For years, Bermuda has lured honeymooners with its pristine pink-sand beaches, quiet coves, and emerald-sapphire waters. The British Overseas Territory is just 21 miles long and less than two miles wide, but it packs a major aesthetic punch as you drive around, taking in pastel-painted architecture, charming white-roofed cottages, and impeccably manicured gardens.
Honeymooners typically fall first for Bermuda’s sophisticated beauty. But after checking into one of the island’s fabulous hotels, eating at a low-key local restaurant, or popping into a charming shop on Front Street (the main harborfront drag), that crush quickly grows into love. Couple that with the fact that Bermuda is less than a two-hour flight from nearly every major East Coast airport, and you’ll want to call the place home.
It’s also easy to feel welcome when you meet overtly friendly locals everywhere you go. Folks are generally cheery thanks to Bermuda’s booming financial center—as one of the world's leading insurance and reinsurance markets, the island remains a model of political and social stability. In 2017, it hosted the 35th America’s Cup, the pinnacle international sailing event, which led to major hotel refurbishments, harbor development, and general sprucing-up all around the island.
Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda isn’t located in the Caribbean—it’s about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, in the Atlantic Ocean. As such, you won’t see many tourists frolicking on the beaches during winter. Though days are generally warm year-round, the best time to visit is May through October. Summer will be the most crowded (and, as a result, have the highest hotel rates), while shoulder season (spring and fall) sees less humidity and cooler water temperatures.
Unless you’re planning a honeymoon cruise, expect to fly into the island’s only airport, L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA), located about seven miles northeast of Hamilton, the island capital. Since tourists are not permitted to rent cars on the island (the roads are narrow and windy, so it’s for the best), prearrange transportation through your hotel or grab a taxi at the airport (which is often less expensive).
Hit the Beach - Bermuda has nearly 75 miles of coastline, filled with long, sandy beaches, intimate coves, and rocky shores. The island's best swaths are found on the south shore, where the water tends to be rougher and conditions are ideal for body surfing. Though the water is calmer on the north shore, the beaches are often more rocky. The island is especially famous for its pale-pink stretches, such as Horseshoe Bay Beach, which gain their hue from crushed-up bits of coral, seashells, and microscopic organisms that get washed ashore.
Scuba Dive - Bermuda has some of the most spectacular diving in the world, with more than 350 shipwrecks and 230 miles of reef to explore. Crystal-clear waters mean visibility is often good up to 80 feet during summer. If you’re not certified, snorkeling is equally enticing; the water has high salt density, and the extra buoyancy makes swimming a lot easier.
Explore the Island - One of the best ways to see the island is to rent a moped or Twizy during your stay. Buzzing around on your own time allows you to discover deserted beaches, watch local cricket matches, and explore the general island life.
Rent a Boat - Rent your own Boston Whaler or sailboat and head to a secluded island for a picnic lunch, leisurely snorkel, and relaxing sunbathe. Or, take a kayak and explore the dozens of coves and bays around the island. The turquoise waters are so clear that you’ll be able to spot marine life without even being submerged.
Adventure on the Sea - If you’re a pair of adrenaline junkies, take a jet ski safari or a high-speed catamaran tour around the island. Why not try a water-ski, windsurf, kitesurfing, or parasailing adventure after the safari. Whatever your choice, there is no better way to enjoy Bermuda's natural beauty than being in, out, or under the water.
Play Golf - Golfing is one of the most popular Bermudian pastimes. The island has eight different courses, all with pink sand traps and ocean views. While Bermuda's courses are not the longest, most offer a unique challenge, accentuated always by the ocean breeze and distracting yet breathtaking views at every turn.
Elbow Beach Bermuda - This oceanfront hotel has 98 guest rooms and suites, 50 acres of landscaped gardens, a terrific spa, multiple fine-dining restaurants, and private access to one of the island’s best beaches.
Fairmont Hamilton Princess - There’s no better stay within walking distance of downtown Hamilton than this classic harbor front resort. After a day lounging by the infinity pool or at the south shore beach club (the hotel offers complimentary round-trip shuttle service), walk down to Front Street, filled with bars, shops, and restaurants. (If you’re the partying type, plan to roll into the Pumphouse around 11 p.m.)
Fairmont Southampton - If activities are at the top of your honeymoon list, this longtime favorite, which sits at the highest point of the island, is the spot for you. It features a golf course, private beach, numerous restaurants and lounges, tennis courts, an award-winning spa, and both indoor and outdoor pools.
Rosewood Bermuda - For upscale accommodations, choose this recently renovated resort in tony Tucker’s Point (where billionaires like Michael Bloomberg own homes). Lounge by one of the two pools or take a golf cart and plop down at the picture-perfect private beach club.
The Waterlot Inn - Enjoy a romantic dinner with glorious bay views at one of Bermuda's top dining establishments. In addition to serving some of the finest steaks and chops, the historic restaurant offers incredible sunset views thanks to its dockside location at Jew's Bay.
Lobster Pot & Boat House Bar - - What makes Bermudian food distinctive is the freshness and diversity of local ingredients. This informal spot showcases the island’s incredible seafood, drawing crowds of tourists and locals alike. Menu highlights include Bermuda fish chowder, Caribbean lobster, and a variety of fresh fish entrées.
Ascots - This acclaimed Hamilton restaurant serves creative Mediterranean cuisine in an intimate setting. From the extensive wine list to the elegant setting and the seasonal ingredients, Ascots is ideal for a special occasion.
Marcus' - When critically acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson brought his signature Harlem flavors to Bermuda a few years back, both locals and tourists flocked to his harborfront restaurant at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. Expect signatures like fried chicken and waffles alongside lighter island-style dishes, such as seared yellowfin tuna.
Blue Bar & Grill - It’s hard to beat the picturesque setting overlooking the Great Sound and Hamilton Harbour. But the menu does just that — expect everything from sushi to flatbread pizzas, tuna tartare to sweet ’n sour chicken. The range may sound odd, but it comes in handy when you’re each craving a different kind of cuisine.
The Swizzle Inn - Opened in 1932 in a 17th-century roadhouse, the “Swizzle,” as locals call it, is an island institution. Though there’s now a second location, the original Baileys Bay landmark is the place to sip Bermuda’s national drink, the Rum Swizzle, a potent rum and fruit juice cocktail.