Mangrove Cay, Androw Town, or San Andros?

Jul 20th, 2008, 09:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,844
Mangrove Cay, Androw Town, or San Andros?

I'm going a bit crazy here, trying to arrange what seems like it should be a short trip to the Bahamas. Probably because I don't even really like the Bahamas and I'm also in the throes of planning two other much more extensive trips elsewhere. Please help me simplify this.

I'm dropping my kids off at Nassau for a Semester at Sea program on August 29. Plan to fly from DC to Nassau on August 28, returning either August 31 or September 1 (I'd like to make it into a brief holiday,as long as I'm headed there anyway).

I don't have any particular desire to stay in Nassau, so I was thinking the morning of the 30th we'd fly to Andros or Eleuthera or somewhere close that's a bit more attractive than Nassau. I checked ferry schedules - can't make heads or tails of them, really, but it looks like the schedules don't work for us and they seem to be more expensive than flying. We can fly into and out of Mangrove Cay, San Andros, or Andros town and get back to Nassau in time to make a mid-afternoon flight back home (on either August 31 or September 1), but which one should we choose, and what would your suggestions for accommodations be in whichever one is best? I've looked at about a hundred places, but I know nothing about this island, so I'm operating in a vacuum. All we really want is someplace clean and quiet, preferably with AC, on or close to a beach and with a few restaurant/café options close by. We're hoping to spend $150 or less per night. We do not need, or particularly want, a "fishing lodge," which so many of them seem to be. We've got nothing against fishing, but we're just not interested in that (or any kind of excursions). We just want to swim, relax, see some pretty landscapes, and have some decent local food.

If we're totally off base even considering Andros, do let me know. I just looked at the map, and it seemed Andros and Eleuthera were the obvious choices for so short a visit, and the connections to Eleuthera weren't very good for us - at least the ones I've found.

Any ideas are appreciated.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 20th, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 746
I have been to several of the out islands but not Andros, although I plan to get there one day. Have you considered Treasure Cay in the Abacos? For such a short visit you really don't want to be somewhere that you need a car or have to travel alot once you arrive. Bahamasair has an early morning flight from Nassau to TCB that should not be a very long flight- if you are interested then you can look at www.treasurecay.com and see that, if available, there are accommodations in your price range. Other suggestions for this short trip: Great Exuma (check Peace and Plenty Inn) or Long Island (check Stella Maris resort). I also love Eleuthera but it is very large and you would need a car or several cabs once you arrived I would think. If you can get to the Abacos I would strongly recommend it.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 11:28 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,844
Thanks, ishkribbl:

I'll definitely look into that. Getting back from wherever we go to Nassau is more of an issue, as ideally I'd like to be able to fly back to Nassau and hop on a flight from Nassau back to DC in the same day, but I'll check flight schedules for the places you've mentioned.

We definitely want to be somewhere where we can get around a bit, but not with a car.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:46 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 746
Also, just curious- when you said you "don't really like the Bahamas", have you visited any of the out islands or just been to Nassau or Freeport? Personally, I can't stand Nassau and have no use for Paradise Island or the whole place but I love the out islands- a different world, for sure. I hope you got something to work out. If you had more time then I would have more suggestions. Happy travels- hope your kids have a great experience, too.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 07:16 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,844
I have been to both Nassau and Freeport and cannot stand either of them. I will add that the first time I went to Freeport I rented a car and went exploring and went to all of the out-of-the-way places and had a few nice experiences, but frankly nothing even remotely comparable to my other travels around the world, so yes, I am prejudiced, spoiled even...I want some culture, some beauty, some history I can relate to, some gorgeousness that is so enveloping I can spend the evening wallowing in it....not sure I can find that in the Bahamas. Last time I was there all I found was scrabbly landscape and overpriced, lousy food and lackluster national parks and really stupid "national attractions' and horrid overrun beaches. I don't expect much for a cheap vacation, but I'd like a clean beach and some decent food nearby.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 04:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,359
StCirq, saying you hate the Bahamas after visiting Nassau and Freeport is like saying you hate the USA after visiting one crummy neighborhood in New York City. Sure, NYC gets a lot of tourists, but one neighborhood doesn't represent the entire country. Just as two lousy Bahamian islands don't represent the remaining 698.

Perhaps the landscape is austere (these are low limestone islands, after all), but you will find that the Bahamian Out Islands are another world compared to Nassau. As an example, the Abacos have spectacular -- largely pristine and unpeopled -- beaches. The settlement of Hopetown, as an example, is anchored by a candy-striped lighthouse (still kerosene powered) and is a collection of charming saltbox houses painted in crayola pastels, clustered around a nearly landlocked harbor. The islanders are welcoming without being in-sincerely effusive. There is a small museum, and a unique history (read "Wind from the Carolinas") to this part of the world, populated in large part by Loyalists who fled the mainland during the Revolutionary War.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Callaloo is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 05:35 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,844
Calallou, that is precisely why I want to skedaddle out of Nassau as quickly as possible. I understand what I have experienced is not representative. I sincerely hope to be pleasantly surprised.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:31 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 746
StCirq-
Callalou and I share a love for the out islands and Hopetown is one of my favorite places in the world. I did not suggest it because of the added ferry travel (short though) required once you arrive in Marsh Harbour. If you would take 2 days and make that trip (look for flights from Nassau to MHH) then a short taxi ride to the ferry (small, semi open air, 20 minute ride)you would be very pleasantly surprised. Elbow Cay (where Hopetown is located) is a very small island and the "settlement" of Hopetown is tiny and walkable. The Hopetown Harbour Lodge (google for website) would be a good place to stay for a short trip such as yours. It has a nice beach, an inviting poolside bar, pretty views and good (for the Bahamas) restaurant. It is convenient because you just walk across a small road from where the ferry leaves you at their dock. I don't think you go wrong anywhere in the out islands though just be aware of distances when you are doing your planning (airport to hotel, hotel to restaurants, etc) when looking at some of the larger islands since your time is so very limited.
ishkribbl is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 06:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 746
PS Callalou- your description made me smile just to remember and I wish I could be there right now!!!
ishkribbl is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:59 AM.