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10 Best Beach Bars in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas

You Cant go Wrong in The Abacos


I would like to start by saying that all the bars in the Abacos are excellent, each in its own way. The locals are friendly and genuine, with big smiles and infectious laughter. A good time can be had just about anywhere. All this made my assignment to report on the 10 best bars that much more difficult. I spent many, many days cruising from one end of the Abacos to the other, doing exhausting research, sampling the products and paying the price to bring you this valuable information. Here are my findings.

10. Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar

Right off the bat, at No. 10, I've picked a bar that isn't on a beach! Hey, it's da Bahamas”roll with it. What is so special about the Blue Bee? This is where Miss Emily invented the Goombay Smash. Often imitated, never duplicated. Miss Emily is no longer with us, but her niece Violet continues to serve this potent tropical punch with a smile that could light up Nassau. The bar is classically funky with boat cards covering the walls and ceiling. Allegedly some pretty famous folks have their cards stapled here, but a huge storm surge washed out most of the old cards. That just seems to add to the ambiance.

Where to dock: There are mooring balls in Black Sound, or you can anchor off New Plymouth in prevailing easterly winds. Nearby options include the Leeward Yacht Club (242-365-4191) and the mooringballs at Donny's Dock (407-610-7000).

9. Pineapples

As with the Blue Bee, Pineapples is in New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay. New Plymouth is a bit off the central, popular part of the Sea of Abaco and takes just a bit more effort to reach. That means, for better or worse, it's a bit more rustic. That suits me fine, and so does Pineapples. There's a small beach, lovely sunset views, a pool surrounded by picnic tables and a small outdoor bar. You'll find typical Bahamian beach-bar fare of burgers, fried conch, fish dinners and a full compliment of cocktails. Live music is usually on the schedule in season.

Where to dock: There are moorings in very well protected Black Sound, a short walk into New Plymouth, or tie up at Green Turtle Club & Marina (800-370-4468) in the North Sound for a resort-like stay and about a one-hour golf cart ride to Pineapples.

8. Pool Bar at Abaco Beach Resort

The pool bar at the Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. ABR is one of the nicest resort/marinas in the Bahamas, with deluxe accommodations. The bar is a giant tiki hut serving all your favorite concoctions and a small bar menu. Formal dinner can be had steps away at Anglers Restaurant. But the pool is what makes this place special. You can swim up to your bar stool in the pool and be served cocktails without leaving the water. Life is good at ABR. It is located close to Marsh Harbor, the biggest town in the Abacos.

Where to dock: Onsite at Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina (242-367-2158).

7. The Reef Bar & Grill

Why does the Reef Bar & Grill at Hopetown Harbor Lodge make No. 7? Its spectacular view of the Atlantic, good food and excellent service. It's a very pleasant and relaxing spot to enjoy your favorite drink. Being in Hopetown doesn't hurt either. If you like casual elegance, this is your place. Bar hopping via golf cart is known to be a popular pastime on Elbow Cay.

Where to dock: Hopetown has several marinas, including Hope Town  Inn & Marina (242-366-0003) and a large mooring field in the well protected harbor near the beautiful old red striped lighthouse guarding Elbow Cay.

6. Grabbers

Grabbers is just a few stumbles from the beach just don't fall into the pool on your way. A Grabber frozen punch drink can do that to you. This is a great place to put your toes in the sand or swing in one of the hammocks and enjoy a beautiful Bahamas sunset. A good selection of cocktails and typical Bahamian fare should take care of your needs while you melt into the soft sand.

Where to dock: There is lots of room to anchor off Great Guana Cay during prevailing easterlies, or dock at Orchid Bay Yacht Club & Marina (242-365-5175).

5. Cracker P's Bar & Grill

Cracker P's Bar & Grill on Lubbers Quarters has one of the largest selections of rum I've ever seen including the Shotgun which is their house made rum punch. Maybe I can stop right there. But it also has a very good, well prepared menu and a regular Full Moon Party. Get your timing right and prepare to howl!

