Five-mile-long Elbow Cay's main attraction is the charming village of Hope Town. The saltbox cottages—painted in bright colors—with their white picket fences, flowering gardens, and porches and sills decorated with conch shells, will remind you of a New England seaside community, Bahamian style. Most of the 300-odd residents' families have lived here for several generations, in some cases as many as 10. For an interesting walking or bicycling tour of Hope Town, follow the two narrow lanes that circle the village and harbor. (Most of the village is closed to motor vehicles.)
Although modern conveniences like high-speed Internet and satellite TV are becoming more common, they are a relatively new development. In fact, most residents remember the day the island first got telephone service—back in 1988. Before that, everyone called each other the way many still do here and in the other Out Islands: by VHF, the party line for boaters. If you are boating, want to communicate with the locals, or would like to make a dinner reservation on one of the cays, you should carry a VHF radio and have it tuned to channel 16.