And while you'd think prices would be painfully high for an island vacation, the truth is they are not... if that island is Bermuda, at least. Just a hop, skip and puddle jump from the East Coast, this beautiful, 24-mile paradise in the Atlantic offers delicious food, postcard-worthy beaches and friendly locals.
In short, it's the greatest escape we can possibly think of at a time like this. Here are a few reasons to put Bermuda on your winter to-do list.
1. It's easy to get to, and decently cheap.
That's right: After about a 120-minute flight from the East Coast, the view out your plane window goes from gray and dreary to festive pops of blue water, green trees and pink-and-yellow Bermudian beach houses. Never has there been an easier commute to paradise. (Flight prices are generally reasonable in wintertime, too.)
3. Fish chowder is the yummiest winter meal... even if you're eating it in total sunshine.
This is not your grandma's clam chowder -- it's something you'll have to go only to Bermuda to taste. With fresh fish, Worcestershire sauce and a rum kick, it's a yummy (if unexpected) winter meal.
4. You can trek, spa and swim to your heart's content.
Whether a walk around the island, a hot stone massage at one of plentiful spas, a game of tennis or simply a swim, there's plenty to do on this island of happiness.
5. Flanagan's Irish Pub is a little slice of the U.K., without trekking to the U.K.
This Irish bar on busy Front Street has beers on tap, live music and a clientele that loves cricket matches. It's everything you need to remember you're in a British overseas territory.
6. Bermuda is home to some of the best island golf.
Golfweek has consistently named The Mid Ocean Club as one of the top golf courses in Mexico and the Caribbean. (We know, we know: Bermuda is not technically part of the Caribbean, but many choose to ignore this.) Port Royal and Rosewood Tucker's Point also have excellent holes, with views of the Atlantic Ocean to boot.
7. Oh, and it's also home to some of the world's best alcohol.
Gosling's Black Seal rum is the prized ingredient in both Rum Swizzle (a local specialty) and the Dark 'n' Stormy (an internationally famous cocktail in its own right, which got its start in Bermuda). Bacardi is headquartered here, too, so you know the drinks are always prime.
8. Bermudians are some of the nicest islanders out there.
Visitors hail Bermuda as one of the friendliest places in the Caribbean (again, we are aware that it's not technically in the Caribbean). Controversy or not, it seems like everyone is always smiling here -- especially during their many island parades.
9. They also have a secret way of gambling, and it's totally addictive.
Historically, gambling is not allowed in Bermuda (though that may change soon), but it doesn't mean there aren't ways to make some side cash. Try a round of Crown and Anchor, a dice game played during the annual cricket tournament called Cup Match.
10. The hotels are all top-notch.
From beach clubs to hotels to inns, there are options both right on the sand and a "stone's throw" away, with ocean views. They're all utterly beautiful -- especially The Reefs, ranked one of the world's top hotels.