Just 175 miles east of West Palm
Beach, Florida; Elbow Cay is an island approx. 6 miles long and
1/4 mi. wide. The eastern boundary of Elbow Cay is the Atlantic
The first inhabitants of Elbow Cay
and The Abacos arrived in the 1700's and the Wyannie Malone Museum
in Hope Town is very informative about the early development of
the town. Today's islanders are descendants of British Loyalists
who fled the United States after England lost the revolutionary
war. Their accents still ring of England and are pleasant to
A magnificent barrier reef protects
several miles of beautiful white sand beach and the unbelievably
clear, turquoise water that are filled with fish and dolphin. To
the west is the superb Hope town Harbour dominated by the famous
candy striped lighthouse, built by the British Imperial Lighthouse
Service in 1863.
The village, located between a
beautiful beach and the harbor, has perhaps 300 permanent
residents and is reminiscent of a New England fishing village set
in the tropics. Its main street, the Queen's Highway, is 8 foot
wide and no cars are allowed in the village. There are two town
docks for your use and a marina where gas can be purchased. There
are three grocery stores (one with its own dock), a liquor store,
a bank, a hardware store, and a small drug store, as well as
several gift shops and artist studios.
You will love fresh baked Bahamian
bread as well as key lime pie and other good stuff. Vernon Malone
at Vernon's Grocery in town presides over Vernon's Upper Crust
Bakery. Everything he makes is wonderful and you will be
entertained by his signs. Fresh fish and crawfish can be purchased
at the fish market across the street from Capt. Jacks.
Nearby Man-O-War Cay (named after
the bird) has always depended on shipbuilding for its livelihood.
Some boats are still handmade-without-plans in a tradition that
has been passed down for centuries.
The town here resembles a New
England sea-side village, save for the palm trees and tropical
In town, the
meeting place is the Harbour's Edge Restaurant and Bar. They have
their own dock and you can pull your boat up next to your table.
They serve lunch and dinner outside under their awning as well as
inside. On Saturday nights they have a calypso band and everybody
turns out for dancing. There is also Captain Jacks in their new
building on the waterfront also serving lunch and dinner.
Wednesday and Friday nights they have live music and
Known as the
‘sailing capital of the world’ Abaco consists of Great Abaco,
Abaco, & many surrounding cays spread out over 120
miles. Abaco is located on the Northern most part of The Bahamas
and is the country’s second largest island.
Abaco with its numerous offshore
cays and reef protected waters, once served as a safe harbor for
British loyalists during the American Revolution.
Visit the Pelican Cay National
Park, an underwater preserve; or, the Abaco National Park, a
20,000 acre site in southern Abaco encompassing the nesting area
and habitat of the Abaco Parrot. Or spend a quiet afternoon at the
Albert Lowe Museum, a restored 150-year-old mansion that now
houses exhibits on local history. In the Memorial Sculpture
Gardens, busts of some 30 Bahamians, representing different
Bahamian islands, stand in an elegant, tranquil garden setting.
Good roads allow you to explore the
100-mile-long mainland by rental car. Along the way, you can see
villages with lots of history, photograph island architecture and
take a hike in a forest preserve with a population of protected
You can also count dolphins
swimming the Sea of Abaco, climb the steps of the historic
lighthouse in Hope Town, and collect shells on the beaches. Oh
yes, the beaches -- wide, deserted, palm-fringed, soft, warm, non-commercial,
unlimited and unbelievable. No peddlers or hawkers. Safe for
swimming and snorkeling.
The five inhabited
cays are Walker’s Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay,
Man-O-War Cay & Elbow Cay. Abaco’s ‘city’ – Marsh
Harbor has all modern facilities!