Xanadu Beach was once one of the most popular activity beaches on Grand Bahama, offering everything from snorkeling to parasailing. Most of the restaurants and other amenities shut down after the closure of the Xanadu Hotel, but you can still go for a stroll along the coast and admire the beach’s natural beauty.
The beach is dominated by the remains of the Xanadu Hotel, known by many as the place where millionaire Howard Hughes spent his last years. Walk past the structure which was built in 1965 and notice its retro styling. Imagine yourself lolling on the sands with Frank Sinatra and others from the Rat Pack who visited the area frequently. The closure of the hotel had a significant effect on the beach’s atmosphere, transforming it from one of the busiest beaches on the island to the peaceful strip of sand you see today.
Stroll along the beach’s 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) stretch of sand, searching for shells and beach glass. The beach is a particularly lovely place to enjoy a walk at sunset. Bring a towel and relax on the shore or wade into the calm, emerald-colored waters off the coast.
Be sure to bring some snacks and water because you’ll find that very few of the restaurants that once lined the beach are still open. The beach continues to attract some tourists as a result of its proximity to Freeport, but expect the crowds to be minimal. Grand Bahama Island has 90 miles (145 kilometers) of white-sand coastline, so sunbathers and swimmers always have plenty of spots to choose from for glorious beach afternoons.
Xanadu Beach is located on the southwestern coast of Grand Bahama, 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of downtown Freeport. Find public parking on the left side as you head toward the ocean after crossing the bridge.