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The Story of Gregory Town
GREGORY TOWN is a charming Bahamian settlement, offering the traveler a host of vacation amenities. The yearly Pineapple Festival in June, for example, offers visitors a chance to sink their teeth into some genuinely tasty local specimens. Eleutherans have been growing pineapples in their rocky soil since the early 1800's when a bustling demand kept them busy. In 1860, for example, a Governors Harbour newspaper reported on the dozens of ships visiting the harbour daily, loading crates of the prickly fruit while unloading other goods. The bubble soon burst, however. The United States, interested in developing a cash crop for its newly-acquired Hawaiian islands, pulled out of Eleuthera in the 1880's and the Bahamas pineapple industry collapsed. The islands never really recovered from that economic shock, although they still celebrate a week of "King Pineapple" every year in June when the crop is sweetest.
There's terrific snorkeling in and around the cove. And you're only a short jaunt from the Glass Window, the Baths, Surfers Beach, Whale Point and any number of secluded coves and beaches.
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Things to Do
Gregory Township is the first town visitors pass after they cross the Glass Window heading south for 3 miles, or the last town they see if headed north - six miles of Hatchet Bay - along the hundred-mile Queens Highway into North Eleuthera. This town is the closest thing the main island has to an international city since many expatriates and pop stars (i.e., Lenny Kravitz, Patty LaBelle & others) have homes or live here. This is also the home of great folks, cool little shops and the most famous beach in Eleuthera. Click on pics below to enlarge:
One of the main area attractions is Surfer's Beach, a mecca for serious surfer dudes (and dudesses) and those who have sought large waves and pristine beaches since its heyday in the 60's. For directions to the beach, stop into Rebecca's Beach Shop across from the grocery store. Pete and Rebecca Courtemanche can rent you a surf board for about $25+/day and let you sample their famous Pirates Revenge barbeque and steak sauce, a unique recipe made of local island fruits cooked over a slow driftwood fire. Magnifique! And be sure to check out Rebecca's driftwood art, T-shirts, beachwear, mugs, books, maps, CD's, jewelry, and assorted other gift items. Call ahead to reserve your surf board rental at (242) 335-5436, or just drop in. Chances are they will have just what you need. (P.S., Pete also tells great stories...)
After visiting Rebecca's, stop in next door for an ice cream cone or island snack at Ida's Restaurant, then on to the Island Gift Shop where Pamela Thompson, a local artist, also sells a variety of some of the best island gifts, arts and crafts on Eleuthera. Pamela and Gregory Thompson can be reached at (242) 335-5436.
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For food, drinks and a little night life, check out Cush's Place (below) and the Millenium Club south of town and Elvina's on the north end where old surfboards "hang ten" on the walls and ceiling and give the place a great down-home ambiance. For the best fresh-baked bread and peach or pineapple pies on the island, stop into Thompson's Bakery (below) at the top of the hill. If you arrive in Gregory Town around noon, head north just out of town to Cove Eleuthera resort and restaurant (below) for a great lunch and a view of Goulding Cay Beach and Bay.
Click on the pictures to enlarge...
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Several folks in Gregory Town will be happy to escort you wherever you need to go. Pete Courtemanche of Rebecca's can take you boat fishing all day for very reasonable rates, and Phillip Thompson (below) can take you to Surfer's Beach, the Hatchet Bay Caves, or other points of interest in his spare time. Call him at (242) 335-5243 and leave a message. Phillip will probably call you back in the late afternoon or evening because he works most days as a builder and craftsman whose specialty is pouring concrete steps off jagged cliffs! We recently (June, 2003) visited him on his latest construction site, and marveled at the patience and skill (not to mention courage) needed to construct those things. Phillip used to be a commercial fisherman until Hurricane Andrew in 1993 wiped out his one-boat "fleet" docked at Hatchet Bay - the "country's safest harbour"...
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GREGORY TOWN is located at the nexus of the upper one-third of the island, roughly equidistant between Governors Harbour (GHB) and North Eleuthera (ELH) airports, and about 20 miles north of G.H. Commercial flights like US Air Express and BahamasAir arrive daily. Twin Air, Lynx, Chart, and other private carriers also make regular stopovers from the U.S. and other family islands. Click here for more information.
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