At the end of the American Revolution, loyalists to the British Crown fled to Abaco and established settlements throughout the area. The settlements of Man-O-War and Hope Town offer glimpses of those early days. Most of the 300 residents on Man-O-War can trace their family lineage back to a young couple from Charleston, S.C., who settled there in the late 18th century. For hundreds of years, Man-O-War was known as the boat-building capital of the Bahamas. The wooden sailboats constructed here along the protected harbor played a major role in the development of reliable transport and shipping throughout the region.
Man-O-War Marina (242-365-6008, manowarmarina.com) provides a limited number of slips for docking and has moorings for transient or long-term use. Their Dock-’N-Dine Restaurant serves up some of the freshest Bahamian cuisine around. The folks at Edwin’s Boat Yard (242-365-6006, edwinsboatyard.com) provide excellent marine repairs and services, and seldom does anyone visit Man-O-War without purchasing a canvas bag from the Sail Shop or a souvenir from Joe’s Studio, one of the best shops in the Bahamas. Taking a walk on the beach is as easy as strolling along the settlement’s narrow streets to find the perfect spot.