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Marsh Harbour, Man-O-War Cay, Treasure Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay

 

 

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All of Abaco

     Abaco is a group of islands where each cay has such different personality that it is a excellent vacation with lots of diversity. This is the best combination of technology and tradition that has put a spell on people and made them fall in love with the life style of the Abacos. There are no high rises, or casinos to be found here. The pace is Bahamian time which means it is a lot slower and relaxed than the big cities. Daylight offers an enormous amount of activities, including diving, snorkeling, fishing, island hopping, beach combing, and pure relaxation. Nightlife is limited to a few choice established restaurants, grill & chill bars and clubs but enjoyable never the less.

     Abaco is comprised of one large island with a group of barrier cays, occupying the second largest landmass in the Bahamas. The mainland is known as Great Abaco, extending 130 miles long and rarely more than 4 miles wide. To the east of Great Abaco, a chain of smaller cays are located two to six miles off the shoreline, providing a natural barrier from the Atlantic Ocean, and forming a protected body of water, known as the Sea of Abaco. These waters have been called the 'sailing capital of the world', making for
one of the most popular cruising grounds for both pleasure and avid boaters alike. When boating these waters, land is always in sight and the cays are usually no more than 10 to 40 minutes apart, making island hopping a plenty of fun. A popular trend is renting your own boat and tour at your own pace. On some of the cays, this is the only form of transportation. For confident boaters the boats are easy to operate and usually have an open hull, center console steering, outboard motor, and T top/Bimini top. There are several rental companies throughout the area, offering a variety of sizes to meet your personal needs. The island has two well established ferry boat services to most of the outer cay's with scheduled times and daily round trips.

     At night, relax under the brilliant, winking stars, listen to a local band, or make new friends at the local hang out. The memories created in the Abaco Islands will be ones you will cherish for a lifetime. The friendships made here will bring you back again.


Marsh Harbour

     With only one stoplight in the middle of this town and the only one on all of Abaco this is the largest town in Abaco, with a population of about 4,000+. Marsh Harbour offers an interesting variety of shopping, providing visitors with the best selection of goods and services. Restaurants peek out from all the streets and abound every where, and you will have many to choose from, they vary from mom and pop style, serving Bahamian cuisine,
waterfront eateries, pizza shops, taverns, and a more formal, elegant style.

     There are many activities to experience from snorkeling on Mermaid's Reef, with its variety of tropical fish to taking diving trips. The Abaco Outback tours are exceptional and come highly recommended even the locals take the tours. Taxis are available in Marsh Harbour along with rental cars, bicycles, and scooters. These forms of transportation make it possible to get around easily and you can drive north to Treasure Cay and Cooper's Town or south to Sandy Point, Cherokee and Little Harbour either way is pleasing to sight seeing and seeking.

     Some visitors may wish to rent their own boat and site see and cruise at their own pace, this is recommended if you have good boating experience and know the area. There are several boat rental companies to be rented from if you want to be water independent, but if you would rather play it safe Albury's Ferry makes daily trips to most of the cays, making it easy for a day trip to Elbow Cay, Great Guana Cay, and Man-0-War Cay. There are round-trip fares available on the regular scheduled ferry and special charters may be arranged at any time.


Treasure Cay/ Leisure Lee

     Boasting one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, this is a perfect family spot for all ages. Treasure Cay offers a variety of activities including water sports, fishing, tennis courts or a round of golf on the challenging 18-hole championship golf course. One of the first loyalist settlements in Abaco was at Carleton Point, the most northern point
of Treasure Cay Beach.

     Treasure Cay is the second largest town in Abaco and the most relaxed one. The majority of the town is retired, with a lot of condo living. Whether you vacation or want to retire here it is a unique and tranquil getaway, with a lot of Bahamian charm. There are no big city worries here besides what to do, and how the weather will be, the pace is at your leisure. The town extends off on a peninsula with the 31/2 mile Treasure Cay beach on one side and sitting on the other side are the fantastic canal waterways and first class marina with Private homes, condominiums and the Treasure Cay Resort with shops abounding. Everything from a full service restaurant, bar, bakery, grocery stores, duty free shopping, dive shop, boat, car, scooter, bike and golf cart rentals can be found. Outside of Treasure Cay more to the north you can arrange to see the Abaco wild horses, the farms and the most popular blue hole in Abaco. Or simply sit at the beach, have a drink, eat a hamburger and take a nap on the powdery beaches of paradise.

     Leisure Lee at Joe's Creek is located a couple of miles south of Treasure Cay and this interesting residential development has a main focus on the canal properties. This is a fisherman's dream residence, vacation get away or investment. Leisure Lee has a secure canal system, a beautiful beach and a lot of surrounding developing properties. With it being so close to Treasure Cay this is a popular spot for Leisurely canal living with a more secluded atmosphere.


