Hope Town at Elbow Cay, Abaco Isl;ands, Bahamas

Elbow Cay - Hope Town BahamasHope Town is a tiny village set upon the north end of Elbow Cay. It's a quaint little village seemingly picked up in New England and dropped down in this small corner of paradise that is the Abacos. A labyrinth of quiet streets lined with brightly painted clapboard homes in pastel shades of blue, yellow, pink and white, and small-town stores, and churches, and tny restaurants where the food is local and almost always good and tasty. Hope Town is dotted with small gardens all ablaze with flowers: pink oleander, purple bougainvillea, and yellow and red hibiscus. Boats, small and large, some old and tattered, and some that cost more than most people can expect to earn in a lifetime, ride at anchor in the harbour, above which the famous candy-striped lighthouse dominates island, its harbour and its seascape.

Hope Town’s harbor is almost completely enclosed. Only when you’ve navigated its narrow entrance does the town heave into view. As with Man-O-War Cay, you won’t find any cars here.

Located on the narrow northern end of Elbow Cay, Hope Town faces the harbor to the west. To the east is the ocean and, only yards from the main highway at the end of a narrow street, a magnificent stretch of white sandy beach. Almost always, there’s the irresistible smell of fresh-baked bread, cakes and pies that permeates the air.

The town’s two museums – the Wyannie Malone Museum, off Bark Street at Hope Town Beach (open 10 am to 12:30, Monday-Saturday; entrance fee $1) and the Hope Town Lighthouse, across the harbour, close to Club Soleil – offer a peek into the town’s and Elbow Cay’s past.

You can stop for a cold drink at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge Hotel on Bay Street and enjoy lunch at Captain Jack’s. From there, you might like to stroll up the hill to the Bryle Patterson Memorial Garden; a more peaceful or picturesque view would be hard to find. Hope Town is one of those story-book settings you may read about, but rarely find.

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Getting There:

For visitors arriving by air, the Bahamas are served through Nassau by most US airlines and by international airlines from Canada and Europe, and to a slightly more limited degree through Freeport.

The Out Islands are served mainly by Bahamas Air via connections in Nassau and Freeport.

The Bahamas is also a major destination for the cruise ship industry

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