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Gulf & Main Magazine

Bermuda: The Pink Island

By Libby McMillan Henson

Where can you go to experience a bit of British culture, Caribbean nature, massive whales and underground caverns? Bermuda offers all this, along with its world-famous pink sand beaches.
This alluring and oh-so-different getaway is one of many inviting destinations within easy reach of RSW International Airport via JetBlue.

A British Overseas Territory, Bermuda is ringed by coral reefs. Here you can enjoy a proper high tea or watch a cricket match when not exploring magnificent coves or tossing back a signature Dark and Stormy rum cocktail.

Despite being fairly far north of the Caribbean, Bermuda is blessed with the Gulf Stream, affording it subtropical weather year-round. Of its 138 islands, eight are connected by bridges and causeways, but Main Island, home to capital Hamilton, is what most people refer to as Bermuda. Businessmen dressed in jackets, namesake shorts and knee socks often zip about on scooters, while many residents rely on the welcoming (and abundant) pink buses traversing the island. You’ll find yourself slowing down in no time, to match the 20 mph speed limit of this diverse island nation.

Go if you love the water: Bermuda’s aquamarine hues attract paddlers, snorkelers, anglers, sailors and sun lovers of all stripes. March and April are prime humpback whale-watching season, adding another dimension to an island already brimming with opportunities for adventure. Adrenaline junkies can try Flyboarding (a wakeboard connected to a live fire hose), as well as the chance to take selfies among the surreal stalactites of Crystal Cave, 120 feet underground despite being in the middle of the Atlantic.


Hamilton and Central Bermuda

Hamilton’s bustling Front Street, lined with pastel-colored buildings, reminds you that you’re no longer on American soil. The city center offers all the shopping and dining you would expect. The renowned Hamilton Princess resort—with its own eye-popping marina of private yachts—makes a wonderful home base if budget allows. A recent $100 million renovation to this pink landmark, circa 1885, might entice you to splurge. Either way, dine in its celebrity chef-helmed Marcus’ restaurant overlooking painterly Hamilton Harbour, or pop in to the dockside happy hour.

Some of the island’s most beautiful beaches are near at hand. On the north shore, Clarence Cove, perfect for a picnic, is ringed by dramatic cave-filled cliffs, home to lobsters and sea turtles. South Shore Park leads to several beautiful spots, including Chaplin Bay. Nearly disappearing at high tide, this short-term haven is connected by trails to beautiful Jobson’s Cove, while also a half-mile hike from stunning Horseshoe Bay Beach. 



The East End and St. George’s Island

Bermuda’s east end is a good fit for nature lovers and history buffs. The nature reserve known as Tom Moore’s Jungle—founded by an Irish poet who fancied writing among its many bird species—holds the Blue Hole swimming grotto and Bermuda’s oldest restaurant, a 17th-century tavern named for the scribe. Nearby Rosewood Bermuda thrills golfers, tennis players and spa-goers with its sprawling oceanfront setting.

Across the causeway and another short bridge lies the Town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage site. St. George’s enchants visitors with its centuries-old brick streets and whitewashed British Colonial architecture. Fair warning: cruise ships dock here, which explains the prevalence of artistic jewelry shops.

Bonus points if you spot one of Bermuda’s fabled moongates. These round architectural accents hail from China but have become one of the island’s national symbols, enhancing beautiful vistas and welcoming visitors. 


The West End and Royal Naval Dockyard

Book a table at Coconuts to savor a favorite local dish: fish chowder made with black rum from seventh-generation Gosling’s distillery. Coconuts is within The Reefs Resort & Club, where all 62 rooms, suites and cottages face the ocean.

For a guaranteed adults-only getaway, book your room at the child-free Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, a luxury option for romantics. Situated on an idyllic western tip of the island, it even offers a few private-pool cottages.

The King’s Wharf area anchors the western end of Main Island. Here, a 150-year-old fort and the National Museum are part of the Royal Naval Dockyard, where maritime history comes to life. Another cruise-ship dock, this area is brimming with shopping, dining and entertainment options, including a British-style pub, the Frog & Onion, Bermuda’s only craft brewery.

A wide variety of inns, bed & breakfasts, rooms and cottages complement Bermuda’s hotels and resorts as lodging options. But no matter where you stay, or for how long, you’ll likely dream of returning before you even depart for home.

Libby McMillan Henson is a freelance travel writer and regular contributor to TOTI Media.