The buzzworthy beauty of Bermuda
SHERYL NANCE-NASH | 8/30/2018, midnight
Much like fashion, cities and countries go in and out of style. Right now, the buzz is back about Bermuda.
This tiny island of around 60,000 people strayed from the spotlight the last decade or so, but these days the story is different and center stage is the goal. There’s plenty to showcase—history, art, cuisine and of course the pink sand beaches.
While technically Bermuda isn’t part of the Caribbean—it’s too far north—it does have some of that character, with the pastel colored houses and similar architecture. What strikes you about Bermuda is the manicured lawns, the vibrant flora and fauna, clean streets and friendly people. It doesn’t take long to feel comfortable.
As much as history is everywhere, Bermuda is moving forward and making new traditions, like Heroes Weekend that celebrates the island’s national heroes. The fete held in June is much like Carnival. Locals and international visitors love it. The weekend is concerts, with Soca stars from around the world, steel pan players, the outdoor White Party where everyone wears white, and more. The signature event is the Cirque du Soca J’Ouvert that starts at a park at 3 a.m. Sunday, with partying straight through to the 10 a.m. Parade of Bands, where you must be decked out in a costume, feathers, sequins, it’s up to you. By the end of the festivities Monday, you start to notice how little sleep you had. Bermudans are spirited. It’s fitting that last year the nation elected its youngest premier, the Hon. David Burt, who wasn’t 40 at the time. He’s cool enough to show up at the White Party and dance with his wife and mix easily with the crowd. For sure there’s positive energy in the air. It’s a good time to visit Bermuda.
If you want to get a sense of the island’s magic, stop by the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Everything in the museum’s more than 1,400 works was created in or inspired by Bermuda and includes artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Homer Wilson and George Tobin. The botanical gardens and café there add to the experience.
Take advantage of the many tours. For example, on a trip to St. Georges you’ll see centuries-old forts, winding cobble stoned alleys, as well as local bars and restaurants that make it clear you’re not in Kansas. There’s so much history in St. Georges that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can tour via foot or bicycle. You can take a haunted history tour, a shopping or walking tour in Hamilton, the nation’s capital. Or maybe you might enjoy high tea at the Bermuda Perfumery, the scones, finger sandwiches, mini quiches, local honey and jam are tempting.
Adventurers can explore the Crystal Caves, ancient caves 100 feet below ground that surrounds a crystal clear 55-foot deep lake. Then there’s the opportunity to explore nature and wildlife at Spittal Pond, Cooper’s Island or Tom Moore’s Jungle, with caves, tunnels, mangroves, caverns of fresh seawater and rugged trails. This is not for wimps.