15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bermuda
Ideally located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a short plane ride away from major Northeastern cities in the United States, Bermuda is a picture-perfect getaway with many attractions and things to do. From stunning caves and gorgeous pink-sand beaches to quaint towns and historical museums dedicated to its seafaring history, this British territory makes for a fascinating island vacation.
A sense of cheerfulness comes over you as you step off the plane or a cruise ship onto the shores of Bermuda. Pastel pink and yellow-colored houses with white roofs, calm turquoise waters, friendly people, and year-round pleasant weather are just a few aspects of Bermuda that make your stay all the more pleasant and have you wanting to return.
With top-notch resorts in its capital city of Hamilton and the island's most celebrated stretch of shoreline in Southampton, your experience is elevated even further. If you get tired of sunbathing next to infinity pools and getting pampered at exclusive spas, there's no shortage of golfing and water activities to partake in.
Plan your vacation with our list of the top tourist attractions in Bermuda.
1. Horseshoe Bay Beach
Arguably one of the best beaches in the world is in Bermuda's Southampton Parish on the South Shore. Horseshoe Bay Beach, a crescent-shaped blush-pink-sand beach set against dramatic rock formations, attracts scores of travelers.
During peak season from May through September, expect to find this beach crowded, and lifeguards patrolling the area. Go early in the morning during high season to avoid sunbathers and swimmers. Resorts on other parts of the island have beach clubs nearby with shuttles transporting guests.
Changing rooms and equipment rentals are available along the coast. Kids will love building sandcastles, boogie boarding, and playing volleyball. For families with small children, the nearby Port Royal Cove has shallow calm waters. Beach trails connect to adjacent beaches at Chaplins Bay, Stonehole Bay, Jobsons Cove, and Warwick Long Bay.
Location: Southampton Parish (West End)
Accommodation: Best Hotels in Bermuda
Bermuda's capital defines the island, with a cosmopolitan and energetic vibe. It stands out, with historical buildings and picturesque streets lined with colorful houses overlooking the harbor. This cultural and commercial heartbeat of the island features excellent dining, shopping, and many museums and galleries.
The waterfront Front Street is the busiest area of the city, often frequented by visitors from smaller cruise ships and island-hopping ferries and tour boats. During the summer, the street turns lively on Wednesdays for the weekly Harbor Nights festival, featuring Gombey dancers and street food, plenty of family fun, and local artisans showcasing their work.
Hamilton also features buildings dating from the 1800s, like the Anglican Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, St. Paul's Church, and the Bermuda Capital Building. The Bermuda House of Assembly, the oldest Parliament in the Western Hemisphere, held its first session in 1620.
Bermuda's City Hall and Arts Center houses the Bermuda National Gallery, exhibiting art and artifacts from Bermuda, Africa, and Europe. It also serves as the home of the City Hall Theatre, which puts on concerts, plays, and dance shows.
3. St. George
On the East End of the island, wander the cobblestoned streets past taffy-colored stone buildings in the oldest English settlement of the New World. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, St. George represents the site of the first settlers who arrived beginning from 1612. Dig into Bermuda's history at some of its museums, including Bermuda National Museum Trust, St. George Historical Society Museum, Bermudian Heritage Museum, and Tucker House Museum.
St. George's most popular highlight is Tobacco Bay Beach. Named for the wild tobacco that was found when the early settlers arrived, Tobacco beach no longer has any nicotine plants growing, but provides a quintessential Bermuda beach experience. It's best known for its limestone rock formations and shallow clear waters, ideal for snorkeling and swimming. You can rent snorkeling equipment, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and kiddie floats at kiosks on the beach.
4. St. Peter's Church
St. Peter's Church, built in 1612, is the oldest Anglican church in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere, and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the town of St. George. The simple yet graceful architecture of the building showcases design styles from the 17th century and improvements made over the years.
The hand-carved altar, composed of red cedar, is one of the oldest pieces of woodwork on Bermuda. Inside, visitors can find an 18th-century throne salvaged from a shipwreck and communion silver from the 1600s.
The church has two historic cemeteries, segregated for white and black Bermudians dating back more than 300 years. The western extension of the church is now a stop on the African Diaspora Heritage Trail, which retraces the rich heritage and culture of Bermudians of African ancestry.
