This cluster of enchanting isles blends West Indies warmth with British charm.
Don’t let Bermuda’s location fool you. Although it sits far north of the Caribbean Sea – about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, to be exact – this archipelago of 120 islands and islets has a Caribbean soul. Blessed by the Gulf Stream, Bermuda’s gorgeous translucent waters and pink-sand beaches rival those of more tropical climates. And with some 60 percent of the population tracing its heritage to the West Indies, the Caribbean connection makes itself evident in everything from the local cuisine to the tantalizing lilt of Bermudian voices.
There is also a distinctly British feel to Bermuda. Bermuda had no indigenous residents when a British ship, the Sea Venture, wrecked on treacherous reefs in 1609, forcing its Virginia-bound passengers and crew to eke out an existence. That incident forged an enduring link between Great Britain and Bermuda, which remains a stalwart member of the Commonwealth.
Care to indulge yourself with a spot of afternoon tea and a platter full of scones with Devonshire cream? You’ll find the opportunity at any number of places in Bermuda, from the grand parlors of its finest hotels to the tea shops and restaurants of Hamilton and St. George’s. Even the streets in Bermuda seem to hint at the English countryside with such cozy and beguiling names as Controversy Lane, Buggy Whip Hill and Ducks Puddle Drive.
As for this country’s other famous trademark – Bermuda shorts: Yes, you are likely to see them worn, particularly by businessmen on the streets of Hamilton, and typically with a coordinating sport coat and matching socks. You can get outfitted with your own at the shops along Hamilton’s Front Street, where other offerings include fine linens, woolen items from the United Kingdom, china and jewelry. If you wish to sample the zenith of local cuisine, order a bowl of Bermudian fish chowder typically served with a cruet of sherried pepper sauce and a drizzling of Gosling’s Black Seal, the local rum.
Recreational opportunities are abound in Bermuda. It’s a mecca for scuba divers who flock here for a chance to explore more than 300 shipwrecks that dot the nearby reefs. Bermuda boasts seven championship golf courses and is home to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf played in October at the famed Port Royal Golf Course. And then there are all those lovely beaches, including the world renowned Horseshoe Bay Beach.
In an effort to preserve its beautiful environment, Bermuda limits the use of automobiles and, therefore, does not offer visitor rental cars. Instead, the most popular method of getting around for visitors is via mopeds, which can be rented at dozens of locations. Others are well-served by readily available taxis, ferries and Bermuda’s distinctive pink buses.
However you get around, make sure you take in Bermuda’s wealth of historic sights, especially the atmospheric Town of St. George a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Royal Naval Dockyard, a 19th-century fortress featuring the Maritime Museum, the Commissioner’s House and the Bermuda Arts Centre. Other island highlights are the Botanical Gardens, the Underwater Exploration Institute and the Crystal Caves.
Bermuda… So Much More
Dance Clubs. Dinner/Dances. Nightclubs. Pubs. Theaters. Cinemas. Live music. Karaoke, plus early evening weekly street festivals.
Air Canada. American Airlines. British Airways. Continental. Delta. JetBlue Airways. US Airways. USA 3000. United Airlines.
Airports: (BDA) Bermuda International Airport.
All travelers should present a valid, machine readable passport. Return or onward ticket is required of all visitors.
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. The Crystal Caves of Bermuda. Bermuda Maritime Museum & Dolphin Quest. Fort St. Catherine. Gibbs’ Hill Lighthouse. Fort Scaur. Town of St. George. Somerset Bridge. Camden. Royal Naval Dockyard. Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. City of Hamilton. Bermuda National Trust Museums. Carter House.
Contact the Registrar General’s office