Speed Limit 5
The sign astride a beach access waterway just up from the Post Office Community Dock told me everything I’d need to know about Hope Town.
Colorfully quaint, charming, and quiet, the principal settlement on Elbow Cay, one of many islets buffering mainland Abaco from the wild Atlantic, is about as fantastically laid back a place as any I’d ever experienced.
Virtually zero cars (everyone gets around by golf cart, walking, or riding bikes).
No cruise ships spewing hordes of tourists.
Nothing contrived or espousing the make believe fantasy West Indies put forth for the masses elsewhere in our islands.
All of this makes Hope Town ideal for a bit of casual exploration and photo fun.
Like New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay further north, Hope Town was founded soon after the Revolutionary War by British Loyalists. The shared origin with New Plymouth is readily apparent in historical attractions like this one and the New England cottage-style architecture of many Hope Town buildings.
History and architecture aren’t the only things that will keep you busy here, though. For one thing, I heard there’s some pretty decent nightlife. For another, there are beaches like this…
I found these sublime shores sitting right behind The Hope Town Harbour Lodge. It was just a few minutes past noon at the time, and aside from two guys basking in the sun behind me, I had the beach all to myself.
The only thing that could’ve made my visit to Hope Town better: more time.
Getting more time here is easy, even if you’re staying at The Abaco Beach Resort over on mainland Abaco, as I was. Hope Town is a quick and affordable ($25 round-trip if you’re coming by ferry) boat ride away.
Just be sure to come early and stay late to enjoy all that this special place has to offer.