St George’s Parish:
The landing point of the island’s first settlers, St George’s (the town and the parish) is the historical heart of Bermuda. The 400-year-old town, the oldest permanent English settlement in the New World, was the capital of the island for two hundred years before the action moved to Hamilton.
Bermuda’s only five-star PADI diving outfit operates out of the Grotto Bay Beach Resort and the Fairmont Southampton Resort, catering to divers of all abilities and offering everything from discovery dives ($35), one-tank ($95) and two-tank dives ($180), and snorkelling trips ($45) to certified PADI courses.
Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve:
Bermudians were granted access to this 77-acre nature reserve made up of woodland, unspoiled beaches, salt marsh and rocky shores when the US Navy pulled out in 1995. The seven beaches are tranquil and good for snorkeling, and the salt marsh is a vital habitat for herons, kingfishers and giant land crabs.
Crystal Cave & Fantasy Cave:
Small but beautifully formed, these two caves are one of the island’s biggest attractions, and justifiably so. Entertaining 45-minute tours lead you down steep steps; you get the benefit of a state-of-the-art lighting system that subtly illuminates the delicate straw stalactites and frozen stone waterfalls.
Blue Hole Park & Walsingham Nature Reserve:
Tom Moore’s Jungle, part of the nature reserve that comprises coastal mangroves, native palmetto and cedar woods, caves and swimming grottos, is found behind Tom Moore’s Tavern. A path leads to a cave with a deep natural swimming pool inside – a great place to cool down. From here, a woodland trail leads to Blue Hole Park, a former dolphin show lagoon framed by mangroves; most days, you’ll find people jumping off the 12ft to 15ft cliffs there.
Fort St Catherine:
The most impressive of Bermuda’s 91 forts was originally built on this rocky promontory in 1614 and expanded five times since. A drawbridge leads inside into an air-conditioned museum, featuring dioramas of the fort through the centuries and replica Crown Jewels.
National Museum of Bermuda:
If you only see one museum in Bermuda, make it this. Taking up the entirety of the Dockyard’s 19th-century fortifications, it’s divided into two main parts. The vaulted Queen’s Exhibition Hall is an atmospheric gallery that showcases the treasures found on 18 key shipwrecks.
Imagine a vast expanse of pristine white sand, cerulean waters and swaying palm trees. Elbow Beach is it, and it’s one of Bermuda’s loveliest, with nary a clump of seaweed in sight. The beach is flanked by exclusive resorts, but most of it is public territory. Sometimes the waves get choppy and kitesurfers take over.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse:
When it was erected in 1846, this 117ft lighthouse dramatically reduced the number of shipwrecks caused by running aground on reefs that encircle Bermuda. The lighthouse is made of prefabricated cast iron, shipped from England, and the views from the top are second to none.
Spanning the length of Bermuda, the 20-mile Railway Trail marks the path of the former Bermuda railway, dismantled in the 1950s. Today it provides an excellent way for walkers and cyclists to explore Bermuda’s hills, cliffs, beaches and neighborhoods while avoiding the worst of the traffic.