They say that in Bermuda, "You can shake the sand from your shoes but it will never leave your soul." I truly felt this when I visited for my first time to do research for our exciting new Bermuda biking trip. Bermuda rests about 650 miles east of South Carolina's coast and, despite its isolation, the island is incredibly rich with culture, passion, energy and color.
When I arrived, summer festivities were in full swing. Every year on May 24th, an official holiday known as Bermuda Day, locals kick off the summer season of exciting activities. It's also traditionally the first day of the year that residents will go into the sea! Boats of all shapes and sizes tie themselves together in the pristine turquoise waters along the shoreline. Strangers immediately become friends as everyone basks in the summer heat with radiant smiles and celebration. The famous pink-sand beaches with striking coastal cliffs are dotted with a plethora of beach games, like tug-of-war and limbo competitions, that last late into the night.
Being outside and rejoicing in the sun is a way of life in Bermuda.
From May on, you'll notice people of all ages--both locals and visitors--enjoying a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the famous Bermuda Railway Trail. Built for trains in 1931, the 18-mile rail trail now serves as a biking- and pedestrian-only path that meanders through each of the island's nine distinct parishes. This breathtaking route winds past colorful housing communities, along panoramic beachfronts and past an abundance of places to stop for a taste of Bermuda's unique wild herbs and plants.
In Bermuda it's illegal for visitors to rent a car, so the fun continues on two wheels, whether you choose a bike or scooter to whirl you around the tranquil 20-square-mile island. With a cool breeze in your hair and plenty of opportunity for sightseeing, you'll notice the narrow stone roads are full of character... with a British flair! One moment you'll feel as if you are driving through the Cotswolds in England, then you're suddenly transported to an unparalleled tropical paradise.
If you prefer to move about by water, Bermuda's efficient network of water taxis not only whisks you to your destination, but provides a unique perspective of the island from the water. With four main lines, identified by different colors, you can travel around the island quicker than by land.
You can visit each parish for summer activities to keep you culturally engaged as well. I happened to be walking by Kings Square in St. George, a historic parish located at the far northeastern side of the island, when I witnessed a fascinating live reenactment. Performed daily, artistic locals dress in traditional clothing and stay in character as they demonstrate life in bygone Bermuda. It was incredible to see Bermuda's history unfold in front of my eyes--I really felt connected with the island and its past.
When the sun goes down on Wednesdays, Harbour Nights is the place to be. Held on Front Street in the capital town of Hamilton, this weekly street festival features food vendors, local arts and crafts, live music and more. It's the perfect place to try Bermuda's national dish of codfish and potatoes.
From peaceful biking to pristine beaches, rich cultural history to fine cuisine, Bermuda is a marvelous place to visit. I can't wait for you to experience this corner of paradise for yourself!