Best Things To Do in Bermuda
Bermuda is a prime place to lounge in the pink sand or swim in the blue water, but you should also hit the links, the spas and the duty-free shops. The greens at Port Royal Golf Club are challenging, as are the holes at Turtle Hill Golf Club and Tucker's Point Golf Club. The Royal Naval Dockyard is recommended for Bermudian crafts and name-brand items. If you're visiting in the chilly winter, you must take a stroll through Historic St. George.
Updated November 2, 2018
- #1View all Photos#1 in BermudaBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Southampton parish's Horseshoe Bay is the most photographed (and famous) beach in Bermuda, making it hard to score a prime spot on the sand, especially if a cruise ship is in town. The blushing sand at Horseshoe is gorgeous at any time of year, but the water is chilly from September to May, so unless you enjoy a frigid dip, you should steer clear of the tide after Labor Day. But even in the colder months, Horseshoe is a great spot for a romantic stroll along the sand. And if you're in town during Easter you have to make a special trip to Horseshoe to see the beautiful handmade Bermudian kites flying high on Good Friday.
Recent Horseshoe Bay beachgoers said the views are stunning and the pink sand is breathtaking; some tout it as the best beach in Bermuda, which may be why many also complain about the heavy crowds. Travelers also warn that the ocean waters can be rough with a strong undertow. Luckily, you can rest easy with your kids playing in the waves because this beach employs lifeguards. Plus, Port Royal Cove offers an enclosed part of the beach that keeps the waves out. If you get hungry, there are plenty of beachside eateries to choose from.
- #2View all Photos#2 in BermudaMuseums, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Did you know that St. George was one of the first English towns established in North America? And like its contemporaries (Jamestown, Virginia, and St. John's, Newfoundland), St. George holds firm to its colonial roots. When you visit you'll pass the same Town Hall and Old Rectory that the settlers used hundreds of years ago. During the peak summer season, period actors roam the winding streets, simulating the old days – there are even town criers and townspeople sentenced to the stocks. In 2000, the historic town of St. George became a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There's much to see in the village, but be sure to include the following on your itinerary: the Old State House (the oldest stone building on the island), King Square (where you'll find a replica of the pillory, stocks and dunking chair used for punishment) and the Unfinished Church. Visitors say taking photos in Town Hall Square is a must.
- #3View all Photos
The Royal Naval Dockyard is a picturesque way to break from the pink sand beaches. And if you're visiting during Bermuda's chillier seasons, it could end up being the highlight of your trip. The site was once the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic Ocean, but now it's a tourist-slanted marina and cruise ship dock that's stocked with waterfront restaurants, art galleries, quaint (though overpriced) shops and a few pubs. You'll also find the National Museum of Bermuda and the kid-friendly Dolphin Quest water program here at the Keep fortress.
Visitors applaud the amount of attractions available at the Royal Naval Dockyard, especially the shopping and local artisan craft stores, making it a great place to grab some last-minute souvenirs.
- #4View all Photos#4 in BermudaSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPENDSightseeing, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
In 1874, settlers in St. George began building an opulent replacement to St. Peter's Church, an Anglican place of worship that was established after the 1612 English settlement. But poor planning led to insufficient funding and creative squabbles, which led to eventual abandonment following a debilitating storm that left a crumbling ruin and eyesore. Cut to present day, and the structure has been fortified to withstand visitors, though it's still unfinished with only the sky for a ceiling. Currently, more repairs are being done, so visitors can only check out the grounds, but you can still enjoy spectacular views through the arches.
If you only stop by one spot in the historic village of St. George, travelers implore you to make it the Unfinished Church for the incredible Gothic architecture and serene surroundings. Past visitors said it's worth the trek uphill as the church is stunning and your photos will be equally so.
- #5View all PhotosfreeElbow Beach#5 in BermudaBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
If you're looking for sand at its pinkest, stop by Elbow Beach. Just remember that a good chunk of those pink pebbles are privately owned by the Elbow Beach Bermuda hotel and the Coral Beach Club. Honeymooners should investigate a different spot because Elbow has a reputation as the most family-friendly shore on the island. This is partially due to the reefs that keep the waters safe and mild and also the food wagon that patrols the perimeter of Elbow Beach on a regular basis.
