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Which Out Island for laid-back, uncrowded and quiet vacation?

Which Out Island for laid-back, uncrowded and quiet vacation?

Oct 1st, 2017, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Which Out Island for laid-back, uncrowded and quiet vacation?

We're just getting started researching Bahamas Out Islands. Are thinking maybe Eleuthera, but would like everyone's opinions. We've got Southwest miles that will get us to Nassau, then would have to get to the island from there. Our trip would be at the end of May 2018. Our favorite island is?was Virgin Gorda, if that helps.

Our wish list --

Nice accomodations available under $300/night. (Private villa or maybe an adults only resort is the preference)

Easy to get to from Nassau

Quiet, private (or mostly private) beach experiences

Beautiful scenery and views

Decent restaurants (nothing fancy necessary, but we don't wan to cook all the time)

No need for a lot of shopping, but a little would be nice

Walk-in snorkeling would also be nice

Access to excursions should the desire to leave the island arise.

No night life necessary, just normal bars and restaurants

Friendly locals

Laid back vibe

Thanks all for any/all advice and info you can provide!
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2017, 01:52 AM
  #2  
 
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I think any of the Out islands will meet your wishes, as long as you choose your particular location well. Eleuthera, for example, is a loooong island, and takes a couple of hours to drive down; there are more remote and less remote spots. The Governor's Harbour area offers a lot of choices, as well as access to the stunning pink-sand French Leave beach.

For the most amenities and the largest number of choices for places to stay, the Abacos are a good option -- especially Elbow Cay or Green Turtle Cay. Charming settlements, beautiful beaches, cozy restaurants and bars.

The weather should be great at the end of May. And you'll find all of the Out Islands easily reachable from Nassau (some are easily reached from Ft. Lauderdale as well). If traveling via MAS, you do need to make sure you have a comfortable connection time -- at least 2 hours, since you need to clear immigration, collect your bags, clear customs, get to the domestic terminal, check in, and clear security.
Callaloo is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2017, 02:35 PM
  #3  
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Thank you for your reply. Do you find one island more appealing than others? Looks like a tough choice for us.
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2017, 02:18 AM
  #4  
 
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For an Out Island beginner, I would choose Elbow Cay. (My personal favorites aren't on your list -- Cat Island and the Exumas -- so take a peak at those and see if you like anything.) Don't worry about choosing. Pick one, and know you'll be back to explore further!
Callaloo is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2017, 07:27 AM
  #5  
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Cat Island and the Exumas sound wonderful. My choice keeps getting harder instead of easier. What do you love about Cat Island and the Exumas? And why is Elbow Cay your recommenddation for beginners? Thanks for letting me pick your brain! I hope other Out Island lovers will chime in as well.
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2017, 08:48 AM
  #6  
 
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Elbow Cay definitely.

Hopetown is a fine balance between civilisation and desert island wilderness.

To experience The Exumas at their best you need a boat and you need boating experience of tides, sand shoals, rapidly changing local weather and navigation skills.

The Sea of Abaco is much more forgiving and the boats are much cheaper due to increased competition. Most of the SoA is around 20ft deep, you can see the land, there are few under water hazards and you can generally see the shoals from a mile away. You just need to be aware of the 5 ft tides.

The cottages are also much better value than some of the more up market areas like Harbour Island where you are going to struggle to find a nice cottage for less than $4000 a week.

In Hopetown, Elbow Cay ; there's a number of rentals with docks and a short walk to the restaurants / beach for around $2000.

We use Elbow Cay Rentals, they have always been helpful and professional.

Hopetown has a friendly, small laid back feel without being exclusive at one extreme or scruffy at the other.

It's perfect.

There's also simple issues in the more remote areas like food availability, choice of restaurants and safety. Marsh Harbour has medical facilities in parts of the Exumas you can be a long way from anywhere.

It's hard to quantify what Callaloo means but they are absolutely right. Elbow Cay is a good start.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2017, 09:05 AM
  #7  
 
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Based on the fact that you say your fav island is VG I would recommend Eleuthera. While the Abacos/Hopetown is lovely I see it more of a boating destination. You will not have access to as many beaches (w/o a boat) as you would on Eleuthera. I don't see Eleuthera particularly the Gov Harbour area as being more remote than VG. Several restaurants/beaches to choose from. Agree with the comments above that Eleu is certainly long so driving distances are longer than VG if you choose to explore the northern or southern end of the island. From a day trip perspective I would visit Harbour island for the day.

