If you walk from St George's past the Unfinished Church towards Fort St Catherine's you'll discover Tobacco Beach . If you don't want to walk catch one of the St George’s Minibus Service’s vehicles.
The bay is protected by Daliesque limestone rock formations and good for snorkeling with colourful tropical fish like parrotfish and sergeant majors. The calm, relatively shallow water has good visibility and is ideal for children.
It can go from no people to lots of people in minutes depending on wether or or not a cruise ship is in!!
The Travel Slut's Top 10 things to do in Bermuda (all things being equal of course)
1. Tobacco Beach is a protected cove with a very nice beach as is Horseshoe Beach. There are some amenities there but plan to bring most of your own personal essentials. Plan a great time in the sand and water. Enjoy what Bermuda has to offer.
2. The Nine Beaches resorts has stilt houses and narrow access roads.
3. The Lobster Pot in Hamilton is more expensive than most but it is surely going to be a excellent dining experience.
4. Bermuda is not for people on a tight budget. In August, average room rates can be as high as $495 per night. The best accomodation bargain is on a visiting cruise ship so pick one and compare to hotels on Bermuda if money is an obstacle.
5. There is a ferry to St. George from Hamilton that is air conditioned and a ferry to Hamilton where you can sit on the top deck and be exposed to the sun. The ferry system is a wonderful sight-seeing method.
6. April seems to be the consensus for the best time to visit Bermuda for crowds, weather and sea conditions however, October was nice also.
7. Two good golf courses are Bay View & Royal Troon with green fees of $134.00 which is less expensive than many other locations.
8. Crossing into the Bermuda Triangle is a non-event anymore :-) (thank goodness)
9. See as many of the sites as you want to or are able to from Gibbs Hill light house and tea room, aquarium and zoo, Royal Navy Dockyard, Hamilton and all the parksm any of the many forts, either of the Swizzle Inns, the Crystal Caves and any of the famous pubs and eateries.
10. Check out Seabiscuits Bermuda pages: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/11fa4/55f/
The Royal Naval Dockyard was our first image of Bermuda as we sailed into Port via our cruise ship the Caribbean Princess. The Dockyard is a hub of transportation with cruise ships, island ferries, water cruises, taxis and buses all arriving and leaving the area. The area also has some local historical sites as well as shops and pubs.
The Dockyard also is a great example of British presence in Bermuda. Many people worked here to build naval ships during the 1800's for the British; shipbuilding became a major industy in this area.
On the upper floors of Commissioner's House you will find a lot of exhibits about the island in general. One room is devoted to the British presence, another to old coins. One room is devoted to Bermuda's ties with the West Indies, and another large room promotes its ties with the Portuguese. One room highlights Bermuda's banknotes, while another houses rare books on Bermuda. Artwork with Bermuda subject matter decorates all walls and there is a reasonably large room with art and artifacts pertaining to the past American military base and other American connections. Bermuda's sailors and airmen, civil and military, have their own exhibits, and there are great panoramic views from the patios, upper and lower.
My favorite room was actually a staircase that had been turned into a mural depicting scenes from Bermuda life throughout the ages. I chose one image of a witch burning to post here simply because the clarity of the picture allowed me to do so.
Overall this was a great and enlightening experience, with one exception. The largest and most frontal exhibit was devoted to slavery. It was well laid out, well planned, and included a unique Bermuda twist, but still amounted very much to the same thing I had seen many times before. Some of the displays were even carbon copies or blowups of what I had in my second grade textbooks. It isn't bad, but if you've seen a slavery exhibit before, you can skip this one because very little is new material.
We took the bus into Hamilton and stopped on the way in Horseshoe Bay. However, our family members got right off the ship and went to a beach within walking distance called "Snorkel Beach" and had some of their best snorkeling of the trip! They had to wait for a little while for it to open but then enjoyed the morning there without too many other people. Great photos and big fish!
Why Not?! Well, if you're a tourist, you will, but if you're a local you won't. The locals think it's too cold... Not for me! To me, 70 F is warm enough, and it makes a great memory to swim on New Year's Day! The beaches are so beautiful and clean, and the water is so blue... How can you stay away?!
Horseshoe Bay is the most famous beach on the South Shore with pink sand, clear water, and a beach house: 441-238-2651. Chaplin Bay and Warwick Long Bay are just east of Horseshoe Bay with a more quiet atmosphere. Continue on the South Shore to Astwood Cove and then Elbow Beach next to the Elbow Beach Hotel: 441-236-3535. Farther on the South Shore you'll find John Smith's Bay. Find your favorite, I love them all!
While you're in Bermuda, rent a scooter! Everyone drives them! It's so easy to get around, and it's so much fun! Don't be worried if you've never driven a scooter before. I never did! It's easy, if you try! Just be patient, and -- make sure you drive on the left side of the street! (They're British Islands, y'know!) The weather in Bermuda is fabulous for riding a scooter, but -- wear a jacket at night - it gets chilly! Go discovering! You won't be disappointed!
THE national sport in Bermuda is Cricket. The island natives love this convoluted and confusing game with a passion only equalled on the greens of the mother country. Bermudians are incredibly proud that their national cricket team made it to the "elite groupings" for the Commonweath Cup (or whatever its proper name is). This is the competition in cricket between all the various members of the British Commonwealth...ie the colonies and former colonies of the empire upon which the sun never set. Bermuda has taken its place among traditional cricket "powers" such as England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and of course, Australia.
