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10 days and counting....

Indiana
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10 days and counting....

Only 10 days until the surprise trip! I'm getting really excited!! Have a few more questions that I'm hoping folks can answer (everyone's posts have been very helpful)

STaying a the Beach Inn....how much do you think a cab will be from airport to there?

How far is Beach Inn from places like Minn's, markets, car rentals?

Trying to figure out the most effiient plan. We have 3 full days (not including day we land or fly out). I have decided we want to rent a car for one day - thinking the last day so can drop off at the airport to miss that taxi, but will we need to use taxi to pick up?

I know we want to rent a boat from Minn's for one day. If we do that the day before we do the car is it easy to drop off the boat and pick up the car right there?

3rd day is still up for grabs - debating between 2nd day of Minn's boat and doing a full-day tour. Would folks recommend Robert's or Ray's tour?

Each day doesn't have much of agenda - head in a direction and see what tempts us, but trying more to figure out the logistics of switching from day to day.

Can't wait!!!!! (and the hubby still doesn't have a clue!)

Abu Dhabi, United...
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1. Re: 10 days and counting....

Hi seabroo,

sounds like someone is excited...:-))

Cab from the airport to Beach Inn will be around $20.00. From Beach Inn to Georgetown will be about a 15 minute drive. It is about half way in between airport and Georgetown, maybe a little closer to Georgetown.

I don't remember exactly where the car rental in Georgetown is, but I think it is in very close walking distance to Minn's (as well as Exuma Markets etc.).

Both Robert & Ray are excellent. Ray is more on the "sporty" side, his boat is rather fast... I would just go with whoever gives you the better rate. Both, as I said, are very very good indeed.

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mattggotu
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2. Re: 10 days and counting....

You should have a great time. The food at the Beach Inn is excellent and the rooms looked great.

I was thinking of doing the same thing with the car rental. There's a rental place at the airport and they will bring the car to you and you can drop it off when you leave.

One thing about the full-day boat tour. It's pretty hot now and that's a long time on the boat. Robert may be able to do a half-day tour that doesn't go out as far and you may want to consider it. We decided to do a half-day tour and I actually think it was the way to go. If we'd rented from Minns I probably wouldn't even have bothered with any tour.

King of Prussia...
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3. Re: 10 days and counting....

HOT! HOT! HOT! Bring sunscreen and sunglasses and wear both. Wear the glasses in the water even. We just got back from a 9 day trip (our second this year.) and July was HOT. I have been in India several times and thought I knew HOT, but Exuma has one amazing sun there on the Tropic of Cancer.

We thought it was beautiful in July, and very quiet, almost eerie. August will even be quieter! Finding restaurants that were open was a challenge and an adventure, well worth the effort. I highly recommend Cheater's, Santana's, Houseman's, but all will require a car.

By the way, The Beach Inn is almost kitty-corner from Thompsons's Car Rental, so it will be easy for you to make a car decision.

I know you will have so much fun!

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Philadelphia
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4. Re: 10 days and counting....

Everything in Georgetown is no more than a five minute walk away. If the guys at Airport or Don's Car Rental will drop the car off at Minns' for you then you can drive it back to the Beach Inn and then bring it back to the airport the next day.

I've never been on Robert or Ray's tours. It seems that everyone raves about them so no worries about having a good time, but remember they can be long days out on the water. It's just something to consider since your only going to be around for such a short time. There is plenty in the immediate Great/Little Exuma area in the Harbor and islands to keep you busy for 3 days.

My suggestion would be to rent a boat your first two days and explore the Harbor adn Stocking Island. There are so many beaches and reefs to visit on the Harbor side of Stocking Island and down the chain behind Elizabeth Cay, Guana, and Fowl. There is a beautiful cove beach on Fowl and no one is around. You can tie the boat up a Hamburger Beach and walk over to the ocean side of Stocking Island for a nice walk and shelling. There are plenty of places to eat and drink for lunch on the island. You can keep the boat at Beach Inn overnight between your two rental days, so no worries on getting back and forth.

When you rent the car you can spend your whole day heading down to Little Exuma and exploring some of the beaches down there - Tropic of Cancer Beach, Loyalist Beach at Williamstown. Stop in for lunch at

Santana's in Williamstown - right on the beach, visit the salt marker down there for a great view. On the way back, stop in at the Bonefish Lodge,in Hartswell,close to the Ferry bridge, for happy hour.

If it's open, sometimes they close for a bit in the summer, you should stop by the Peace n Plenty in town for a drink, either by the pool or in 'Slave Kitchen' bar at night.

On your last morning you can head into Georgetown and do a little shopping at the straw market and then head up to the airport.

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Indiana
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5. Re: 10 days and counting....

Wow! Thanks for all the info. (Note: this is a long post....)

LoveGlobe...sounds like it's not too bad of a taxi fare airport to Beach Inn.