The majority of visitors describe the beach as pretty, clean and secluded, saying it's a better alternative to some of Bermuda's more crowded beaches. Many are also happy with the location and variety of restaurants within walking distance.
- #6View all Photos#6 in BermudaGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
If you like star sightings while you putt, then you should stomach the exorbitant green fees and book a tee time at the prestigious Port Royal Golf Course. This is the golf course of choice for vacationing celebrities and PGA greats. Originally designed by famed course architect Robert Trent Jones in 1970, the Port Royal Golf Course of Southampton Parish was refurbished in 2009 to the tune of $14.5 million. It now features resewn fairways and tee boxes, a new irrigation system and a grandiose clubhouse. At 6,842 yards, it is Bermuda's longest greenway.
You get what you pay for according to past golfers, who said the course is beautifully kept and in pristine condition. Although the course has incredible ocean views, many also agree that the course is extremely challenging and probably best avoided by beginners.
- #7View all Photos#7 in BermudaMuseums, Zoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, Zoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Founded in 1926, the government-owned and operated Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is one of the world's oldest aquariums. The facility offers a variety of activities to engage visitors, such as animal feedings, arts and crafts, animal story time and even guided snorkeling expeditions. The 7-acre complex is home to more than 200 species of fish and marine invertebrates and 300 birds, reptiles and mammals. After checking out the aquarium and zoo, head to the National Museum of Bermuda and learn about the impact humans have on Bermuda's ecosystem through interactive exhibits.
Recent visitors said the aquarium, museum and zoo, although relatively small compared to others of its kind, are a must-see as kids love it and the low prices can't be beaten. Many also praised the knowledgeable staff and educational aspects.
- #8View all Photos#8 in BermudaNatural Wonders, Sightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Sightseeing, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
In 1907, the Crystal & Fantasy caves were accidentally discovered by two young boys. The story goes that Carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis were playing an intense game of cricket when the ball was hit into a hole. One of the boys climbed down the hole to retrieve the ball, and alas, the caves were discovered. The caves covered in crystal formations surround a 55-foot deep lake. Today, bridges run throughout the caves allowing visitors to descend deep into the darkness and witness the magnificent beauty of the crystals while on a guided tour.
Recent cave explorers praised the informative tour guides and the breathtaking crystal formations. There is a lot of walking up and down stairs, so visitors highly recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes. And to avoid the crowds, plan to get there early in the morning; it also tends to be a bit cooler and less stuffy in the caves this time of day.
- #9View all Photos#9 in BermudaBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
This Bermuda beach, the longest on the island, snakes along a half-mile of the island's southern coast. Vacationers report a pleasant breeze at Warwick Long Bay during the summer months. But take note: Those winds feel like a chilly blast come wintertime. Warwick Long is great for families because it has an inner reef that safeguards against strong waves. Plus it's never as crowded as Horseshoe Bay.
Recent Warwick visitors enjoyed the beautiful, clear water and soft, pink sand and recommend bringing a camera. The beach is secluded and perfect for peaceful walks on the beach or even horseback riding – both of which past visitors raved about.
- #10View all PhotosfreeTobacco Bay#10 in BermudaBeaches, Sports, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Sports, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
There are few public beaches on Bermuda that have concessions stands or restaurants with a liquor license. One that does – Tobacco Bay – is just a short distance from the cruise ship dock and the village of St. George. In addition to boozing, you can rent snorkeling equipment at Tobacco Bay (though we'd recommend you drink after you snorkel).
Visitors give glowing remarks on snorkeling in the clear water, lounging on the soft – if sometimes scalding – sand, or interacting with the friendly residents.
- #11View all Photos#11 in BermudaMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
The National Museum of Bermuda chronicles more than 500 years of the island's history with several exhibits on slavery, immigration and tourism. Located on the grounds of the Keep fortress at the Royal Naval Dockyard, the museum also recounts Bermuda's naval heritage.
Recent visitors said they were pleasantly surprised with how much they enjoyed the museum and found its exhibits fascinating. Devote most of your time to the adjacent Dolphin Quest, an interactive water program in the Keep Pond. Adults and children ages 5 or older can play with and swim alongside the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that live at the museum. Recent visitors say they loved the experience.
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