Beach Vacations to Bermuda

Jobston Beach, Bermuda
Jobston Beach, Bermuda (Corbis)

Bermuda Beach Travel Tips

  • Summer temperatures in Bermuda average in the 80s, while winter temperatures hover in the 60s. Although the ocean is relatively warm year-round, some snorkelers and swimmers opt for wet suits in winter.
  • Fewer hurricanes hit Bermuda than the Caribbean and there is no defined rainy season, but brief showers occur year-round.
  • Watch out for Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish that occasionally show up near Bermuda between March and July.
  • Although local businessmen may wear Bermuda shorts to work, locals tend to dress formally and conservatively (some restaurants even require jackets). Best to cover up and dress modestly when off the beach.
  • Don't leave Bermuda without spending time on one of its pink sand beaches. Warwick Long Bay, with its cliffs and offshore coral outcrops, is particularly scenic.
  • Most public beaches do not have lifeguards, although the popular Horseshoe Bay does, as do many hotel beaches.

This small slice of subtropical paradise is less than a two-hour flight from New York and other East Coast cities and is firmly planted in the Atlantic despite assumptions that it is part of the Caribbean. Another common misconception is that Bermuda is one island, when it is actually comprised of over 180 islets—only about 20 are inhabited—tightly grouped together in a fishhook outline linked by bridges. A longtime playground for millionaires and celebrities, Bermuda is home to many impressive resorts, but it feels less developed and slower than similarly popular island destinations. This could be due to the fact that residents are allowed to own only one car, travelers are not allowed to rent cars, and the national speed limit is just 20 miles per hour. Don't worry about getting around, as you can easily rent a moped, jump in a taxi, and even take a horse-drawn carriage.

With an affluent population of about 66,000, Bermuda has two towns: St. George and Hamilton. St. George is a World Heritage Site and the oldest English-speaking colonial town still in existence. Exploring its narrow back alleys and cobblestone lanes is a real treat. The capital Hamilton, on the other hand, is a bustling little business center with verandah waterfront restaurants and a harbor-front road lined with pastel-hued Victorian buildings. Because Hamilton is the center of the islands' bus routes, you'll invariably pass through here at some point.

No matter where you are in Bermuda, the ocean is never more than a half mile away, making access to the beaches a breeze. Hotels own some of the best stretches of sand, although plenty of good public beaches exist as well. Bermuda is famous for its pale pink sands (the most popular being Elbow Beach) and its waters, warmed by the Gulf Stream and filled with coral reefs. Winter temperatures can hover in the 60s, making this the low season when hotels dramatically drop their rates and some tourist infrastructure closes down (it's the exact opposite of the busy season in the Caribbean).

With glamorous oceanside golf courses, large historic forts, great museums—including the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and the Bermuda Maritime Museum—shipwrecks for diving and snorkeling, bird-rich nature reserves, and a friendly, sophisticated populace, it's no wonder that Bermuda has such a high percentage of repeat customers.

Published: 7 May 2009 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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