Start to finish, here is a great way to spend the perfect day in Bermuda.
Elbow Beach doesn’t have Horseshoe Beach fame, but this stretch of beach is quiet — and the best place for a sunrise anytime of the year. One end is private (part of Elbow Beach Resort) and you can walk through beach that belongs to Coral Beach Club, but no one really notices. The waves are usually calm, it’s got easy access via Tribe Road #4 in Paget (about 1/4 mile past the entrance to Elbow Beach Resort).
After sunrise, head into Hamilton for coffee and croissants at Rock Island Coffee (48 Reid Street). While you’re there, pick up some locally roasted coffee for gifts.
If you linger long enough, stroll over to City Hall to meet up with the Town Crier at 10:30 a.m. He will lead you on a walking tour of “Back of Town” (a.k.a. backatahn), where a lot of tourists don’t go. The walk includes the Cathedral, the BMA, Victoria Park and hints about where to go at nighttime to socialize with the locals.
You’re probably hungry for lunch. Call ahead to Art Mel’s, place your order for a fish sandwich with everything on raisin bread and a side order of fries, ginger beer to wash it all town. Grab a cab—the driver will know where to take you. Get the sandwich (one sandwich is big enough for two) and head back into town for a picnic at Barr’s Bay Park, right next to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Stroll over to the ferry on Front Street. Purchase fares to get you to Dockyard. Once there, visit the glassblowers, the rum cake makers (free samples if you are over 18), the pottery works, the Arts Centre at Dockyard to buy some local art by master painters, the Craft Center and, for one of the best looks at the history of Bermuda, The Commissioner’s House, where the British Navy Commanders lived, now a museum. (Note: At time of this writing, the house itself was still closed due to damage suffered from Hurricane Gonzalo. The grounds and some of the outbuildings are still open and worth the stroll and the view from the top.)
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My perfect day includes snorkeling. If it is Spring to Fall season, head out on Rising Son, which will get you into the water and snorkeling (You can purchase tickets at the kiosk right next to the ferry stop.)
It’s time for a late afternoon break. Have a cocktail or tea at any of the restaurants at Dockyard: The Pastry Shop, Frog and Onion (sometimes more boisterous than others) or Bonefish.
Take the bus back to Hamilton, relaxing and enjoying the ride, but asking the driver to let you out at Horseshoe Beach. Head down the long drive to Horseshoe. You can climb the rocks that face you as soon as you step onto the beach (it is an easy, short climb for anyone is decent health, but be careful at the top)…the views are spectacular.
Turn left, heading away from the entrance and stroll the length of Horseshoe, dipping your toes in as often as you can. There are paths that lead to other beaches, but the easiest route back to the bus stop is to retrace your footsteps and head back UP the hill to the bus stop and on into Hamilton.
Once in town, it’s time for dinner. Head to Fairmont Hamilton at the end of Front Street for a fine dining experience at Marcus, a restaurant opened by Marcus Samuelsson, or to the more casual 1609, overlooking the harbor. If it is late enough, you can catch the sunset here. If you finish dinner before the sun goes down, ride up to Fort Hamilton, above town, to watch the sunset.