Where to dock: There is an anchorage north of popular Tahiti Beach and a dinghy dock at Cracker P's.

4. Abaco Inn Bar & Lounge

Abaco Inn has spectacular views from a bluff overlooking the Atlantic. What gets it such a high rating is its food the sesame tuna is perfection! It is known for their high standards, and the dinner menu reflects that. Everybody needs to indulge once in a while, right? The lunch menu still has high standards, but with more down-to-earth pricing. Oh, and it serves cocktails too! The Abaco Inn is on Elbow Cay, reachable by golf cart from Hopetown or by anchoring off Lubbers Quarters and dinghying into White Sound. There's a marina in White Sound a short walk away.

Where to dock: Sea Spray Marina in White Sound (242-366-0065), about a ten-minute walk away.

3. Coco's Bar and Grill

The beach at Treasure Cay is world famous, and for good reason seven miles of fantastically spectacular sandiness. And Coco's ain't too shabby, either. First, it mixes an excellent Bahama Mama. Second, there are great Wednesday and Thursday night dinner specials. Third, Friday nights usually sees very good live music and bonfires on the beach. Finally, Coco's has lounge chairs available under tiki huts with bar service. There's something for everyone. You must see that beach!

Where to dock: Onsite at Treasure Cay Beach Hotel, Marina & Golf Resort (242-365-8250), which offers docks, moorings and anchorage.

2. Nipper's Beach Bar & Grill

If you want a party, Nipper's on Great Guana Cay is party central in the Abacos. There are excellent view from the bluff of the ocean, the beach below, and the reef just offshore. The multicolored and multilevel decks make for great people viewing. Their Nipper Juice will get you properly juiced up, and there is an always-popular Sunday pig roast. If you are there on Easter Sunday, you can join the Easter egg hunt that includes hiding spots out on the reef. If the usual party isn't enough, make sure you plan your visit around the annual Barefoot Man concert in April: Party time on steroids!

Where to dock: Orchid Bay Marina (242-365-5175) is a decent walk away, and Nipper's will pick you up in it's golf carts, or anchor off Great Guana Cay.

1. Pete's Pub

Pete's Pub in Little Harbour ... this is a beach bar. From the ships-bow bar to the sand floor to the motto Why walk when you can crawl it's real, it's authentic and it's laid back. Its Blaster is a rum punch with a little something different, a bit of tang. The fish sandwich is excellent. Pete occasionally puts on wild pig roasts as well. The pub runs on solar power and rain water. And then there is the Johnston Studios. Pete's father brought the family to Little Harbour in the early 1950s and lived in caves while building a homestead and then a bronze foundry. The foundry still operates and you can see and buy bronze sculptures in the gallery. This is a place to be experienced.

Where to dock: Most boats take a mooring in the well-protected Little Harbor, where a large population of sea turtles roam about. Pete's Pub also has some dock space. The bar is just a short crawl from the beach where you land your dinghy.

One Final Thought

There's another type of beach bar you can find scattered throughout the Bahamas. These beach bars don't have a staff of waitresses or bartenders or chefs. There's no cover charge or menu or live band on Friday night. No blenders, not even electricity. They are empty beaches where cruising boats and locals gather any useful flotsam to create a picnic area beach-bar atmosphere. They are truly BYOB. Some are quite elaborate, often employing old fishing nets as sun shade, stumps for seating, and any variety of planks, pallets, doors, and what-have-you for tables. They are close to good anchorages with sandy beaches. For a change of pace, create your own beach bar and your own Top Ten experience.

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Florida's Fall Calendar of Events 2022

From the Gulf to the Atlantic and every bay in between, boaters and their families have plenty to look forward to on the Florida coasts this fall. Start the season with a couple of pints at Oktoberfest and spooks at a haunted ghost tour, throw in a boating event or two, and round it out with a lighted boat parade.


