Ask at your hotel if the local Junkanoo band, the Gully Roosters, is playing its reggae- and calypso-inspired sounds. They're the best in the Abacos and often appear at various spots on the island. Also make sure to visit Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar (described in the box below). You might catch a live band, and you'll certainly enjoy a wonderful setting for a drink, in the bars at the Bluff House and the Green Turtle Club. Rooster's Rest Pub & Restaurant is yet another option.
A Toast to Miss Emily
Our favorite bar in the Out Islands is Miss Emily's Blue Bee Bar, on Victoria Street in New Plymouth (tel. 242/365-4181). This simple bar is likely to be the scene of the liveliest party in the Out Islands at any time of day; even normally buttoned-up types find themselves flirting or dancing before long. Until rising waters from the 1999 hurricanes washed some of them away, most of its walls were covered with the business cards of past guests and celebrities. Stop by and see how many replacements have been plastered up. The Goombay Smash, a specialty here, has been called "Abaco's answer to atomic fission." Its recipe includes proportions of coconut rum, "dirty" rum, apricot brandy, and pineapple juice. Miss Emily (Mrs. Emily Cooper) was a legend in these parts. She's gone now, but her memory lives on: Her daughter, Violet Smith, knows her secret recipe for the Goombay Smash and makes a potent rum punch. Tips go to St. Peter's Anglican Church. No food is served, but the bar is open Monday through Saturday from 11am until late.
A much more upscale bar than Miss Emily's is the Yacht Club Pub, at the Green Turtle Club (tel. 242/365-4271). Along with sailors and fishermen, some of the captains (and owners) of the world's most expensive yachts stop here to enjoy the lively atmosphere and the bartender's special, a Tipsy Turtle, made by the gallon (it's got orange juice, pineapple juice, vodka, coconut rum, banana rum, and grenadine). Appetizers are served nightly from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Live bands perform on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.