Paradise Is Closer Than You Think
Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is not in the Caribbean. It sits by its lonesome in the Atlantic, east of North Carolina and north of the Bahamas. And Bermuda is not one continuous landmass, but instead a collection of 181 different islets and small islands.
In 1809, the British Navy purchased two hundred acres here to build the Royal Naval Dockyard, which was to be their largest naval facility outside of Britain. More than a century later, the fort served its purposes as a North Atlantic base in both WWI and WWII. Today, often referred to as King’s Wharf, it is one of Bermuda’s most visited sites. Located on the west end of the island, it’s the busiest of the three port towns, which include Hamilton and St. George’s.
It is the home of the Clocktower Mall, the Bermuda Arts Centre, the National Museum of Bermuda, the Bermuda Craft Market, Dockyard Glassworks, as well as the perfect place to watch local artisans at work perfecting their crafts. Maritime Lane runs around the far end of the dockyard, which is where visitors find an array of local artisans and exhibitions. Bermuda’s signature arts and crafts are referred to as Bermudiana, which consists of everything from handcrafted jewelry and cedarwood trinkets to miniature ceramic cottages and polished sharks’ teeth set in 14-karat gold. Soothing watercolor paintings that re-create the bountiful natural surroundings of land and sea are also extremely popular.
Other souvenir favorites include, of course, Bermuda shorts, as well as Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Make sure to try Bermuda’s signature drink, the Dark ’n’ Stormy, made with ginger beer and Gosling’s rum.
In addition to cultural sites and shopping venues, the dockyard also has a near-endless array of activities and entertainment including water sports, parasailing, dolphin swims, nature reserves, and beach fun.
Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, is a charming colonial town jam-packed with historic buildings, churches, museums, galleries, and gardens, and it’s where to find some of the best shopping—quaint boutiques, department stores, and specialty shops abound. The city is easily accessible from the dockyard via the SeaExpress ferry or by a scenic drive through Bermuda’s south shore. The land route takes you across Somerset Bridge, the smallest working drawbridge in the world, first built in 1620.
The third town of interest on Bermuda is St. George’s, the island’s original capital, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. St. George’s is exceedingly well preserved and has been described as a storybook town. Tobacco Bay and Achilles Bay on the north side are a snorkeler’s dream come true.
It will be love at first sight with this shallow and deepwater dolphin interaction. Half the time you will be sitting on a submerged platform where the friendly creatures can swim right up to your lap. The other half takes place in deeper water where you’ll wear a snorkeling mask as these playful animals swim under and around you.
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