Bermuda can best be described as a mixture of elegance and Old-world British charm located against a backdrop of color – pink sandy beaches, pastel houses with crystal white rooftops, turquoise blue waters and emerald and Kelly green golf courses. Surrounded by the Sargasso Sea, a variety of activities make it the perfect place to visit, particularly for the golf and sailing enthusiast. Home to six award-winning golf courses (with incredible vistas on every hole), Bermuda has more links per capita than anywhere in the world. Clear waters make it a top destination for sailing and the country was host to the 35th America’s Cup this past year.
Filled with churches and cathedrals, chic shops and tony restaurants, the capital city of Hamilton is bustling. (Even if you are not British, be sure and partake in the custom of afternoon tea). Check out the local Irish Linen Shop for one of the largest collections of linen napkins, tablecloths and placemats and the English Men’s Sport Shop for the latest in colorful preppy island wear. And be sure to sample the local island dishes – fish chowder, Bailey’s Ice Cream, Bermuda Rum from Gosling’s (Dark and Stormy or a Rum Swizzle are highly recommended), raisin bread and a local rockfish sandwich at the Devil’s Isle.
For a day of nature, check out Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, a 77-acre stretch of land that houses unspoiled beaches, a salt marsh for herons and king crabs and the protected habitat of the island’s national bird, the cahow. Snorkeling, exploring secret caves, touring the 400-year-old town of St. George’s and touring the lush green island on a scooter (car rentals are not allowed) are just a few of the activities that await.
And last but not least, Bermuda is also known for its namesake Bermuda shorts. Worn by British military officers in the early 20th century (mostly out of necessity due to the extreme heat), the original khaki look became everyday attire. It’s not uncommon to see men clad in blazer, ties, shorts and knee socks heading to a business meeting or dinner. Bermuda shorts cannot be more than six inches above the knee and the sky is the limit when it comes to color, so travelers take note if you want to blend in.
Bermuda is also home to the occasional actor, playwright and artist and you can spot their homes on the scenic Famous Homes & Hideaways Cruise. Long time resident actor Michael Douglas and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones call the idyllic island home, along with the late Long Day’s Journey Into Night playwright Eugene O’Neil and Wizard of Oz illustrator William Denslow. Maritime aficionados will enjoy the Premier Glass Bottom Boat Cruise that offers an up close and personal look at the barrier ocean reef and its colorful inhabitants followed by a cruise to the Great Sound to a sea turtle feeding area.