Welcome to the second week of our “See the World” series. Hopefully you caught the best of Atlanta last week or maybe you followed our “See the USA” series last year. This week we’re headed to the next letter in the alphabet B, and Bermuda. I am thrilled to have Patty from Fairfax Family Fun sharing the top 5 family friendly things to do in Bermuda. If this destination isn’t on your radar, keep reading, because it will be!
For a country with an area measuring just slightly more than 20 miles, Bermuda offers an amazing number of things for visitors to enjoy. The British territory in the North Atlantic Ocean is full of historic spots, gorgeous beaches, natural attractions, world-class shopping, great food, and more. With so much to do, you will need a couple of visits to take it all in (I have visited three times and am already planning a return!). If visiting Bermuda with kids, there are some places you will not want to miss. Here are the top five.
Just about any beach in Bermuda will be lovely, but some are better suited for kids. With its aqua waters, pink sand, and rank as one of the best beaches in the world, Horseshoe Bay may be the most popular beach in Bermuda. What makes it great for families is the little cove with very calm waters that’s perfect for younger kids. Another popular family beach is Tobacco Bay on the northernmost tip of the island, in St. George. This beach is on a small safe bay, and has an adjacent café and restroom facilities. A short walk from Tobacco Bay is St. Catherine’s Beach, where powdery sand and calm waters can be found. This is a bare-bones beach, with no lifeguard, no restrooms, no food, and no chair rentals. That also means no crowds, and it is truly a fantastic place.
Between St. Catherine Beach and Tobacco Bay each is Fort St. Catherine. Built in 1612, the fort now houses a museum focused on Bermuda’s military history. Kids will love the drawbridge, the fort’s many tunnels and towers, and getting up close to real cannons. As they explore the numerous exhibits on what life was like for those who lived and worked in the fort, they may not realize how much learning they are doing. Fort St. Catherine is just one of many forts: others worth visiting in Bermuda include Fort Hamilton, Martello Tower, and St. David’s Battery.
Royal Naval Dockyard
On the opposite end of the island is another great fort, the Royal Naval Dockyard. Once Britain’s largest naval base outside the United Kingdom, today the Dockyard blends old and new for a full day of fun. Here it is possible to tour the National Museum of Bermuda, which houses cannons, shipwreck artifacts, and art; see glassblowing in action at Dockyard Glassworks; and see or swim dolphins at DolphinQuest. The dockyard also has galleries, boutique, local shops, and restaurants. There’s also a small, calm beach with a lively café and sports areas.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI)
This marine museum in Hamilton is dedicated to Bermuda’s life on and under the water, with numerous interactive exhibits. Kids will love learning about bioluminescent animals, seeing items from shipwrecks, viewing a collection of over 1,000 seashells, or testing their skills to see if they could compete in the America’s Cup. There’s also a “shark cage” with a simulated attack, but that may not even be the biggest thrill. That title may go to the Blue Echo Dive. This attraction (included with admission) is a simulated diving experience that “transports” guests 12,000 feet below the sea surface on a Nautilus-X2 submarine, encountering creatures such as a giant squid, sharks, and whales along the way.
Crystal and Fantasy Caves
In Hamilton is one of Bermuda’s hidden treasures, neighboring underwater caves that take visitors to another world. A stop here is a cool break, both in terms of temperature and wow factor. Fantasy Cave uses a state-of-the-art lighting system to illuminate the cave in different colored light to exaggerate the details of this natural wonder. At the Crystal Cave, you can walk across a footbridge over the lake that surrounds these amazing formations made during the Ice Age. The water is so clear it’s hard to believe they are not directly below you but rather are more than 50 feet below!
Who’s ready to visit Bermuda?
Patricia Lee Hall is a communications consultant and freelance writer who began her journalism career at The Miami Herald. She now runs the Fairfax Family Fun blog, a site about kid-friendly activities and family travel in Northern Virginia and beyond. She lives in Fairfax County with her husband and young son.