So many destinations talk about their friendly locals, but Bermuda does not overstate. A recent weekend trip was confirmation of that, with horns honking in Hamilton, not at traffic but at friends and neighbors walking down the street. It is also a place where strangers said hello,even when jogging,and when 15 seconds was all it took for a local to spot me with a map and ask if I needed assistance.
Bermuda, especially for those of us on the west coast, is off the beaten track for sure, neither in the Caribbean nor near The Bahamas. It is roughly off the coast of North Carolina, about a two-hour flight from New York. It is indeed lush, semi tropical, with spectacular beaches, many guest houses and a few medium-sized hotels. Hamilton is the capital and the largest city, but still it's on the quaint side. St. George's was the old capital and located on the other side of the island, about a 45-minute drive. Relaxing, quiet and with lots of history dating back to the 1600's.
The houses are all stucco with any bright color you want except for the roofs that have to be white (and collect rain water). Beaches abound and restaurants are all over the island. I stayed at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, named for the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria. To this day Bermuda is part of the British Commonwealth. In terms of its economy, banking and insurance are No. 1 ,and tourism No. 2. The hotel was lovely and extensive renovations are occuring now, including the closure of the Gold Lounge for the next eight months to renovate that portion of this 4 1/2 star hotel. This hotel has a harbor but not a beach. Its sister hotel, the Fairmont Southampton Princess, reached by complimentary ferry, provides a beach.
There are no rental cars on Bermuda, but you can easily take local busses or pay $40.00 an hour to a local cabbie for a sightseeing rate and explore the island that way. This is not a party island, but a wonderful and relaxing beach or tourist vacation away from the tacky cruise crowds and the locals running after you with T-Shirts. It takes a bit of time to get to, but if you are looking for very friendly service, a vast array of dining options, low key towns and wide, pink sand beaches, and where wearing Bermuda shorts with a coat and tie is common, Bermuda is ready for you.