Shopping Bermuda is exciting. With three main destination-shopping districts spread across the 21-square-mile archipelago, Bermuda’s shopping scene packs a whole lot of punch. The shops on Hamilton’s Front Street offer luxury jewellery and designer duds, whilst the Town of St. George and The Royal Naval Dockyard offer everything from Bermudiana collectables — products made in Bermuda or manufactured elsewhere exclusively for local stores — to beautiful artwork created by local talents. What truly makes shopping in Bermuda so unique are the locations of most of the retail shops. Stores usually occupy pastel-coloured historical buildings or charming cottages, making shopping even more fun. Wherever you go, you’ll find something to tempt you. Even visitors who intend to do no more than window-shop are likely to cave in and make a purchase — or two.
Make your first stop at the bull’s-eye of Bermuda’s retail scene: the areas on and around Front Street and Reid Street in Hamilton, where a relaxing waterfront location sets the backdrop for casual shopping for quality items. Long-established jewellery stores sell everything from high-end watches, charms and jewellery made from coins recovered from shipwrecks to diamond engagement rings and baubles made from the island’s famous pink coral and sands. Crisson Jewellers, which opened in 1922, is the island’s long-standing and one of the best-known purveyors. Astwood Dickinson has an outstanding reputation as one of Bermuda’s premier jewellers. With a flagship store opposite the Hamilton ferry terminal, they bring some of the world’s best jewellery and most exquisite timepieces to the island of Bermuda. For something truly unique, Walker Christopher Goldsmith’s showcases an excellent selection of authentic coins, gold doubloons and silver pieces of eight salvaged from sunken galleons.
Most shoppers have on their short list an authentic pair of the island’s iconic Bermuda shorts, and there’s no lack of options at TABS or A.S. Cooper Man — where shorts are available in a spectrum of island-inspired colours. For more fashion finds, check out 27th Century Boutique, Luxury Gifts Bermuda, Perry Footwear & Collections, Touché and Vineyard Vines.
But by no means should you limit your Hamilton shopping to shorts and jewellery. Over the course of a good hour spent window-shopping in town, you’ll find yourself drooling over such diverse items as pretty leather travel cases, Irish linens and Scottish tartans as well as Wedgwood plates and Baccarat crystal, gourmet chef accessories and, for the sports fans, authentic English football and rugby jerseys.
Fashionistas will want to take a spin through Washington Mall, a favourite shopping destination for locals. This fully stocked mall boasts all manner of stores, from art, apparel and sculptural jewellery to sporting goods and high-tech gadgets. You could spend the morning perusing the shops, stop for a quick bite in the food court and get all dolled up in the afternoon at one of the beauty salons. It’s an all-inclusive experience you won’t want to miss.
Is it any surprise that Bermuda’s oldest established town and original capital is the place to shop in small, independent boutiques rather than the big international luxury outposts of Hamilton? Just strolling the cobbled streets of the Town of St. George combines historic sightseeing with window-shopping. And the more relaxed browser who isn’t exactly sure what they’re looking for (but knows it when they see it!) is very likely to find a memorable purchase in a St. George’s store.
For example, unique jewellery at Davidrose, Seaglass Studio and Saltwater Jewellery Design are examples of wearable art that capture the spirit of Bermuda — truly one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll cherish for years to come. King’s Square, the town’s main gathering spot, and the façades along nearby Somers’ Wharf and Water Street and surrounding alleys are the place for unique items such as jewel-encrusted sandals; handmade soap; unique jewellery and décor created from Bermuda’s sand, coral, beach plastics and even lionfish fins; made-in-Bermuda perfumes and local artwork.
With a quaint Old World atmosphere and streets with more pedestrian traffic than that of the two- or four-wheeled variety, The Royal Naval Dockyard on Bermuda’s West End makes for a particularly pleasant place to part with your U.S. or Bermudian dollars inside a range of cool boutiques, jewellers, galleries and souvenir shops.
Start things off at The Clocktower Mall, a historic brick building built in 1856 as a warehouse for the Royal Navy that now abounds with an interesting array of shops open seven days a week. Hit the eclectic Bermuda Triangle Shop for fun gifts such as shell jewellery, Bermuda Christmas ornaments, miniature cottages celebrating the island’s charming architecture and wind chimes. And there’s plenty of bling to tempt you at The Clocktower Mall, too, at fine jewellery purveyors like Crisson Jewellers. All that’s just the tip of the iceberg at The Clocktower Mall, where the list of things to purchase continues with carved Bermuda cedar boxes and candlesticks, beach cover-ups, cigars, Bermuda honey, bath salts and candles, Bermuda sand jewellery, hand-painted ceramics and even kids’ books about island life. If it’s quality souvenirs and collectables you seek, you’ll surely find them here.
There’s more shopping just a few steps away from the mall, too. On the corner of Camber Road and Storehouse Lane, Diamonds International offers the finest selection of diamonds and gemstones and world-class watches. Across from the National Museum of Bermuda, you will find The Bermuda Craft Market, where the handiwork of island crafters is on display in an airy high-ceilinged space. Island-inspired foodstuffs for sale here include Bermuda rum cakes, pepper jams and hot sauces. And vendors — many with their hands busy right there in front of you, creating things at their stalls — sell everything from wire jewellery and sea glass art to Bermuda’s iconic banana leaf dolls and ceramic pieces painted with Bermuda’s unique flora. And if it’s fine art you’re after, you’ll want to visit the Bermuda Arts Centre and Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery and Working Studio.