Unfortunately, in the last six years or so the International Bazaar has fallen on tough times - to say the least. Following a hurricane and the closure of a neighboring hotel, most shops are now shut down. It's a bit depressing to walk through the alleys past what was once a global marketplace, but on the right side there are a scattering of shops in the Straw Market and - due to the lack of business - you can certainly find a good bargain. The Perfume Factory is located here and is still open for tours and business and worth a visit. If you go late enough, you can also grab some drinks at the Gully Wash Nest - a local bar only open in the evenings.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Once an icon of Grand Bahama, there are still some bargains to be had for the savvy shopper.
Amber's expert tip: Only go on weekends and in the afternoon, or there won't be much.
The Grand Bahama Artists Association has about 30 members who each contribute their own distinct style. Artists produce wooden sculptures; paintings made with oil, acrylic, pencil, and watercolor; as well as sequined tapestries and hand-made paper collages. Many showcase island life, and all of the pieces are original works of art which can be viewed in the Glory Banks Gallery at the Rand Memorial Nature Centre. Many are available for purchase. The group also creates a number of events on the island, so be sure to check with them before your visit to see if there is anything going on!
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Art collectors should be sure to check out the works of this growing group of local artists.
Amber's expert tip: The gallery is closed on Sundays.
The Port Lucaya Straw Market is located at one end of the Port Lucaya Marketplace complex behind the stores, restaurants, and bars. Here you can find vendors selling handmade goods, t-shirts, beach towels, and various souvenirs like magnets, straw creations, hats, key chains, handmade jewelery, ash trays, and just about anything with "Bahamas" stamped on it. While many items are "made in China" there is a nice assortment of authentic Bahamaian creations as well. All of the merchants are open during the day, but some close earlier than others. Don't miss the wood carving stand - the pieces are stunning!
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: The Straw Market is great place to find a bargain souvenir.
Amber's expert tip: Be sure to negotiate prices! Nothing is final!
One of the best places on the island for European-style women's clothing, this chic boutique has clothes for both casual and dressy "date night out" occasions. The shop is fairly small, but the garments are classy, and feature many high-end brand names. The staff is friendly and helpful. Designed for active, energetic women, the selection also includes handmade Bahamian jewelry, handbags, swimwear, and sunglasses - a great and useful reminder of the island! An institution for more than 10 years, Bandolera is conveniently located in the Port Lucaya Marketplace - right near a number of pubs and restaurants for a break from shopping.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: A step up from beach attire, this shop adds an elegant look to any collection.
Amber's expert tip: They also take credit cards!
This colorful, cute-as-a-button stand is located in front of the Straw Market at the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Granny's House sells authentic, hand made straw baskets and Bahamian novelty hats at reasonable prices that make great souvenirs! Bright colors are woven together to create funny animal designs that the kids are sure to love. They are also a sponsor of the Cancer Society. Just steps away from this quaint little shop is Zorba's Greek restaurant, scooter rentals, and Count Basie Square for musical entertainment. Beaches are across the street (behind the hotels). Just remember, everything in Port Lucaya Marketplace is duty free!
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Granny's House has a convenient location in the Port Lucaya Marketplace and authentic items.
Amber's expert tip: Straw creations are the signature souvenir of the Bahamas!
The Perfume Factory is one of the largest fragrance producers in the Bahamas. Housed in a replica of a 19th century Bahamian mansion, this venue offers a free five-minute tour of the laboratory. Plus, they give you the opportunity to blend your own personalized perfumes for $30 per ounce. Located in the straw market of the International Bazaar (or what is left of it), this shop has roots that date back 40 years in the Bahamas - 25 of which have been in the current location. Nearby is a scattering of vendors and the Gully Wash bar - which opens at 2pm with some of the best drinks on the island.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: For unique items like face creams, perfumes, and other authentic bath and body products, this is the place to be.
Amber's expert tip: Weekends are best if you'd like to shop a little - most remaining stores of the bazaar are closed during the week.
This is local artist Leo Brown's gallery where he showcases his Haitian-style paintings. Each piece has an interesting story of its own to tell. Much of his work depicts life on the islands, for an authentic reminder of what Grand Bahama is like outside of the tourist area. His studio is also here, so the small space is cozy. Depending on your tastes, most pieces are very affordable – the perfect place to pick up a nice memento of your trip! It is located at Port Lucaya Marketplace and open seven days a week. You can find it near Zorba's Greek Cuisine.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Quality artwork made on Grand Bahama makes a wonderful addition to any home.
Amber's expert tip: Be sure to ask Leo about his work, everything is symbolic.
Opened in 2010, as the island's only purveyor of gourmet and specialty foods, this shop has items that are imported from over 35 countries. Find such delicacies as European chocolates and cheeses, South American coffees and fine Asian teas. If they don't have it, they will find it for you. There is also a liquor store for those seeking Bahamaian rums, beers, or other spirits from around the globe. Gourmet coffee, fresh squeezed juice, cakes, and pastries are served at the cafe, and fresh produce, frozen foods, and other typical grocery items can be found throughout the store. There is even a jewelery outlet.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: When dining out becomes expensive, this is a great place to shop for some grab-and-go items for a picnic lunch.
Amber's expert tip: Check out their website to see what's new.
Cruise ship passengers' first introduction to Grand Bahama Island is the Freeport Harbor, a collection of shops and restaurants in the cruise port. While not as large as the Port Lucaya Marketplace, there are several handicraft, souvenir, and clothing stands to choose from for a last-minute purchase before boarding the ship. Due to the location (away from Lucaya and the hotels), this is one most travelers won't seek out unless taking a cruise. Several restaurants including Senior Frogs, and occasional live music provide additional entertainment.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Ideal for cruise ship passengers, this makes a great place to explore while waiting to board the ships.
Amber's expert tip: Be sure to stop by Robinson's Seafood Delight for a snack when shopping!
Spread over six acres, Port Lucaya Marketplace is one of the most popular places on the island. Conveniently located on Seahorse Road, this is a paradise for food lovers and shopping addicts alike. Count Basie Square is located behind the Marketplace, as is the 50-slip marina. Additionally, you will find a large straw market here along with dozens of other shops and boutiques. The best jewelry and perfume stores can also be found here. The market is a fun place to while away some time during the day or evening, and Lucaya Beach is located behind the hotels, directly across from the market.
Recommended for Grand Bahama Island's Best Shopping because: Port Lucaya Marketplace is the center for shopping in Freeport.
Amber's expert tip: Allow a couple hours here since there is a lot to see!