So far our favorite settlement in the Abacos is Hope Town. For me, it was the grocery store and coffee house that did it. After searching for healthy foods in small shops on every island, I found things like brown rice, whole wheat flour and even (my favorite from home) Springer Mountain chicken (a roaster was $20, but compared to eating out, that’s not bad). I made it on a day when the ship had just come in and found fresh produce. Best of all, Harbor View Groceries is right on the water, so I can pull my dinghy up to their dock and load up easily. I went for a bike ride and got to see a lot of the area. I found the coffee shop in an old house that had been beautifully renovated, so I stopped for refreshments. It has a beautiful view of the candy-striped lighthouse on the other side of the island, and their menu rivaled any Starbucks.
For the kids, it was the park, complete with a newly-built playground, climbing tree, and lots of other playmates. Within minutes of arrival on shore, the older two were involved in a game of tag with local boys and Sarah and Sam were on the tire swing. Jay went to scope out dinner joints and I just sat and chatted with other moms. They also liked the Sugar Shack, where we had ice cream after dinner, a rare treat.
Although there was no large hardware store (like in Marsh Harbor), Jay also liked the feel of Hope Town. If we go back to spend more time there, I think we would anchor outside the harbor, so we could have a little more privacy (and a great place to swim) with the benefits of civilization just up the channel.