If the soft, pink sand beaches and turquoise blue water aren't enough to persuade you to book your flight to Bermuda right now, consider this: it's just a two-hour direct flight from Charlotte. To get to that chaise lounge in a couple hours means less time cramped in a window seat and more time basking in the sun. Bermuda's plentiful nightlife and dining options coupled with gorgeous beaches, friendly locals, and moderate temps are some of the island's biggest draws. — Blake Miller
What to Do
- To get a true feel for Bermuda, rent a moped so you can weave in and out of the tiny neighborhoods that you'd otherwise miss if you traveled the main roads by car. The feel of the sea breeze in your face and the sun shining down allows your mind to wander and your body to relax. To truly unwind, pull off on Harbour Road and watch the ships and sailboats cruise into Hamilton Harbour at sunset.
- here are plenty of guidebooks that will tell you not to miss Horseshoe Bay, with its long, sweeping pink- sand beach. But there are a few other seaside spots you really shouldn't miss. Take a taxi (or your moped) to one of the bays and beaches before you reach Horseshoe (consider Warwick Long Bay and Jobson's Cove). You'll find plenty of premium beach real estate that you often don't have to share with another soul.
- A golf outing might not seem relaxing, but when it's a course as spectacular as the one at Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa, you'll see why teeing off at 7 a.m. can be the most satisfying thing you'll do all vacation (from $330, 441-298-4000, tuckerspointhotelandspa.com). The Roger Rulewich-designed, eighteen-hole championship golf course is — simply — breathtaking. The views of the sprawling green coupled with the crystal blue Bermudian water will make you wish you could bottle up the vista and bring it home with you.
- Boasting a 100-year history, the ninety-eight-room Elbow Beach Bermuda hotel is perched high above cozy cottages, suites, and a beach of the same name (from $449, 441-236-3535, mandarinoriental.com/ Bermuda). Book a spa treatment (the three-hour rum swizzle ritual is a splurge, $480) in one of the spa's private suites. Then curl up on the cozy daybed on the private patio overlooking the ocean with a warm cup of tea.
Make the trip into Hamilton, Bermuda's hub, for an evening of casual dining. Throw on your Bermuda shorts, sandals, and sundress and head to restaurant row on Bermudiana Road. You'll find a handful of restaurants boasting outdoor seating like Italian eatery Portofino Restaurant (441-292-2375), where you'll enjoy a killer veal saltimbocca.