Free Things To Do in Bermuda
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
- #5View all PhotosfreeElbow Beach#5 in BermudaBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
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.
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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 SPENDRead More
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.
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