We'll do that and then have the afternoon/evening to settle in, just enjoy the Beach Inn and plan out the 3 days....leaving lots of time for the unexpected.

Mattggotu - I followed your whole topic prior to your trip. Knowing that you just went, I appreciate the comment re: heat of a full day tour. I hadn't really thought of that. I guess I was thinking boat ride with breeze while moving, then opportunities to get in water at stops. You make a great point, though on it being a long day considering our short stay. With the halfday did you get to grotto and pigs? Would you classify them as "worth it" or "must-sees"?

GLDawson/7milesailing - Great news! We want to feel like we are on our own little vacation - so quiet is AWESOME! I'll make sure to inquire at Beach Inn as to what is open - thanks for the recommendations and will add to the list (ChatNChill, etc). The tip on Thompson's being kitty corner helps...that combined with option of Don's just dropping at Minn's....I'm not so worried now about taking too many taxis to get around. Thanks for the tips around the harbor. I've made a list and will compare to the map and see what we can find.

Sounds like, at most, we'll do a half day tour. Seems a shame to go all that way from Indiana and not see the Grotto or the swimming pigs....but probably leaning towards Minn's boat for two days. (Do they rent snorkel equipment?).

Looking forward to the day with the car, now, too.

As for the heat....I know it's different, but hoping we can tolerate. Used to the Midwest humidity and just got back from PHeonix at 118 (though no humidity)....hoping that between the two, we will be hot but not miserable.

Usually we don't check bags, but just carry-on. Planning a suitcase just for sunscreen and bug spray!! :~)

We want a plan...but not too stringent (lots of room for what suprises come up). Summary of options:

EATS options: Cheaters, ChatNChill, Beach Inn, Santana's, Houseman's, Bonefish lodge, peacenplenty if open, Sam's (from Mattggotu's post - burgers),

Harbour Beaches: STocking Island (is that the sand dollars?), Elizabeth Cay, Guana, Fowl, Hamburger Beach

Car day: Little Exuma - Tropic of Cancer Beach(I've read it's the most beautiful beach on island?), Loyalist Beach, lunch at Santana's; happy hour at bonefish. My husband is a big fan of Pirates of Carribean, but someone told me in another post that the filming is actually an island off little exuma that we can't get to without another boat rental? Is it visible from santanas?

Market: Smitty's or Exuma Market

What is the Straw Market?

Is it worth it (in a 3-day timespan) to go other direction in car - Jolly Hall, Three Sister's Beach, CocoPlum, etc??

If anyone thinks of "must-dos" please let me know!!

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Philadelphia
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6. Re: 10 days and counting....

You've got plenty of information and options!!!

In my opinion - heading down to Little Exuma and spending a day down there seeing a few beaches and having lunch could fill a day. You don't want to spend the day driving from one end of the island to the other.

Also - FYI - Jolly Hall is just around the corner from the Beach Inn - an easy trip.

As for carry-on remember 3-1-1 on liquids. It would be a shame to carry everything and then have to throw it out at Security.

You can't miss the straw market in Georgetown. It's under the tree "downtown." It's basically a spot where some older Bahamian women weave straw hats, bags, and other trinkets for sale. They also sell t-shirts. If you need gifts for anyone it's a good spot to pick up something unique.

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Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: 10 days and counting....

The straw market is really a neat place to check out, and you can't miss it driving or even walking thru town.

My son picked out for his souvenir to take home a really neat motorcycle made out of Sprite cans. It really is very cool and different. Something that he'll look at for years to come and remember our vacation on Exuma.

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mattggotu
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8. Re: 10 days and counting....

Going out for a half-day doesn't get you to the pigs or the Thunderball site. I was really keen on the idea of an all-day trip before we left but once we got down there I realized that there was plenty to see and do right around the island.

I say, try renting a boat and see if you still feel the need for a guided tour. My guess is you won't. As I said in a previous thread, we loved the Tropic of Cancer Beach, which you can't get to with a Minns boat but you can drive to.

A few other things. To get to Jolly Hall beach, walk on the beach past Coconut Cove and Palm Bay. Once you leave Palm Bay's property you'll be on a little stretch of beach. That's not Jolly Hall. You have to walk the length of that beach (just 2-3 minutes) and you cross over this little drive someone built and arrive at Jolly Hall. It's worth the few minute walk.

If you want to do some snorkeling, there's a few little outcroppings in the water on the left as you look out from Palm Bay. I'm sure an experienced snorkeler wouldn't think much of it but my daughter and I thought it was pretty cool and saw a bunch of fish and a starfish.

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Indiana
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9. Re: 10 days and counting....

Thanks!! That may be the decider on the tour....if the 1/2 day doesn't get me to those locations, then I don't see the point in anything but a full day. Not sure I want to dedicate full day.....with this feedback, leaning towards Minn's boat 2 days and car 1 day. Thanks!

(we're not that experienced snorkelers either....so pretty fish is good enough for us)

10. Re: 10 days and counting....

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