Black trolley with "Ghosts and Gravestones" logo on the side
Source: Adonis Paul Hunter


St. Augustine


Learn about the haunted history in the oldest city in the United States through the lens of the undead. Get tickets for haunted pub crawls, trolly tours and walking tours. You’ll get in the Halloween spirit and learn the stories behind St. Augustine’s most spirited locations from professional storytellers with just the right amount of spook. Kids are welcome on trolly and walking tours, and pets are allowed on walking tours! Check out Ghost Tours of St. Augustine or Ghosts & Gravestones.

Where to Dock: Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor

Band walking in a parade playing tubas
Oktoberfest | Credit Pixabay


Jacksonville Beach, Tampa

October 7-9

Kick off the fall season with Oktoberfest on the Atlantic or Gulf Coast with Beaches Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest Tampa. With Tampa’s event ranking in the top five in the country and Jacksonville Beach’s being the largest in the state, you’re sure to find the brew for you!

Where to Dock: Fort George Island Marina (Jacksonville), Westshore Yacht Club (Tampa)


Apollo Beach

October 20-23

Just across the Bay from Tampa and St. Pete, Apollo Beach is teeming with wildlife on land and on the water. At this four-day festival, you’ll find a free expo with nature organizations and artwork, daily field and boat trips to sites not accessible to the public, and expert wildlife and conservation seminars. Nature aficionados won’t want to miss this opportunity at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Suncoast Youth Conservation Center.

Where to Dock: Apollo Beach Marina


West Palm Beach

October 22

Has your dog always wanted to be an (un)professional racer? Now is Fido’s time to shine! Register your pup for a day full of zoomies, Doggie Costume Contest, and plenty of BBQ and entertainment for the whole family. Proceeds benefit Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch.

Where to Dock: Palm Harbor Marina

Jazz band on stage under bright lights playing instruments



October 14-16

No matter your music taste, you’re sure to find something to jam out to at this three-day festival, from smooth jazz and blues to funk and zydeco. You’ll find plenty of vendors at the festival, and Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood offers old-school charm and Latin American eateries. St. Petersburg offers hip breweries, coffee shops and more.

Where to Dock: Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina



October 22

Join in a celebration of life at the Water Lantern Festival this fall. Start the day with food trucks, music and family- friendly fun, and end by releasing your personalized lantern on the water at sunset.

Where to Dock: Marina Jack

Two dark grey mega-yachts docked at the boat show
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show | Credit Informa Markets


Fort Lauderdale

October 26-30

The largest in-water boat show in the world offers viewings and demos of everything from superyachts to kayaks and fishing gear. Stop by the Superyacht Village to sip a cocktail on one of the most luxurious boats in the world, the Convention Center for watersport and innovative boating gear demos, and take the family to a kid-friendly fishing seminar.

Where to Dock: 17th Street Yacht Basin, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Pier 66 Hotel & Marina



October 28-30

Join the Old Naples Waterfront Association in the historic center to kick off stone crab season! Eat stone crab to your heart’s content in a prime harvesting location of the tasty crustacean and enjoy plenty of entertainment, from live music to local galleries and craft vendors. florida-seafood-festivals-calendar

Where to Dock: Naples Bay Resort & Marina


close up view of a seafood platter with vegetables, salmon, scallops, and shrimp
Florida Seafood Festival | Source VISIT FLORIDA



November 4-5

Cruise to the charming Apalachicola, tucked away among expansive wildlife reserves and just a bay away from the Gulf. Along with some of the best oysters and seafood you can eat, the whole family will enjoy a parade, carnival, Blessing of the Fleet, hours of live music every day, and competitions such as the oyster shucking contest and blue crab races.  

Where to Dock: Apalachicola Marina


Fernandina Beach

November 5

Celebrate the annual return of the North Atlantic right whale to the coasts of Florida and Georgia to give birth and nurse their young in historic Fernandina Beach. Learn about threats and conservation efforts for these gentle giants, participate in a beach clean-up, and enjoy family fun at educational exhibits, athletic events, and food and craft vendors.

