Bermuda’s pink speckled beaches contrast with turquoise water and lush vegetation. Spirited by calypso music and Gosling rum this tropical island is the “Jewel of the Atlantic”, not in the Caribbean as many think, but parallel with North Carolina. Bermuda was safe from recent storms and is welcoming visitors while aiding its sister islands sadly affected 1000 miles to the south. Freshly painted for the 2017 America’s Cup Bermuda is a colorful and stylish paradise rich with history, culture, beaches and superb golf courses filled with ocean scenery and exotic green foliage intertwined with purple morning glories and bright hibiscus blooms.
Turtle Hill Golf Club at Fairmont Southampton has more character than most full
size layouts. The addictive par 3, 18-hole course dazzles golfers with stunning views of the glimmering sea and the oldest and tallest lighthouse on the island. Ascend 185 circular steps for a thrilling 360-degree view atop Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. Fairmont Southampton trolleys transport guests to Turtle Hill and all other areas of the comprehensive resort. Their private Beach Club is the portal to snorkeling and diving. Adjoining tennis courts lead to the public Horseshoe Beach, which is renowned worldwide. The trail above
delivers an aquarium view as giant colorful parrotfish swim in the aqua sea below. Jagged rocks form private caves and coves for intimate exploration. The Dock on the other side of the Fairmont Southampton and the historic Waterlot Inn steak house overlook the Great Sound, the waterway of the 2017 America’s Cup. A complimentary Fairmont ferry sails to the Fairmont Princess hotel in Hamilton for exploration of harbour history, art, shops and eateries. Bermuda shorts are the welcome attire and through March the Southampton offers a Bermuda shorts temperature guarantee.
Tucker’s Town is known as the Beverly Hills of Bermuda and home to two fine courses. Mid Ocean Golf Club requires blind tee shots over hills and valleys to elevated greens. Ocean holes are serenely lit by multi shades of clear bay waters. Bluebirds flit in the air and dance on the tee boxes as if in the movie “Enchanted.” Tucker’s Point Golf Club is perfect for a first or final round due to proximity of the airport. Snow White palaces mingle with Barbie Doll dream houses in the softest of pastel hues around the course. Bermuda law
requires uniform whitewashed roof construction that appears like Legos, which captures and drains rainwater into cisterns below. The upscale beachside Rosewood Tucker’s Point is tucked into this course.
Port Royal Golf Club is the Troon course known for hosting the Grand Slam of Golf, featuring the four major winners of the PGA Tour. From the perched clubhouse this links style course drops into valleys with tree lined fairways, somewhat protected from prevailing winds until meeting the ocean edge next to the Pompano Beach Club. This
intimate, old style resort hangs over an ocean cliff with stairs to a short private beach. Transportation is furnished to Port Royal where remnants of an old fort guard the 15th tee box delivering a 360-degree course and water view. Number 16 below is one of the most incredible ocean par 3s in golf. Any winning shot to the green must be aimed far out on the water to be blown back to land. Seasonal winds vary from light breeze to gale force intensity.
Getting Around Bermuda will not be by a rental car as only residents are allowed to drive cars because “pollution and traffic jams just don’t fit in to Bermuda’s lifestyle.” Arrange a hotel shuttle or take a taxi from the airport. Taxis are plentiful and responsive everywhere. Though a bit pricey, drivers double en route as friendly tour guides. Public buses are fairly efficient and a token per ride costs just a buck twenty-five, correct change required. Ferries are fun skimming across the Great Sound between the City of Hamilton
and Somerset or Paget and Warwick for around $4. The best view of Bermuda is on the open seat of a pedal bike or scooter. In spite of many cautions, we felt compelled and took the required safety lesson and test before receiving the key to our scooter and adventure. For $100 we zipped around the entire 21 square mile island in just a day. Speed is limited to 20 mph but roads are narrow, curvy and often guarded by high stone walls leaving no margin for errors and like the British, they drive on the left side. Navigation is easy with no fear of getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Here are a few special stops.
St George is a designated UNESCO site where Sir George Somers and his men landed in
1609 after their ship Sea Venture was wrecked at a nearby reef. History began and still unfolds today at the Harbour and in King’s Square with reenactments at the stockades, a ducking stool, museums, and forts. Visit the Bermuda Perfumery, shops, ships, restaurants, taverns, churches and more.
The Royal Naval Dockyard was home to the former British Royal Navy on the island’s west side. The Bermuda National Museum preserves the old fort intact with facts and artifacts. All aspects of the 400-year-old history are uniquely depicted on murals and in ammo rooms. A Dolphin Quest delivers interactive family entertainment. Shop in the Clock Tower Mall, Glass Studio and sample at the Rum Cake Company.
Beaches for combing, strolling or swimming are accessible on a hop on hop off basis though some activities are limited in winter. Year round the pursuit of Bermuda pink sand is successful in varying degrees from flecks to flocking in remote areas. Enjoy fresh seafood and toast the sunset with a Dark and Stormy concocted from Gosling’s Black Seal, ginger beer and a slice of lime. Bermuda is an island to behold.