What are the best things to do in Bermuda?

Spending time in the Atlantic is the obvious and desirable key feature of this destination, but there are plenty of great alternatives for landlubbers, too. Here are Forbes Travel Guide editors’ top picks for what to see and do in Bermuda (on sea and land):
 
1. Water Sports.  With easily accessible venues of brilliant blue waters to swim, dive, snorkel, kayak, sail, fish, jet ski, and body surf on, no appetite for water sports will go unmet. There are plenty of places on the beaches to rent equipment, just be sure to slather on the sunscreen.
 
2. Explore St. George’s Parish. Avoid the hustle and bustle of Hamilton and head to the northeast tip of the island, home to the historic and charming town of St. George and its intriguing fortifications – all part of a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
3. Visit Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. Constructed upon the highest point on the island, climb to the top for fabulous views, while learning about the navigational history of the alluring island and its treacherous reef.
 
4. Crystal and Fantasy Caves.  Spelunkers and travelers alike will marvel at the cavernous subterranean network of translucent waterways that have swallowed up stalagmites while simultaneously reflecting their stalactite mates.
 
5. The Royal Naval Dockyard.  Though touristy (particularly when berthing a cruise ship), this hub of activity swirls with Bermudian verve, featuring a Maritime Museum, a pavilion concert venue, local crafts market and pushcart food vendors and a dedicated Arts Centre.

  • On August 26, 2012
    John Cooper-Martin answered the question: John Cooper-Martin

    What is the best thing to bring home from Bermuda?

    It is illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the United States, except a very limited exception, if you are returning from Cuba.
  • On July 31, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see Bermuda in one day?

    Given the petite size of the island of Bermuda (just 21 miles from end to end), rental cars are not available, leaving you to choose between scooter, public bus or taxi to get around. The scooter option is by far the most fun and flexible. The top three sites to see during a one-day visit to Bermuda would include St. George (very historical and charming town at the northeast tip of the island), followed by an afternoon spent at one of a multitude of Bermuda’s fabulous Atlantic coastline beaches, and concluding with shopping, dinner and nightlife in downtown Hamilton.
  • On July 31, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is the best shopping in Bermuda?

    Forbes Travel Guide’s editors think that Front Street in the city of Hamilton is the place to shop in Bermuda. With a host of storefront shops, restaurants and bars, and the constant hustle and bustle of the tourist trade, there’s no shortage of upscale fashion, souvenir shops, and liquor stores, which consume the main streets of this busy little hub. Even the local hotel gift shops provide excellent, if not varied, merchandise to shop for. Lucky for bargain hunters, there’s no sales tax in Bermuda, so shop on.
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  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    Which are the best spas on Bermuda?

    A number of hotels and resorts on the island have suitable spas, though there are two that stand head and shoulders above the rest. When you’re in market for a relaxing treatment, head to Willow Stream at the Southampton Princess or Sense Spa at Rosewood Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa.
     
    With 20 treatment rooms, lavish locker and relaxation rooms, steam and sauna, a dedicated indoor/outdoor pool, 2 outside whirlpools with ocean views, an expansive fitness center, and a tantalizing menu of traditional as well as innovative spa treatments, you’ll find it tempting to spend a lot of island time at Willow Stream at the Southampton Princess.
     
    The Sense Spa at Rosewood Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa is a soothing mid-size spa that provides a quiet respite with a menu of enchanting treatment “journeys.” Upon arrival try the “Bermuda Triangle,” starting with a unique and invigorating TAG shower experience, an aloe massage, followed by a refreshing citrus facial – all designed to thoughtfully counteract any jet lag symptoms.
  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    What is the best thing to bring home from Bermuda?

    While each visitor has his or her own predilections and vices, there are some clear favorites in the sought-after souvenir and duty-free department, ranging from Cuban cigars in every shape, size and tobacco wrapper known, a brilliant array of colorful plaid and solid Bermuda shorts, a plentitude of quality china, crystal and linen tableware, and of course a copious inventory of duty-free liquor choices (each U.S. citizen may bring up to 2 liters per person into the US), including Bermuda’s own famous Gosling Black Seal Rum.
  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    What are the five best Bermuda food experiences?

    Between the rum, fresh seafood and tasty desserts, there’s a lot Bermuda has to offer food lovers. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for five Bermuda food experiences you simply should not miss:
     
    1. Sip a Swizzle.  No dyed-in-the-wool rum-loving visitor should ever depart the island without dropping by the Swizzle Inn for its famous namesake cocktail “Swizzle” (dark rum mixed with sugar and fruit juices) or the even more enticing “Dark & Stormy” (dark rum and ginger beer).
     
    2. Grab a bowl of Bermuda fish chowder. Head to Tom Moore’s Tavern, a charming landmark restaurant known for its classic French and Italian cuisine served alongside fresh seafood specialties. Order a bowl of the traditional Bermuda fish chowder — it’s a Bermuda staple. This is a spicy and thick dish that is often served with rum and sherry pepper sauce. It is made of salt pork, fish, onions, herbs and tomatoes.
     
    3. Snack on a Cassava pie. This authentic recipe dates back to the 1600’s and is made with chicken, pork, eggs, cassava and sometimes brandy. It is meaty, but sweet and you can eat it any time of day.
               
    4. Get a scoop of homemade ice cream. Be sure to stop by Bailey’s Ice Cream in Hamilton Parish for a scoop (or two) of homemade ice cream in local flavors. A few popular choices are the Dark & Stormy, a rum and ginger flavored ice cream. 
     