Where to Dock: Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Beach


Key West

November 6-13

Cruise to Key West for three days of epic racing and a full week of family-friendly fun. Don’t miss the World’s Fastest Boat Parade on the first Sunday, or any three of the races throughout the week: the Truman Waterfront Cup, Southernmost Continental Champion, and Championship. Use downtime to explore the Race Village at Truman Waterfront and try out local pubs, shops and restaurants.

Where to Dock: Conch Harbor Marina

crowd on the beach admiring a large sand sculpture
Credit JJS Photo



November 11-14

Visit Siesta Key Beach to watch sculptors from around the world turn piles of white sand into sculpted masterpieces. Professional competitors have 24 hours to build their pieces, and visitors have the chance to participate in amateur sand-sculpting competitions and see the masters at work.  

Where to Dock: Safe Harbor Siesta Key



November 19-20

Art connoisseurs and amateurs alike will love this boutique art competition and festival in the scenic cultural center of Sarasota. Masters of different media—ceramics, jewelry, graphic art, painting, and more—will put the best of their work on display for patrons to browse and buy to their hearts’ content.

Where to Dock: Marina Jack

Mansion at night-time with palm trees filled with warm white holiday lights
St. Augustine Night of Lights | Source Om Flickr


St. Augustine

November 19-January 31

Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Cruise back to St. Augustine as early as before Thanksgiving for a dazzling display of more than 3 million lights in the historic district. Gaze in awe at the twinkly lights and find photo ops at the Bridge of Lions and the Christmas tree at the center of Plaza de la Constitución. Enjoy the sounds of the All Star Orchestra on the first night and stroll to businesses open later than usual.

Where to Dock: St. Augustine Municipal Marina



Miami Beach

December 1-3

Since the 1970s, this annual art extravaganza brings works of contemporary and modern pieces by renowed and emerging artists from around the world to showcase in Miami. Held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, for three days the public can gaze upon unique masterpieces presented by leading galleries from five continents.

Where to Dock: Sunset Harbour Yacht Club


Key Largo, FL

December 1-4

This annual four-day event showcases classic antique yachts, automobiles and aircraft to celebrate those who restore vintage collections. Experience a full schedule of events kicking off with a welcome party and dinner buffet on Thursday, then a weekend packed with drive-bys, shows, dinners, cocktail receptions, a costume party and more.

Where to Dock: Ocean Reef Club


With so many spectacular lighted boat parades on the coasts of Florida, we couldn’t choose just one! Dock at any of these coastal towns on the first three Saturdays of December to ring in the season on the festive Florida waterfronts.

Palm trees lined with warm white holiday lights and a sunset with boats in the background
Credit Florida Historic Coast

Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade
December 3

Palm Coast Yacht Club Holiday Boat Parade
December 3

The Seminole Hard Rock Winter Boat Parade
December 10

St. Augustine Regatta of Lights
December 10

Naples Bay Christmas Boat Parade
December 10

Northwest Cape Coral 2nd Annual Boat Parade
December 17

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Maritime Museums in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is well known for its clear blue tropical waters. But as rich as it is in beauty, the islands have an even greater wealth of his- tory. Luckily, museums are located across the region to share the stories and significant events that can provide glimpses of what maritime life was like throughout the years. Their exhibits, relics and archives will have you looking at the region in a whole new light.

Here are eight Maritime Museums: 

National Museum of Bermuda Flagpole


You can find this treasure trove of artifacts in the Atlantic Ocean 650 miles east of North Carolina, the nearest land mass to this collection of islands. The museum shows how maritime events shaped the history, people and culture of Bermuda. It is located at the historic Royal Naval Dockyard within Bermuda’s largest fort. Exhibits cover 500 years of the country’s history from how the German U-505 submarine was captured by the U.S. Navy and concealed in Bermuda to how sailing races from North America to Bermuda have influenced the development of ocean-worthy boats and blue water sailing. Be sure to experience the museum’s unique spaces by strolling through the two-story boat loft to catching a dolphin show at the Keep Pond Terrace to taking in the expansive ocean views at the flagpole.

