3 Best Sights in Elbow Cay, The Abacos

Elbow Reef Lightstation

Fodor's choice

Upon arrival in Hope Town Harbour, you'll first see a much-photographed Bahamas landmark, an 89-foot-tall, candy-striped lighthouse first manned in 1863. The lighthouse's construction was delayed for several years by acts of vandalism; then-residents feared it would end their profitable wrecking practice. Today the lighthouse is the last hand-turned, kerosene-fueled beacon in operation anywhere in the world. Monday through Saturday, from 9 to 5, you can climb up the spiral staircase to the top for a superb view of the sea and the nearby cays. There are 101 steps in all, and there is no graceful way for an adult to crawl through the small door onto the viewing platform that goes all the way around the top. The lighthouse keepers and their families live in the small cottages at its base, so keep noise to a minimum as one of them is resting up for his night shift. There's no road between the lighthouse and the town proper. You can use your own boat to cross the harbor or take a ferry to the dock and explore the lighthouse; the ferry does not run very frequently, so expect to spend at least an hour here before the next one comes along, to either head back to Marsh Harbour or continue on to Hope Town.

Tahiti Beach

Fodor's choice

This small beach at the southern tip of Elbow Cay is a popular boater's stop. The soft white sand is well protected from the close ocean cut by thick vegetation, a few barrier cays, and shallow water. This shallow area is popular for shelling, and, of course, simply relaxing and watching the tide rise. At low tide, the true beauty of this beach is revealed when a long sand spit emerges, perfect for picnics. It's great for young children, as the water on one side of the spit is ankle deep, stays calm, and remains warm. During peak season the beach can become a bit crowded. Amenities: floating bar and restaurant on calm afternoons. Best for: surfing; swimming.

Hope Town Beach

Hope Town

A beautiful reef just 30 feet offshore makes this a perfect spot to go snorkeling. Just be careful as the seas can get rough that side of the island. The wide, sandy beach is also a great spot to go for an early morning or late afternoon stroll. Be sure to look out for sea glass. Public access is behind St. John's Methodist Church or through the graveyard behind Taylor Park. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling, swimming, walking.

Elbow Cay, Great Abaco Island, Bahamas

Recommended Fodor's Video