Growing up, I had a friend who went on yearly family vacations to Bermuda and I can remember her speaking of only 2 things: the Bermuda Triangle and pink sand. I recently had an opportunity to experience this enchanting island for myself and to echo its current slogan, there is so much more. Before we get into the wonders of the actual island, I have to bring up a few things that make this place a destination must. It’s only a 2 hour flight from most east coast cities, you can go through customs on the Bermuda side upon returning – lessening travel time by about an hour and the currency is equal to that of the US despite being governed by the British. If those aren’t reasons enough to go, the sheer beauty alone should lure you. Everywhere you looked there is beauty, from the natural landscapes of vibrant greens and blues, to the unapologetic bold yellow and orange homes. It’s no wonder that Bermuda has served as artistic inspiration for artists such as Mark Twain, John Lennon and Georgia O’Keefe. A few of the attractions speak to Bermuda’s artistic inclinations such as the Perfumery located in St George and Dockyard’s Glasswork and Rumcake Company glass blowing demonstration. Being surrounded by water you’d be missing out by not scheduling a few activities such as snorkeling, kayaking and even swimming with dolphins. With Bermuda being the shipwreck capital of the world (a title “earned” by the ships crashing into the numerous coral reefs that permeate the ocean floor close to the island), it allows for some spectacular snorkeling. Through clear water, colorful fish can be seen swimming around actual ship wreckage. Not sure what beach to check out? Try Elbow Beach to partake in activities like jogging or volleyball, Church Bay for snorkeling or for the infamous pink sand, Horseshoe Bay is your best bet. Widely known as a honeymoon hideout, Bermuda is not all serene beaches and romantic resorts. Hamilton, the downtown area is where single folks can get their dose of city-life. Bermudians proudly know how to party, as you can hear the latest hits blasting from local bars. Some restaurants also have its own after work party set such as the scene at Sea Breeze restaurant, which overlooks Elbow Beach. Aerial View of the Harbour You can’t talk about vacation without talking about food and you can find some of Bermuda’s signature dishes in a variety of restaurants. Head to one of the island’s most popular pubs, Swizzle Inn for a little bit of its British influence: the Back O Town sandwich aka fish and chips. Looking for a more elegant dining option? The menu at Tamarisk Restaurant and Terrace located on Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa was full of refined dishes including the grilled jerk rock fish and fish chowder. Another Bermudian dish, which sounds a little odd but is very filling and tasty, is the curried mussel pie. Think of chicken pot pie – only with mussels, cauliflower and curry. And don’t leave the island without imbibing on the ubiquitous national drinks: the Dark and Stormy and Rum Swizzle (The Swizzle Inn is its birthplace). For sports fans, there is the annual Cup Match Cricket Festival, which is a celebration across the entire island the first week of August. A cousin to baseball, cricket is played over the course of two days which are considered national holidays and celebrated with cruises, concerts and parties. Day one marks the emancipation of slaves in 1834 and the second, the colonization of the island by the British. The whole island is abuzz over the match and although a friendly rivalry amongst the fans, the fervor over which team one supported was clear. Make the mistake of wearing a light blue shirt with dark blue shorts and be prepared to hear it from the opposing Somerset team sporting the dark blue and red. Gambling, illegal for the other 362 days of the year, is offered at the event under tents cheekily referred to as the “Stock Exchange.” Bermuda is what you’d expect from a beach vacation and then some. Whether you are looking for relaxation, culture or adventure, this is a place you should have on your vacation destination radar.
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