My husband and I have been long time lovers of Bermuda. I went as a teenager with my family and in the early years of our relationship, my husband and I visited the island with his family as well. I was just 24 on my first trip there with him when we were dating and little did I know then that we would eventually marry and spend countless future trips there. A few of those early visits were to meet my Father-in-Law as he finished the Newport to Bermuda sailing race and one year his team won, which was further cause for celebration. My parents had loved Bermuda and had traveled there with their parents as well. I went on a few weekend trips with girlfriends when I was young and married without children. A year into our marriage, my husband and I took a trip over with friends to check out Tuckers Point in its early stages of development, before ground had been broken. We were intrigued, but decided to wait on that and instead moved from NYC to the suburbs and had three children in 36 months (we were busy!). Eventually the smells and sounds of Bermuda beckoned us back and we returned yet again to Tuckers Point and bought into a four-bedroom at the Residence Club there so that we could spend more time in Bermuda with our kids in comfort. With the high government tax (25% at that time) on non-Bermudian, international buyers, we figured it was a good way to start in Bermuda as a young family. We knew it was a place we loved and wanted to share that with our kids. This marks our fifth summer as owners at Tucker’s Point, fourth summer bringing our three kids there and our memories now stretch back 21 years, back to when I was 16 and there with my family. My how time flies! My husband’s Grandmother passed away in May and at her funeral, we enjoyed perusing old photos and mementos from her scrapbooks and were both tickled “pink” to see this newspaper clipping of his grandparents honeymooning in Bermuda. We knew then that the island has held a special place in the hearts of now four generations of our family! It’s no wonder we love going there so much.
The pink sand beaches, the smells of hibiscus and oleander wafting through the air, dark and stormies in the evening while enjoying the symphony of tree frogs singing at night are just a few of the things we love about Bermuda. Here are a few photos from my scrapbooks from our past visits there along with some picks down below of my favorite restaurants and things to do with kids in Bermuda:
–Mickey’s Bistro at Elbow Beach: This is one of our favorite spots. Dine here and watch the sun go down. If you go early, feel free to bring kids. Lido Restaurant is above Mickey’s and has finer dining, but we prefer to be outside on the beach. Mickey’s is actually the only restaurant in Bermuda situated right on the beach. They’ve got a fun cocktail menu, too!
–Beau Rivage: Bermuda’s authentic French restaurant nestled on the water’s edge in Paget Parish. The restaurant is part of the Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa. We ate there last month and loved it. Sit outside and enjoy the view or head there for a Sunday jazz brunch.
–Harbourfront: Located right on the harbor at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, this restaurant has a great view and outdoor seating. It has great seafood and a sushi bar.
–Port o Call: in Hamilton – fabulous dishes. We love it.
–Pearl: Another good sushi place, located about Port o Call. The restaurant is a bit tight, but the sushi is good.
–The Point Restaurant at Tucker’s Point: Some of the finest dining on the island – the Point is the perfect spot for a romantic meal. Have a Dark and Stormy either before or after your meal at Tucker’s Bar!
–Ocean Echo at the Reefs: Great view on a good day overlooking rugged limestone cliffs and a pink sandy beach and the food is good.
–Little Venice: Great Italian in Hamilton. No real view but the food is great!
–La Trattoria: My Father-in-Law loves this cozy, casual Italian restaurant in Hamilton. Check it out for lunch, too! Bring the kids!
–The Waterlot Inn: My husband and I went there for our anniversary last month. The food and atmosphere was great. Keep in mind that the restaurant is 350 years old! If you are someone who likes new and modern, this might not be the place for you. The restaurant boasts both AAA Four Diamond and Wine Spectator Awards. The menu for us was delicious.
–Rustico: Located in Flatts, this restaurant and pizzeria is a local favorite. Our friends who live on the island love the fresh locally caught fish, pasta and pizza. It’s a place to escape the tourists. No view but good food.
A number of private clubs on Bermuda including Tucker’s Point Beach Club, Mid Ocean Club, Coral Beach and others have some of the best dining spots on the island. Hotel guests of Tucker’s Point can dine at the Beach Club — if you are lucky enough to be invited by friends or members, enjoy the views!
If you need groceries, head to Harrington Hundreds at 99 S. Shore Road in Smith’s Parish.
THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS
Know before you go! There are no rental cars on Bermuda, so if you are traveling with kids or babies, be prepared. Bring your own car seat or booster if that is a concern. Bring swim diapers, goggles, life jackets, sunscreen, formula, baby supplies and all beach items that you will want or need for your little ones, otherwise it’s a taxi ride into town and back. Bermuda taxis aren’t inexpensive. We spend most of our time with our kids at the beach or doing water sports like snorkeling or boating. What could be better than enjoying the pink sand and clear water at Tucker’s Point Beach Club with a boogie board or snorkeling set? Or renting a pint-sized motor boat stocked with water and crackers for the family to motor around Castle Harbour? We anchor at a private beach and look for sand dollars (which we leave at the site of course, don’t remove the coral or sea life!). We keep our own snorkeling gear in Bermuda, but you can easily rent sets. We line up tennis lessons for the kids and plan day trips on the island. Don’t let a rainy day get you down – plan a visit to the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo. My kids have been countless times and love it. If the day is overcast and not ideal for the beach and you are feeling adventurous, take a trip to the Crystal Caves. Take a ferry ride around the island. You can also book a taxi driver for a 2 to 3 hour island tour for about $40/hour. Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Quest Bermuda. Need a playground? There are plenty – check out this list of playgrounds for kids. Visit the Royal Navy Dockyard if you are up for a taxi ride, but as I said, our best time is spent at the beach as a family! Enjoy the simple pleasures with your kids while on Bermuda! Come prepared and bring arts and crafts and a few movies in your suitcase, just in case! Get creative! Look for roosters, cats, kittens and tree frogs! Search for crabs on the beach! Rent a boat! If you forget any crucial supplies – take a trip into Hamilton and go to Gibbons & Company. It’s an island-sized department store with all basic supplies for children, adults and the home. We ended up buying a spare stroller there, bed rails, a noise machine and other supplies there that we needed when our son was a baby.
Heading to Bermuda? Post your comments here and we are happy to make recommendations or ask our on-island friends for tips!