Bermuda is having its moment in the sun.
The tiny island famous for its pink sand beaches is in the midst of a building boom as it gears up to host the 2017 America’s Cup sailing competition.
The British territory is also shedding its image of being uptight and fussy. While you’ll still see locals sporting Bermuda shorts and knee-high socks, the vibe is country club chic — more Tory Burch than Brooks Brothers.
And since it is only an hour-and-a-half flight from New York, it’s arguably just as easy to get to Bermuda as the Hamptons for a weekend beach getaway.
Where to go
Explore the narrow alleys and pastel colored colonial buildings of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was established in 1612. Don’t miss Lili Bermuda (5 Queen St., 441-293-0627) for its handmade artisan perfumes, which are crafted onsite in the historic building. Afternoon tea is also served there twice a week in the gardens.
The capital city of Hamilton is home to the stylish home décor store Urban Cottage (11 Front St., 441-296-3039), which sells a mix of new, vintage and reclaimed goods. To take home some Bermuda style, pop into A.S. Cooper (12 Reid St., 441-295-3961) to pick up a pair of Bermuda shorts. Try the brand TABS, which have vibrant linings, along with knee-high socks and straw hats.
To beat the heat, head underground to the Crystal and Fantasy Caves (8 Crystal Caves Road, 441-293-0640). Walk across a floating pontoon to see stalagmites and stalactites rising up from a pool of water.
Where to eat
Join locals at the hole-in-the-wall Primes Place (22 Victoria St., 441-295-6923). Try the breakfast of salted codfish served with potatoes and banana, or Johnny Cake, which is like an English muffin without the nooks and crannies.
With two locations in the city, don’t miss Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy (9 St. Monica’s Road, Hamilton; Water Street, St. George), which is famous for its fried snapper sandwich served on thick slabs of raisin bread. Drizzle it with tartar and hot sauce and wash it down with a local Barritt’s ginger beer.
Cool off with a tangy frozen yogurt at the new BermyBerry (Gazebo #2, Royal Naval Dockyward, 441-292-3411). Flavors include chocolate and a signature berry blend.
Though you have several options from the chef right here in NYC, make a reservation at Marcus, the new restaurant from Marcus Samuelsson, at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess (76 Pitts Bay Road, 800-257-7544). Order a Darker & Stormier cocktail, ceviche with coconut and taro chips, the catch of the day and finish it off with the apple sorbet.
Where to stay
Looking to splurgee Check into the grande dame Elbow Beach Hotel (rates start at $725 per night; 60 South Shore Road, 800-223-7434) which sits along one of the best stretches of pink-sand beach on the island. Book one of the cottages near the ocean to have easy access to the beach front restaurants, including the Lido and Mickey’s Beach Bistro. The beach itself offers warm, crystal clear waters which are perfect for snorkeling.
United, American Airlines, Delta and JetBlue offer direct flights to Bermuda from New York area airports, and the cost for about $400 roundtrip. Once you’re on the ground, keep in mind that tourists are prohibited from renting a car. Transportation options include Bermuda’s pink public buses, ferries, hiring a driver or renting a moped. The Bermuda and US dollar are accepted interchangeably.