If you happen to be in Bermuda during the first week of August, plan on attending the annual east end of the island versus the west end of the island Cricket Cup. Representing the far east is St. George's, and they meet the western team from Somerset. (out in Sandys Parish)
Cricket isn't your cup of tea? Well, you might want to look into some of those parks and nature trails I've talked about, as just about everything else in Bermuda shuts down for TWO whole days during the Cricket Cup match. It's that important! So, choose your side and join the fun. Ask the locals for an explanation of what's happened, what's happening and what is about to happen. And then, nod and pretend like you remotely understand. :) Then, maybe find yourself a pint of ale and try again.
Located on the basement level of Commissioner's House are the xhibits pertaining to the British military and its former Bermuda auxiliaries, i.e. The Bermuda Rifles etc. Quite a bit of military paraphernalia is on display, and there are free videos, photographs, and antique hardware.
The Bermuda units primarily played an auxiliary role in North Africa during WWII, guarding prisoners and other rear echelon duties, but some of them did see combat, especially from the air wings.
Commisioner's House is inside the keep of the former British shipyards and fortress. The gorijdns themselves offer extensive views of the harbor and south end of the island, but the building holds what amounts ot a museum of the island's history. You start by going through the outbiuildings, which house not just British history, but local and general nautical history and exhibits, with attention paid to sailboat racing and other peaceful pursuits. After that, youo can wander through the fortifications to see the gun emplacements, then go to the top, take in the views and pose by the cannon. When you finally enter the house itself, you are in a museum. When you leave, you see more of the grounds, a large cave, and some sheep.
If the weather turns questionable one thing you can do is go to the lighthouse. There is a nice little breakfast nook where you can drink tea or spit pineapple juice all over yourself and the floor if you're so inclined, then climb the 186 steps to the top. A few exhibits occupy each floor so you don't climb all at once, and when you get to the top you have a great view of the island or as much as weather conditions will allow you to see. The costis $2, done on the honor system.
Bermuda's north shore is generally rocky, yet it makes for the best sunset views. We found a beach near the Eastern tip of the island called Tobacco Bay.
Look for rock fish at dusk, swimming in the shallows...
This is a small bay with a nice sandy beach located on the North Shore just down the hill from fort St. Catherine. There is a beach club house with washrooms and a food vendor.
** Please correct me if I'm wrong but I seem to remember the washrooms/change rooms being on a beach in Southampton parish, not this one **
Fort St. Catherine is just one of many forts preserved for our enjoyment. It had Victorian-era cannons and dizzying drops into the sea.
Scott was in his glory. His notes: The fort is located up a huge hill on the NOrth shore up from the town of St. George. The fort was completed in 1614 and extensive rebuilding and remodeling continued until the 19th century. The museum has dioramas covering the island's history.
Gift shops are open on Sunday, one of very few places that are open. Bermuda rum cake may be purchased here with free samples. This fort is designed on the fort built in Gibraltar and was built in 1809. It has never been fired upon.
The Bermuda Maritime Museum is housed in the Keep of the Royal Navy's HM Dockyard.
Queen's Exhibition Hall: This was built as a magazine and once stored 4,860 kegs of gunpowder. Exhibitions in this building: Navigation, Whaling, Pilots & Customs, Bermuda Sloops, Ship Models, Guns & Ramparts, Cable and Wireless, Flying Boats, Bermuda Transportation Co., Cruise Ships
The Shifting House: This was so named as it stored ordnance being shifted to and from naval vessels. On exhibition here is historic diving equipment, and artefacts recovered from 17th century wreecks.
Bermuda Monetary Authority: Ship's Pennies and Years of Change, showing Bermuda's history in coins and notes.
The Shell House: The Isle of Devils exhibit portrays Bermuda in the Age of Discovery.
Forster Cooper Building: Two exhibits reached by seperate entrances: Gibraltar of the West, the Royal Navy exhibit; The Bromby Bottle Collection.
The Boat Loft: Children's Museum Room, Great Store House Clock, Weather Forecasting, Turtling, Bermuda Dinghies, Watercraft
The Dainty: See the beautifully restored Dainty, an elegant 100-year-old Bermuda racing yacht.
Commissioner's House: Once home of the Royal Naval Dockyard Commissioner, this imposing cast-iron framed building is being carefully restored to its former glory. On completion, Commissioner's House will provicde space for exhibits and special functions. [We were able to tour one level of it in 2003 - I recall there was an exhibit on the history of slavery].
The Keep with its Guns: A shot has never been fired at an enemy from the bastions of HM Dockyard. Yet its impressive defences have seen a changing complement of evolving naval guns over the years.
This was my second visit to Bermuda in late February - this time we lucked out with the weather with it eaching into the high 70's (F) and being sunny most of the time.
The beaches are full with families picnicing, playing volleyball, walking, etc. but it is a bit too cold for swimming.
In 1998 Bermuda was running a travel special for February - if the daytime high temperature did not reach 70 degrees, participating restaurants and attractions would provide deep discounts. During that visit, we reached 70 degrees each day, but it was rainy and windy.
By 2003, that deal was gone, but during the month of February, companion air fares were free.