This fall we traded in the brightly colored foliage for the pink sand beaches of beautiful Bermuda. I know what you’re thinking: island vacation during the height of hurricane season? But hear me out, there is a method to the madness.
THE PROS AND CONS TO BOOKING AN ISLAND VACATION DURING HURRICANE SEASON
There are definite pros and cons to booking an island vacation during hurricane season. One significant pro is that airfare and lodging rates are typically more affordable. Also, the island was not as packed with tourists, making excursions and reservations more readily available. Many locals shared with us that September/October is actually the best time to visit the island.
Not surprisingly, a con is the possibility of inclement weather. Doesn’t mother nature have a say in any vacation destination? See: travel insurance. We were lucky enough to avoid any inclement weather aside from one partial rainy day. Even still, we didn’t let a few showers melt us. There were plenty of indoor excursions on the island including Bermuda’s crystal caves and the national aquarium.
This was our first time visiting the remote island off the coast of the Carolina’s, so pre-trip research was crucial. There was much to do and see during our six days on the small historical island. Our goal was to balance excursions and exploring, while also relaxing on our island getaway.
BERMUDA: TRAVEL, WHERE TO STAY
Bermuda is easily accessible with a non-stop flight time between two and three hours from most major east coast cities. The one hour time difference also makes jet lag a non-issue so you can hit the ground running.
As a group of five, we rented a house off Tankfield road in Paget Parish. This gorgeous ocean-side property offered a pool, balcony with panoramic ocean views, a chef’s kitchen, and access to a private beach. This location was ideal for us as it was a private escape giving us the feeling of relaxation but easy to access local attractions, including downtown Hamilton, the capital city of Bermuda.
ACTIVITIES IN BERMUDA: TOURS, SPAS, AND BEACHES
One of our most memorable excursions was a private island tour. This 5 hour mini-bus tour is a unique way to see the 20-mile island. Highlights of our tour included stops at the top must-see attractions in Bermuda:
- Gibbs Hill lighthouse: built in 1846, one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the world, 186 steps, $2.50 admission, advance booking not required
- Royal Navy Dockyard: 2017 host of America’s Cup, Clocktower Mall, Dockyard watersports, National Museum of Bermuda, main port for commercial cruise ships, access via ferry, scooter, or taxi
- Saint George’s Island: UNESCO world heritage site, famous King’s Square, National trust Museum, Town Hall, Fort St. Katherine’s
- Downtown Hamilton: Bermuda’s capital city bustling with restaurants, shopping, and harbor views
- Lunch at the Swizzle Inn: oldest bar in Bermuda, home to Bermuda’s national drink, the Rum Swizzle. Add your business card to the wall to leave your mark on the Swizzle Inn
- Somerset Bridge: smallest working drawbridge in the world. Still operated by hand to allow the mast of a passing sailboat
We also booked a spa day during our trip. If a spa trip is typically part of your itinerary, you will have plenty of top spas to choose from on the island. We chose Three Graces Day spa at the Newstead Belmont Hills Resort. This tranquil full-service spa offered a personal and relaxing experience with top of the line products and professionals. Each private room overlooks the harbor into downtown Hamilton.
A trip to one of the many pink sand beaches is a must in Bermuda. Each beach offers unique ocean views, warm sand, and crystal clear water. We spent a day at Horseshoe Bay beach, one of the most popular beaches in Bermuda. Try to find rentals that include chairs and towels, like our house rental, to save on suitcase space. This beach offers chair and umbrella rentals as an alternative. Horseshoe Bay also has a large taxi lot making transportation to and from quick and easy. The moment your feet hit the perfectly pink sand all your troubles melt away. This beach is family friendly with lifeguards, a restaurant, and a clean restroom with showers.
WHERE TO EAT IN BERMUDA
One of the perks of renting a house for our vacation allowed us to share meals and snacks at home or to pack on-the-go without breaking the bank. But we also experienced fabulous local cuisine in downtown Hamilton. Our top picks include:
- Ruby Murrays –authentic Indian cuisine in a unique setting
- Portofino’s – savory Italian, great for family style sharing
- Robin Hood – relaxed atmosphere with pub food. Their Tuesday night pub quiz draws a large crowd
- Swizzle Inn – oldest pub in Bermuda. Rum Swizzle pitcher is a must
- Devil’s Isle Cafe – farm to table, local fresh cuisine with canopy covered outdoor seating
- Barracuda Seafood – upscale fresh local catch in a modern setting
Bermuda is a beautiful island with friendly locals who are proud to show you their country. The cuisine is fresh and diverse. Each day was filled with unique and memorable experiences for both adults and children. In fact, I am already planning another trip back to Bermuda-ful! What is your favorite Bermuda memory?
Bermuda beach via Shutterstock