West End Bahamas



Keywords: West End Bahamas
Description: Located about 60 miles east of West Pal Beach, FL, End is the oldest city on Grand Bahama Island and is considered its historical capital. This picturesque fishing village is located 25 miles from

Located about 60 miles east of West Pal Beach, FL, End is the oldest city on Grand Bahama Island and is considered its historical capital. This picturesque fishing village is located 25 miles from Freeport, on the westernmost tip of the island as the name implies. Swimming in its sea-sleepy streets is a history of arms smugglers, rum runners, and wreckers.

West End's biggest heyday was during the United States Prohibition. In the then liquor-smuggling town, warehouses and bars sprang up almost overnight, and you can see some of their ruins along the waterfront road. West End was mainly a transfer base, a place where liquor from Canada, England, and Nassau was stored before being ferried over to the States. If you happen to come across any old-timers as you wander around, ask them about those days. You just might hear names like Al Capone and Augustus Hepburn.

Today, West End is a busy stop for cruisers that have just made the passage across the Gulf Stream from Florida’s East Coast. Old Bahama Bay Marina is located in the yacht harbor here and features full service slips in a reosrt-style atmosphere.

The entrance channel to the West End Yacht Harbour is marked with a series of flashing red and green markers and two lights on the jetties at the inlet opening. The entrance can be seen above toward the left (northwest) end of the image. Depths in teh inlet and inside the harbor are 6 to 8 feet.

See our “Local Notices to Mariners” blog for updates on the latest conditions and advisories for this are

With an economy centered around tourism, there is no shortage of activities and things to do in Freeport. A series of excellent beach resorts line the shores hereabouts and visitors enjoy shopping, beach combing, gambling, dining and all variety of other activities.

A stop at The Star Hotel, Grand Bahama Island's oldest hotel, is a must. West End's most famous historical landmark, it seems like a holdover from the days of Prohibition but actually dates back to 1946, just before Freeport was born. Austin H. Grant, Sr. who came from Eight Mile Rock, built the hotel, and it is still owned by the Grants today. In its early days, boaters from the U.S. mainland would make a point to stop over for a meal in the saloon or spend the night in its quaint surroundings. One such guest, the owners proudly recall, was Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. a frequent visitor to West End. Other visitors included retirees from the rum-running days, who would sit at the bar and regale patrons with stories of their escapades.

Though West End does have an airport with an 8,000-foot runway, the Grand Bahamas International Airport has more daily commercial jet flights and is located just 20 miles to the southeast of West End. Grand Bahama International Airport has daily commercial jet service from major carriers including Air Tran, American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Bahamasair and Falcon. Shuttle service can be arranged from the airport, or you can pick up a taxi cab, bus or rental car in West End.




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