George Town, Exumas, Bahamas is cruiser nation – the place to visit if you travel on a sailboat. However, our early impressions (because of word of mouth) left us not wanting to go here.
And that’s a lesson we’ve had to learn – go where we want to go regardless of the opinions of others.
So we went to Georgetown anyway.
There are many reasons that cruiser sail to George Town Exumas.
Some sailors (the single versions) were saying they wanted to go to Georgetown, so they can party it up and find love!
That’s not the chapter of life that we’re in, so it was a turn-off.
Other cruisers we met in the Abacos said they stay away from Georgetown because it’s just a glorified retirement home. Daily activities planned. Beach yoga and water aerobics.
That didn’t sound good either. Retirement home?
Why Sail to George Town?
However, we had friends going. We heard the groceries were good. We knew kid boats would be there.
And well, we just like to keep an open mind about things.
We’re so glad we did. Georgetown did not disappoint. We were so wrong to question going here to begin with, and we learned to form our opinions based on our own experiences, not the voices of others.
By far, the biggest joy of coming to George Town was the friendships that Olivia formed. Never have we seen so many families cruising on sailboats than here in Georgetown.
What’s the official spelling?
We’re not sure. We’ve seen Georgetown and George Town. It’s spelled both ways throughout town. Wikipedia favors the two-word version as does Google Maps.
Then there are the beaches. They are nothing short of Bahama beautiful. The harbor isn’t the clearest Bahamas water, but you can still see all the way down to your anchor with no problem at all.
And then there’s Chat N Chill. A chill place to grab a good-priced burger and beer.
We spent a few days, or I think a whole week, anchoring in front of Chat N Chill. It’s a complete get-together place with tables, a bar and grill, music, and volleyball. It’s the beach energy of the area.
The capital of the Exumas is Georgetown. It is located on Great Exuma Island. The Exumas are a chain of islands that stretch to about 100 miles long. The Tropic of Cancer runs directly through Georgetown and approximately 900 people live in this seaport, a favorite spot for yachters. There are two major yachting events: the Annual Family Island Regatta in Elizabeth Town and the Annual Georgetown Sailing Regatta held every March. Source: ExumaBahamas.org
Then the town itself. It’s a full town with an airport. But it’s a more laid-back and local feeling than Nassau. There are hardware stores, that receive consistent shipments, two groceries stores, and restaurants that will keep you stocked and filled.
After passing under the bridge (watch the current!) and landing on the dinghy dock, you have a chance to drop trash. And you’re immediately on the main street in George Town. It’s a loop around the harbor with plenty of resources and things to do.
After dropping trash, there’s a nice outdoor patio with a bar and grill. The drinks are fun and tropical. Or the beer is cheap and ice cold!
We opted for a Sands Light (beer) and the food is fairly priced.
The name of the bar and grill is Island Boy Cafe. It’s right across the street from a green building – the bank.
The bank is nothing more than a big building with a single ATM machine. It’s a good place to restock all that cash you spent getting here. Ha!
There are other restaurants for casual dining, evening dinners, or shacks to grab and eat under a tree. It’s that total Bahamas vibe!
We enjoyed peering out over Elizabeth harbor (the maps call it Stocking harbor) and watching Cadence. The whole experience is small and simple to walk everywhere.
Now back to the dinghy dock and we head back to Cadence. Have you ever seen a dinghy dock this full!?
Often you have to crawl in and over other people’s dinghies to get to the dock. Everyone is cool with it. It’s just the way it is. The cruisers all look out for each other.
Places to See in Georgetown
We’ve mentioned Chat N’ Chill and the dinghy dock for town access. Here are a few more spots that love to visit in Georgetown, Exumas.
- Splash. A small grill near Goat Cay. Among the best food around and pool tables with a harbour view. Go for happy hour prices.
- Prime Island Meats. It’s the best-priced butcher in the Bahamas. Fresh ribs, steaks, chicken, and they sell pizza supplies at an amazing price! Plus, it’s a grocery.
- Volleyball Beach. It’s at Chat N’ Chill, but here’s the inside scoop. 2pm is “Fun” volleyball where the kids and everyone can hack at the ball and have a great time. But hang around the court enough, and you’ll find out when the competitive morning games are (usually around 9:30 or 10am).
- Sand Dollar Beach. It has nice hikes, great protection, and it’s the place for beach bonfires. Bring your bug spray.
- Brown’s Marine. A 20-minute dinghy ride and you’re in a full-fledged marine supply store. The next closest is in Thompson Bay, Long Island. You can pretty much fashion any repair (or haulout) at Brown’s marine.
- Spearfishing. Go on the NW side of the harbor and around to the sound side of the Monument. You’ll find good ledges and rocks in about 15-25 feet of water holding big fish.
Pictures Around Elizabeth Harbour
There are several harbors around George Town. There’s Little Crab Cay, Moriah Harbour, Hooper’s Bay, Elizabeth Harbour and Stocking Harbour. There all well protected with about 1 NM of fetch in the worst of spots.
You can expect a good breeze in all anchorages, but we’ve found Sand Dollar Beach and Monument to be the calmest anchorages.
The main island is Great Exuma Island. If you go about 2 miles north of town, you’ll find some lovely spots: The Fish Fry, Splash, Lumber Yard/Hardware Store, Smitty’s, and the Meat Market.
What did you think about George Town Exumas?
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