Green Turtle Cay

     This was the second largest city in the Bahamas in the 1800's. Today the year round population is less than one thousand people. The residents are mostly engaged in fishing, construction and tourism. This settlement began with the Loyalist in 1783, making it one of the oldest in the Bahamas. This is the home of world famous artist Alton Lowe. Strolling along the paved roads you will meet with the warm and engaging locals who will make you feel like this is your home away from home. Seeing the historic village of New Plymouth takes you back in time where you expect to see pirate ships coming in the harbour. You walk back in time with the contrasts of the narrow streets and brightly painted Caribbean style cottages surrounded by white picket fences, curlytail lizards and vibrantly coloured flowers. Visiting the settlement's Albert Lowe Museum and the Sculpture garden are a bonus of this small island's history. Dine at one of the island's delicious eateries, order a tropical drink, relax and enjoy the sunset.

     There are a lot of activities to choose but being lazy with a good book on the beach is one of the best choices, if not there is fun in the sun to explore by foot, bicycle, golf cart, or boat. The village of New Plymouth offers Golf cart rentals, several restaurants, three grocery stores, two hardware stores, boutiques, gift shops, an art gallery and all manner of crafts. Also, in the White Sound area, there are two restaurants and Brendal's Dive Shop. On the southern tip of Green Turtle Cay there is a large sand bar, where shell collecting is a sport.


Great Guana Cay

     One of the smallest settlements, but with a lot of colorful personality, this cay is one of the smaller less populated in the Abaco Chain. There are less than 300 people residing on this Cay. It is a place where you will feel, time has stood still. There are no museums to explore, nor a large selection of shops or restaurants but this cay has a lot of activity with
visitors.

     On the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cay, one will find a spectacular five plus miles, very wide, white sand beach fringed with coral reefs and beach side palm groves. A reef runs along most of the Cay. For your shopping needs, there is grocery store, liquor store, and several small gift shops. Two full service restaurants offer breakfast, lunch and dinner for those days you want to be pampered. Both require advance reservations. The major attraction's are Nippers Bar-N- Grill where having a goodtime has reached a new height in Abaco it is located on the Atlantic Ocean beach with a two level pool bar (open for lunch and dinner). The dining is open air, very casual (no shoes required). On Sunday, a wild boar roast buffet starts at noon. Blue Water Grill is a new Restaurant which comes highly recommended for excellent atmosphere and cuisine. To name the larger Developments is the Orchid Bay Development and the Baker's Bay Club/Passerine Development which is helping to firmly put Guana Cay on the map as a must see and attractive investment opportunity.


Man-O-War Cay

     Man-O-War Cay is known for the established tradition of shipbuilding and craftsmanship history, where it flourishes here as it did centuries ago. A very christian community that holds to its traditional past. There are no bars or liquor stores. Man-O-War is more a local residential settlement. Along with part-time residents and vacation homeowners there are less than 500 residents on this Cay. The first settlers were farmers in 1820. In the early 20th century they began to build boats.

     This cay offers several quaint gift shops, two grocery stores, bakery, boat and golf cart rentals all set amongst private homes, churches, schoolhouse and the post office. Two unique gift shops are Joes Studio offering hand crafted items made of Abaco wood and Albury's Sail Shop where you can watch them make sturdy, colorful canvas products. There are magnificent white sand Atlantic Ocean beaches with rock outcroppings and reefs for you to explore. Fowl Cay Preserve, a national underwater sea park, lies just north of Man-0-War Cay. One can also take a daily scheduled ferry for a full day of
exploring 


Elbow Cay/ Hope Town

     Picture perfect and looks like you are in Paradise the views make anyone want to be a photographer. The famous candy striped red and white light house over looks most of Hope Town and looks like a mother watching over her children. Hope Town was founded by the Loyalist Wyannie Malone and her family in 1785 and resembles New England with clapboard, brightly colored homes and white picket fences with the flamboyant tropical gardens.

     When exploring the village, the streets may seem like sidewalks to you and are lined with rainbow colors of local flowers especially the bougainvillea and hibiscus of every shade. There is no motorized traffic allowed within the village so walking or bicycling are you options. Boats from all walks of life and description come through the protected
Hope Town Harbour. The Wyannie Malone Museum is one of the most popular sites to see. Named after the founder of this settlement, It is filled with photos, documents,
maps, quilts, china, simple treasures and other heirlooms of the past. For those who want to see the independent and extraordinary survival skills of these brave loyalists, you will see it continues on in the natives. Located in the village of Hope Town, one will find two grocery stores, Harbour View Grocery on the edge of the Harbour and Vernon's Grocery on Back Street known for their fresh baked bread and pies. Within the village of
Hope Town one will also find art galleries, bike rentals, dive shop, clothing shops, several gift and jewelry boutiques, hardware store, coin-op laundry, liquor store, telephone company, marinas, and Assembly of God and St. James Churches
Elbow cay has so many different restaurants, bars and eateries that it is a challenge choosing where to eat or hang out. Abaco Inn and Hope Town Harbour Lodge to name a few are well worth trying.


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