Bermuda Welcomes The America’s Cup

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A secluded beach in Bermuda
A secluded beach in Bermuda

If you think Bermuda is only a honeymoon destination, think again! Yes, the mix of pink sand beaches, aquamarine waters, lush vegetation and flowering plants, and exotic moon gate architecture surely make Bermuda one of the most romantic places in the world.

But whatever your age or interests, there’s much more to explore and experience. And with Bermuda hosting the America’s Cup for the first time this spring and summer, there couldn’t be a better time to snag reservations and go.

A paradise for boaters and lovers of water sports

Pitch-perfect water and weather conditions (the average temperature in winter is a balmy 68-degrees) have always made Bermuda a marine-centric community—with the island hosting numerous races and boating events throughout the year.

This year though, the excitement among sailors and sailing enthusiasts from across the globe is palpable as Bermuda sets the stage for the 35th America’s Cup, which will be held on the Great Sound between May 26th and June 27th.

Gibb's Lighthouse welcomes the America's Cup
Gibb’s Lighthouse welcomes the America’s Cup

Steeped in tradition that predates the modern Olympics, the America’s Cup is the world’s oldest international sports trophy. Great Sound’s natural harbor offers a perfect amphitheater for spectators to watch the competition between the world’s fastest wing-sailed catamarans and their competitive captains and crew.

Visitors will also have opportunities to “dive in” to the surrounding crystal waters themselves, too. Opportunities abound for all types of participatory watersports—including swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, jet skiing, surfing and kayaking.

A group jet ski lesson at the Hamilton Princess Marina
A group jet ski lesson at the Hamilton Princess Marina

A setting with history and character

Bermuda, the oldest British Overseas Territory, is similarly rich in history. Perhaps one of the reasons the destination has retained its sense of place is because property ownership by non-Bermudians has always been quite limited.

The “island” is actually a chain of seven main islands and many smaller ones, all formed by volcanoes. Some 21 miles long and only 1½ miles wide, its shoreline seems infinite—with spectacular cliffs, rock formations, tiny coves and gracious beaches set against the backdrop of palms and deciduous trees.

History buffs can visit the Royal Naval Dockyard, once Britain’s largest naval base; walk the cobblestone streets of the Town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or scale the spiral steps of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world.

Bermuda’s distinctive architecture has a style and charm of its own that’s a bit reminiscent of Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina. The white-roofed houses dotting the hillsides are painted in pastel colors like pistachio, strawberry and blueberry ice cream.

Pastel houses as seen from Hamilton Harbour
Pastel houses as seen from Hamilton Harbour

Although Bermuda is one of the most sophisticated islands in the Caribbean/Atlantic, it’s just quirky enough to make your stay interesting. Businessmen donning ties and sports jackets walk around downtown Hamilton in Bermuda shorts and knee-highs. Not only do cars and taxis drive on the left side of the road, but you’re likely to find housekeepers and guests walking on the left side of hotel corridors, too.

A place to lay back and relax

Rent a moped and explore amazing beaches you’ve read about or seen in movies, including Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay (which ranks among the world’s best beaches), and Warwick Long Bay (said to have the pinkest sand). Enjoy a round of golf at one of Bermuda’s six world-class golf courses.

Wherever your explorations take you, you’ll find an open-air restaurant with fresh catch on the menu tempting you to while away time sipping Bermuda’s national drink, the Dark ‘N Stormy. Sea breezes mixed with the combination of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Stormy Ginger Beer take the edge off any worries that have crept into your suitcase from home.

Even Gosling's rum is ready for the America's Cup
Even Gosling’s rum is ready for the America’s Cup

Stay at one of the posh resorts like the legendary Hamilton Princess & Beach Club overlooking picturesque Hamilton Harbour. The property is the official host hotel for the America’s Cup. Nicknamed ‘The Pink Palace,” the 130-year-old property has recently undergone a $100 million renovation. While retaining its traditional Bermudian elements, the property has created a new 60-berth full-service marina and state-of-the-art Exhale Spa.

Depending on your mood you can dine at one of four on-site restaurants, including Marcus’ with its relaxing wraparound porch. The menu crafted by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and his culinary team from Red Rooster (the James Beard award-winning restaurant in New York) features signature dishes like cheddar baked Bermuda onion and fish chowder croquettes.

Getting to Bermuda from anywhere on the East Coast is easy. Less than two hours away from New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., it’s closer than any Caribbean island. It’s not surprising that Bermuda has been voted “Best Island in the Caribbean/Atlantic” 18 times by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.


IF YOU GO

All photo credits: Jerome Levine, www.MoreTimeToTravel.com


 

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About the Author: Irene S. Levine

About the Author: Irene S. Levine is a psychologist and award-winning freelance travel journalist and blogger. A member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), her travel blog is MoreTimeToTravel.com. She can be followed on Twitter @MoreTime2Travel.

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