Bermuda was supposed to be a surprise. Late one night, I checked my Delta app to see what time we would return from our UK trip the week before and there it was. I knew we were doing something to celebrate my 40th birthday, but I secretly hoped it was something cozy and “fall-like”. My first reaction was to wonder, “Why Bermuda?”, but the moment we touched down, my mind changed. From then on, I was team Bermuda all the way. So much so, I couldn’t help but write a Bermuda Travel Guide.
Bermuda is a British territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is pristine with a refreshing blend of British and American cultures. It has a sub-tropical climate and no rainy season which ensures mild temps and plenty of sunshine year-round and although you may get a light shower from time to time, there is rarely a threat of rain spoiling your vacation.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Bermuda is a mere hour and a half flight from New York City. That fact alone is enough reason to go. Add in the gorgeous weather, chill island vibe, friendly locals and to-die-for food and you have an unbeatable island vacation! Delta has flights from New York, Boston and Atlanta and Jet Blue flies there too. Because of its accessibility, you’ll likely encounter lots of East Costers there on vacation. The Bermudian Dollar and US Dollar are interchangeable.
When to Go
Bermuda has beautiful weather all year but it does experience four seasons. The best time to plan a trip is from early May to late October. Even in early October, it was pretty windy on some days and although there was no lack of sun, we did experience an occasional rain shower. Hurricane season and nearby tropical storms affect the weather this time of year.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of gorgeous resorts and luxury hotels on Bermuda and some more affordable options, although overall Bermuda is pricey like New York. We enjoyed our stay at The Rosewood in Tucker’s Point. The grounds were pristine and the service was impeccable. The Fairmont Southampton is on the other side of the island and also gets great reviews. If you’re into boutique hotels, The Loren at Pink Beach is a gem.
What to Do
Besides lounge pool-side or on the beach and read with a tropical drink (which is what I love to do), there is no shortage of activities in Bermuda. I wish we had more time to experience the entire island, but these are a few recommendations based on experience and what we would like to do when we go back.
Rent a Scooter or Minicar // Bermuda is 21 square miles (11.8 miles from end to end) and there is so much to see and do on every part of the island. While tourists can’t rent cars to get around, scooters and tiny electric cars are available and are a good way to explore the island on your own without relying on taxis or the local bus routes (which are supposedly very efficient if you want to try it!)
Visit Crystal Caves // The Crystal Caves are one of Bermuda’s natural wonders. They are millions of years old and formed during the Ice Age but discovered by two teenage boys during a friendly game of cricket. The caves house millions of stalagmite and stalactite formations as well as an ocean-fed lake.
Hike the Natural Trails // Lace up your walking shoes and hike any one of the handful of nature trails around Bermuda. We rode our scooter to Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Bermuda, where we followed the trails and ventured down a path that took us straight to the shoreline with some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen and the most soothing sound of crashing waves.
Explore on Horseback // One of the highlights of the trip was a sunrise horseback tour of St. George’s Island, one of the most historic areas on the northeastern part of the island.
Water Sports // Bermuda is popular attraction for divers. Most hotels will have a variety of options for water sports like stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and snorkeling. Because of the wind and rough surf, we couldn’t take advantage on this trip.
Go Downtown // Venture into downtown Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, where you’ll find shopping, restaurants, cathedrals, museums, the aquarium and the zoo. Here, along the harbor, is where you’ll see the archetypal square, stone colonial buildings with white roofs and pastel walls – the hallmark of Bermuda. The structures’ aesthetics are one thing, but the design is functional to withstand high winds and restrict hurricane damage.
Beach Hop // The island’s beaches are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The island is known for its pink-sand beaches. Two of note include Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay. Spend a day at one beach or split your time between two or three.
Golf // We’re not golfers but if you are, you’re probably aware that Bermuda is home to six world-class golf courses around the island.
Where to Eat
Our hotel had a number of highly-rated restaurants that we wanted to try so we hit them all, but the best meal we had was my “birthday dinner” at Barracuda Grill. Everything from the food to the service, the wine and even the complimentary birthday dessert was impeccable. I rarely get salmon at a restaurant because I eat it so much at home, but the North African-inspired preparation with lentils, dukka, halloumi and chermoula hooked me and I’m glad it. I’m still thinking about that meal!
What to Pack
Bermuda is definitely more formal as far as islands go so it’s not uncommon for people to dress up a little for dinner. You can’t go wrong with resort wear in Bermuda! Bathing suits, nice shorts, white jeans, dresses, sandals and a light jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings are a must. If you plan to exercise or be active, bring activewear and sneakers. Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!
Bermuda was the perfect place for us to spend five days to celebrate my birthday. We left wishing we had more time, wondering why we hadn’t visited sooner and knowing that it won’t be long before we’re back.