Freeport Stories and Tips

Off the Beaten Path

Pelican Bay Photo, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas

I've been to Freeport twice in the last 45 days on business. Because of this, I've had the opportunity to see more than the average tourist and have had the chance to meet "regular" people. So far, I've found very few who weren't helpful and accommodating.

GBI is one of the more industrialized islands in the Bahamas. The area west of Freeport near the main harbor is home to a major oil terminal and several chemical plants. The harbor itself is very busy with incoming shipping and transloads from around the world. East of town is a major oil terminal that can be seen on the south side of the road as you travel east.

On both trips I've stayed at the Pelican Bay hotel. It's a delightful location within easy walking distance of the Lucayan Marketplace. This provides innumerable restaurant choices, but at resort prices. The Sabor at the Pelican Bay is a great little restaurant. When word gets out, it'll be hard to get a seat.

I'm partial to Sweet Pea's for lunch. It appears to be a favorite of the locals with both dine-in and carry-out. Near the government Port Authority offices, it seems to be frequented by the local business men. I also like the Seaman's Rest Sports Bar at the Harbor as a spot for a cool ginger beer on a warm afternoon. We found it a comfortable place to work. The restaurant at the harbor has a huge cracked conch lunch for about $8.

Freedom of movement is important to me and, as such, I rent a car. No problem getting anywhere on the island and traffic is light. Driving on the left takes a little concentration for the first day or so, but soon becomes second nature.

I haven't had much chance to enjoy the beach as I'm normally working from early morning until late evening. I did enjoy a morning snorkeling trip one day. The trip left from the Westin beach and we were out about two hours total. It was enjoyable but, at $35, you couldn't afford to do it too often.

I've made several new friends on the island in the last two months and have enjoyed my visits enough to make it a vacation destination this year. I'll be leaving in a week with my family to see if they enjoy it as much as do. As always, I'll have a car and intend to check out more places "off the beaten path."

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