Address: Duke of York Street, St. George
5. St. George's Island Forts
Bermuda's rich seafaring history unfolds in its various forts and museums. A series of forts protected Bermuda, especially in St. George. The impressive, fully restored Fort St. Catherine on the northeastern tip of St. George houses a museum exhibiting a gallery of dioramas depicting Bermuda's rich history. It has a collection of firearms and replicas of the Crown Jewels of Great Britain.
Gates Fort, constructed in the 1620s, is a small battery located at the end of the Cut Road in St. George offering incredible views of the Atlantic. Nearby, Alexandra Battery, dating from 1840, is above a famous beach, Building Bay Beach, known for its vibrant sea glass.
6. Royal Naval Dockyard
The Royal Naval Dockyard at the tip of the western end of Sandy's Parish is home to a major cruise ship port and contains an array of experiences, including shopping, dining, craft studios, and entertainment, all housed in naval buildings from the 18th century. This former Royal Navy stronghold is also home to the well-curated National Bermuda Museum set within the body of the fort.
The Bermuda Clocktower Mall, located in a former British warehouse with iconic twin-clock towers, is an impressive shopping center. You can also shop for handicrafts at the Bermuda Craft Market in the Cooperage Building, and admire local art at the Bermuda Arts Center.
The Dockyard also houses the Museum Playground and Playhouse and Dolphin Quest educational program. Make sure to allocate at least a day to experience all that the Royal Naval Dockyard has to offer.
Address: 5 Freeport Drive, Sandys MA 01
Official site: http://dockyardbermuda.com/
7. National Museum of Bermuda
Set within the fort in The Keep at the Royal Naval Dockyard and encompassing the beautifully restored 19th-century Commissioner's House, the National Museum of Bermuda has a mighty collection of artifacts and exhibits that delve into Bermuda's maritime history. Built to guard the entire naval base, the fort features seven bastions and ramparts. Visitors can learn about shipwrecks, battles, and more in eight historic exhibit buildings.
The Commissioner's house, the oldest cast iron frame residential building in the Western Hemisphere, transports you back in time with authentic period furniture and exhibits on the island's military past. Don't miss the incredible Hall of History mural, created by the Bermudian artist Graham Foster, that takes up all four walls of a room in the house. Grab a bite to eat and enjoy it on the wraparound veranda, taking in the panoramic views of the island and the Atlantic ocean. The best part--the adorable sheep grazing the grounds.
Address: 1 The Keep, Royal Naval Dockyard
Official site: http://nmb.bm/
8. Gibb's Hill Lighthouse
For quintessential Bermuda views, climb the 185 steps to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. The 117-foot lighthouse, built in 1846, is one of only two cast-iron lighthouses, and is the oldest of its kind in the world. Overlooking the South Shore, the lighthouse offers views of the beaches, the City of Hamilton, and the Royal Naval Dockyard. In the spring, you can even catch sight of migrating humpback whales.
Grab lunch at The Dining Room at the bottom, which serves standard fare like pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, and seafood.
Address: Lighthouse Road, between South Shore and Middle Roads, Gibbs Hill
Official site: www.bermudalighthouse.com
9. Crystal and Fantasy Caves
As far as tourist attractions go, Crystal and Fantasy Caves in Bermuda are at the top for good reason. Here, you can access the island's stunning caves, where you can walk on floating pontoons overlooking crystal-clear, azure waters of the subterranean pools, all lit up with a state-of-the art lighting system to bring out their natural beauty.
Admire incredible rock formations of the soaring stalagmites rising from deep within the lake and limestone icicles dripping from the ceiling like frozen waterfalls as you make your way through the caves. Informative guides share details about the history and geology of the caves, which are thought to be formed during the Pleistocene Ice Age 1.6 million years ago.
Address: 8 Crystal Caves Road, Hamilton Parish
Official site: http://www.caves.bm/
10. The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo
A 140,000-gallon fish tank greets visitors at the Bermuda Aquarium, which also has a museum and a zoo, in the quaint Flatts Village on the North Shore. The aquarium has several large tanks housing 200 species of fish and coral reef found in the waters surrounding the island. It also has outdoor turtle and seal exhibits, which give visitors a chance to witness feedings (several times a day). The aquarium arranges whale-watching cruises aboard the RV Endurance in the spring to witness migrating humpback whales.
