The Abaco Islands: A boater’s and beachcomber’s paradise

For more information about the Abaco Islands and other destinations in the Bahamas, go to www.bahamas.com.

The Abacos, a northern island chain nestled to the east of Grand Bahama Island, has been a top destination for boaters of all stripes — we’re talking megayachts to sea-weathered sailors — for generations. No wonder: The Abacos play host to myriad beautiful harbors and cays which are perfect for keeping boats safe while their captains and crew head on land to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the Bahamas.

While you don’t need a boat to visit there (plenty of people arrive just fine via airplane), the laid-back boater’s vibe permeates the area —- the one-stoplight island of Great Abaco doesn’t have any structure taller than three stories, and is so surprisingly pristine, it feels like a rare gift that such an unspoiled tourist destination still exists in the world.

Where to stay

Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour

Since 1955, this laid-back, easy-going hotel has been a favored place where boaters, beachgoers and adventurers congregate. Centrally located in Marsh Harbor on Grand Abaco, next to a collection of restaurants and shops, Abaco Beach Resort (abacobeachresort.com) is a perfect jumping off spot to spend the day cay hopping. 

What to do

Boats, boats, boats
You don’t have to arrive via boat to get to the Abacos, but you need to get one to fully experience it. A little geography lesson: The Abacos are comprised of the main islands of Great Abaco and Little Abaco (where most of the commerce is located). These are surrounded by 11 smaller, beautiful cays. If you have a little boating experience, you can rent a boat for a day to visit them. Or you can seek out legendary local Lincoln Jones, who will take you fishing for bountiful red snapper, yellow tail and silver snapper, as well as lobster spearing and snorkeling. He’ll then host you and your group for a deserted beach fish fry to cook up your catch (go-abacos.com/lincoln).

What to see

Abaco nature tours
Be sure to book an eco-tour with the spitfire Ricky Jones, who will teach you all about the Abaco Islands (abaconature.com). Bird watching your thing??He’ll take you to see the endangered Bahama or “Abaco” parrots. Or book him for a kayaking and bike trip — or even a tour to visit Abaco’s blue holes. Sure, bird watching and an ecotour might not have the same allure as, say, drinking Goombay Smashes while overlooking a pristine harbor, but the intrepid Ricky makes topography interesting.

What to drink

Goombay Smash
The Bahamian national drink is the Goombay Smash. You’ll need to take a ferry over to Grand Turtle Cay to try where it (allegedly) all originated, the sun-baked Blue Bee Bar. Violet, the daughter of the bar’s founder, Miss Emily, welcomes locals and in-the-know tourists alike. The Smash is also on the menu at most Abaco restaurants and bars. 

Follow Dorothy Robinson on Twitter @DorothyatMetro



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…