If you’re looking for the perfect getaway, look no further than Hope Town. Located on the island of Elbow Cay in the Northern Bahamas, this destination is mind bogglingly beautiful with its stunning beaches and rich history. It’s no wonder the island is known as the “Jewel of the Abacos.”
This charming destination is a top recommendation from JFA’s 2020 & 2021 TOP GUN award- winning Captain Michael Zornes. With more than 35 years in the yachting world, he’s captained more than 100 different boats all over the east and west coasts, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, but Hope Town still has his heart. “If you wanted to dream about the perfect island in the Caribbean,” Zornes says, “it’s Hope Town. It has the most beautiful beaches in the world that are untouched. You probably won’t even see anybody else on them when you’re there. Hope Town has this perfect little harbor with tiki bars speckled around it, and a candy-striped lighthouse that still runs on kerosene that comes on at night and sweeps over top of your anchorage.”
The Hope Town Lighthouse, also known as the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, is one of the last operational kerosene-fueled lighthouses in the world. As a man operated lighthouse, every few hours the weight mechanism must be hand cranked. The iconic peppermint-striped light tower was built in 1858 and its light can be seen from 23 miles away. Plan to hike the 100 steps to the top for incredible views of the turquoise Abaco Sea.
A quieter alternative than Nassau and Freeport, the island is far from overdeveloped with less than 600 residents, many being second homes, so the pristine waters and white sand beaches are still close to their natural state. The quaint gingerbread type island houses reflect simpler times and motorized vehicles are restricted in town, so the streets are a pleasure to walk. Residents are kind and appreciative of visitors. Hope Town is sure to fulfill your paradise vacation aspirations.