Monday, July 11, 2016
I'm starting with Paget Parish because that is where we stayed, at the darling St. Helier B&B run by two delightful people, Sally and Scott Godet. Elbow Beach, a 10 minute walk away from our place, offers lovely, pristine sands and crystal clear water. The Elbow Beach Resort has several good restaurants. Mickey's is right on the beach and serves a mix of light French themed dishes. We also tried the Sea Breeze, another casual option closer to the water. Their menu consists of Asian and Italian influenced tapas style plates. There are some other resorts on the other side of Paget Parish but we didn't have a chance to check them out.
Further down the coast from Paget is the Fairmont Southampton. We did our Scuba diving from a dive shop at this resort and ate several meals at their beachside cafe.
Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. It has incredible views of the entire island and a great restaurant on site- The Dining Room.
Church Bay Beach. Several people were snorkeling and you could even see some fish just standing on the beach.
While this isn't technically a parish, the railway trail spans the entire island and can be used to travel between Paget, Warwick, Southhampton, even all the way to Dockyard. It's beautiful to walk, run or bike along.
This area is the located on the far tip of the island, near the airport. At the recommendation of our hosts, we decided to explore Cooper's Island Nature Reserve. I'm not going to lie, it was very difficult to get to. It entailed taking 3 separate ferries to Hamilton, Dockyard and St. Georges then catching a bus to St. David's Island then about a 20 minute walk to the entry to the reserve. By that time, we only had an hour to explore the area. It had several beautiful beaches with rocky cliffs and lots of trails. I'm not sure if it was just a windy day or the area is especially wind prone, but be prepared. On the way back, we decided we were over the ferry and just took the bus back to Hamilton.
St. Peter's. There are also a few shops and restaurants to peruse.
Unfortunately it rained for about half of our trip so that left us scrambling for inside activities. We decided to check out the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo in Flatt's Village. While very small, it was fun to see some of the fish that we saw diving and learn their proper names. The zoo also had some interesting birds and reptiles to watch. We stopped for lunch at Rustico, which had good pizzas and salads.
The main town in Bermuda, Hamilton, is a mix of business people, tourists, sailors and locals. We tried several restaurants. The Pickled Onion had decent food with a number of craft beers. I would skip the Hog Penny, it was probably the worst meal of our trip. Devils Isle had the best local, fresh fair but the service was not very on top of it.
This is where the majority of the America's Cup events will be taking place. The area itself is designed for cruise ship passengers so it feels very touristy. There were a few local shops selling art prints and local products. Restaurants didn't look that great but we did hear they had a good bakery that was already closed when we got there.