Introducing Bermuda

'You go to heaven if you want - I'd rather stay here in Bermuda.' So gushed Mark Twain in the 19th century, and Bermuda's promise of sun and sea still lures vacationers to its shores. These days celebs like Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones call Bermuda home, and millionaire executives pop over for a little R&R. The island makes for a delightful getaway vacation. If you're looking for peace and quiet, Bermuda has pampering resorts to soothe your soul. Romantics will find atmospheric inns with four-poster beds and candlelight dining. Or perhaps you want to really let loose. Jump on a motor scooter and let the wind whip through your hair. Go out on the town and dance the night away in the seaside capital, the City of Hamilton.

The island is surrounded by a fantastic coral reef that harbors colorful fish and has ensnared scores of shipwrecks, making for memorable diving and snorkelling at spots like Elbow Beach in Paget Parish. Elsewhere, the crystal-clear waters of Southampton Parish provide perfect conditions for kayaking and yachting. The offerings on land are splendid as well. You can play a round at a world-class golf course, hike peaceful trails and sunbathe on glorious pink-sand beaches. Or stroll the crooked streets of the colonial settlement of the Town of St George, Britain's oldest surviving town in the New World, which is so well preserved it's been made a World Heritage site.

Bermuda boasts a balmy climate that's comfortable all year round and friendly people who readily strike up conversations with strangers. And there's plenty of distinctive local color as well, from a landscape of tidy pastel houses to dapper businessmen dressed in Bermuda shorts.

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