Every Single Reason You Need to Visit Bermuda This Fall
It’s less than two hours nonstop from many East Coast cities, but it feels like a world away.
By Sarah Khan
Summer might be winding down where you live, but not everywhere. In Bermuda, the rum cocktails, al fresco dinners, and sunsets over pink-sand beaches go on all year ‘round. In fact, fall on the island is splendid, maybe even more enjoyable than during those solstice months. The heat isn’t as intense and the humidity slips away—even in November, the water averages a balmy 73 degrees.
Bonus: Many hotels participate in Bermuda’s Splash Sale, happening right now, slashing their rates 30 percent when you book by September 10 for travel between now and April 30, 2020. Whether you’re into sweating it out with outdoor activities, nerding out over history, or going all out gastronomically, we’ve found the best ways to extend your summer into fall–or revisit your favorite season during the depths of winter–in beautiful Bermuda.
Keep on Exploring Outdoors
If Bermuda’s turquoise waters are what lured you to the island, there are plenty of ways to explore them—yachting, helmet diving, or jet skiing, for starters. The sea surrounding Bermuda is brimming with more than 300 shipwrecks, which makes the region a diver’s delight. Sign up with Blue Water Divers and Watersports to explore shipwrecks and reefs on a search for sea turtles, barracuda, parrotfish, and more.
There’s plenty for landlubbers in Bermuda, too. For a small island, Bermuda is big on sports, and the mild temperatures mean perfect conditions for pretty much any event, year round. With their dramatic seaside backdrops, Bermuda’s golf resorts might be among the most scenic greens on earth—and apparently, the PGA Tour agrees: From October 31 to November 3, Bermuda will host its first ever PGA Tour event, with the Bermuda Championship taking place at the Port Royal Golf Club.
If you’d rather play golf than watch, the island has six world-class courses. Check in to the Rosewood Bermuda and you’ll be laying your head within striking distance of the 18-hole, par-70 Tucker’s Point Golf Course. Serious about improving your game? Sign up for private lessons with PGA instructors on staff.
Rugby fans will want to visit November 2 through 9, when the island hosts the World Rugby Classic. This year marks its 30th anniversary, held from November 2 through 9. Teams from Italy, Ireland, and France will converge on the island to complete.
If hitting the courts is a family affair, you’ll want to visit October 30 through November 3: that’s when Bermuda hosts its inaugural Bermuda Family Championships at Coral Beach and Tennis Club, a USTA Category II doubles tournament with categories spanning the entire family tree, from Father-Daughter to Brother-Brother to Grandfather-Granddaughter.
Tempted to rent a scooter to explore? On Bermuda, you can kick things up a notch by renting an electric Renault Twizy. The tiny two-seater micro-cars are a thrill (and safer than scooters to boot) and make zooming around the 21-mile island a breeze—you can get up to 60 miles on a single charge. Pick one up at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club and hit the road. To squeeze as many activities as possible into your always-too-brief visit, consider an all-inclusive retreat like Grotto Bay Beach Resort—you’ll have access to three private beaches as well as biking, sailing, kayaking, tennis, and much more, all on one sweeping 21-acre spread.
Keep on Feasting on Seafood
If it sometimes seem like Bermudians can’t wait for summer to end, there’s a reason for that: Bermuda’s long-awaited spiny lobster season begins in September and runs through March. Pretty much every restaurant on the island carries this local staple (also known as rock lobster), but the signature chowder at Wahoo’s Bistro in the Town of St. George upgraded with the lobster is worth a special trip. In case you weren’t sure autumn is prime time for a culinary pilgrimage: the Taste of Bermuda festival takes place in the City of Hamilton from October 11 through 13, with events ranging from a sunset picnic in Barr’s Bay Park to a street food festival.
Another can’t-miss Bermudian standby—thankfully, available year-round—is the fish sandwich; here, the fish is fried, slathered in tartar sauce, dressed with coleslaw, grilled onions, hot sauce, and cheese, and tucked between slabs of raisin bread. While everyone on the island seems to have their favorite fish-sandwich spot, Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy just outside the City of Hamilton has a particularly fervent following.
From established restaurants to newer spots from star chefs, the dining scene on the island sizzles. New York’s celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson fell in love with Bermuda so much that he opened his own restaurant, Marcus, at the iconic Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, where he brings his soul food classics and adds an island spin—think fish chowder bites followed by chicken and waffles. If you’re looking for a throwback Colonial vibe, Fourways Inn Restaurant serves rack of lamb and steak in a quaint, chandelier-lit house. And while you can’t go wrong with pretty much anything on the menu at the award-winning Ascots restaurant at The Royal Palms Hotel, be sure to start your meal with the famous chilled banana soup—the recipe calls for heady splashes of Bermuda black rum.
Speaking of rum, Bermuda has two signature cocktails: the Dark ‘n Stormy, made with rum and ginger beer; and the Rum Swizzle, a fruity mix of rum, Triple sec, pineapple juice, and orange juice. Try them both at Swizzle Inn, which famously lays claim to being the birthplace of the Rum Swizzle. It’s also steps from The Sandpiper Guest Apartments, making for a quick commute home after a night on the town.
Keep on Sightseeing
Amid Bermuda’s pink-sand beaches, jewel-toned waters, and lush greenery, it’s easy to overlook this historic isle’s heritage. But that would be a mistake. The Town of St. George on Bermuda’s East End was founded in 1612, making it the oldest English settlement in the New World. Today, the immaculately preserved town, with its candy-colored English architecture and time-worn forts, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Exploring the cobblestoned streets and quaint houses is a great way to while away a day or two. Set up your base at Aunt Nea’s Inn, a charming B&B in a buttercup-yellow 17th-century mansion where much of the original woodwork has survived numerous renovations. Be sure to stop by Lili Bermuda, a perfumery that’s been open for nine decades and now operates out of Stewart Hall, an 18th-century home. If you happen to drop by on a Wednesday or Saturday, you can end your tour with a proper English high tea in the gardens. You’ll also want to see the Tucker House Museum (set in an 18th-century villa), take a stroll through the Somers Garden, and visit the 1713 St. Peter’s Church–the oldest Anglican church continuously in use in the Western Hemisphere.
Whatever your favorite elements of summer–digging into fresh seafood, sightseeing, or enjoying a round of golf or tennis amid spectacular surroundings, Bermuda is a perfect place to revisit the carefree season, any time you want. Enjoy a discount on select hotels through April 30, 2020 when you book before September 10.