Focus on Abaco and Marsh Harbour

Abaco is a teardrop-shaped island lying north and east of New Providence Island (home to Nassau) and the Grand Bahamas (home to Freeport). An hour flight from Florida, it retains the essential character of a family island … Bahamian-speak for out- island.

The largest town on Abaco, and the third largest in the Bahamas, Marsh Harbour is the island’s hub for transportation, government and medical services. Pleasantly busy with air and water traffic, it also boasts a new port facility that serves as both a shipping centre (daily service from West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale) and a port of entry for vessels arriving from international ports.

As laid-back as it feels, Marsh Harbour is actually bristling with positive change. It’s home to a government complex and a new hospital, the Abaco Community Health Care Centre. The opening of the new terminal at the international airport enables more daily direct flights from major U.S. cities and easier access to car rentals. And last but not least, local athletes and sporting enthusiasts are cheering plans for a new Sports Complex for baseball, track and field and soccer.

Try to imagine your life without cars. Imagine walking everywhere you want to go, your favourite destinations are part of the community and you relish that level of convenience in a Bahamian harbour village. You could be imagining Schooner Bay, where the age-old idea of the village is being revived because it makes such good sense. The concept is called New Urbanism, implying not a new city but a new way to create villages and towns that better serve the people who live there.

This South Abaco harbourside village is authentic – from its ocean inlet and salt air to the gulls that perch on the boats tied up at the docks. There are inns and restaurants and neighbours and greetings and a planned school – the way village life used to be. The pace is calm, meaning that you almost surely will be too, in an atmosphere that encourages reflection and delight in your unspoiled surroundings.

The village architecture is timeless, whispering of the bygone eras of Bahamian life. Louvered jalousies cast shade upon the rooms within as they allow a cooling breeze to slip through, where the loudest sound may be the rustle of the palms or the giggle of a child. Subtle island colours will charm your eyes everywhere. Nowhere is the good life better lived. Come to Schooner Bay and discover timeless village living in gracious South Abaco style.

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