The plane tickets were on sale, the hotel room was cheap, and you desperately needed to get out of the snow. So, you booked a trip to Bermuda—dreaming of pink sandy beaches, turquoise waters and fruity drinks. Then you looked at the weather forecast before you started packing and instead of 80’s and sunny, you see day after day of temperatures in the 60’s and lots of clouds. Yep. Welcome to Bermuda in the winter. We are SUB-Tropical, not capitol “T” Tropical, and we DO have a winter. Bermudians won’t even go near the water until May the 24th (the National Holiday here) for fear of being freezing to death in the frigid ocean! (I, on the other hand, went for a swim on Christmas day, and was perfectly fine ;-). But I promise you, all is not lost. For you, weary traveler, I have compiled a list of my favorite things to do during the winter on this lovely island, which truly is “Bermudaful” any week of the year.
While the water is probably a little too cold for swimming, the beaches that line the southern shore of the island are all connected by something called, appropriately enough, the South Shore Park. These are made up of walking trails that meander through the cliffs and drop you down to different little coves as well as the more famous beaches like Warwick Long Bay, and Horseshoe Bay Beach.
Masterworks Museum of Bermudian Art. This museum is set in a charming house on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens. It houses an impressive collection of works by Bermudian artists, including a most impressive giant seahorse built out of driftwood!
Inside City Hall, in downtown Hamilton, you’ll find another fantastic collection of rotating art in the upstairs gallery, and the main art collection on the island across the lobby in the Bermuda National Gallery.
Back in the day, there was a train that ran from St. George’s to Dockyard. As cars became more readily available on the island, Bermuda did away with its trains and the island is now left with a series of converted Railway Trails. They criss-cross a bit throughout the island, but you can go miles without having to be on the roads at all. My favorite is the part the stretches along the north shore and over to Flatts Village.
The Arboretum in Devonshire Parish (along Middle Road) offers a few looping trails with parcourse stations dotted around them.
The Botanical Gardens (next to the hospital) is another beautiful spot for a stroll, it offers an impressive collection of trees and shrubs as well as an Italian garden, a maze(!) and a farmer’s market on Saturday. There is a café over in the Masterworks Museum building if you’re looking for a snack or a light lunch.
If museums aren’t your cup of tea, or if you have kids in tow, The Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo is a double whammy of fun. Large fish, exhibits on the local marine life, and an attached zoo (The Madagascar exhibit is great, and includes friendly lemurs that follow you around).
Over at Dockyard, you have the Bermuda National Museum (think Shipwrecks). Mini Golf, and a little shopping mall housed in the old naval barracks.
Hamilton: Front Street and Reid Street are where you will find what you are looking for. My favorites are ModBlue, Sunnyroad Designs, Atelerie and &Partners
St. Georges, on the far east end of the island, is the old historical town. It’s full of little boutiques, bars, bookshops, jewelry stores, and hand-made home goods.
So there you have it, a perfectly relaxing and fun time in Bermuda-even if you never once put on a bikini. The scenery here really is astounding. The crystal-clear waters, the pink sand. It’s all here year round to marvel at. The only thing we don’t have? Snow. 🙂
Spent Christmas there this year, visited many of the sites Kate mentioned and, yes, this is absolutely true. Had an amazing time on this beautiful Island!