Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hope Town on Elbow Cay, Abaco, in the out-islands of the northern Bahamas

Hope Town is a small, charming settlement located on Elbow Cay in the Abacos, part of the “out-islands” of the northern Bahamas. Hope Town was founded in the late 1700’s by Loyalists from the US fleeing the wrath and intolerance of the American Revolution. Their loyalties lay with Great Britain so they left the victorious United States in order to remain within the British Empire. Wyannie Malone was one of the first loyalists and many of her descendants still live on Elbow Cay.

Hope Town is home to the beautiful red candy striped lighthouse that is one of the most photographed in the world. It was built in 1863 by the British Imperial Lighthouse Service to mark the reef in the Atlantic which lies just to the east of the settlement. The reef was a graveyard for many ships prior to the lighthouse being built. This lighthouse is kerosene powered and one of only a handful of its kind still in existence in the world. Its beam of light can be seen for twenty miles.

Post Office

The one room post office is housed upstairs in an old blue two story building at the end of the south public dock. There are no typical boxes for rent here - everything arrives in care of general delivery.


Along the Queens Highway, the narrow concrete main lane, there are old loyalist’s cottages resembling New England that have been lovingly restored.

The Jib, named because it makes a shape similar to the head of the sail at the forward end of a sailing sloop.

St. James Methodist Church

Vernon’s Grocery and Upper Crust Bakery

Vernon’s motto is “Let them eat key lime pie.” He’s a baker and has great homemade breads and the best key lime pie in Abaco.

Harbour View Grocery, offering dock side convenience

Hope Town Harbour Lodge

The Hope Town Harbour Lodge, one of our favorite places to have a cheeseburger in paradise, sits on a pristine two mile white sandy ocean beach thirty feet from a coral reef. After lunch you are welcome to snorkel the reef, walk on the beach, swim in the pool, or doze under the palm trees.

Harbours Edge and Captain Jacks

Both of these restaurants are on the harbour and offer dock side dining and gorgeous views of the lighthouse. You can enjoy live entertainment here on weekends.

Harbours Edge Restaurant

Captain Jack's Restaurant

White Sound and the Abaco Inn

White Sound is a residential community three miles south of Hope Town. Because there is no offshore reef along this area, it attracts surfers. Some say White Sound is the best surfing in the Bahamas. The Abaco Inn sits on a narrow strip of land between the Sea of Abaco and the Atlantic.

Tahiti Beach on the southern tip of Elbow Cay

On of the prettiest beaches in Abaco is Tahiti Beach on the southern tip of Elbow Cay. It’s in a coconut grove with great views of Tilloo Cut, an entrance for boats into the Atlantic from the Sea of Abaco.

Lubbers Quarters – across the water from Tahiti Beach

In the foreground is Lubbers Quarters, which runs parallel to the south end of Elbow Cay. In the background is Tilloo Cut, the entrance from the Sea of Abaco to the Atlantic Ocean.

For better viewing, click photos to enlarge.