We flew in and out of Freeport and from there we took Regional Air into Marsh Harbor, it was a smaller plane, maybe 12-15 seats, but it was way more comfortable with more legroom then the Spirit flight we took into Freeport. Once we arrived in Marsh Harbor we grabbed a cab to pick up a boat rental at Rainbow Rentals. We were lucky enough to ride with Vincent, who was the first cab driver on the island and his cab is Cab #1 (I believe all the cabs have numbers). He was a great old guy who stopped at the grocery store so that we could shop for groceries before going over to Hope Town. We had wanted to go to the liquor store and he would have waited, but it was still early and they did not open until 9:00am. He dropped us off at Rainbow Rentals where we were helped by Tracy, who happens to be his niece. We had a 22 foot boat we was fine, a little older, but cheaper than some of the other agencies. Next time we might also get one of the as they would have a smoother ride. A few days it was quite window and I got pretty soaked one day from the waves coming into the boat. Once we picked up the boat, we headed on out to Elbow Cay and Hope Town. We had picked up the Cruising Guide to the Abacos, which was very helpful for me. We had a GPS with the maps of the area loaded in, but it was nice to have the book, which has maps and tourist information, phone numbers, etc.
We had decided to stay in town as opposed to down by White Sound or Tahiti beach. We stayed at Summer Magic, which is just down the street from Cap't Jacks Restaurant/Bar. We arrived and called the rental agents on Channel 16 but since we were already at the house and didn't need help with our luggage, they just said to call if we needed anything. I was expecting someone to be there or come down to collect their money, etc., but the place is so laid back, they don't even do that. When I was booking it I wasn't sure what to expect as the pictures didn't do it justice. It was a great 2-bedroom 2-bath place with a loft with extra bedding. It was clean and bright and islandy. We loved it immediately. It had a widow’s walk, which was probably one of the best views in town. You could see the ocean on one side and the harbor on the other with a beautiful view of the Hope Town Lighthouse. After we unpacked and took a walk around, which included finding the liquor store, which was just around the block, (if you could even call it a block, it was so convenient - about a two minute walk), we grabbed a beer and headed up to the widow's walk. I am usually an on the go type of person wanting to do and see as much as possible, but I could have sat there all afternoon.
We also rented a golf cart so we could get to the other end of the island, which was fun even though it was the slowest golf cart I have even been in. There was one slower one on the island, as I was able to pass him one morning. We used the golf cart to go down to Tahiti beach and breakfast and dinner at the Abaco inn or The boat house at the Hope Town Marina. You could also walk to Cap't Jacks, Harbor View Inn and Hopetown Harbor Lodge for dining.
We had a wonderful week on the island. We had friends who where there for about 4 or 5 days with us. We went out on the boat and explored the other islands and bars and went fishing and exploring. There are wonderful starfish to see all around along with stingrays and fish. I was out walking around on a flats area one day which also had rocks and was going slowly so I wouldn't fall or slip on the rocks and I stepped on a stingray and it scared the crap out of me, so be careful and shuffle your feet when possible.
We would go back in a heartbeat, it was so quaint, the people were some of the friendliest that I have ever met, as we were riding around on the golf cart, everyone you pass waves. We met some great locals and tourist alike. Even though the weather wasn't really warm and the water was just a bit cold for me, so I was only wading around up to my thighs, it was just lovely. Next year we only have to decide it we will go back there or try another out island like Exuma or Eleuthera. But Hopetown would be hard to beat with all the opportunities to rent boats and golf carts and explore the other islands. We were going to stay one night in Marsh Harbor before heading back to Freeport, but decided just to head back, which we were glad we did. We did walk through town and have lunch before heading back to the airport and still had a few hours to kill, but there was nothing to do after shopping and eating. Marsh Harbor is nothing like Hope Town and the other islands at all. It has lots of cars and more people and it is definitely more run down. We were glad that we decided not to stay there, although if we stayed at the Abaco beach resort, they have a nice pool and marina, so that wouldn't have been bad, but they are pretty expensive, so we didn't think it was worth the money.
The bank is opened one day a week, on Tuesday, as with the other islands which were opened on different days.
If you ever get the opportunity to go to Hope Town, I would say definitely it is a must.