The Natural History Museum has exhibits on the ecology and geology of Bermuda along with displays on the wildlife from the archipelago. It features several interactive and kid-friendly activities, a playground, and sandbox. The zoo houses 300 reptiles, birds, and mammals from islands around the world, in settings mimicking their natural habitat.
In the Madagascar section, expect to find some curious lemurs sitting or jumping on boulders. You'll also find areas dedicated to the animal life from the Galapagos islands, flocks of flamingos, and tortoises.
Address: 40 N. Shore Road, Flatts Village
Official site: http://www.bamz.org/
11. Wreck Diving
Over the centuries, many ships met their demise along the archipelago's treacherous reefs, which extend for miles on the western and northern sides. This led to Bermuda being called the "Wreck Capital of the Atlantic." These reefs, though dangerous to seafarers centuries ago, now offer some of the best wreck diving in the Atlantic. Divers can explore sunken vessels dating from the 1600s to late 1990s, some of which lie in less than 30 feet of water (making it accessible to snorkelers as well).
Cristóbal Colón, a 499-foot-long luxury Spanish liner that sunk in 1936, is the largest known shipwreck in Bermuda and is one of its most famous dive sites, giving divers hours of underwater exploration due to its sheer size and plethora of marine life. Laden with beautiful coral, the Irsto (Aristo), a 250-foot-long Norwegian freighter that sank in 1937, offers another wonder for divers to experience the underwater world around Bermuda.
12. Bermuda Railway Trail
Spanning the entire length of the island, the Bermuda Railway Trail is a 29-kilometer-long path that winds across beaches, dunes, and cliffs as part of the Bermuda Rail Trail National Park. Bermuda's only train operated from 1931 to 1948, leaving its tracks behind.
Today, this mostly flat trail offers an off-the-beaten-track adventure. Take a break to stop by one of Bermuda's beaches for a refreshing dip in the ocean, go fishing, or take your loved one to Lover's Lake Nature Reserve.
Official site: http://www.bermudarailway.net/
13. Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
Set in the Botanical Gardens, the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art showcases a collection of more than 1,500 pieces of Bermuda-inspired art dating from the 1700s to the present day. The museum has a permanent exhibit collection featuring works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Winslow Homer, Charles Demuth, Jack Bush, and Albert Gleizes. It rotates exhibits of contemporary Bermuda artists.
Most of the Bermuda Collection has landscapes of the island and reflects the culture and people that call it home. The museum features two main galleries, a gift shop selling locally made arts and crafts, and Homer's café (named after Winslow Homer).
Address: 183 South Road, Paget, DV04
Official site: http://bermudamasterworks.org/
14. Spittal Pond Nature Reserve
Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is Bermuda's largest protected area, with well-marked trails winding through forested areas with stunning coastal views. Spread over 64 acres, the reserve offers bird-watching and wildlife viewing.
Witness wildlife such as the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crab, Bermuda skink (one of the rarest lizards in the world), and buckeye butterflies. Birders may spot several species of waterfowl; black and white warblers; American redstarts; northern waterthrush; and white-eyed vireos, a songbird known as the "Chick-of-the-Village."
The reserve is also the location of the original Portuguese Rock, carved in 1543 by a shipwrecked Portuguese sailor. Migrating humpback whales can often be spotted from Portuguese Rock during March and April. Don't miss "the Checkerboard," an unusual marine limestone formation on the rocky shores of the reserve.
Address: South Road, Smith's Parish
Official site: www.bnt.bm
15. Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI)
If you've ever wondered if there was any truth to the Bermuda Triangle, you can find out at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI). Located in Hamilton, the museum houses artifacts and interactive exhibits on understanding our oceans, especially the one surrounding Bermuda.
The highlight of the museum-a simulated dive experience-takes you 1,200 feet below the surface to experience diving among marine life. The Treasure Room features valuables (coral encrusted coins, gold crosses, and more) recovered from 300 wrecks by diving legend Teddy Tucker. You'll also find a striking collection of over 1,200 seashells, a state-of-the-art Living with the Ocean exhibit featuring Google Earth images that take you beneath the waves to see reefs around the planet, and an exhibit dedicated to dispelling myths about the Bermuda Triangle.
Address: 40 Crow Ln, Pembroke
Official site: www.buei.bm
More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com
Where to Stay on Bermuda: Whether you are looking for the best luxury hotel or the best budget hotel, you can find what you are looking for with our guide to the Best Hotels in Bermuda.