A Bermuda vacation is ideal for honeymooners, golfers, and those looking for a family-friendly beach destination. The island paradise is also a haven for historians and marine-life enthusiasts.
Bermuda lies about 600 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It consists of 138 coral islands, closely linked by highways and bridges. The island is famous for its colorful architecture, pink sand beaches, the rum swizzle, and of course, Bermuda shorts. It is a popular vacation destination for residents of the East Coast, as travel time from New York City to Bermuda is less than three hours.
The Bermuda Experience
No trip to Bermuda would be complete without a visit to these popular tourist attractions:
Hamilton, the capital city of Bermuda, is where most of the action on the tiny island takes place. The colorful pastel homes and businesses here complement the blue water and vibrant ships in port. Shops line Front Street and Queen Street in the capital, with wares varying from fine British linens to rum and quality jewelry.
Royal Naval Dockyard
Near St. Georges is the Royal Naval Dockyard, a naval base that was active from the 1850s until 1957. The site is now home to an arts and crafts mall, a traditional pub, and The Bermuda Maritime Museum. In the warmer months, street performers delight visitors with music, dance, and mime.
Bermuda is home to some of the most scenic and challenging golf courses in the world. Eight championship courses grace this small island nation. Some of the courses are private, such as the exclusive Tucker's Point Golf Club and Mid Ocean Club, but some of the resorts have agreements with the course and can obtain non-peak tee times for guests. The 18-hole Fairmont Southampton course is ranked as one of the best par-3 courses in the world.
Pink Sand Beaches
Bermuda is also known for its pink beaches, colored by tiny pieces of coral that have broken off of the reefs that frame the island. The beaches here are mostly small, cove-style secluded stretches. Some of the more popular beaches are Elbow Beach, Somerset Long Beach, and Horseshoe Bay Beach, in Southampton.
Where to Stay
Accommodations on Bermuda range from large resorts to guesthouses and smaller B&Bs. Some popular hotel choices include:
Part of the Mandarian Oriental resort chain, Elbow Beach boasts luxury, waterfront accommodations located seven miles from Hamilton. Enjoy several on-site restaurants, a private beach and water sports, all set among beautifully landscaped grounds. Package deals, including spa and golf excursions, are available.
Fairmont Hamilton Princess
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess offers the perfect blend of city and beach living in Bermuda. The hotel itself is located in downtown Hamilton, steps away from the island's best restaurants and shops. From deck chairs on the property, you can spend your day looking out on the city and bustling Hamilton harbor. When you are ready to hit the sand, hop on the hotel's ferry and ride to the Fairmont Southampton Beach Club, the hotel's own private beach. Also included in the nightly rate is access to one of the top-rated golf courses on Bermuda, Riddell Bay.
If you're looking for an intimate location perfect for a romantic getaway, then book a room at The Reefs. The property is nestled on a limestone cliff outside of Southampton, overlooking the hotel's private pink sand beach. Considered as one of the best hotels in Bermuda, The Reefs is home to three award-winning restaurants. There is also on on-site spa.
These world-renowned resorts are some of Bermuda's most popular, but the island is also home to hundreds of other hotels. The Bermuda Tourism Board can help you locate the right hotel for you regardless of your budget.
Restaurants in Bermuda range from casual, beachfront cafes to upscale fine dining. Expect to find a mix of Caribbean cuisine and tourist- friendly American, British and Italian influenced dining choices. Here are a few popular island hot spots:
The Swizzle Inn
One of the island's best known eateries, The Swizzle Inn's claim to fame is that it invented the unofficial national drink of Bermuda, the Rum Swizzle. It is the oldest pub on the island, and the food definitely falls into the category of "pub grub." The menu includes burgers, fish and chips, and of course, plenty of rum.
If you're looking for a taste of Italy - not to mention a kid-friendly dining option - then Hamilton's La Trattoria is the choice for you. This casual, award-winning restaurant features woodfire oven pizzas and plenty of fresh seafood.
Located in a 200-year-old house with sweeping views of the island, LandFall specializes in fresh seafood dishes, such as fish stew and cassava cakes. Other local dishes are served up with Caribbean flair. Many consider LandFall to be one of the best restaurants on the island, and it is hard to be beat for an authentic Bermudian experience.
The world famous Newport Room specializes in French cuisine served up in an interior designed to look like the inner sanctum of one of Bermuda's great racing yachts. Beach clothes won't cut it at this establishment - jackets are required. The Newport Room is one of the island's priciest restaurants, but the food is worth every penny. The downside? The Newport Room closes between December and March.
Planning Your Trip
Ready to experience the wonders of Bermuda? The following resources can help, as you book your trip:
It's important to note that visitors are not allowed to rent cars on the island. However, bus service is very reliable and most hotels sell passes and can help you navigate the system. Many tourists also rent mopeds to explore the island. Rental opportunities are available at most hotels. In addition, moped rental shops can be found at various spots around the island.