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13 Best Bermuda Tourist Attractions

Royal Navy Dockyard
Massive stone buildings surround the lawn at the Royal Navy Dockyard. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

The best Bermuda tourist attractions and things to do include military forts, historic homes and churches, and the Royal Navy Dockyard.

Hotel and resort visitors to Bermuda will have the time to explore the island at their leisure. Cruise visitors may want to take a full-island shore excursion, which will take 4-5 hours and cost about $150 per person. Many of the attractions below are usually included in a full island tour.

Full island tours may not include visits to the famous pink sand beaches. In that case, cruise visitors will have to take an excursion that goes only to beaches. They will cost about $50 per person, although some local operators go even lower.

1) Royal Navy Dockyard

The two major cruise ports are Kings Wharf and Hamilton. The Royal Navy Dockyard is at Kings Wharf. Hamilton is on the opposite side of the island across the Great Sound.

Tourists from Hamilton can take a ferry ride or a long ride via taxi or excursion bus from Hamilton to the Dockyards. The Royal Navy used them as a strategic outpost more than 200 years ago and to attack Washington D.C. during the War of 1812.

Besides military buildings, visitors can shop, eat at restaurants, watch glass-blowing demonstrations, snorkel at a beach park, jump at a trampoline park and interact with dolphins at the Bermuda Maritime Museum. It also has the island’s largest fort.

2) Snorkel Park Beach

Snorkel Park Beach is a small oceanside amusement park at Kings Wharf with snorkeling, restaurant, nightclub and water sports. The entry cost is $5 plus more for snorkeling equipment.

Best things to do in Bermuda
Sign at Royal Navy Dockyard shows some of the best things to do in Bermuda. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

3) Dolphin Quest

Dolphin Quest Bermuda is at the National Museum of Bermuda in Dockyard on the westernmost end of Bermuda. It has hands-on experiences with dolphins that include a variety of encounters in the water.

Prices vary based on the program. Expect to pay more than $100 per person or much more depending on the length of the problem and the type of interaction.

4) Military Forts

Five military installations are among the most popular popular attractions. They are Fort Hamilton, Fort St. Catherine, Gates’ Fort, Martello Tower and Scaur Hill Fort Park.

Fort Hamilton is a half mile northeast of the Hamilton docks and within easy walking distance for moderately fit people.

All are free and open to tourists year-round except for Martello Tower. It is open during the summer and by appointment only during the rest of the year. The highlight of Fort Hamilton is a series of underground tunnels dug out of solid rock in the 1870s that lead to a moat garden.

5) Crystal Cave

Photos alone offer enough temptation to visit the Crystal Cave. It is one of the island’s most popular natural attractions. Author Mark Twain was the first tourist to descend into the caves, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority.

The same site has the nearby Fantasy Cave. Both caves are attractive but moderate in size.

Prices at the time of this writing were $24 for each or $35 in combination for adults and teens, $10 for children 5 to 12 and free for children under 5.

The caves are 20 minutes northeast of Hamilton, so visitors will need a taxi or excursion bus to get there. Some shore excursions include the Crystal Caves as one stop during an island tour. Expect to pay more than $100 per person.

6) Pink Sand Beaches

Bermuda’s famous pink sand beaches include Horseshoe Bay Beach, John Smith’s Bay and Warwick Long Bay. Horseshoe Bay is the most popular one for cruise visitors to both Hamilton and King’s Wharf. It compares favorably with common Caribbean beaches.

Elbow Beach is good for snorkeling because of reefs that are close to shore. It also is close to Hamilton.

Fort St. Catherine, Bermuda
Fort St. Catherine, Bermuda. Credit: Wikimedia public domain

7) St. George’s

St. George’s, located on the northeast tip of the island, will richly reward tourists looking to get a taste of the island’s history. Founded in 1612, St. George’s is one of the oldest permanent English settlements in the New World.

8) Hamilton

Hamilton is the center of trade and shipping for Bermuda because it is the only container port on the island. As a result, cruise ship visitors get quick and easy access to the city.

When arriving, they first see Front Street, which lies along the edge of the water. It is the main road of Hamilton for restaurants and shopping.

Cruise visitors to Kings Wharf can take a 20-minute ferry ride across the Sound for $5 per person each way.

9) Anglican Cathedral / St. Peter’s Church

The Anglican Cathedral Tower at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity has a climb of 157 steps to a panoramic view of the area. It is located on Church Street in the city of Hamilton.

It is free and open daily, but the tower has a $3 entrance fee ($2 for seniors and students) and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. St. Peter’s Church is located on Duke of York Street in the town of St. George. It is free and open daily, with church services on Sundays.

10) Botanical Gardens

Highlights include The Formal Gardens, which has a Japanese Zen Garden, a 17th Century-style English Parterre Garden, a 12th Century-style Persian Garden and a Tudor-style children’s Maze Garden.

The gardens, which are free to the public, are at 169 South Road, or about one mile east of the Hamilton cruise docks. Walkers can reach them in about 15 minutes. They are open sunrise to sunset with tours at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

11) Golf Courses

Bermuda is one of the premier golf course destinations among all of the islands that lie along the coastal United States, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

The main island has a half dozen major golf courses, mostly at resorts. Cruise lines offer few of them as excursions, so visitors may need a taxi to reach them. Check the website for each course in advance to book tee times.

12) Historic Homes

The Carter House on Southside Road is considered to be the oldest structure in St. David’s. It was built in 1640, is mostly in its original state and was recently restored.

The house is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, May through September; it is open Saturdays only from October to May. Admission is $2, while children under 12 years old are free. Telephone: (441) 297-1642

13) Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

BUEI is both a science facility and a science museum. It is one of the most family-oriented tourist attractions on the island.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
October 17, 2023

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