Grand Bahama, The nearest to the USA and, with Great Abaco, the most northerly of the major Bahamas islands, this is where the most spectacular development has taken place. Nearly all the hotels are in Freeport/Lucaya, where golf and gambling are major attractions. The Freeport/Lucaya area is isolated from the rest of the island and most tourists never venture into the settlements. There is a marked division between the wealthy, Americanized and manicured tourist area and the rest of the island which looks like a Family Island.
Freeport: In downtown Freeport there are several shops, shopping plazas and neighborhood bars. The avenues are large and buildings spaced far apart. If you take East Mall Drive out of town towards the airport you will pass the Rand Memorial Hospital and the excellent Wallace Groves Library. On the other side of the road is a bright pink pseudo classical building which is the Grand Bahama Port Authority Building. East Mall Drive connects with the Ranfurly Circle (named after 1950s British Colonial Governor) and the International Bazaar,(Monday-Saturday 0900-1600 & some stores on Sunday) a 10-acre integrated shopping complex on East Mall and West Sunrise Highway, with streets built in various assorted national styles with international merchandise and food. There is also a straw market and an Arts and Crafts Village behind it. (Both open Monday-Saturday 0900-1600) To the rear of the International Bazaar, the other side of the street from Colombian Emeralds International and the Straw Market, is a perfume factory in a replica of an old Bahamian mansion, which you can tour briefly and even mix your own perfume. (T3529391, F3529040, orders in USA 1-800-6289033, PO Box F-770, Freeport, open Monday-Friday, 1000-1730). Just over a mile east of Ranfurly Circle you come to another roundabout. Turn right to get to the Lucaya area, where there is the Port Lucaya which is currently under huge construction. At the Market place (open everyday) there is another straw and crafts market. UNEXSO is based here. In the evenings live music is played at the bandstand by the waterwalk.