Day Trips & Shopping
Planning a Day Trip? Treasure Cay is part of Great Abaco, the main island of the Abacos. Great Abaco is nearly 120 miles long and yet, at its widest point, only 4 miles across! To the east of Great Abaco, a chain of smaller cays are located 2 to 6 miles offshore, providing a natural barrier from the Atlantic Ocean. The resulting protected body of water is known as the Sea of Abaco and that is what you see from Treasure Cay Beach.
The Abacos are known as the “sailing capital of the world.” Land is always in sight and the cays are usually no more than 10 to 40 minutes apart, making “island hopping” by boat or car the perfect way to explore.
PLACES TO GO BY FERRY OR OTHER BOAT:
New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay
If you go nowhere else, we recommend visiting Green Turtle Cay. You can charter a boat for a day and ask the captain to include Green Turtle on the itinerary.
You could also rent a boat yourself. But the easiest way is to take the Green Turtle Ferry from the Ferry Dock located by the airport.
Clapboard homes with gingerbread trim are painted in pastel hues and accented with picket fences. The streets resemble sidewalks and are fringed with purple bougainvilla, pink oleander and hibiscus of every shade. Stroll through the memorial Sculpture Garden and see the bronze busts of major Bahamian historical figures. And check out the Albert Lowe Museum, which exhibits models of early Abaconian ships, early island artifacts, photographs and paintings depicting the life of the Loyalists who settled there more than 200 years ago from the newly independent American colonies.
New Plymouth offers a variety of shops to poke into and explore. Other historical sites to see might include the more than 200-year-old cemetery or the island’s original jail.
Hope Town on Elbow Cay
There are two ways to get to Hope Town: you can charter or rent a boat for the day, or you can travel by car or taxi to Marsh Harbour and then take the ferry over to Hope Town on Elbow Cay.
Hope Town is a small 18th century settlement built around a protected harbour. It’s been described as a pastel-colored New England fishing village. There are fun shops with artwork, jewelry and clothing, and the Wyannie Malone Museum is located in an 28th century Loyalist home, complete with historical artifacts and displays.
There is very limited motorized traffic in Hope Town and the hilly streets must be explored on foot. The ocean is visible on both sides of the island as you stroll the narrow lane running along the spine of the island. Stop by The Abaco Inn outside of town and have lunch. Or, stay in town and have lunch at the Hopetown Harbour Lodge, or Captain Jack’s or Harbour’s Edge where you can have a drink and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to make the last ferry!
Elbow Cay is home to the most famous landmark in the Abacos, the iconic red-and-white-striped lighthouse. The lighthouse functions the same way it did when opened in 1863, using a kerosene light operated by weight and cable, which a keeper winds several times a night. This lighthouse is one of only three kerosene-powered lighthouses still operating in the world (all three are in the Bahamas). The unique lens generates a light visible more than 17 miles. If you can, climb the 101 steps to the top… and bring your camera! The views are simply spectacular.
Great Guana Cay
Great Guana Cay is the casual alternative to Green Turtle Cay.
Guana has a 5-1/2 mile beach that extends almost the length of the island, with superb snorkeling off its shoreline. You can take the Prozac Ferry right from the Treasure Cay marina. Plan ahead and take a snorkel if you go. Hike up and over the narrow island to the beach on the Atlantic side.
The reefs right off the beach are called the Guana Gardens. This natural wonder is a Bahamas underwater national park!
After a swim have a bite to eat at Nipper’s Bar and Grill ( famous for their Sunday “Wild Boar Roast” starting at 12:30 pm ) or Coco Sand Bar, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean Beach or stop in at Floyd’s Bar & Grill nestled in the palms. For a real treat of gourmet cuisine, take a short walk outside the village to Mermaid Cafe’ or Grabbers, serving Bahamian and International cuisine with a “funky twist.” The local drink specialties include such famous rum drinks as the “Nipper” and the “Guana Grabber.” They’re potent!
You will need to take the ferry, charter or rent a boat to get to Man-O-War. This Cay has been the capital of the Bahamas’ boat building industry for almost 200 years. Boats built on Man-O-War are still internationally known and recognized for their designs and construction. Some boats are still totally handmade, built without plans of any kind.
No cars are allowed on this island. Walking and golf carts are the only way to get around.
You’ll see the Cays’ sea-going heritage in the well-kept homes’ numerous “widow’s walks” and the wide range of nautically-oriented shops and stores lining the waterfront. Stop at one of the local eateries or take a lunch to go. Sally’s Take Away and Tamarind Tree Shoal serve lunch and dinner, while Ena’s Place offers homemade pies, ice cream, conch fritters, burgers and sandwiches, with seating under the shaded porch.
Then stroll over to the white sand beach on the Atlantic side and sun, snorkel or swim! Come back to town and visit Albury’s Sail Shop on the edge of the harbour. You can watch local seamstresses sew a wide variety of sturdy, colorful canvas products that are among some of the finest canvas products to be found anywhere.
And make a point to stop by Joe’s Studio to see craftsmen hand-craft Abaco wood into models of Abaco dinghies, chairs, candlesticks and more.
PLACES TO GO BY CAR:
Looking to venture off the beaten path? Little Harbour is a small picturesque community, located on the southwestern shores of Great Abaco about 45 minutes south of Marsh Harbour. Randolph Johnston made this his home in the mid-1950’s and founded an art colony. Internationally known for his castings in bronze, Randolph died in 1992. His son, Pete Johnston, has carried on at the foundry, creating incredible life size marine bronzes, furniture and gold jewelry inspired by local motifs.
Little Harbour is the site of Pete’s Pub, one of the most laid-back, island drinking establishments you will ever see. The Pub is actually fashioned out of the pilothouse and deckhouse of the sailing ship “Langosta,” one of the Johnston family’s original live-aboards. Un-crowded even by Abaco’s standards, Little Harbour, Pete Johnston’s Gallery & Foundry and Pete’s Pub make the 45-minute drive from Marsh Harbour definitely worth the trip! Note: The gallery, shop, pub and foundry are open to the public in season.
Bahama Dawn Design is a working studio and gallery of fun things. Offering the finest in handmade products such as art quilts, table decor, silk paintings and so much more. Androsia and Bahama Handprint fabric is also available. All handmade by Kim Roberts. For information call 367-4648.
Blue Sky Gallery offers fine Bahamian Art, prints, professional framing & photography by Tuppy Weatherford. Many local artists display their work at this store in Marsh Harbour. For information call 367-0579.
Conch Pearl Galleries offers fine Bahamian jewelry made exclusively by Peter Bradley. This is where you will find the conch pearl that can be handcrafted into unique pieces. The store also offers a variety of Bahamian artist pieces. The store is located in the Royal Harbour Village. For information call 367-0137.
Closer to Home
The island studio of Abaco Ceramics is located in Treasure Cay. The pottery is renowned and well-recognized across Abaco and beyond. In fact, you may notice a couple of pieces in your condo. A visit to the shop offers the chance to meet local artists who produce the signature white clay pottery with blue fish designs, palm trees or colorful island seashells. You can see the workshop and showroom and talk with designer Karen McIntosh and her talented crew.
They offer plates, mugs, lamps and other pieces in all different shapes and sizes. All of the pottery is handmade and painted right here in Treasure Cay. The studio is located on Treasure Cay next to the St. Simon Church and the entrance guard Pavilion to Treasure Cay.