Exumas beaches are stunning however I found the island lacking in good restaurants and a quaint center of town vibe.

Cat is more remote than any of the above. I would not recommend Cat unless you have tried Eleuthera, Exuma, and Long Island Bahamas.

You really can't go wrong with any of the above but throwing out my point of view.
mnag is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2017, 05:32 PM
  #8  
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So if I stay on one of these little islands like Elbow Cay or Treasure Cay or Green Turtle Cay, do I have to have a boat? Or are there ferries or water taxis to take? It would be nice to hop around a bit, but we have zero boating experience, so we'd have to rely on others.
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Oct 4th, 2017, 02:05 AM
  #9  
 
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One of the reasons I love Cat and the Exumas are for their remoteness -- which is why I don't recommend them for a first visit. They are great once you figure out how to manage that remoteness and lack of amenities (and whether or not you want to bother with it).

If you stay in the Abaco cays, having a boat makes island-hopping easy -- if you know what you're doing. If not, there are ferries -- lots of them, and very reliable. You can also rent a golf cart, which is a fun way to zip around.
Callaloo is online now  
Oct 4th, 2017, 05:45 AM
  #10  
 
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If you don't want rent a boat then :

Fly into Marsh harbour and get a 10 minute taxi ride to the public dock where you them take the short ferry ride to Hopetown. Elbow Cay is about 5 miles long, Hopetown is about a mile and a half down from the north tip.

From Hopetown, you can walk up to the north tip, there's two beautiful beaches and lots of "off the beach" reef snorkelling. I always seem to bump into dolphins at the north end beaches.

Hopetown itself has a beautful beach with limited reef snorkelling. You can then either cycle or golf cart south down the island to Tahiti Beach which is a sand bar beach and a great place to hang out. There's some very interesting snorkelling around here, anything can and will turn up. There are a large sharks here travelling throughout Tilloo Cut into the Atlantic.

Combined with chilling out there's enough keep you interested on Elbow without a boat.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Oct 5th, 2017, 02:52 PM
  #11  
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We've found a nice house on Treasure Cay that we might want to rent. Does this area fit into my wish list?
PlumeriaTattoo is offline  
Oct 6th, 2017, 04:44 AM
  #12  
 
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Treasury Cay is at the very north end of Marsh Harbour in the Abacos. You want to fly in to Treasury Cay airport (not Marsh Harbour airport) otherwise you will have a very expensive cab ride to TC. Lovely area. You will want to rent a golf cart to get around 'town'. The beach is spectacular. I believe there is also a golf course (not sure it its in good shape - didn't look that great when we were there 5 or so years ago). If you enjoy spending your days on a stunning beach you will be fine. Activities are generally limited. You can also ferry over Green Turtle Cay for a day. Limited number of restaurants but a wonderful café/beach bar on Treasury Cay beach where enjoyed many of our day time meals. We also met a lovely local who prepared/delivered local dishes to our rental villa.
Overall if you want peace/serenity and a gorgeous beach you will like TC. Not really an active vacation or fine dining destination.
mnag is offline  
Oct 6th, 2017, 09:41 AM
  #13  
 
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I'd agree with everything mnag posts.

To us Treasure Cay was actually a bit down at heel and not vibrant. The beach is the best I have every stepped on, better than many of the usual world's top 20 beaches voted for that we have visited. Just unbelievable colours.
BritishCaicos is offline  
Oct 9th, 2017, 07:06 PM
  #14  
 
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I recently moved to Trinidad and often go to Tobago.
I have to say these are the two least touristic places in the Caribbean. Maybe Trinidad won't be ur first option as it is very different from all the other islands, but Tobago is stunning, from Pigeon Point beach to the north side, and I highly recommend
bussa17 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2018, 06:29 AM
  #15  
 
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Has anyone here ever been to The Cove on Eleuthera.?

Last edited by bankbabe; Mar 29th, 2018 at 06:29 AM. Reason: mispelling
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Mar 29th, 2018, 10:30 AM
  #16  
 
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I have had dinner at the Cove - looked quite lovely at night. The restaurant is fancy. Not sure the resort screams Eleuthera to me but it did look quite beautiful. You should look up reviews on trip- advisor if you haven't done so already.
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