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World’s most beautiful pink sandy beaches, breathtaking marine life, wonderful scenery & architecture, warm weather, exciting recreational activities & tours, dining, shopping, nightlife... where else will you get best of all the worlds in one place? Those fascinating attractions made us think and plan our first family vacation in Bermuda years back. The lingering memories kept drawing us back to this island time and again.
So what's so great about Bermuda?
So many attractions and so much to do in the island, which ones do you choose? Most come here for a short vacation and go back wondering if they actually made the most out of their time? While I'll use all our experience and years of findings to solve that puzzle, I may seem to be a little biased, because love and attractions are after all very personal ;)
(1) The Greatest Beaches: Almost everybody will keep the beaches in their list of must visits. But which beaches? There are 34 of them and all are so beautiful and unique!! We visited and spent long many hours in each one them. Some of the south shore beaches have unbelievable pink sands. While some are vast stretches of sands, some are tiny secluded coves. Here you will know about the best beaches of Bermuda that have remained as our all-time top favorites.
(2) Top Sightseeing Places: You should not miss out on some of the top sightseeing places and tourist attractions which will give you a great flavor of islands life & history. They include aquarium, forts, caves, parks, museums, historical buildings, lighthouses, churches and more.
(3) Great Tours & Excursions: One of the best ways to experience & explore Bermuda is by taking guided or even self-guided tours. You can take tours by bus, boats, taxis, vans or just walk & hike to discover the best kept secrets. On several sunny mornings, we went out on glass bottom boats watching the spectacular underwater coral reefs, fish & marine life.
Sometimes we would rent a small motorboat and go offshore to discover some tiny islands, have a little picnic on an island beach, swim and enjoy the sheer serenity. Bermuda is not a single island. It has a string of some 180 small islands around the main one. The total area is under 21 square miles. So you can imagine how tiny many of these islands are. Only 20 of these are inhabited and just seven are joined by bridges and causeways to the main island of Bermuda.
(4) Activities & Entertainment: You can remain immersed in numerous recreational & sporting activities in Bermuda and your time will literally fly. Swimming & snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, birding, golfing, fishing, whale watching, diving, riding ... the list is endless.
We swam and snorkeled for hours from the beaches. This island has such a nice temperate climate for most part of the year. Sometimes we would take a snorkel cruise, go offshore & snorkel and watch the beautiful corals, marine life and even amazing shipwrecks.
We had the opportunity of meeting Teddy Tucker during one of our Bermuda vacations. Teddy is a legendary Bermudian diver who collected invaluable treasures from shipwrecks. We listened to him and his wife about how their lives revolved around scuba diving, their underwater exploration of shipwrecks, how the movie The Deep was created around Teddy’s life, and many more of those great personal stories. If you like to dive, I have no doubt in my mind that Bermuda can offer all the elements for the best of diving experience. Breathtaking marine life, lush corals, shipwrecks... they are all here in Bermuda waters.
One of our favorite things to do in Bermuda is to walk along the beautiful scenic trails and the village paths through lush landscapes, and meet with the locals along the way. We have fallen in love with the people and the culture of Bermuda. The caring Bermudians with ever-smiling face, the traditional Bermuda music, Gombey's dance with rhythmic drumming, the very scent of Bermuda's oceanic breeze, have all been great rewards in our lives.
(5) Awesome Dining: We have dined in many restaurants of different types in Bermuda. American, Continental, Italian, French, Indian ... there is no end to culinary skills in the island. Bermudian cuisine itself has so much to offer. Bermuda fish chowder, wahoo steaks, pawpaw casserole, Hoppin' John peas & rice are some of our long time favorites. And when in mood to indulge, Bermuda's own cocktails like Rum Swizzle and Dark n' Stormy have no parallels.
(6) Shopping: I have seldom seen anybody returning from the island empty handed. At the minimum you will plan to buy a small gift or souvenir item. In this article I have discussed which are the best buys in Bermuda including the unique local products like art & craft items, glass ware, jewelry, gifts & souvenirs, perfumes & cosmetics, clothes and lot more.
(7) Nightlife - Bars Pubs Nightclubs: Who says Bermuda is sedate when it comes to nightlife? There are so many bars, pubs and nightclubs in the island that you will need to spend good amount of time making a selection for yourself. In fact one of the oldest pubs in Hamilton city had been the inspiration for 'Cheers Pub' of Boston and another one invented an island drink which has almost become synonymous as Bermuda's national drink. And most of them offer great live entertainment.
Exploring Bermuda by Location
If you rather like to take one area at a time and explore deep into its attractions, activities, maps, dining, accommodations etc, the following links can offer you all the treasures that we have uncovered in each parish. A parish in Bermuda is like a district or a county.
Other than the parishes, there are three places in Bermuda that are of great tourist significance: 1) Hamilton City which is the capital of Bermuda and the main hub of commercial activities, 2) St. George's Town which is a UNESCO world Heritage site & steeped with history, and 3) Kings Wharf & the Royal Naval Dockyard which is the largest port area in the island and also a complex with many historical buildings, crafts & other tourist attractions.
Hamilton City: Being the port capital of Bermuda, Hamilton city is really the heart of the island. Starting from many glittering shops and great restaurants, to some of the finest hotels and sightseeing, are all here.
St George's Town: A town steeped with history and located in a parish with the same name. St. George's was once the former capital of Bermuda and is now a designated world heritage site.
Kings Wharf & Royal Naval Dockyard: Kings Wharf is the original cruise berth in Royal Naval Dockyard where the large cruise ships dock. The port or the dockyard is a place with great historical significance and also a large complex with many tourist attractions.
Here are the parishes of Bermuda from west to east:
Sandys Parish: This is the western most parish in Bermuda where the dockyard is located. The parish comprises of several islands that are joined by bridges and offers wonderful landscapes and scenic beauties.
Southampton Parish: Southampton has a perfect mix of everything - pink sandy beaches, best of hotels and restaurants, and great sightseeing places.
Warwick Parish: Warwick Bermuda is a great place to stay with some of the greatest hotels, sightseeing attractions and above all some of the best beaches of Bermuda.
Paget Parish: Paget is a centrally located parish with many great hotels and attractions.
Pembroke Parish: A central parish where Hamilton City, the capital of Bermuda is located.
Devonshire Parish: Devonshire has flourished mainly based on farming. It has beautiful landscapes and other attractions.
Smith's Parish: For a tourist, the parish offers delightful country rides and charm. It has its boundaries on north shore, south shore as well as on the southern part of Harrington Sound.
Hamilton Parish: This is the second most eastern Parish of Bermuda connected to St. George by a causeway.
St George Parish: St George parish is located at the eastern end of Bermuda and comprises of two large islands - St George's Island and St. David's Island. The historic town of St. George is located in this parish.
By Raj Bhattacharya
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