the beautiful sights and melodic sounds of the ocean, sand dunes, lucid water, and peaceful lifestyle of Grand Bahama.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Beaches because: It is constantly ranked as one of the world's most beautiful beaches.
Amber's expert tip: Go during low tide or the beach will not be living up to its full potential.