Ah, fall. PSL season. Halloween season. Pretty foliage season. Drink-more-beer-since-it’s-football-season, season (lol JK I don’t really do #sports.) Nonetheless, it’s an exciting time, and as the season changes and I start to low-key long for a beach, I figured it was the most opportune time to finally get around to writing about my Bermuda trip! Remember that?! Couldn’t blame you if you didn’t.
Ben and I threw together a sporadic weekend trip to Bermuda back in August, knowing that once football season started, it would be nearly impossible for him to take some time off of work for a fall trip. We had thrown around a few different ideas, like an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, but we we settled with Bermuda for a few different factors: it’s a short plane ride away (did you know Bermuda’s off the coast of North Carolina?), the flights are cheap (~$300 round trip), and if you do some digging, you can find very fair, interesting accommodations (via Airbnb for ~$300 each) Not to mention, there are TONS of things to do. So, we booked our flight about a month out, filled in the accommodation gap shortly after, and soon enough, we were on our very way to pink-sand paradise.
WHERE WE STAYED+ WHY
Ben and I always opt for Airbnbs when traveling. In my opinion, they are HANDS DOWN the way to travel. It’s simply the best way to experience local culture and often times they’re much more affordable than a hotel.
We opted for an Airbnb in Southampton Parish specifically for the location. Not only was our home in the hills of a local neighborhood with the most beautiful, vibrant homes, but it was right near the iconic Horseshoe Bay Beach. We’re talking a 10 minute walk door-to-pink sand. We were also about a 20-minute ride to the city of Hamilton, a 4-minute drive to Gib’s Hill Light House, a 25-minute ride to the dock yard, and a 30-minute ride to the airport/ St. George’s. The are TONS of beautiful, unique beaches on Bermuda’s South Shore, so I would highly recommend picking accommodations in that area if you want to get the best Instagram pictures you’ve ever taken- I mean, enjoy various lovely beaches. Our Airbnb consisted of a top and bottom floor apartment at the end of a street that overlooked the bay. It was a truly stunning view, and while the amenities were basic, it was the perfect home base for us.
HOW TO GET AROUND (like a local)
Read any Bermuda travel guide and you’ll find the consensus to be that the island’s public transportation system is unreliable and taxis can be expen$ive. The answer to all of your problems is simple, though: rent a motor scooter. Ben and I rented a scooter for around $150 for 3 days, and we covered almost every inch of the island on it. We took a nice long test drive along the picturesque South Road after we picked it up that Friday afternoon, and over the course of the trip we rode in to Hamilton, to the light house, to the Dock Yard and to St. George. The two-seater scooter looks rather small and compact, but it’s pretty heavy and I give Ben major props for being our fearless driver. He navigated us around winding roads and round-a-bouts, up massive hills, and through two torrential rain storms, but we made it unscathed. I tried to drive it to the end of the of our street and let’s just say it was not an enjoyable experience. If you’re drinking, you probably should NOT be riding around on a scooter, but for everything else it’s such a convenient way to avoid waiting/paying for cabs or relying on public transportation. I’d recommend hitting up Oleander Cycles, as there are TONS of them all over the island. SEE the end of the post for vids!
WHAT TO DO/ SEE/ EAT
HIT THE BEACHES – It wouldn’t be a Bermuda getaway without parking your ass on a beach with a drink in hand. Luckily, every beach is unique and there’s a little something different wherever you go. We obviously hit Horseshoe Bay Beach for the gorgeous pink sand and crystal clear water. There’s also a cove, huge rocks to climb, and a beach bar so you can get your rum swizzle (major deliciousness.) This beach can definitely end up super crowded if a cruise ship is in town, but we lucked out. You can also access a few other tiny beaches from Horseshoe Bay, all of which have a more private feel, like Butts Beach (sick cove!), Middle Beach, and Hidden Beach. We also went to Elbow Beach, which was super flat but STUNNING, and we also went to Warwick Long Bay Beach, which felt like a local version of Horseshoe Bay.
GIBS HILL LIGHT HOUSE – While we didn’t make the trek to the top of the lighthouse because 1) it was after hours and 2) we probably would have died being that it was about 100 degrees, the lighthouse itself and the panoramic views of the island below are really neat. I’d recommend adding this as a pit stop on your way to the Dockyard.
ROYAL NAVY DOCKYARD – I personally found the Dockyard slightly underwhelming, but to sum it up, it’s a historic spot on the island that’s now home to a cruise ship port, restaurants, shops, and views of the island. The ride to the Dockyard is pretty nice, though, being that you ride through various neighborhoods and along the water. We probably spent about an hour there, between grabbing a drink and checking out the sites.
HAMILTON – We drove into Hamilton for dinner and a drink one evening and in retrospect, I wish we saw a bit more of the city. The main drag, Front Street, is lined with tons of pastel-colored bars, restaurants, and boutiques, and the view of both the boats on the water and houses across the bay was SO nice. Hamilton is a great dinner destination and it’s definitely a go-to spot for post-diner drinks being that all of the bars were super popping. We ate at La Trattoria, which was tasty, and then we grabbed drinks at the Pickled Onion. There’s literally a plethora of options at different price points, so there’s something for everyone in Hamilton. A note about the food, since this is a nice transition. Bermuda is cheap in terms of travel and accommodations, but it is NOT a cheap place to eat and drink. Expect to pay around $20-25 per entree and at least $10 for a beer. This doesn’t have to completely hinder your experience though, as you could easily cook at home (which we did- including sandwiches for lunch all three days!) and you can BYOB to the beaches!
SWIZZLE INN – A Bermuda staple and the originators of the Swizzle drink, the Swizzle Inn is a great spot for Bermuda style pub grub. The crab and spinach dip is FIRE, and the wahoo burger was also pretty tasty (it’s a fish, who knew?!) I’d definitely recommend getting a pitcher of their signature Rum Swizzle.
THE OCEAN CLUB @ FAIRMONT SOUTHAMPTON – Would I recommend eating at the Ocean Club? Probably not, being that every item on the menu is about a gazillion dollars. Would I recommend grabbing a drink and sitting on their patio as the sun sets over their private beach? Absolutely. A $10 beer is worth it if the view looks like this. See below.
VISIT ST. GEORGE’S – On the east end of Bermuda you will find the most QUAINT, PERFECT, ADORABLE, town of St. George’s. Formerly Bermuda’s former capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, St. George has the perfect mix of history, culture, and Instagram-readiness. There are tons of restaurants, shops and streets to get lost in, and I’d highly recommend adding this to the top of your Bermuda to-do list.
DRINKS AT THE REEFS – The Reefs is another resort down the road from Horseshoe Bay that boasts a beautiful pool deck and the most perfect ocean-side bar. We stopped into The Reef after we dropped off our scooter and while I was totes sad that our vacation was coming to an end at that moment, I was so happy to have a glass of wine with a damn VIEW.
And there you have it! 3 days in Bermuda- all you need to get everything in!
Have you ever been to Bermuda? What did you think?! Let me know in the comments below!