Things to do in Bermuda

'You go to heaven if you want - I'd rather stay here in Bermuda.' gushed Mark Twain in the 19th century, and Bermuda's promise of sun, sea and paradise still lures thousands of vacationers to its shores year after year. The island is surrounded by a fantastic coral reef that harbours colourful fish and has ensnared scores of shipwrecks, making for memorable diving and snorkelling at spots like Elbow Beach in Paget Parish. Elsewhere, the crystal-clear waters of Southampton Parish provide the perfect conditions for kayaking and yachting.

The offerings on land are splendid as well. Visitors can play a round at one of nine world-class golf courses, including the Belmont Golf Club, Ocean View Golf Course, Port Royal Golf Course, St. George's Golf Club, and The Fairmont Southampton Golf Club. Booking ahead in summer is advised. Tourists can also hike peaceful trails and sunbathe on glorious, pink-sand beaches, or stroll the crooked streets of the colonial settlement of the Town of St George, Britain's oldest surviving town in the New World, which is so well preserved it has been designated a World Heritage site.

Bermuda boasts a balmy climate that's comfortable for most of the year and friendly people who readily strike up conversations with strangers. There is plenty of distinctive local colour as well, from a landscape of tidy pastel houses to dapper businessmen dressed in Bermuda shorts.

Somerset Island photo

Somerset Island

The world's smallest drawbridge links Somerset Island to Bermuda's main island. The section that flips up is only two feet (60cm) across, just wide enough to allow a sailboat mast …

Somerset Island

The world's smallest drawbridge links Somerset Island to Bermuda's main island. The section that flips up is only two feet (60cm) across, just wide enough to allow a sailboat mast through. At the centre of the island set in nine hectares (22 acres) of parkland is Fort Scaur. It was built during the American War of Independence to protect the Naval Dockyard and is now a great picnic spot with good views of the island. Somerset Long Bay, with its 600 feet (183m) of brilliant-white sand is the largest and best of the island's west side beaches.

Bermuda's beaches photo

Bermuda's beaches

Whether sunbathing, swimming, or entertaining the kids, there is a beach in Bermuda for all-comers. The sweeping half-moon of Horseshoe Bay is recognised as one of the world's fine…

Bermuda's beaches

Whether sunbathing, swimming, or entertaining the kids, there is a beach in Bermuda for all-comers. The sweeping half-moon of Horseshoe Bay is recognised as one of the world's finest beaches. Wawrick Long Bay, on the east fringe of South Shore Park coastal reserve, is a wonderful stretch of pink and white coral sands, great for snorkeling. West Whale Bay welcomes Humpback Whales in April and rewards visitors with spectacular sunsets. There are summer bonfire and music nights on Tobacco Bay Beach, also a haven for marine life. Church Bay and Clarence Cove both offer safe swimming and snorkeling year round, while those seeking a bit of peace and quiet can head to the tiny but stunning Jobson's Cove.

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve photo

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

Bermuda's largest and most accessible nature reserve offers excellent trails and the island's finest bird watching. The reserve attracts scores of migratory shorebirds and waterfow…

Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

Bermuda's largest and most accessible nature reserve offers excellent trails and the island's finest bird watching. The reserve attracts scores of migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, with the greatest variety to be found during spring and autumn. Of the two dozen shorebird species that feed at the edge of the brackish Spittal Pond, the Lesser Yellowlegs are the most abundant. Egrets and Herons are frequent visitors as well. Visitors can also walk along a scenic mile-long nature trail that runs through the reserve along the shoreline and through woods and farmland.

King's Wharf photo

King's Wharf

A former Royal Naval Dockyard turned holiday resort, King's Wharf is a favourite port of call for cruise liners visiting Bermuda. The old Georgian maritime fort has been re-invente…

King's Wharf

A former Royal Naval Dockyard turned holiday resort, King's Wharf is a favourite port of call for cruise liners visiting Bermuda. The old Georgian maritime fort has been re-invented into a playground for the thousands of cruise passengers who come ashore. The old buildings of the dockyard, constructed by convicts from prison ships and once known as the 'Gibraltar of the West', have been cleverly adapted to suit the new resort role, now housing cinemas, craft markets and malls. Local tour operators also offer a vast range of activities to amuse and amaze the thousands of holiday visitors that flock into the Dockyard every week.

