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Let’s establish this first: Bermuda is not cheap. Straight budget fares, you will not find. But, with a bit of creative exploring and the right recommendations from the locals, you can eat, drink and play without burning cash irresponsibly. The guide below goes both high and low, but I can assure you from firsthand experience that each expense is worth the cost; whether they’re in your vacation budget, well, that’s up to you and the wallet.
On an island just 22 miles long and two miles wide, there’s not many bad spots to rest your head; you’re always a stone’s throw to the coast. The Loren, a new boutique hotel that opened in 2017, offers a bit more remote lodging, while the Hamilton Princess, which just underwent a $100 million renovation, puts you right in the middle of town. Those are currently the two premier hotels, but if you’re looking to keep things a bit more budget, there are plenty of good options on Airbnb.
The fish sandwich is the de facto king of island cuisine, and it doesn’t get old. Get the fried, fresh local fish on raisin bread and add hot sauce, tartar sauce and coleslaw. Art Mel’s and Seaside Grill battle for the best, in my opinion, but Woody’s is a classic spot with an incredible view. Try all three. For groceries, pick up local produce from Tom Wadson, a powerhouse farmer on the island for over four decades. Also, don’t miss the jerk chicken; although it’s a Jamaican specialty, Fish & Tings does it right on Bermuda. And for a quality evening meal, try Devil’s Isle or Village Pantry (same ownership) or Marcus Samuelsson’s celebrated eatery Marcus’.
There are two primary drinks to drink on Bermuda, the Dark ‘n Stormy and the Rum Swizzle. For a week on the island, that was our primary hydration, and it always satisfied. Every bar pours Gosling’s Rum, but we aimed to get a more local look at the bar scene, erring for workman’s clubs over Front Street bars. Rock Island is a great way to perk up in the AM (or shake off that hangover), then in the afternoons ask a local taxi to direct you to the nearest workman’s club. We also had some good times at the Police Recreation Club (PRC — it’s a bar run by off-duty police officers) and Inferno Louge (run by firefighters); both are great late night spots.
The best souvenier is a bottle of Gosling’s Old Rum, but before stocking up at Duty Free, stop in at one of the spots below. A.S. Cooper has you covered if you forgot any mainlander items — sunscreen, polo shirts, sandals — while TABS offers authentic, local attire: the Bermuda short. For unique household or vintage items, check out Urban Cottage — it’s easier than diving for shipwrecked treasure.
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