Bermuda was the perfect August week – a blur of pink beaches, pirate grottos, bike trails, limestone caverns, and sparkling coves, with no sign of paranormal mysteries.
By Jill Headley
It’s tough to believe that Bermuda used to be known only as a destination for the newly-wed, almost-dead or over-fed. What used to be a playground for honeymooners, retirees, and cruise ship daytrippers, is now one of the hottest islands in the world. After legalizing gay marriage and receiving accolades from the travel press, there is no doubt that the mid-Atlantic isle is drawing family travelers and jetsetters at an eye-popping clip.
Why? Tourism to one of the world’s per-capita wealthiest countries grew with its Zika-free status in 2016, its America’s Cup in 2017, and its repeal of a four-month ban on gay marriage in 2018. While the top of the “triangle” had been missing from the radar for a few decades, it’s time for island lovers to take another look at the British Territory’s culture-forward mix of British Isles, West Indian, and Portuguese Azorean roots.
After flying just two-and-a-half-hours from the East Coast, our summer week in Bermuda was a blur of pink beaches, pirate grottos, bike trails, limestone caverns, and seafood overload. We hiked, biked, and scootered through historic villages and gorgeous coastal areas. But Bermuda has great offseason weather too, with sunny skies, cool waters, and fewer tourists.
Bermuda’s countless shimmering coves, outdoor adventures, and vividly-painted stone cottages are balanced by a mysterious undercurrent of 400 years of “triangle” tales, shipwrecks, pirates, and international intrigue. And as home to Bermuda shorts, onions, and the Gosling’s Dark ‘N’ Stormy, we didn’t realize how much the island figured in America’s culture.
The Bermudans were lovely ambassadors to their intoxicating mix of British, Caribbean, and American culture. Our teens could not get enough of the cliff jumps or the snorkeling. My husband and I loved the bright spirit and the rum swizzles. And the best spot to find anything related to the infamous Bermuda Triangle was the Underwater Exploration Institute or the souvenir stores.
The Good Stuff
Blue Hole Park Splashing down in blissfully blue waters is the whole reason you come to Bermuda, right? This two-hour adventure is worth the effort. It also includes a hike to the caves. Bring headlamps or flashlights, or better yet, hire a guide. It is solid darkness in there and not for casual cavers.
Admiralty House Park This is a true local’s scene and not a comfortable beach in any way. The attraction is the cliff jumping and if you’ve got teens, you won’t want to miss it.
There are two areas to jump from, providing different levels of thrill. The jumping can go on all day!
Warwick Long Beach There’s hardly any people at all on this aptly-named long stretch of white sand. We liked it here better than Horseshoe Bay.
Tobacco Bay & Coopers Island Reserve These were the spots we loved most on our whole trip. Tobacco Bay is a big busy because it has a restaurant and bathrooms, but the snorkeling is good, and the atmosphere is fun. The cove is rimmed by rocks making a natural pool and a great place for little ones. From the bay, you can hike out to Coopers Island. We saw turtles here while snorkeling. We enjoyed the views of the lighthouse too.
St. George This old town in the East End is well worth a visit, with old stone buildings, tons of history, and great food. Wahoo’s waterfront tables and fresh lobster were worth the wait. If you’re around at night, the Haunted St. George tour is a lot of fun. Who doesn’t like walking through 400-year-old streets, talking about ghosts and ending up in a graveyard that inspired Disney’s Haunted Mansion?
The Not So Good
Humid for Sure It’s not surprising, but Bermuda is hot and humid in August. But you’ve got ample swim spots and breezes to keep you comfortable.
Good to Know
Any Time is Fine Summer is the most crowded time on Bermuda, of course, but its location alone in the mid-Atlantic means any month can be positively pleasant.
Jill Headley – July 2019
© ROAM Family Travel 2019 – All rights reserved
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