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Bermuda Attractions & Things To Do
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? And that too in a small beautiful island? Those fascinating attractions made us think and plan our first family vacation in Bermuda years back. The lingering memories have kept drawing us back to this island time and again.
We swim and snorkel for hours from the fabulous pink beaches. This island has such a nice temperate climate for most part of the year. Sometimes we would take a cruise for offshore snorkeling and watch the colorful corals on the reefs, marine life and even amazing shipwrecks.
Sometimes we rent a small motorboat and go offshore to discover some tiny islands, have a little family 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.
We met with Teddy Tucker, 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 wrecks, how the movie The Deep was created around Teddy’s life, and many other great stories. If you like to dive, I have no doubt in my mind that Bermuda can offer all the elements of amazing wreck and reef diving experience.
Numerous operators in the island offer all sorts of motorized and non motorized water sports, guided island tours, boating & sailing, nature walks, cultural & heritage tours etc. And the island is full of great places to visit like museums, caves, forts, aquarium, lighthouses, churches, lovely parks & gardens, harbors, nature reserves, and lovely villages. The pastel color houses with slanted white limestone roofs look picture perfect on the lush island landscapes.
So many attractions and so much to do in the island, which ones do you choose? Most tourists visit the island for a short vacation and go back wondering if they actually made the most out of their time. In the following section, I'll use all our experience and years of findings to let you know about the greatest attractions of Bermuda.
(1) The Lovely Beaches: Almost everybody keeps 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 of 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: Bermuda is not just about beaches. There are many wonderful tourists places that capture the flavor of the island, its history, culture, tourism offerings, and life in general. Such sites include forts, caves, parks & gardens, aquarium, museums, historical buildings, lighthouses, churches, harbors and more.
(3) Great Tours & Excursions: One of the best ways to experience & explore Bermuda is by taking guided or self-guided tours. You can take such tours by bus, boat, taxi, van or just walk. On several sunny mornings, we went out on glass bottom boats watching the spectacular underwater coral reefs, fish & marine life, or just take a sunset cocktail cruise and relax on the deck watching the wonderful views all around. And sometimes, we hire a taxi by the hour and keep exploring the island from one end to the other uncovering the best kept secrets while listening to the friendly knowledgeable driver about the history, life, flora and fauna of the island and the ocean surrounding it.
(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. 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) Great 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 was the inspiration for 'Cheers Pub' of Boston and another one invented a unique island drink which has almost become synonymous as Bermuda's national drink. And most bars and pubs offer great live music & entertainment in the evenings during the high season.
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 and steeped with history, and 3) Kings Wharf Port or the Royal Naval Dockyard which is the largest port area in the island and also a complex with many historical buildings, craft centers and 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 dockyard is a place with great historical significance and also a large complex with many tourist attractions including National Museum, Dolphin Center, Art & Craft centers, Shopping, Pubs & Restaurants etc.
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.
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By Raj Bhattacharya
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