North Abaco (a prime area) originally started out as settlements for fishermen searching the islands for good fishing grounds. As some of these settlers began farming inland, they established “camps”, which eventually became the early communities of North Abaco.
Today, the economy of North Abaco is centred on fishing and crawfishing, with some residents working in businesses in Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbour.
Cooper’s Town is a good starting point for excursions from Little Abaco to Great Abaco. The town is the headquarters for the island administrator for the North as well as the site of the only courthouse in the North. Cooper’s Town has the largest government clinic in the Abacos.
Green Turtle Cay
Green Turtle Cay was named after the green turtles that inhabit the island. Beautiful beaches, deep bays, sounds, and offshore coral reefs can be found long its uneven coastline.
The Cay’s pastel-coloured, clapboard covered gingerbread homes are reminiscent of turn-of-the-century New England seaside villages. The main resorts are the Green Turtle Club and Bluff House, both in White Sound.
Much of the region’s historical and cultural attractions are in New Plymouth, a settlement on the Cay’s southern tip founded in the 18th century. These include the 180-year-old New Plymouth Inn, the Memorial Sculpture Garden, laid out in the pattern of the Union Jack, and
the Albert Lowe Museum, built in tribute to a notable ship builder and historian. It houses artifacts and paintings depicting life in the island 200 years ago. Another museum exhibits the paintings of Bahamian artist Alton Lowe, Albert’s son.
Green Turtle Cay is the home of the wildly popular Junkanoo band, the Gully Roosters. The best Goombay Smash (a secret concoction of coconut rum, “dirty” rum, apricot brandy, and pineapple juice) is served at Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar.
The residential community of Leisure Lee is 5 miles south of Treasure Cay.
The homes of this suburban neighbourhood were specifically built along the shore of the Sea of Abaco or on the ocean access canals and provided with ample shade from tropical trees. Each property enjoys scenic views of the canals or the sea. Property owners have exclusive privileges to the beautiful sandy beaches of the area.
An attraction in Leisure Lee is Abaco Reef, a popular site for sport fishing tournaments.
Despite its name, Treasure Cay is not really an island, but a peninsula jutting out of Great Abaco Island. It was a dream project of pilot Leonard Thompson of Marsh Harbour to build a resort in the region. This dream came to fruition in the 1950s when he partnered with U.S. investors to build a 40-room hotel on 460 acres of land, which Thompson renamed Treasure Cay.
Treasure Cay has certainly expanded from its modest roots. At present, the peninsula has resort facilities, villas, condominiums, time shares and apartments offering accommodations for more than 200 guests, a 150-slip marina, and an 18-hole championship golf course.
Close by is one of Abaco’s most beautiful beaches, Coco Beach.
Walker’s Cay is a tiny island at the northernmost tip of the Abacos. It is a popular location for sports and deep sea fishing and scuba diving. It is also famous for its daring and rather dangerous Shark Rodeo.
Walker’s Cay was a stopover for Ponce de Leon in 1513 before he “discovered” Florida 6 days later. In the 17th century, pirates were known to hide their booty here. The Cay also served as a hideout for blockade-runners during the American Civil War and, many years later, by rum runners during the Prohibition.
The main and, probably, lone attraction of Walker’s Cay is the famous eatery Rosie’s Place, with its menu of exotic cuisine including Lobster Tail, Grilled Grouper, Cracked Conch, and Turtle Steak.