In the Abacos Islands Bahamas you'll feel content in this uncrowded environment, yet with the accommodations and services you desire. Sea kayaking in pristine protected areas provides a rewarding sense of adventure. Conventional activities like golf, tennis, and beach volleyball are also available. Of course doing nothing at all is a highly rated activity here.
This is the Bahamas, so don't neglect activities happening in one of its most magnificent assets—the water. Snorkeling and diving have long been staple activities for visitors. The islands' calm, naturally protected waters, have helped the area become the Bahamas' sailing capital. The Abacos play host annually to internationally famous regattas and to a half-dozen game-fish tournaments.
From island-long stretches to strips as short as your boat, with powder-white to pink to warm-cream sand, the roar of the surf or the silence of a slow-rising tide, the Abacos have a beach suited to everyone's liking. And most likely, you'll find a secluded spot to call your own. For more information on the best beaches of The Abacos, visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide.
Abaco Islands Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit the Abacos Islands is from mid-December to mid-April, the country's peak season. Though temperatures here are great year-round (they rarely dip below 60 degrees), the islands fall within the hurricane belt, so hurricanes may be a factor between June 1 and Nov. 30 (the Atlantic hurricane season). Most of these months (plus May) also fall within the region's rainy season, which can leave you with fewer days spent enjoying the islands' outdoor activities. But keep in mind that mid-December to mid-April's sublime weather attracts hordes of tourists, so prices will be at their highest and crowds at their thickest during these months.
Abaco Island Attractions
Guana Cay Beach
The beaches on Guana Cay stretch along much of the island's ocean side and are often only separated by rocky outcroppings. The sand here is slightly courser and is more cream color, with speckles of pink from wave-ground corals. Surfing is popular here, too, especially on the northern beaches. The North Side Beach, as it is known by locals, offers both long quiet walks and Sunday pig roasts at Nippers restaurant, one of the best beach parties in the Bahamas.
Carlton Settlement Ruins
Tucked away toward the northwestern end of the Treasure Cay development are the ruins of the very first settlement in Abaco, founded by the Loyalists that left the Carolinas during the American Revolutionary War. The sight is not well marked, but ask a local for directions.
Off the Great Abaco Highway at the turn in the road that takes you to Sandy Point, a rugged, single-lane dirt track leads you to this navigational lighthouse that stands on Great Abaco's southern tip. The lighthouse was constructed in 1838 against local opposition from islanders who depended on salvaging shipwrecks for their livelihood. Over the years the lighthouse has survived sabotage and hurricanes, and was automated in 1995 to continue serving maritime interests. The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation has leased the site to monitor whale movements and conduct other ocean studies.
Pelican Cay Beach
In a protected park, this is a great spot for snorkeling and diving on nearby Sandy Cay reef. The cay is small and between two ocean cuts, so the water drops off quickly but its location is also what nurtures the beach's pure white sand. If you get restless, ruins of an old house are hidden in overgrowth at the top of the cay, and offer fantastic views of the park.
Sawmill Sink Blue Hole
A half-hour drive south of Marsh Harbour is a crudely marked electric pole directing you to turn right onto an old logging trail. A short drive down this road takes you to an incredible blue hole. It was featured by National Geographic in 2010 for the fossils found deep within it. Though you cannot dive this hole, you can swim in it.
Best Abaco Islands Restaurants
Abaco Inn Restaurant $11 – 30
Fresh-baked bread, fruit, and egg dishes are breakfast highlights. But where the restaurant really shines is in its servings of the freshest seafood on the island. At lunch, sample the grilled grouper or spicy cracked conch. For dinner, grilled wahoo, hog snapper, or mahimahi can be prepared to your liking. There's also crawfish in season-blackened, grilled, fried, or coconut fried, as well as escargot. When you make your reservation, ask for a table on the enclosed patio overlooking the ocean. Telephone: 242-366–0133 Web: Abaco Inn Restaurant
Firefly Bar & Grill $11 – 30
Whether you pull in by golf cart or tie up by boat, it's worth the trip. Owned by the developers of Firefly Vodkas, this bar carries the full line along with the Mo-Tea-To, their take on the mojito, and the Fly Swatter, a delicious mixture that's a closely guarded secret. Seafood is their specialty and the extensive menu makes choosing just one dish a challenge. Locals travel from throughout the Abaco island chain to enjoy lunch or dinner here and catch one of the best views of the Sea of Abaco. Telephone: 242-366–0145 Web: Firefly Bar & Grill
Green Turtle Club Dining $11 – 30
At lunch, treat yourself to a lobster salad, lobster corn chowder, cheeseburger, or grilled grouper sandwich. Dinner is where the club really shines, transporting you back to the 1920s with elegant dining beneath antique chandeliers. The steaks are among the best around. The jumbo lobster and artichoke ravioli, Coconut Curry Seafood Hotpot, and Stone Crab Souffle are just some of the temptations on the extensive menu. For dessert, try the guava crème brûlée. Telephone: 242-365–4271 Web: Green Turtle Club Dining
Treasure Sands Club $31 – 60
A large pool surrounded by lounge chairs and a sound system give this spot a very South Beach vibe. For lunch, enjoy a lobster club or top the already decadent TSC Premium Burger with fried lobster and avocado. For dinner, select from the pastas, seafood, duck, lamb, short ribs, or steak Diane. Finish it up with a Grand Marnier souflé and an “adult” coffee. Sunday brunch is a mix of Continental, American, and Bahamian classics. Telephone: 242-365–9385 Web: Treasure Sands Club
Wally's $11 – 30
This is the Abacos' most popular restaurant—the place to go for good food, potent rum cocktails, and serious people-watching. Lunch is a scene, especially if you sit outside, where you'll find a mix of locals, tourists, and boat people munching on Greek or Caesar salads, spicy grouper, and mahimahi burgers. Inside there's a stylish bar, a boutique, and three dining rooms, all adorned with Haitian-style paintings. Dinner is served every night except Sunday and the menu includes creamy curried shrimp, mahimahi Provençal, or a filet mignon smothered in a mushroom sauce, as well as a daily sashimi. Save room for the key lime pie or Bahamian bread pudding. Telephone: 242-367–2074 Web: Wally's
Best Abaco Islands Nightlife
Each evening Cap'n Jack's offers a different event, including bingo and trivia, along with drink specials. After 9 pm on Wednesday there is DJ music. This is a popular spot for young adults. For more information call 242-366–0247, or visit them on the web at Cap'n Jacks.
