If you live on the East Coast, you've no doubt heard about the proximity to Bermuda, less than a two-hour flight from Boston, New York, Philly, and DC. But it's not until you actually step off the plane on this island located 600 miles due east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, that you fully understand the allure. Plant your feet into the soft pink sand on one of the ... more
If you live on the East Coast, you've no doubt heard about the proximity to Bermuda, less than a two-hour flight from Boston, New York, Philly, and DC. But it's not until you actually step off the plane on this island located 600 miles due east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, that you fully understand the allure. Plant your feet into the soft pink sand on one of the renowned South Shore beaches like Horseshoe Bay and you can feel your body de-stress with every footprint. The shoreline is exquisite. Beaches are buttressed by jagged cliffs to create sandy coves that might only have room for a family or two or be long enough to welcome the next cruise ship that lands at the Royal Naval Dockyard.
Bermuda glistens with pink sand beaches and rainbow-colored reefs. The island lures beach lovers, water enthusiasts, history buffs and golfers plus those who want a sun and surf vacation in an luxury destination that has a touch of British panache. Divers come to explore the more than 350 wrecks, several of which can be seen by snorkelers too. Duffers like the fact that the 21-square-mile island offers seven courses, among the highest concentration per square mile anywhere in the world. The island's relatively mild year-round weather -- daytime winter highs average 70 degrees Fahrenheit and summer highs range between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit -- make the island a golf haven and a good pick for families, especially for east coasters looking for a quick, easy getaway.
Don't make the mistake that my parents did, venturing to Bermuda on their honeymoon in December and freezing their tushies off. Bermuda is not the Caribbean. First and foremost, April through October are the best months to visit the island. Second, this former British colony is far more civilized than many of the poorer Caribbean destinations. No one hassles you on the beach to braid your hair or sell you cigarettes and beer. The purveyors here are found in the stores of Hamilton and St. George selling handbags, perfumes, Gosling's rum and those cute little Bermuda shorts that most businessmen wear in town with sports jacket, tie, and knee-high socks.
Another source of stress, driving, is also nonexistent. The country forbids foreigners from renting cars. In its place, the bus and ferry system around the 21-mile long island is excellent. Taxis transfer you to and from the airport and mopeds are available for rent if you're bold (or crazy enough) to drive with the islanders around the many hairpin turns.
The British legacy remains in such traditions as afternoon tea and a national passion for cricket. Bermudians celebrate the two-day annual Cricket Cup match, held on the Thursday and Friday before the first Monday in August, as a national holiday. If you visit April through mid-September, the season for balls, bats and wickets, take in a game. It's likely that a friendly islander will explain the rules of the sport.
So relax and realize Bermuda is perfectly suited for families. Besides the beach, you can go horseback riding, biking, sea kayaking, snorkeling, walk atop a pontoon bridge in a massive cave, and check out the local aquarium and zoo. It's the ideal summer spot to unwind for a weekend or week.
Be sure to check out our exclusive Caribbean Vacation Guide for Families
, offering plenty of useful information about various Caribbean islands!
Written by Stephen Jermanok and Candyce H. Stapen less