Originally called Elba Beach, before the Elbow Beach Hotel opened its doors in 1908, Elbow Beach’s prime stretch of South Shore strand curves a good half mile, incorporating three private beachfront hotel properties (Elbow, Coco Reef Resort, and Coral Beach Club) as well as a public section, accessible by Tribe Road No. 48. Signs point to the beach from the main South Shore Road.
Since all Bermuda beaches are public below the high-tide mark, locals enjoy this one just as much as resort guests—joggers, swimmers, and snorkelers can feel free to make use of the entire length of the beach. Elbow Beach is a popular site for kitesurfers (www.bka.bm) when the wind swings around to the south, and regular volleyball tournaments are held on the sand near the public steps.
Elbow Beach’s clean, soft sand, cerulean breakers, and mostly gentle surf (hurricane season notwithstanding) make it a perfect beach for all swimming abilities, but note that there are no lifeguards at the public section.
Private Grape Bay is restricted to guests of area hotels and homeowners in the tony neighborhood nearby. While the water is legally public, access is difficult, with no direct main roads leading to this quiet bit of coastline.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition