Bermuda’s appeal lies in its special blend of cultures, a Bermuda-shorts-and-knee-socks-meets-reggae-and-calypso mélange of colonial history and African heritage. When you start thinking about traveling to Bermuda, keep in mind that the weather is relatively cool in winter and spring. As a result, Bermuda’s peak travel season (when prices and demand are highest) is May through August, the opposite of the Caribbean (which Bermuda is not technically a part of).
Bermuda Basic Travel Information
Location: Off the east coast of the U.S., 640 miles from Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Size: 27.7 square miles. See Map
Religions: African Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Jewish, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist
Currency: Bermuda dollar (B$); used interchangeably with the U.S. dollar
Telephone/Area Code: 441
Tipping: Tips often added to bill; otherwise, tip 15 percent. Tip taxi drivers 10 to 15 percent
Weather: No rainy season; summer temps rarely go above 85 degrees. In fall and mid-December to March, temps are in the 60s and 70s. Hurricane season is Aug.-Oct.
Airport: L.F. Wade International Airport (Check Flights)
Bermuda Activities and Attractions
Renting a moped to tour the island is an absolute must, as is strolling through the historic towns of St. George (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Hamilton. You’ll also want to check out the Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island for a glimpse into Bermuda’s maritime past. Sailing, golfing and tennis are other popular activities.
One of the most popular and photographed of Bermuda’s pink-sand beaches is Horseshoe Bay Beach, which is bordered by rocky areas great for snorkeling. A lifeguard is on duty here from May to September, making this a good choice for families. Tiny Jobson’s Bay Beach is surrounded by jagged, picturesque rocks. Warwick Long Bay boasts Bermuda’s longest stretch of sand, and at West Whale Bay Beach you can see humpback whales in April as they migrate north. If you’re in search of seclusion, head to Astwood Cove.
Bermuda Hotels and Resorts
You’ll find a few different types of accommodations in Bermuda: B&Bs; efficiency units, including cottages, suites and apartments that come with kitchen facilities and are good options for families; small hotels; and resorts that offer fine restaurants, spas, pools and more. Another more unusual option is Bermuda’s collection of cottage colonies, a series of cottages with a central clubhouse for socializing, drinking and dining, plus a pool or beach. Luxury accommodations abound; finding bargains is more of a challenge.
Bermuda Restaurants and Cuisine
The most famous local dish is fish chowder served with a splash of Sherry Pepper sauce. Other traditional dishes include Peas and Plenty (black-eyed peas with onions, salt pork and rice) and Hoppin’ John, another pea and rice dish, which should not be confused with Johnny Bread, which is pan-cooked cornmeal bread. However, you also can find restaurants serving everything from curries to pasta. In addition to restaurants in resort hotels, there are large concentrations of eateries in Hamilton and St. George Town. Wash meals down with a Dark and Stormy, a mix of ginger beer and local Gosling's rum.
Bermuda Culture and History
Settled by the English in 1609, Bermuda became a self-governing colony in 1620. West Indian indentured servants, then slaves from Africa, later arrived. Slavery was abolished in 1834. After the American Revolution, the Royal Navy built a dockyard in Bermuda to guard its Atlantic shipping lanes. In the early twentieth century, Bermuda became a popular destination for rich tourists. Bermuda’s British heritage is found in its architecture; African influences are mainfest in dance and music, especially the Gombeys dancing and drumming troupes.
Bermuda Events and Festivals
Cup Match, an annual cricket competition featuring two Bermuda clubs in an annual grudge match, may be the most beloved holiday in Bermuda. This sports-loving island also hosts a yearly rugby tournament, a renowned music festival, and even a "Love Festival" centered on Valentine's Day.
As a general rule, nightlife is not big on Bermuda. Since rental cars are not allowed on the island, many visitors prefer to hang out in their hotel lounges and bars rather than travel via scooter (or take an expensive taxi) at night. However, Hamilton has a number of fun bars, including Hubie’s, which showcases local musical talent. The island also is known for its collection of authentic English pubs, such as the Frog and Onion, Henry VIII, and the George and Dragon.