It’s not every trip that starts off as easy as one to Bermuda. After only a 90-minute flight from JFK, you are in the land of pastel-colored houses, pink sand, and palm trees, where the vibe is laid-back but efficient. (Your taxi driver may be wearing shorts, but he takes his job very seriously.) Another awesome perk: Your US dollars are both accepted and welcome.
The best way to see the island is to bike the Bermuda Railway Trail, which spans the British territory’s 21 square miles of rocky coastlines and lush greenery. Head to St. George (a UNESCO World Heritage site and the oldest continually inhabited English town in the Americas) for a taste of history, including a full-size replica of a ship that was wrecked there in 1609. Nearby are the Crystal Caves, Bermuda’s top tourism attraction, an underground, ocean-fed lake with a dramatic stalactite ceiling formed during the Ice Age. Later, head to Swizzle Inn, the territory’s oldest pub, located in a 17th-century roadhouse, where the island’s unofficial national drink, the Gosling’s Rum Swizzle, was invented.
To experience Bermuda’s famous coral-pink sand, stay at The Loren at Pink Beach (from $815/night; www.thelorenhotel.com) on the island’s quiet southern shore. The two-year-old hotel, the first new build on Bermuda in more than four decades, has 45 elegant suites designed to complement the natural landscape of the island. It’s spectacular, sleek and modern, but the ocean is the star here, with breathtaking Atlantic views at every turn, from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby and dining areas to the balcony suites. Follow a treatment at the spa with a walk on the beach or a drink by the heated infinity pool, and you’ll be hard-pressed to remember you’re only an hour and a half from home.