Yes, Blackfly Lodge is designed by anglers for anglers. But most of us anglers have companions, and not everyone intends to spend the entire trip with a rod and reel in hand. For the non-fishing guest there are many ways to waste away a day, creating a memorable day of adventure in the Abacos.
The Abaocos are post card perfect. Most visitors arrive in Marsh Harbour where they connect by ferry or rental boat to the outer cays that sit just a stones throw away.
The most colorful and popular attraction in the Abacos is the candy-striped Hope Town Lighthouse on nearby Elbow Cay. The lighthouse stands at 89 feet, with 101 steps, and is one of only two remaining beacons in the Bahamas saved from automation. Extraordinary efforts are undertaken by the locals to secure the parts for the kerosene-burning apparatus of the light, most of which are no longer manufactured. Visitors are free to visit the lighthouse and drink in an amazing panoramic view.
For the beach bar aficionado, take the ferry from Marsh Harbour and spend the day Nippers Beach Bar & Grill on Great Guana Cay. Perhaps the best known beach bar in the Bahamas overlooking miles of powder white sand, Nipper’s is open 364 days a year. Stop by for the music and fun, mix with the locals, tourists and cruisers.
Visit Man-O-War, Albury’s Sail Shop and Albury’s Ferry Service
In between Guana and Elbow Cays, don’t miss a visit to Man-O-War. Famous for its boat building heritage, Man-O-War is a popular destination for strolling along its colorful harbour-front and a must-do visit to Albury’s Sail Shop, a local institution perched over the harbourfront like most of the nearby shops.
Visitors from around the world make their way here to buy brightly colored canvas garments and accessories, sewn on-site in the store. You can reach Man-O-War on the Marsh Harbour Ferry.
Great Abaco Island offers great sightseeing opportunities. Here are a few ideas.
It’s the “capital” of the Abacos, so for that reason, it warrants a trip, doesn’t it? The town sits aside a horseshoe shaped harbor basin, lined by various marinas, restaurant, bars and boutiques, most of which are along the main road on the south side of the harbor, where the Conch Crawl is a “must do”. Marsh Harbour itself is an endless collection of boats, each with a story! Spend enough time there, and you might just never go home!
Petes Pub & Gallery
Without question, you should not pass up a visit to nearby Little Harbour, and the famous Petes Pub & Gallery. A whimsical collection of flotsam and jetsam, this quintessential beach bar sits aside a magical small bay that surely inspired Jimmy Buffet’s “One Particular Harbor” musical hit.
“I have been told of a place that sounds like the paradise we have been looking for,” wrote Randolph Johnston in his diary.” The date was May 30, 1952. Two days later Randolph Johnston stepped ashore at Little Harbour, establishing his home and bronze foundry. The rest is history, as they say.
His sculptures became famous profitable and the foundry flourished. One of his large works, titled “St. Peter: Fisher of Men,” rests in the Vatican’s museum in Rome. His son Peter built the Gallery in 1992 alongside the Pub, right on the beach, and continues the family’s legacy in art and sculpture, drawing visitors from around the globe who come to see the foundry and continuing practice of lost wax casting.
This is the perfect “end of the road” destination for the Abaco adventure traveler. As you might guess, the settlement gets its name from the plentiful sand beaches that surround the settlement. Here all the streets wind up at Nancy’s, the popular restaurant and bar. You’ll often come across smartly dressed locals coming and going by ferry to their jobs at Disney’s Castaway Island, located just off shore. If you’re the castaway type yourself, you can even catch the ferry to Nassau from Sandy Point, departing weekly on Friday morning and returning Sunday Evening. For the ferry details, click here.
Hole in the Wall Lighthouse
Saving the best for last, and for the truly adventuresome, consider an expedition to the Hole in the Wall Lighthouse, as the far southern tip of the island. Built in conjunction with the Hope Town Lighthouse in 1838, light became automated in 1995 and serves as a beacon for Maritime traffic from the Bahama Bank, Nassau the the Communities on northern Eleuthera. Although beat up by the hurricanes of 1999, 2004 and 2012, the light still operates and visitors can climb to the top for spectacular views. This trek is not to be undertaken lightly, involving a 30 mile round trip journey south from the main highway, which can only be done by truck. A good pair of hiking boots is mandatory, and you may want to make sure the life insurance policy is fully paid up before heading up the light’s rickety staircase!
The Abaco Islands are rich with bird life and several areas have been set aside as preserves. With over 65 species of birds in The Abacos, it truly is a bird-watcher’s paradise and one of the few places in The Bahamas where you can find the green Abaco or “Bahama” Parrot, mainly in South Abaco near Hole-In-The-Wall. Other birds you’ll encounter are the Bahama Yellow-Throat, Cuban Emerald Woodpecker, Red-Legged Thrush, Olive-Capped Warbler and Flamingos. Click here for a list of the many birding sites around the Abacos.
So you’re a golfer? Most flyfishing anglers are, of course, and Great Abaco happens to have the Treasure Cay Golf Club, designed by the legendary Dick Wilson. Just north of Marsh Harbour, at 6,985 yards from the blue tees with 66 strategically placed sand bunkers, this golf course offers a challenge to the avid golfer with ocean winds and tight fairways. For most, this tropical 18 hole course can be played inside three hours. Click here for images of the course. To see the course cards, click Front Nine or Back Nine. To reserve a Tee Time and golf Birdwatching Golf cart, contact us at the Outfitter Travel Desk. We’ll get you on the course, but you have to get it in the cup!