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 Islands Information

Place: Abaco

If The Bahamas are What You Seek, Try Abaco
By Caitlin Moore

Many destinations claim to have the top beaches, the most laid-back vibes and better-than-average history, culture and diversions. Obviously not every island paradise or beachside resort can be the best of the best, but some certainly outshine others. Take Abaco, for instance. This cluster of islands in the northeast Bahamas certainly warrants the attention it receives as a hot spot for all things leisurely, but feel free to check it out for yourself.

The Bahamas arenít exactly a land of mystery due to their popularity and image as a vacation safe bet, but youíd be surprised at the way the Abaco Islands feel like their own little world. Bland beaches or the same scene as southern Florida are not on the itinerary here; rather, itís quite possible to find a deserted stretch of shoreline, the perfect boat for a solo sea adventure, or a unique eatery serving up a dish that really hits the spot.

Wandering around this archipelago with an open mind tends to lead to good things. Abaco is known for being a great place to sail, and several boat shops will set visitors up with all they need to embark on a mini-journey. Deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and island hopping all capitalize on the white sandy beaches and ideal blue sky and sunshine combinations, so stay active in order to view the stunning scenery from every point of view possible. Underwater, on the water, in the waterÖtry them all.

Staying on the land isnít such a bad idea, either. Marsh Harbor is the closest thing to a buzzing metropolis that the Abaco Islands has, but itís far from the congested cityscape you may be used to. The marina district is a fun place to stop in, and the array of boutiques, galleries, shops and restaurants make it possible to pass a pleasant and leisurely day in the blink of an eye.

Also of note are the outer cays, which complete the spectrum of island activities most people tend to daydream about in their landlocked lives and claustrophobic cubicles. Guana Cay is a large and lovely island with a happening social calendar and many lodging options. It represents all that is attractive about Abaco in its interplay of free-spiritedness and steady growth. Hope Town is famous for its red and white lighthouse and protected harbor, and Man-O-War Cay is the boat-building capital of the region. All in all, the different and distinctive islands of Abaco come together beautifully to create a stellar and very whole picture of vacation perfection.

Bicycling the paths, collecting seashells, dining on fine Bahamian cuisine or playing a round of golf on a spectacular, professionally-designed course could round out any day, as could just plain kicking back on a serene stretch of beach. Abaco is known for its friendly people, too, so whether you encounter locals or other deeply relaxed tourists, youíll feel welcomed and at ease.

Another aspect of visiting Abaco that will breed the utmost contentment is the fact that it is brimming with vacation rentals. All along the various islands are properties that are brightly decorated, conveniently located to the beach, and delightfully filled with amenities that will make your stay run smoothly. A trip to the Bahamas might as well be taken to the limits of comfort, and by most measures a vacation home is the best way to succeed at this goal.

You donít have to be rich or famous to deserve a spacious home on the beach for a few days or a couple weeks. Most people are surprised to realize that prices arenít unreasonable, especially when considering all the extras that come as part of the package. Big patios, lots of beds, ample closet space, kitchen appliances and a generally homey atmosphere thatís hard to assign to just one thing all make Abaco Vacation Rentals the way to go.

Decide for yourself if Abaco is the best; itís likely youíll have fun putting it to the test, especially if a vacation villa, condo or beach house is part of the master plan.

Visit HomeAway.com to peruse the vast array of vacation rental listings in this location and in many others across the world.