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Bermuda is more than just a spooky triangle. Often mistaken for a Caribbean Island, the British Territory is actually in the Atlantic a couple hundred miles off the coast of the Carolinas in the United States. With perfectly picturesque shorelines, quaint colonial architecture, outdoor activities, and an interesting history highlighted by the island’s many museums, here are the best things to do in Bermuda.
King’s Wharf is also often referred to as the Royal Naval Dockyard, as it was a key outpost and strategic British military base throughout the colonial occupation of Bermuda. The wharf was even utilized for NATO and British shipping all the way until 1990. King’s Wharf is now extremely popular due to being the main port of call for cruise ships visiting the island territory. The area is a hub for tourism as travelers can spend time exploring history at the National Museum of Bermuda (formerly called the Bermuda Maritime Museum), swim in The Snorkel Park (or take an underwater scooter for a spin), or do some shopping at the Clocktower Mall. Within the Maritime Museum is another must-see, Dolphin Quest. A popular family destination, Dolphin Quest lets people get up close and personal with a group of the ever-entertaining bottlenose dolphin.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
The taller of the two lighthouses on Bermuda, the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is a great spot to visit for views of the entire island. Situated atop the highest point of Bermuda, those who take the eight flights of stairs to the outlook of the structure are rewarded with 360-degree views of the area. Built in 1844, many locals claim Gibbs Hill is the first lighthouse in the world to be made of cast-iron rather than steel. The lighthouse’s beam can be seen by planes from over 100 miles away.
Some 1,650 feet long and 200 feet deep, the subterranean Crystal and Fantasy Caves are an otherworldly experience. Anyone not fearful of the dark or potentially tight spaces should take the tour that descends into the depths to reveal beautiful stalactite and stalagmite rock formations surrounding clear pools of cool water. Discovered in 1907 by two boys looking for their cricket ball, the caves have been an exciting stop for tourists ever since.
St George’s Island
Home to the town of St George’s, this island is one of the busiest parts of Bermuda — and one of the best to visit. Although the town only boasts about 1,800 people, it is still the largest city on Bermuda and also the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World. Neatly arranged amongst palm trees and on the shores of calm Atlantic waters, the town is comprised of clean whitewashed buildings. Make sure you see all the island has to offer with this range of tours in Bermuda.
Fort St Catherine
At the northernmost tip of the island rests the former artillery fort, of both Bermudian and Royal forces, Fort Saint Catherine. The fort is now a part of historic fortification that, along with the town of St George, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for nearly 20 years. History buffs can wander around the ramparts, which still are lined with original cannons, or go inside to a Bermuda history museum.
Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve
Located on St David’s Island, the main central island of Bermuda, Cooper’s Island reserve is a 12-acre protected parkland that welcomes outdoor enthusiasts, both local and visiting. The reserve is lined with many hiking trails that wind through former plantations of allspice, Brazil pepper, and palmettos. Those hoping to see some wildlife should keep their eyes open for turtles, land crabs, herons, and kingfishers around the pond and salt marsh in the reserve’s interior. Those trying to experience Bermuda on a budget, entry is free.
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo
One of the main draws of the picturesque Flatts Village, a town at the geographical center of Bermuda, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo aims to educate their patrons on tropical island ecosystems and raise awareness around their fragility and conservation. The aquarium is likely the most sought-after piece of the facility as it has over 200 species of fish and a 140,000-gallon tank meant to mimic the environment of the North Rock coral system. The harbor seals, sea turtles, and flamingos, however, are the most popular inhabitants of this house of Bermudian natural history.
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
A nonprofit aiming to empower local art, this museum also has an impressive amount of work on display. Rewarding all mediums — from painting to photography to sculpture — the Masterworks Museum aims to focus their collection on the beauty of Bermuda. While the backers of the museum may aspire to create a facility that primarily highlights the works of world-renowned Bermudian artists, current exhibitions also have foreign artists on display. Celebrated painters like Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer have pieces housed here.
Near to the popular town of Hamilton, Elbow Beach has access to a coral reef and is a good beach for beginning bodysurfers.
Often thrown into lists of the best beaches in the world, Horseshoe Bay is well-known for its pinkish sands contrasting with the azure waves.
Somerset Long Bay
Our pick for the best beach in Bermuda to avoid crowds, Somerset Long Bay’ turquoise waters match the shore’s tranquility making it a good place for a swim.
Tobacco Bay Beach
A lively beach where it is not uncommon to hear live music playing. It’s also a great spot to rent snorkeling equipment.
West Whale Bay Beach
A fun beach to watch locals fish, West Whale Bay is also home to migratory humpback whales in the spring, a great reason to visit Bermuda in the off-season.
Ocean Discovery Center
The Ocean Discovery Center at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute puts on display the things that many come to Bermuda to see, waters teeming with life and the strange happenings that have given birth to myths surrounding the island. With exhibits focused on the Bermuda Triangle, shipwrecks, treasure, ocean life, and the famous sailing race America’s Cup, the Discovery Center is incredibly entertaining. Since most exhibits are interactive kids will enjoy making a stop here as well.