Even some diehard fans compare Bermuda to certain beauty queens -- beautiful but dull. We prefer to think of it as "tranquil." If you're looking for exotic local color or sizzling rum- and reggae-filled nights, look farther south to the Caribbean. But if you need to escape the stress and strain of daily life, go to Bermuda.
This quiet island is one of the best places in the world for a honeymoon or a celebration of any romantic occasion. The joint may not be jumping, but it's the most relaxing -- and safest -- of the foreign islands, with a relatively hassle-free environment where you can concentrate on your tan, minus the annoyance of aggressive vendors and worries about crime. If you're into sunning and swimming, it doesn't get much better than Bermuda between May and September. Pink sand and turquoise seas -- it sounds like a corny travel poster, but it's for real. As Mark Twain said, "Sometimes a dose of Bermuda is just what the doctor ordered."
Frankly, Bermuda is predictable, and its regular visitors wouldn't have it any other way. The tiny island chain has attracted vacationers for decades, and there aren't many secrets left to uncover. But those sandy pink beaches remain just as inviting as ever, no matter how many times you return.
Even to friends of Bermuda who make an annual pilgrimage to the island, the Bermudians can be a bit smug. They know their island is more attractive than Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, and they're not above reminding you. Bit of an imperial attitude, isn't it? Exactly.
Some critics claim that Bermuda has become Americanized. That's true of islands much farther south, such as The Bahamas, but not of Bermuda. Indeed, the island and its population steadfastly adhere to British customs, even if, at times, that slavish devotion borders on caricature. (The afternoon tea ritual is pleasant enough, but the lawyers' and judges' powdered wigs are a bit much -- those things must get hot in a semitropical climate!) Some visitors find all the British decorum rather silly on a remote island that's closer to Atlanta than to London. But many others find the stalwart commitment to British tradition colorful and quaint, enhancing the unique charm of the lovely, wonderful place that is Bermuda.
If you're looking for some of the best golf in the world, Bermuda is your mecca. It has the scenery, the state-of-the-art courses, and the British tradition of golfing excellence. Even the most demanding player is generally satisfied with the island's offerings.
If you're a sailor, you'll find the waters of Bermuda reason enough for a visit. The farther you go from shore, of course, the greater the visibility. Discovering a hidden cove, away from the cruise-ship crowds, can make your day.
If you hate driving on the left side of the road, that's fine with Bermudians. You can't drive here -- they won't rent you a car. Bike around, or hop on a scooter and zip from one end of the island to the other.
We could go on and on with reasons for you to come to Bermuda, from exploring its natural wonderlands to playing on choice tennis courts with gentle sea breezes and warm sunshine. But we'll end here with a couple of warnings: Demanding foodies will find better dining on other islands, such as Martinique -- although Bermuda has made much culinary progress lately. And if you want nightlife, glittering casinos, and all that jazz, head for San Juan. Though there is some nightlife in Bermuda -- if you enjoy nursing a pint in a pub -- it's always wise to bring along some good company (or a good book) to ensure a blissful night here.
Did You Know?
- More than 25,000 couples honeymoon on Bermuda each year.
- This mysterious island inspired William Shakespeare's 1610 play The Tempest.
- Somerset Bridge is the world's smallest drawbridge. At only 56cm (22 in.) wide, the opening is just large enough for a ship's mast to pass through.
- Bermuda has more golf courses per square kilometer than any other place in the world; there are eight of them on the island's approximate 138 sq. km (53 sq. miles).
- Sir Brownlow Gray, the island's former chief justice, played the first game of tennis in the Western Hemisphere on Bermuda in 1873.
- With the arrival of spring comes the blossoming of Bermuda's Easter lilies, first brought to the island from Japan in the 18th century.
- Bermuda has no billboards: There is a ban on outdoor advertising and neon signs.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.