Bermuda is one of those corners of the world that just brims with surprises and curiosities. Its mid-Atlantic location is vastly closer to the Carolinas than the Caribbean and the culture pairs laid-back island vibes with an unmistakably British flair. It’s a place where bright white roofs are used to catch rainfall for drinking water, where there are more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world and where the Dark ‘n’ Stormy was born. Yes, trivia abounds. Read on for a few of the most fascinating Bermuda facts from our Destination Specialists.
- 1. The islands of Bermuda are named after Juan de Bermúdez. This Spanish seafarer claimed the islands for Spain in 1503, although he never actually landed on any of the islands and it was not settled until more than a century later.
- 2. The British settled in Bermuda before Pilgrims arrived in America. In 1609 Admiral Sir George Somers set sail aboard Sea Venture with a fleet heading towards Jamestown, Virginia, but the ship was caught in a storm and was separated from the fleet. It eventually wrecked on the reefs of Bermuda and Somers staked British claim on Bermuda. The Mayflower anchored at Provincetown several years later in 1620.
- 3. Bermuda is only 21 square miles in total. Since it has an average width of 1 mile, you are never very far from a beach.
- 4. Cars were banned in Bermuda until 1946. Bermuda’s House of Assembly was concerned that cars would disturb the peace of the island. Instead the Bermuda Railway, a 22-mile line that connected Hamilton to St. George and Hamilton to Somerset, was constructed. Eventually, cars were permitted for residents, but visitors still feel the history of the ban as there are no car rentals available in Bermuda.
- 5. Yes, Bermudians really do wear Bermuda shorts. In fact, they are considered semi-formal wear. As a British colony, the island maintains its sense of proper decorum to this day. Bermuda shorts were introduced as an adaptation that allowed Bermudians to preserve formal dress traditions without overheating in the hot climate. The traditional “Bermuda rig” consists of pastel-colored Bermuda shorts with a dark blazer and black knee-high socks with dress shoes.
Come join us in Bermuda this summer to delve into the island’s history, culture and cuisine!