Address North Arm, Royal Naval Dockyard.

Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo photo

Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo

The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo was founded in 1926 and is one of the world's oldest aquariums. Found in the picturesque Flatts Village, the aquarium is home to over 200 speci…

Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo

The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo was founded in 1926 and is one of the world's oldest aquariums. Found in the picturesque Flatts Village, the aquarium is home to over 200 species of fish, making it a fantastic place to spend the day with the kids exploring marine life and coral exhibits. The zoo is also home to more than 300 birds, reptiles and mammals from the oceanic islands. The Natural History Museum is also located here, giving kids more than enough variety to keep them entertained.

Website www.bamz.org

Bermuda Maritime Museum photo

Bermuda Maritime Museum

Displaying over 500 years of history, the National Museum of Bermuda is a wonderful place to take the family for a day out in Bermuda. Visitors learn about Bermuda's discovery and …

Bermuda Maritime Museum

Displaying over 500 years of history, the National Museum of Bermuda is a wonderful place to take the family for a day out in Bermuda. Visitors learn about Bermuda's discovery and early settlement through a collection of 16th and 17th century shipwreck artefacts recovered from local waters, while kids will love the cannons and displays. The museum is located in Sandys Parish at the Keep, inside the large fort at the far end of the dockyard. Ferries run regularly between Hamilton and the dockyard, and between the dockyard and St George's.

Website www.bmm.bm

Bermuda Railway Trail photo

Bermuda Railway Trail

Bermuda used to have a public railway that served the island's eastern and western cities between 1931 and 1948. In 1984, the government opened the Bermuda Railway Trail as a walki…

Bermuda Railway Trail

Bermuda used to have a public railway that served the island's eastern and western cities between 1931 and 1948. In 1984, the government opened the Bermuda Railway Trail as a walking trail and bridle path. A great way to spend a few hours with the kids, the trail can also be cycled, traversed on horseback or even rollerbladed in certain areas. This 21-mile (35km) trail is a great way to see the island's flora and fauna, made even better with some breathtaking views and plenty of chances for bird watching. Organised walking tours are also available.

Bermuda Snorkel Park photo

Bermuda Snorkel Park

Located at the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Bermuda Snorkel Park is a wonderful place for kids to explore the marine life that surrounds this island. There is even a beach bar and res…

Bermuda Snorkel Park

Located at the Royal Naval Dockyard, the Bermuda Snorkel Park is a wonderful place for kids to explore the marine life that surrounds this island. There is even a beach bar and restaurant where parents relax with cocktails while children enjoy all the water sports on offer, such as pedalos, kayaks and a giant water slide. The picturesque beach provides easy access for exploring the amazing sea life, and is the perfect environment for kids and adults alike to learn how to snorkel. Calm, clear waters provide a safe environment for snorkelers of all levels.

Website www.snorkelparkbeach.com

Hartley's Undersea Walk photo

Hartley's Undersea Walk

Bermuda's best-loved tourist attraction, the Hartley Diving Helmet, allows anyone - even those who can't swim - a chance to spend some time on the sea floor, with ten feet of turqu…

Hartley's Undersea Walk

Bermuda's best-loved tourist attraction, the Hartley Diving Helmet, allows anyone - even those who can't swim - a chance to spend some time on the sea floor, with ten feet of turquoise water above them, and a perfect view of tropical parrotfish and beautiful white angelfish browsing among the coral. The Helmet, is suitable for adventurers of all ages, sizes and abilities and the charismatic Greg Hartley does everything in his power to ensure the experience is unforgettable. Although there are many imitators offering undersea walks in Bermuda, Hartley's is the original and remains the favourite among travellers to the region.

Website www.hartleybermuda.com

Admission

$95

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