5 things we love about the Abacos
Jan 24, 2017
A delicious peek inside the boating capital of The Bahamas
Traveling across the Abacos we've found many things to love. Here are a few of our favorites.
Outstanding views from the Hope Town Lighthouse
Standing atop the Hopetown Lighthouse requires climbing 101 tightly spiraled steps: Not an easy feat, even for the most fit amongst us much less the claustrophobic. Make it to the upper balcony and a coast-to-coast view of Elbow Cay is your reward. The harbor is usually filled with sailboats and catamarans, while the ferry shuttles passengers from dock to dock; you can see luxury homes along the coast and tucked away in the lush greenery that covers the island. While soaking in this view we are always reminded that the trek to the top means climbing the last manual lighthouse that is still operational in the world.
Swimming pigs are not the only hogs you’ll find in the Abacos; they are not even the best. When we go fishing in the Abacos it is not uncommon to exclaim, “Holy hogfish”. To snag this meaty saltwater fish we get wet. You can't hook it on a fising line; you have to spear it underwater with a harpoon style manual sling. In the Abacos, however, there are many dry options to hook a fish for eating and for sport. We rent a fishing charter through a local Abaco hotel or private captain, or we bring our own boat and drop a line wherever we see the sea birds assemble.
Treasure Cay Beach. Full stop.
One visit to Treasure Cay Beach and you too will develop an extreme bias for Bahamian beaches like every true citizen or adopted Bahamian. There is a qualitative science to Treasure Cay's appeal: the sand quality is silky soft and egg white; the beach has breath and depth, stretching for over three secluded miles; it is wide enough for a fun pick up game of beach football, soccer or volleyball; and the crescent shape of the coastline creates a protected bay with calm seas. This is true for Treasure Cay Beach, and yes, practically every other beach in the Out Islands of The Bahamas. Beaches in The Bahamas are our universal love and the one thing we never get enough of.
The Original Goombay Smash
The Goombay Smash is a common tourist cocktail at any generic tropical bar. The notable exception is in Green Turtle Cay, the Abacos at Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar. Don't mind what others may say, this is where the Goombay Smash originated with the famous handshimmy of Miss Emily. When we enjoy a Goombay Smash at the Blue Bee Bar, it is not just a drink it is an experience of storytelling with inherited family and friends. A ferry ride from Treasure Cay takes us to Green Turtle Cay, within walking distance of the Blue Bee Bar, home of the original Goombay Smash.
The many roads that lead to a marina
Abaco can confidently lay claim to being the boating capital of The Bahamas with dozens of state-of-the-art marinas in a year-round destination port. The largest in the country – the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina – has over 198 slips, accommodating vessels up to 200 ft. Don't think a marina is just a place to store boats. In the Abacos, many of the best restaurants sit dockside to a marina; you assembly at a marina to head on a ferry to Green Turtle Cay, Hope Town or Guana Cay. And from the docks we sometimes fish with a handline or swim in the harbour by cannon balling off the dock. Marinas serve travellers in many functional ways, but visually they also add to the identity of Abaco.