Where to Dock: Kings Wharf or Heritage Wharf


Turks and Caicos National Museum opened in 1991 to store artifacts found in the excavation of the Molasses Reef shipwreck, an unknown Spanish ship that sunk in 1515 on the Caicos Bank. The museum spans two locations: the Guinep House on Grand Turk Island, believed to be more than 180 years old and named after the large guinep tree on its property, and the Village at Grace Bay on Providenciales, where visitors can tour the Heritage House, an historically correct rendition of a typical 1800s Caicos dwelling. In addition to showcasing shipwreck artifacts, visitors also learn about the evolution of The Grand Turk Lighthouse as well as the rise and fall of the island’s salt industry. On Museum Day, the first Saturday in November, visitors can tour the exhibits for free, and in May, the Village at Grace Bay holds a “Back in the Day” event with activities reflecting historical life on the island.

Where to Dock: Blue Haven Resort & Marina

Map of the driving routes on the Grand Cayman Heritage Trail
Grand Cayman Heritage Trail Driving Routes | GCHT


If you like to take in history outdoors, these exhibitions are for you. The trail consists of 36 stops across all three islands (Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands) and is best traveled via car. Each stop is marked by a road sign that shares a notable historic event or contribution related to the maritime industry. Learn how turtling shaped the islands’ early economy, how ships were cleaned and repaired before boat lifts by a process called “careening”, and hear stories of notable shipwrecks. If you prefer to learn Cayman Island history in one place, you can check out the Cayman Islands National Museum, housed in Cayman’s oldest surviving public building, which has a series of permanent and rotating exhibits.

Where to Dock: The Barcadere Marina


Completed 500 years after Christopher Columbus arrived on the island of La Hispaniola, the Faro a Colon (aka The Columbus Lighthouse) is one of the Dominican Republic’s most popular attractions. Constructed in the shape of a Latin cross spanning the width of two soccer fields, the lighthouse was created to recognize the first “encounter between two worlds.” It includes a mausoleum that houses Christopher Columbus’ remains as well as a museum displaying original and replica artifacts from the time of Columbus’ voyage. The lighthouse also has a library containing documents and maps displaying some of the earliest drawings of the Americas.

Where to Dock: Marina Zarpar

Boats in the water with green hills in the background
Nelson's Dockyard | Source Alexa Zizzi


The Antigua Naval Dockyard, now named Nelson’s Dockyard, was built in the mid-1700s to serve as a strategic post and support the Royal Navy battle against the French and protect trade routes in the region. The dockyard officially closed in 1889 and reopened in 1961 as an historic site. In addition to exploring the dockyard, take advantage of the park’s 12 miles of hiking trails, two forts, and tours such as the “Rum in the Ruins” where you can listen to stories of the dockyard while sipping on a cocktail. If traveling by boat, get the best view of the gorgeous English Harbour and snag a slip at nearby Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, the only continuously working Georgian Era dockyard in the world.

Where to Dock: Nelson’s Dockyard Marina


Opened in 2020, the Bequia Heritage Museum includes the Boat Museum and Annexe that display and educate visitors about the boatbuilding and whaling industries as well as artifacts dating back to the period of the island’s European settlement. Vessels on display at the museum include a traditional Amerindian dug-out canoe and the decommissioned boat, Rescue, that was originally used for whaling.

Where to Dock: Bequia Marina

Curaçao Maritime Museum | Credit CP Hoffman


Located in a mansion built in 1729 on the Waaigat inlet, the Curaçao Maritime Museum shares with visitors the story and events that influenced Curaçao’s involvement in the maritime industry. Learn how trade ebbed and flowed in and out of Curaçao’s ports, reflective of the events happening around the world to the arrival of the first cruise ship in 1901 from New York, sparking the cruise tourism industry until the 1970s when air travel took over as the primary way for tourists to visit the island. Visitors can explore the museum at their own pace or take a guided tour.

