Imagine a place where the sand is tinged pink, where serene seas stretch to the horizon in a thousand shades of blue, mirroring the sky above; feel the warming kiss of the sun and the dusting of salt on your skin, a delicate breeze as you languish happily on a beach hidden in a quiet cove.
Miles upon miles of restorative wide-open spaces surround you. Pastel-hued buildings, outdoor adventures, and fresh island eats served in the open air are only a brief walk or scooter ride away.
Now imagine you’ve touched down in this subtropical fantasy after a quick flight. Bermuda, after all, is only 90 minutes from New York City and a two-hour flight from other stops along the East Coast. You followed all the pre-departure protocols, so you feel comfortable and confident knowing that there are robust safety measures in place.
Open your eyes — this is no daydream. You’re in Bermuda.
Family FunMust-hit hot spots to make memories with all generations
In everyday life, Gen Z and Boomers don’t speak the same language, so satisfying family members’ varying vacation interests and energy levels can prove a quandary. But every age can agree on one thing: the pleasure of a good beach day. And Bermuda has beaches a’plenty.
On the South Shore, Horseshoe Bay Beach, with its curved shape and beach rentals, is a crowd-pleaser; think of Jobson’s Cove as nature’s swimming pool, complete with an array of tropical fish to entertain snorkelers. In the East End, head to Tobacco Bay Beach, home to a family-friendly restaurant and bar, for an all-day affair. Though protocols might be a bit different this summer (be sure to check their schedule before you go) the fun usually doesn’t dwindle as the sun goes down but instead heats up with live music and bonfires during the summer. At Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, pack a picnic and spend the day snorkeling and hiking the trails.
At the Bermuda Craft Market, located in an old barrel-making factory in the Royal Naval Dockyard, every family member can select a souvenir from the handmade wares of more than 60 local artisans — there are rum cakes and candles, cedarwork and sea-glass ornaments.
From there, cover more ground by taking the ferry; the scenic ride across the Great Sound is practically an attraction in itself. The blue route zips from the Dockyard to Hamilton in 20 minutes, and then you can break for lunch or dinner at Lobster Pot & Boat House Bar, a favorite since 1973. The main draw is, obviously, lobster (both Maine and Caribbean) and fresh seafood, but there are also steaks, pastas, and other non-seafood items for even the pickiest of eaters.
Another way to unite the generations is to ignite the mind. Luckily, touring Fort St. Catherine — where crossing the drawbridge leads to a maze of tunnels, ramparts, and towers — is such a blast, the kids won’t realize it’s educational, too. And the views from this 1614-built bastion are unparalleled.
There’s a lot to explore in Bermuda, but those who stay at Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa may find their hotel hard to leave. It’s the only resort on the island to offer an all-inclusive supplement — setting the family free from deliberations over where to eat and when — and equipment like kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkel gear is included… to say nothing of the inflatable water park.
FriendshipActivities sure to satisfy the whole squad
If the whole gang’s itching for a trip together, summertime in Bermuda is the perfect excuse to let your hair down and enjoy an island getaway full of sunshine and color. On Front Street, in the City of Hamilton, find outdoor dining and local boutiques, or skip the city and head straight to the beach.
In the morning, awake for coffee at Devil’s Isle before tackling a day of snorkeling at Church Bay, shopping and strolling the historic Town of St. George, and sightseeing the best of Bermuda; in the afternoon, a stop at The Swizzle Inn Pub to try Bermuda’s national cocktail(s) is a must. This is the very spot where the rum swizzle was invented in 1932, but don’t let that deter you from also sampling a Dark ’n Stormy, the island’s equally famous but unofficial national drink.
It’s not a trip to Bermuda unless you get out on its unbelievably turquoise, see-through waters, so embark on a sail-and-snorkel catamaran charter with Sail Bermuda or toodle around Hamilton Harbour aboard a rental from Bermuda Electric Boats. Not only are they the only full-size electric boats using BMWi technology in Bermuda, but the rental fleet also sports pastel pinks and blues to perfectly complement the island’s colors — and your social media followers, once your snaps from paradise turn them green with envy.
AdventureEscapades for thrill-seekers eager to dive beneath the surface
Thrill-seekers with a thirst for the raw and unfiltered will find plenty of ways to get their blood pumping in Bermuda.
Climb the 185 steps of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse for jaw-dropping views of the South Shore, City of Hamilton, and the Royal Naval Dockyard, or sink 100 feet below the surface of the ocean on a scuba dive with Dive Bermuda. Its status as the wreck capital of the Atlantic may be bad news for Bermuda’s boat captains, but it’s music to a diver’s ears — there are more than 300 sunken ships begging to be explored, at depths ranging from 30 to 70 feet.
Jumping off a frighteningly high rocky oceanside cliff may be the last thing on your mind, but that’s exactly what you’ll dare to do on a cliff jump excursion to Clarence Cove in Admiralty House Park. When hunger strikes post-adrenaline rush, Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy is the local go-to for an authentic Bermuda fish sandwich. Fried fish, cole slaw, and raisin bread may seem a questionable combo, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. There’s a reason this one-of-a-kind sandwich is raved about the world over.
And you’ll need the fuel for exploring spots like the Blue Hole Park — think secluded caves, sapphire grottoes, and a 12-acre network of underground tunnels connecting them, all settled beneath a thick mangrove forest known as Tom Moore’s Jungle — and the Crystal and Fantasy Caves, a wonderland of stalagmites and white limestone that you can wander through via bridges floating above crystal-clear underground lakes (admission required; double-check availability).
To round out your tour de Bermuda, bike the 18-mile Bermuda Railway Trail National Park (or explore it on horseback with Watson’s) and be treated to some of the island’s best views as you traverse its nine parishes.
Note that temporary restrictions are in effect island-wide, but are subject to change, so double-check to confirm availability before you go.
SophisticationOnly the most luxurious ways to stay and play
For a taste of the finer things in life, Bermuda delivers on luxurious stays and experiences.
Situated along the coastline of Castle Harbour, Rosewood Bermuda promises to please even the most discerning jet setter with expansive suites and seven onsite restaurants and lounges; The Loren at Pink Beach presents an elegant, modern take on island chic, with five-star accommodations and amenities. Both also have villa and residence options, ideal for families or extended stays. Fairmont’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club — Bermuda’s iconic “Pink Palace” — is another elite retreat.
Continuing to seek out the best of Bermuda, make reservations at Barracuda Grill, a fine-dining staple on the island. To feast your eyes as well as your palate, Blu Bar & Grill overlooks the acclaimed Belmont Hills Golf Course; at Harbourfront, patrons are treated to unbeatable views of Hamilton Harbour. Another can’t-miss on the Bermuda culinary circuit is Tom Moores Tavern, housed in a building constructed as a private residence in 1652; it’s attracted more than 3 million patrons in its 200 years as a tavern, including celebrities and British royalty.
There are spas, and then there are spas housed in 500,000-year-old crystal caves, offering muscle-melting massages in gazebos suspended over subterranean lakes — or maybe there is just one such place, and that’s Natura Spa at Grotto Bay Beach Resort. “Unforgettable” is an understatement.
To further spoil yourself, go for high tea in the gardens of Lili Bermuda Perfumery and take advantage of the opportunity to create your own scent. It’s also a favored spot to souvenir-shop for even the most selective loved ones on your list.