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IPMsMom Aug 14th, 2003 09:25 AM

out islands with kids
Could anyone recommend a place to stay in the Bahamas Out Islands for a family with kids. We are not interested in the big resorts of Paradise Island and Nassau. We want the more remote feel of the Out Islands and we like great snorkeling and some bone fishing. But we want our kids to feel welcome. Any ideas?

Robert Aug 14th, 2003 12:55 PM

As far as the feeling of being welcome the Bahamian out islands are also known as the "Friendly Islands." Many are very desolate with no TV, A/C or scheduled entertainment. If you don't want a REAL remote out-island, there are simply remote ones. You may want to rent a cottage off of Abaco Island, like Lubber's Cay, Green Turtle Cay or Hopetown. You could rent a boat and explore the Sea of Abaco and snorkel in patch reefs when you come across one. But there's also Exuma, Eleuthera, San Salvador (real remote), Cat Island and Long Island as well. Miles of untouched beaches on all of them. Great bonefishing on all of them, and the Peace & Plenty Bonefish Inn on Exuma, the marls bordering the western shoreline of Abaco, and the eastern side of San Salvador all have great bonefishing. Since I don't know how bored your kids may get or the activity level they need, you may want to call the Bahama Ministry of Tourism and ask questions. They have a toll free number. Robert

SusanLynne Aug 14th, 2003 01:30 PM

I've recommended it before to another family traveling and I will do so again. The Point House at Hawks Nest Resort & Marina on Cat Island. Now, I need to be very clear that Cat Island is not built up, no shopping centers, etc. just wonderful locals and fantastic beaches. The island is not for everyone, but rather those who want to get away from everything, including the big resorts. The Point House has a couple of bedrooms, a full kitchen, AC throughout, BBQ on a fantastic porch overlooking Exuma Sound. You can kayak the Hawks Nest River (tidal), search for sand dollars, snorkel about 15 yards off shore from the Point House and simply relax. No worrying about people approaching you on the beach to sell you things or asking you to buy stuff you don't want. I believe that Hawks Nest Resort & Marina managers Jennifer and Brian could help you out as far as arranging for bone fishing. Cat Island - just food for thought.

sunlady Aug 31st, 2003 09:48 AM

A medium between Paradise Island crowds and isolation of Cat Island (potential kid boredom) would be Robert's Abaco suggestions (all great) but also Harbour Island, Eleuthra. Harbour Island is only a few miles long but has many private cottages for rent (economical for a family)and restaurants. Harbour Island has a beautiful 3mile long "pink" sand beach and its main mode of transportation is a golf cart (again offering great mobility for kids & adults alike). A typical morning would be my dad bonefishing on a great flat 5 blocks from the cottage, sister visiting local shops, while I and the kids took the golf cart to the beach. Basic message: So much available in the little island---everyone is safe & comfortable doing their own thing.

brewer Sep 3rd, 2003 08:53 PM

What to do . It all sounds great. Does sunlady have any recommendations on where to stay on Harbor Island? Is there reasonable transportation to other islands from Harbor if you want to do day trips? Re: Cat Island- Our kids (age 11) are very outdoorsy but would like to run into other kids to goof with on the beach -- I guess the question is - are there kids around to hook up with? If we are planning to be in the area for 9 days what other things would you suggest? Bone fishing is way up there on the list. thanks

wantsomesun Sep 3rd, 2003 10:02 PM

Harbour Island would be perfect for your family and there are enough things on island to keep you busy the whole time you are there.

Off Island you could see some of Eleuthera or Spanish Wells, (lots of interesting history on Spanish Wells)

I would recommend staying at Coral Sands or Romora Bay, both will have kids (Coral Sands is a little bigger though).

The island is VERY safe so you will be able to let you kids run around a bit without much worry.

There are 2 dive ops on island, Valentine's and Ocean Fox Dive, both have resort dive and snorkle trips to some amazing underwater sites, like a Civil War Train, make for a great dive site a hundred or so years later.

There are several restaurants on island, and a couple fastish food places (nothing in the Bahamas is fast), and a few really nice restaurants for a nice evening meal.

You might try the website for Harbour Island for any other questions, or feel free to let me know if you need any other info.

Have a great time and enjoy the Bahamas.

Robert Sep 4th, 2003 06:27 AM

The recommendation for Hawk Nest on Cat is a great reco. However, I would recommend you get the safety record of the small plane airlines you book, no matter which out island you travel to. The Bahamian Govt. recently banned Air Sunshine from their air space, due to fatal crashes during the past decade. They fly out of Ft. Lauderdale to various out islands and Puerto Rico. Their last fatal crash killed a young woman and her toddler; it sits in 50 feet of water just several miles off the Abaco, Bahamas airport. I was going to fly with them to Cat Island this past Spring, but did not. Robert

SteveJudd Sep 4th, 2003 08:55 AM

My wife and I visited Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos in 1995 before we had children and I was struck how much like North Carolina it was. Its many cottages were large enough for families and there was plenty of space on the beaches. Our bonefishing guide was excellent and it was cheap and easy to rent a boat for a day. I think a man named Grendel ran a scuba dive shop. Green Turtle is very laid-back and is home to a few fairly nice places to eat. If you eat conch, you'll love it.

Robert Sep 4th, 2003 04:58 PM

I think "Brendal" is the dive shop owner. His snorkeling trips to Manjack Cay are great for non-divers; it is a deserted cay with a Bahamian lunch buffet included. Several months ago, one of the tourists was attacked by a barracuda which mistook his shiny bracelet for the sun reflecting off fish scales. The man had many stitches and received good care. Brendal is a very conscientious Bahamian and wanted to pay the total hospital bill...which was less than $70! No sticker shop in their health care system. The cay is where one of Al Pacino's movies was filmed. It was a fluke incident, and Brendal never had a barracuda attack, or any other kind of attack, on his snorkeling excursions. Robert

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