In November, Derika and I went to Bermuda to catch a little sunshine and to watch the world rugby classic. I am really excited to write about this trip, because this is the first time that we have gone to the same place twice for a vacation. Derika and I started dating in 2004 and in November 2004, we went on our first vacation together to Bermuda. We were living in Michigan at the time; I didn’t have any stamps in my passport and I’d never seen the magical blue-green water that I had seen on TV. So we decided to pick the closest destination that could check those items off of my bucket list and off we went. This was us then…
I mean… look at those baby faces! We were only 24 years old!
This is us in Bermuda in November 2015.
If you ask me, it looks like we are getting younger. 😉
It was ALL my fault that we ended up going to Bermuda for a vacation. Usually our travel policy is that we try to not go to the same place twice, because there are so many amazing places in the world and not enough time to see them all.
Last spring, Derika and I were at a rugby fundraiser for a high school team that she coaches. After a couple of cocktails, I thought that it would be a good idea to bid on a silent auction trip to Bermuda to watch the rugby classic. My excuse at the time was that I would bid on this trip so that people would follow suit, and we would end up raising more money for the team. However, that is not how it ended up working out. The evening progressed and as we were walking out of the event, I noticed our name on the board of winners for the silent auction!? How is it even possible that no one else bid on the trip to Bermuda!? It now looked like we were headed to Bermuda to watch some rugby, and by sheer coincidence it just so happened to be almost 11 years exactly to when we had first traveled there!
The first time that we went to Bermuda in 2004, I didn’t do any research and we pretty much just winged everything. My main focus was to frolic on the magical pink sand beaches and hang out with Derika. For our second trip I had those same goals, but I also wanted to check out the culinary scene and watch a little rugby 🙂 Bermuda is a pretty chill vacation spot and perfect for relaxing. The weather was not the best when we were there this past November, so I did not get to spend as much time on the beach as I would have liked. It all worked out though, because the weird weather just forced us to get out and about to see what else Bermuda had to offer.
Here is a map that you can quickly reference while you are reading this post. I also linked all of restaurants and activities to local websites, so make sure you click on the titles for even more info. Below you will find some of my recommendations for eating and playing in Bermuda.
You can’t really rent a car in Bermuda, so the only choice that you have to get around is to use one of their spendy cabs or you can be adventurous and rent a scooter. Renting a scooter is a super fun way to get around the island, but it is also is kind of scary. In Bermuda they drive on the opposite side of the road and they give you very little scooter training before they send you off on your own. Aside from those nail-biting factors, we ended up renting scooters on both of our trips. We didn’t die either time (even though we came close a couple of times) during both of our trips and so I would highly recommend it!
Where to Stay
In 2004 we stayed at the Fairmont Southampton. It was a gorgeous hotel with its own private beach that you could access via the hotel trolley. The hotel was really close to Horseshoe Bay, which is a great place for snorkeling or just hanging out by the beach.
In 2015 we stayed at the Elbow Beach Hotel, which also had its own private beach. What I really liked about this hotel was that you could either stay in the hotel area of the resort, or you could stay in what felt like your own little cottage with a lanai. We got a cottage and it felt like our own little piece of paradise even with all of the dreary weather…
Eat Like A Local
With our scooters we were able to scoot and eat all over the island. Below is a list of our favorite places to grab a bite to eat. I broke it up by cities so that you can find a great place to eat, no matter what part of the island you are on. It just so happens that all of these places are super vegetarian friendly. 🙂
We got lucky that the hotel we were staying at had a great selection of food any time of the day. We enjoyed cocktails by the beach.
We even popped into Cafe Lido for breakfast and dinner on the day that we were able to hang out at the beach all day. I enjoyed a great veggie burrito for breakfast and an awesome tagliatelle pasta for dinner.
The city of Hamilton was by far our favorite city to hang out in Bermuda. I just loved the cute streets, all of the great shops and awesome restaurants. Below are a couple of places that we fell in love with during our visit.
Devil’s Isle is a great seasonal farm to table restaurant that uses fresh and local ingredients to create really creative dishes with a ton of vegetarian options. They have a great outdoor patio and their cocktails are totally on point.
Rosa’s is a great Tex-Mex restaurant in Hamilton. We ended up eating at this restaurant twice while we were in Bermuda. We stopped off here the first night for a cocktail and some nachos.
We ended up coming back a day or two later for a full meal. I really loved their veggie quesadilla and Derika got lettuce wrap tacos. They have a ton of vegetarian options and how can you go wrong with mexican food.
Derika and I grabbed dinner at Cafe Cairo after one of the rugby games. This place had great mediterranean food, like hummus and falafel and it apparently turns into a hopping night club in the evening. We just went for the food, but you should stay for the dancing and let me know how it is.
On a rainy-ish day we decided to scoot over to an area of the island called the Naval Dockyard to go shopping and grab lunch. It took us about an hour by scooter, minus the time that we lost when Derika’s scooter just shut off while going down hill with a bunch of traffic behind her. With only a few extra gray hairs, we made it there in one piece and the drive was really beautiful. The Dockyard is where all of the cruise ships dock so it is pretty touristy, but we did manage to find a place to grab a beer and a bite to eat.
This is a great place amongst all of the tourist chaos to grab a beer and some tasty onion rings if you are feeling snacky, or a burger and a vegetarian shepard’s pie if you need something more substantial. They have a great patio that is perfect for an afternoon beer and people watching.
We also scooted over to the other end of the island on another rainy day, the weather in Bermuda in November is kind of a crap shoot. We heard that St. George’s was a cute town to check out so we hopped on our scooters and were on our way. St. George’s is really really tiny, but with a little strolling we found a cute place to get out of the rain.
We did pop into a couple of shops and managed to find a place to eat called the White Horse that had a nice patio that you could even enjoy in the rain. We got to enjoy lunch with these guys who were also trying to escape the rain.
I even got lucky and found a veggie burger on their menu that was decent.
While you are zipping around the island, you are bound to get a little parched and maybe even a little snacky. I highly recommend stopping at the Swizzle Inn for you all of your Rum Swizzle needs. There are two locations on the island and we stopped at both, purely for research purposes. What is a Rum Swizzle, you ask? A rum swizzle is Bermuda’s national drink that has a combination of rums, orange, lemon and pineapple juices, falernum (local sweet syrup) and a few extra secret ingredients. It just so happens that the Swizzle Inn is the creator of this epic vacation drink. Swizzle into this place for a rum swizzle, and be careful because this drink will give you a little extra swagger to your step in no time.
If rugby is your thing I would recommend coming out for the Bermuda Ruby Classic in November. All of the games were held in the evening so you can enjoy the beach all day and then catch a little rugby in the evening. How perfect is that!? If we continue to live on the east coast, I would love to add this event to our yearly activities.
Last but not least, in 2004 Derika and I did the Crystal Cave Tour. I am still thinking about this tour 11 years later if that says anything. If you have some free time on your hands, I would highly recommend these caves. I really loved the underground crystal clear pools on this tour, and you really have to see them for yourself to believe it.
I hope you enjoyed our adventure and hopefully some of these suggestions will add a little extra sparkle to your trip.