    5. Order Hoppin' John. This local favorite is a casserole made of papaya, rice, peas and chicken. This dish is typically a side, but can be stretched into a main dish as well.
  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    Where is the best nightlife in Bermuda?

    Hamilton has cornered the market of Bermudian nightlife, especially if you’re seeking it after 10 p.m.  Hamilton’s Pickled Onion and Café Cairo are two of the hippest venues.  For a more predictable crowd, melding locals and short-term visitors into a comfortable flirty atmosphere accompanied by live music, either of the two Fairmont hotels on island deliver, specifically Hamilton Princess’ Heritage Court and Southampton Princess’ Jasmine Lounge.  And for those deeply adventurous night crawlers, The Cellar at the Fairmont Southampton is the ultimate local hangout that plays music until the wee hours of the morning.
  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    Where are the best places to eat in Bermuda?

    In Bermuda, because there are no rental cars and private transportation is costly and unpredictable at evening time, visitors oftentimes prefer to dine at or near their hotels, so it is wise to bear this in mind when choosing your preferred lodging. Here, according to our Forbes Travel Guide editors, are the five best places to eat in Bermuda:
     
    1. Waterlot Inn. A hearty mélange of steak and seafood options on the menu at this nautically historic restaurant will tempt even the most discerning of fine diners.  After dining at the restaurant in The Fairmont Southampton, relax afterwards with Cuban cigars and cognac.
     
    2. Harbourfront Restaurant & Komodaru Sushi Lounge. Here the dining is delectable and the people and surrounds are chic and fashionable.  European fare strangely, yet stylishly, complements specialty sushi rolls and nigiri. Set in downtown Hamilton, this happening restaurant can fill up fast; so be sure to book a reservation.
     
    3. The Point Restaurant. Opulent and luxurious, Tucker’s Point Hotel’s fine dining restaurant is a trinity of exquisiteness; impeccable service, sophisticated atmosphere, and haute Mediterranean cuisine served in the company of fine wines.
     
    4. Black Horse Tavern. Known for serving up the most authentic Bermudian fare on the island, this quaint restaurant resembles a private home. The food is so fresh, that fish served at dinner was most likely caught that morning.
     
    5. Fourways Inn. One of the most elegant dining venues on the island can be found in an impeccably restored 17th century English manor house.  Decidedly French, the cuisine is created with seasonal produce and local seafood.
  • On July 8, 2012
    answered the question:

    Where are the best places to stay in Bermuda?

    As a discerning traveler, there are a host of luxurious and well-appointed Bermudian lodging options available to suit your tastes. From first-rate service to fine-dining restaurants, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend the following five places to stay when visiting Bermuda:
     
    1. Mandarin Oriental Elbow Beach.  Majestically overlooking its one-half mile pink sand beach, this understated hotel is a favorite with those seeking a more intimate and Zen-type experience, though families love it too thanks to the onsite beach, children’s programs and babysitting options.
     
    2. Fairmont Southampton Resort & Spa.  Perched at the highest point on the island, this 400+ guestroom luxury resort is the island’s largest and most comprehensive, offering four onsite restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, the luxurious Willow Stream Spa, tennis courts, a private beach and a dive shop.
     
    3. Rosewood Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa.  Nestled above Castle Harbour on the far side of the island and surrounded by long fairways and glitzy private homes, this newly-opened opulent boutique hotel is most highly sought after by honeymooners, business executives (thanks to its proximity to the airport) and celebrities.
     
    4. Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa.  With gorgeous sprawling grounds and gardens, this distinctly clubby, private and decidedly upscale staid hotel is a popular option for wealthy honeymooners, trust fund beneficiaries, and distinctly mature and discerning guests.
     
    5. Pink Beach Club & Cottages.  For those seeking a quaintly elegant, friendly and relaxed Bermudian atmosphere this expansive and family-friendly cottage colony resort provides a discreet respite from the more traditional resort atmosphere elsewhere on the island. The resort also boasts golf, tennis (tennis lessons) and its own luxe spa.
  • On July 8, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best things to do with kids in Bermuda?

    Whether at the beach, harbor or poolside, water activities provide the most attractive options for kids, ranging in age from toddlers to teenagers.  Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for how to keep the tots entertained in Bermuda:
     
    1. Beach activities.  There are countless kid-friendly beaches in Bermuda, most under populated, if not completely vacant in the off and shoulder seasons.  For great beachcombing and sand castle-building opportunities, public restroom access, lifeguards (during high season), and waters protected by coral reefs, visit Elbow Beach or Horseshoe Bay.
     
    2. Trek the Bermuda Railway Trail.  Rent bikes and gently pedal (or ride horseback) along the trail of this former island railway that spans the entire length of the island.
     
    3. Water Sports.  For adventurous big kids, rent a jet ski and take a spin around Great Sound. For the whole family, enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride or rent a boat and find a secluded beach or harbor and set up a picnic and go snorkeling.
     
    4. Golf at the Fairmont Southampton Golf Club’s 3-par course.  Young golf devotees will appreciate the rolling greens, the seaside views and water hazards at this course.
     
    5. Museums, Aquariums and Zoo.  Don’t miss out on Bermuda’s colorful and engaging cultural offerings including its Aquarium, Museum & Zoo complex near Flatts Village, the Bermuda Maritime Museum and Dolphin Quest at the Naval Dockyards, as well as the Devil’s Hole Aquarium at Harrington Sound.
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