An island destination is one of the most fun and relaxing travels to have and there certainly is no shortage of them in the world. Luckily, we are so close to the Caribbean that we have the advantage of hopping on a plane and be transported to paradise in just a few hours.
I have been to a number of Caribbean islands and I’ve seen quite a few amazing ones and I’ve dug my toes in a number of beautiful beaches but i have to say that Bermuda is definitely one that stands out. Before I go on, I just want to mention that Bermuda is not part of the Caribbean and Bermudans take offense if you refer to their island as such. This young woman who works at our hotel told me so:) Bermuda is Bermuda. It’s a British territory in the North Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States and just 600 something miles off North Carolina. It’s nothing more than an hour and 45 minute flight from New York. That’s how long it takes me to get to work! It’s just an arm’s reach and I can’t believe I waited this long to visit!
A few major airlines fly to Bermuda. Jetblue and Delta fly out of JFK and United Airlines out of Newark. I don’t remember exactly how I ended up flying out of Newark but I don’t recommend it if you’re from Queens! Taxis are about $140 and $85 from Manhattan. There are express buses from Grand Central or Port Authority which are only $28 roundtrip. So you can take the subway to Grand Central or Port Authority then take the bus from there. It takes you straight to the airport. It sounds simple but trust me, it’s such a hassle.
The flight was short but bumpy:) I don’t mean to scare anyone but if you’re flying to Bermuda you’re flying across the open North Atlantic so the flights can get bumpy but not always. We had a very smooth flight back. I guess it’s safe to say I survived the Bermuda Triangle.:)Flying to Bermuda may still be a challenge for small aircrafts but it’s very routine for commercial planes and don’t get all worked up about that Bermuda Triangle stuff. There are at least 5 major airlines crisscrossing the Bermuda Triangle right now as you read this blog.
Among other things, Bermuda is known for its pink sands and beautiful beaches. I know they say that about a lot of other islands too but it really does hold true to Bermuda. We stayed at Newstead Belmont Hills which is a very lovely hotel. The rooms are spacious and very clean. We got the one-bedroom suite which overlooks the ocean and the city of Hamilton, capital of Bermuda. Hamilton is a good place for dining, shopping, and sightseeing. There are a lot of restaurants and shops there. Our hotel offers a complimentary ferry ride to Hamilton which only takes about 10 minutes so we went there on our first night and just walked around the area then ended up at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess’ happy hour event. We ran into it by accident. It’s supposed to be the most popular and “hippest” happy hour in Bermuda and the place to go on Friday nights. I can’t say that was the highlight of my trip but I saw some people there having a really great time.
The next day, we hired a taxi to take us around the island. I would’ve preferred to rent a car and explore the island on our own but visitors are not allowed to rent cars in Bermuda. You can rent vespas but I don’t know how to drive one of those.:) So we hired a taxi instead. They normally charge $35-$45 an hour. We hit the beaches first because our hotel doesn’t have one. Yes, I know what you’re thinking but believe me, that wasn’t an inconvenience at all. They have a gorgeous infinity pool that makes up for it and they have a car that takes you to the nearby Elbow Beach which is clearly one of the best beaches in Bermuda just 5 minutes away.
All beaches in Bermuda are worth the visit but there are 3 that I really caught my attention. Elbow Beach, Jobson’s Cove, and the most popular one, Horseshoe Bay.
We spent a lot of time at Elbow Beach because it’s the closest to our hotel. The water is calm which makes it ideal for swimming. The sand is pinkish and feels so smooth on your feet. A nice beach for strolling. We lucked out on the weather too. It was perfect. One thing you have to remember when you travel to Bermuda is that the water can be too cold for swimming during winter season so plan ahead.
Jobson’s Cove is a perfect serene hideaway. It’s a secluded cove with calm waters that’s perfect for swimming. The water is so clear that you can spot the colorful fish without a snorkel. The beach is very small and it can get crowded later in the day but if you go early morning you’ll be rewarded with a picture perfect experience you’ll never forget. It’s a must see!
Horseshoe Bay is arguably the most beautiful. It’s a long stretch of pink sand shaped like a horseshoe. Great for snorkeling if you want to venture off along the reefs. This beach is in everyone’s top list of “must go” places in Bermuda so it can get very very crowded specially if the cruise ships are in town. The water looks calm but they say the surface hides dangerous rip currents that’s why they have lifeguards stationed at this beach. It was too crowded the first time we went so we didn’t stay. We came back the next day when the cruisers were gone and it was so much better. It was paradise! We stayed at the eastern end of the beach and it was like having our own private little beach there. It was a lot of fun swimming at this little cove and i could hardly get myself out of the water. It was probably the best beach experience I ever had in my life.
After 2 days of beach hopping, we hopped on a bus and went to the Royal Naval Dockyard for a little shopping. On Sundays most people head to the Dockyard because the shops and restaurants in Hamilton are closed. You get a good dose of culture, food, water activities, and shopping in Dockyard. They even have a mall. They also have a craft market, glass blowing and pottery shops, a very exclusive rum cake factory and lots of fun activities and live entertainment. It’s also the jumping off point for diving and snorkeling tours and other water activities like jet skiing and catamaran cruises. It’s a typical tourist trap but it’s worth seeing because it has a lot of history too. Just bear in mind that cruise ships dock here so it can get crazy crowded.
Bermuda in general is awesome. Its beauty and affluence goes unnoticed the moment you step foot on the island. It’s very clean and the pastel colored houses with white roofs are so pretty. The people are friendly and nice. The beaches are awesome and most of all, it’s so close to New York! I’m already planning to go back.