Where to Dock: Seru Boca Marina


With a decent internet connection, you can visit the Grand Bahama Museum from the comforts of your remote anchorage or mooring. Bahamian history and culture are explored through digital exhibits ranging from the islands’ natural landscapes and the history of the port authority to the role the Bahamas played during the Golden Age of Piracy. Learn about the first recorded piece of mail sent from the Bahamas in 1761 and the evolution of mailboats. Or savor a dark and stormy while reading about the Bahamas’ role in the rum-running industry during U.S. Prohibition. The Grand Bahama Museum was originally housed at The Garden of the Groves but was unfortunately destroyed by weather and time. To reach a wider audience and share Bahamian history and culture, the museum decided to move to a digital platform.

Where to Dock: Grand Bahama Yacht Club or Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina

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This or That: Beaufort vs. Fernandina Beach



Fernandina Beach | credit Patrick Farrell


Beaufort lies on an inlet leading south to the Atlantic and is considered part of North Carolina’s “Inner Banks” and the Crystal Coast. The Crystal Coast spans 85 miles of stunning coastline in southern North Carolina, including 56 miles of protected beach of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.


Located on historic Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Visitors will find easy access to Jacksonville, the mouth of the St. Mary’s River, and coastal destinations in southern Georgia such as Cumberland Island.


Beaufort History | credit Dori Arrington


Established in 1709, Beaufort was originally known as Fishtown, having been a fishing village and port of safety since the late 1600s. In addition to fishing, Beaufort was a hub for whaling, lumber, shipbuilding and farming. The earliest settlers made their mark by building Bahamian and West Indian-style homes, and the Plan of Beaufort Towne can still be seen in a 12-block historic district.


First settled in 1562, this town on historic Amelia Island went through many transformations under eight flags before it became what it is today. After the Civil War, Fernandina Beach became a bustling seaport and popular destination, called “The Queen of Summer Resorts” by many Northerners. Today’s visitors find themselves surrounded by the town’s lovely relics of the past — an historic district, Civil War port and the first cross-state railroad remain.


Fernandina Beach | credit Deremer Studios LLC


Beaufort has a thriving scene for anglers. Cast your line off a dock downtown, book a charter or head north to Cedar Island Wildlife Refuge to catch flounder, trout and redfish. Boat tours and private charters are a popular way to experience the stunning views and wildlife of the Crystal Coast. See porpoises, dolphins and wild horses on the beach. Better yet, book with Cruisin’ Tikis Beaufort to imbibe while you observe. Dock at Beaufort Docks.


Pier fishing is huge on Amelia Island, and anglers should head to the George Crady Bridge, which spans one mile of Nassau Sound. Snag a variety of fish in the area, including redfish, whiting, seatrout, tarpon and flounder. Boaters can start aquatic excursions in either the Atlantic Ocean to the east or Amelia River to the west. Go on a solo adventure, or join a tour or charter by boat, kayak or watersport with the likes of Amelia River Tours, Amelia Adventures & Kayak or Riptide Watersports. Dock at Fernandina Harbor Marina.


Beaufort | credit Dori Arrington


History buffs will feel right at home in Beaufort. Visit the Beaufort Historic Site to learn the town’s story through nine preserved historic homes in the middle of town. Three different maritime museums, including the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and the Bonehenge Whale Center offer marine merriment for the whole family. And for a taste of Crystal Coast wildlife, head over to the Rachel Carson Reserve where wild horses and countless birds, reptiles and aquatic mammals roam free.


Fernandina Beach is known for its easy living. Amelia Island Welcome Center is a great place to revisit Fernandina’s history and plan your day. Make your way to Centre Street on the water to browse eclectic shops and bustling art galleries, taste wild-caught shrimp at a bistro, or grab a pint at the Palace Saloon, Florida’s oldest tavern. If you’re in town on a Friday, you might stumble upon Sounds on Centre, a local concert series.

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