Written by cocopud on 16 Jun, 2009
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…Read More
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. Close
Written by rschell on 25 Nov, 2005
We spent 14 days at the Regatta in early November, however, conditions and activities may be different during the peak season which begins around Thanksgiving. Our weather was variable with many days of sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid-80’s. And even though some…Read More
We spent 14 days at the Regatta in early November, however, conditions and activities may be different during the peak season which begins around Thanksgiving. Our weather was variable with many days of sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid-80’s. And even though some days were windy with some rain showers intermittently during the day or night, the weather didn’t hamper our plans or activities. While 14 days gave us plenty of time to relax and enjoy the island and cays, 7 days would make for a pretty tight schedule. Greater Abacos Island and the off-shore cays were a joy. If you are expecting great night life or a polished environment you have chosen the wrong location.
Greater Abacos is a little rugged and very laid back. You don’t need to exchange for Bahamian money as everyone accepts US currency at an even exchange rate. If you cash a Traveler’s Check at the bank, you will get Bahamian currency. The change you receive at a shop or restaurant can be a mix of US and Bahamian currency. Sunday is a very quiet day on the islands. Few businesses are open and those that are, such as the grocery stores on Greater Abacos close by 2 or 3pm On the Cays, even the grocery stores may be closed and sometimes only one restaurant is open on a particular Cay. Car rentals on Abacos are open until mid-day on Sunday, so you can rent a car and buy your groceries if you fly in on Saturday afternoon. Car rentals run from $300 per week and up. Ours was a Chevy Cavalier that ran quite well, while others we talked to had bad experiences with the cars they rented … loud and smelly. The food is great. You have to try the Conch Fritters and Cracked Conk. We enjoyed the food at Snappa’s, Sopadilly’s, Jamie’s Place, Mangoes, Wally’s and Mother Merles in Marsh Harbor. Anglers, right next door to Regatta has a wonderful Sunday Brunch. You need to eat at Pete’s in Little Harbor (very, very rustic), Coco Bar in Treasure Cay and the outdoor Bar and Grill at the Harbor Lodge in Hope Town (fantastic view). No one dresses up for dinner and the only rule is no swimwear.
Meals are expensive … lunch for two runs $30 or more with tip and dinner is around $70 for two with tip (dinner at Mother Merle’s ran only $35.00). If you are drinking beer or cocktails the price goes up. Don’t take a lot of "dress up" clothes either. You can wear slacks and a nice polo shirt or tropical shirt or just Levis or shorts and t-shirt. If you buy groceries I recommend the two major stores in Marsh Harbor; Solomon’s and Price Right. Each carries different brands and products. Everything is shipped in so it is expensive and the quality of produce may not be what you are used to at home. The "barge" from Nassau arrives on Tuesday so "fresh" foods hit the shelves on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. By Monday and Tuesday morning the remaining produce looks sick! The people are friendly and full of information and advice. On numerous occasions, while shopping we engaged in conversation with locals for extended periods. When visiting Treasure Cay, you have to stop at Abacos Ceramics and check out the locally made ceramics. Karen McIntosh (from Green Turtle Cay) does all of the painting and is a great source of local information. We found the youths and children in the Abacos to be extremely well behaved and respectful! Our only negative experience with anyone was found in the far north in the area of Cedar Harbour and Fox Town where we experienced minor disrespect from several young adults.
This is the world of beautiful water and beaches. It looks like someone gets up early every morning and "paints" the water beautiful colors … azure, aquamarine, turquoise, etc. The beaches are also wonderful. The sand in some places is so fine it resembles sugar or even white flour. We enjoyed collecting sea shells at Treasure Cay and Casuarina Point. The North end of the island is pretty destitute and I wouldn’t take that drive again. The island vegetation is not the tropical vegetation found in Hawaii and is pretty much the same everywhere, dominated by stunted pine mangroves and palmettos. We also drove south to Sandy Point, stopping at Little Harbor and Cherokee Landing on our way. The beach at Sandy Point is very nice, but the community has little to offer in the way of interest to a tourist. If you are interested in seeing how the locals live outside of Marsh Harbor, visit Little Harbor, Cherokee Landing and the Cays. The out-islands (cays) were wonderful day trips. We didn’t visit Great Guana Cay as the only attraction there is Nippers restaurant, though they do cook a whole pig on Sundays. Hope Town (Elbow Cay) is a beautiful community with a number of shops and a beautiful harbor. Green Turtle Cay also offers a number of stores and a wide selection of restaurants. Man-a-War Cay is a friendly community. You must stop at the Albury’s Sail Shop where we met "Mother" Albury. We had a wonderful time chatting with her and hearing about the island and it’s history.
Written by rschell on 17 Jan, 2006
If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to visit the out-islands or Cays. Each Cay is unique and offers different views, attractions or activities. The ferry to Hope Town and Man-O-War Cay can be found at the far eastern end of Bay Street.…Read More
If you have the time, I strongly encourage you to visit the out-islands or Cays. Each Cay is unique and offers different views, attractions or activities. The ferry to Hope Town and Man-O-War Cay can be found at the far eastern end of Bay Street. The ferry to Guana Cay can be found near Mangoes on Bay Street. The ferry to Green Turtle Cay is found just north of Treasure Cay off the S.C. Bootle Highway. Same day round trip costs around $20. Some of the Cays are the starting point for snorkeling, diving, and fishing adventures ... and don't forget the shopping. In all cases, the beaches are beautiful. Close