Grabber's Bar & Grill
This is a popular local spot on weekend nights. There's music and the Guana Grabber, a potent frozen drink designed to lighten any mood. Telephone: 242-365–5133 Web: Grabber's Bar & Grill
At night, Green Turtle can be deader than dead or surprisingly lively. Bet on the latter if the local favorites, the Gully Roosters, are playing anywhere on the island. Known locally as just the Roosters, this reggae-calypso band is the most popular in the Abacos. Its mix of original tunes and covers can coax even the most reluctant reveler onto the dance floor. The band's schedule is erratic, but they play every Wednesday at 9 pm under the Buttonwood tree at the Green Turtle Club during the high season. Telephone: 242-365-4227 Web: Gully Roosters
Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar
Other nighttime options include a visit to Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar, where you might find a singing, carousing crowd knocking back the world-famous Goombay Smash. Mrs. Emily Cooper, creator of the popular Goombay Smash drink, passed away in 1997, but her daughter Violet continues to serve up the famous rum, pineapple juice, and apricot brandy concoction. The actual recipe is top secret, and in spite of many imitators throughout the islands, you'll never taste a Goombay this good anywhere else. It's worth a special trip to try one. Telephone: 242-365–4181 Web: Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar
Pineapples Bar & Grill
On the water in front of the Other Shore Club and Marina, this bar has a hopping happy hour from 4 to 6 daily and live music every Friday at 8. Telephone: 242-365–4039 Web: Pineapples Bar & Grill
Best Abaco Islands Hotels
Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour
The Abaco Beach Resort is a property that provides its guests with a private beach area, a restaurant and bar on site, an outdoor pool and sun terraces. Free Wi-Fi access is also available. The rooms are air-conditioned and include a balcony offering sea views, cable TV and a wardrobe. The private bathroom features a hairdryer and may have either a bathtub or shower. The restaurant serves international and typical local food, and there is a pool bar that provides snacks and drinks. Abaco Beach Resort has a harbor on site with electricity and fueling services available. There is also a customs and an immigration clearance office provided for arrivals by sea.
Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort
Located on a peninsula linked to Great Abaco Island, this casual beach resort is home to a 150-slip marina and par-72, championship golf course designed by Dick Wilson. A five-minute walk from the main hotel area brings guests to a nearly six-km (four-mi) curved beach of powdery white sand sloping gently into the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Pastel buildings fronting the marina hold 80 air-conditioned rooms with kitchenettes. Rooms have patios or balconies bordered by garden foliage or providing marina views.
Hope Town Harbour Lodge
This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Hope Town Harbour Lodge is located in the Elbow Cay and offers its guests a beachfront property with private beach area, outdoor pools for adults and children. The air-conditioned accommodations offered by Hope Town Harbour Lodge are decorated with light colors and some colorful details. They have modern and simple furniture and all feature sea views from the balconies. The bathrooms provide toiletries and hairdryers.
Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina
Set on the island of Green Turtle Cay and overlooking the Sea of Abaco, Bluff House Beach Resort & Marina offers a private beach, tropical gardens, an outdoor pool and a large private marina. Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. Rooms at Bluff House feature charming colonial-style decor with wooden floors, a seating area with sofa bed and balcony with expansive Sea views. All rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV, Free WiFi, coffee maker and mini-refrigerator. The bathrooms are private with shower. The Ballyhoo Bar & Grill overlooks the marina and pool and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. You can also enjoy lunch and tropical drinks overlooking the Sea of Abaco at the Tranquil Turtle Beach Bar. Scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding can all be arranged, and you can also organize golf, boat rental and deep-sea fishing trips. Golf carts can be hired on property, and the historic village of New Plymouth is just 15 minutes away by golf cart.
Bahama Beach Club Resort
This beautiful resort is on a white-sand beach in Treasure Cay and features an on-site fitness center, a freshwater pool and an ocean-front hot tub. Bahama Beach Club also has free Wi-Fi. Each air-conditioned apartment at this property has a modern, full kitchen with an extra-large refrigerator, as well as a sitting and dining area. They also include a cable TV and a wardrobe. The on-site restaurant serves fresh seafood, and guests can enjoy pool-side dining and drinks. Other dining options are within 1 miles of the property.