- A day Exploring Caves and St. George’s
- Ghosts after dark in St. George
- A day at the Royal Naval Dockyard: History & Diversions
- Fun Things To Do In Hamilton
- Biking the rail trail
- Ferry To St. George: Tobacco Bay Beach
- Our favorite Beach: Warwich Long Bay
- Near the Kings Wharf: Black Bay and Somerset Long Bay
- Famous Horseshoe Bay
It’s easy to spend your entire time on Bermuda at the beach, especially if you’re on vacation with kids. The beaches are free and scenic and there are plenty of kid-friendly protected coves to discover.
But Bermuda has history and some unique and fun things for families to do. You’re missing out if you wile away your whole vacation on that pink sand.
We’ve visited Bermuda three times: twice as a port of call from the NCL Dawn and NCL Brekaway cruise ships and once staying on land at 2 Fairmont resorts.
Either way, It’s ideal to do excursions in the morning. Then have a leisurely lunch in the shade and to spend the warn afternoon at the beach.
Here are fun activities we’ve had the opportunity to try as shore excursions or day trips from our hotels. I include tips for how best to see them and whether each is best for kids, tweens or teens.
I also offer kid-friendly restaurant recommendations because all of these adventures are sure to make you hungry.
And of course I also give you the scoop on the best Bermuda beaches for every age, too.
13 Quintessential Bermuda Things To Do, See & Eat With Kids from Tots to Teens
A day Exploring Caves and St. George’s
If you land in Bermuda via cruise ship, use one day to take the high-speed ferry from the Royal Dockyard cruise ship port to St. George’s, the island’s historic second city.
After a quick turn around the main square, make your way to the Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
The two underground caverns are surprisingly big, pretty fantastic and not at all scary for kids. Tiny Traveler, 5YO when we visited, was impressed with all the stalactites growing from the ceilings, and calcite rock forms piled in the crystal clear pools.
Each cave is cool in different ways and you can’t go wrong with either one. In retrospect we didn’t think it was necessary to visit both, especially given the pricey combination ticket (it’s free for those under 5YO). This is verymuch an all-ages activity, teens, tweens and kids can all appreciate and enjoy it on their own level
You can only see the caves by guided tour. Plan on about 2 hours or less for a visit, depending in how long you wait for your tour to start and whether you see one or both caves.
Getting There: The caves are a 10-minute drive from St. George’s. If you don’t mind a leisurely journey you can ask in the tourist office near the town square for details on taking the bus. If you’re tight on time or just want to beat the crowds, you can book a tour or take a cab (but cabs are pricey, especially when gas prices are high).
Lunch break: The laidback and colorful Swizzle Inn, home of the Rum Swizzle cocktail is a local favorite and about a five-minute walk from the caves.
Try to grab a table on one of the porches and tuck into mussels, conch fritters, fish and crab sandwiches and pub classics like burgers, British-style curry and shepard’s pie.
Skip the dessert menu and take the kids across the road to Bailey’s Bay Ice Cream Parlour. Kids will love flavors like cotton candy and Shrek (don’t ask) while adults will appreciate the locally inspired dark & stormy. Real culinary adventurers can try Bermuda tomato.
Afterward, I suggest catching a bus or taxi back to St. George’s for a few hours relaxing at Tobacco Bay beach and the return ferry.
• Our review of the NCL Breakaway and the Dawn
• Our review of 2 Family Friendly Fairmont Resorts on Bermuda
Ghosts after dark in St. George
An island known for wayward compasses and disappearing ships is bound to have a few ghosts wandering around. Hear the best stories on the Haunted History walking tour of the town.
Our cloaked tour leader had an ashen face, walking stick and a lantern. he told his tales in a raspy, urgent voice that could make a grocery list sound ominous.
It’s hokey and meant to spook you a bit but it was well done and fun. Ghosts will pop up when you least expect it. They’re usually angry, indignant or grief stricken. By the end our group was huddling close. This is for tweens and teens. I would say 10yo and up; 12YO if your kids are skittish.
During our walk around town we learned about the British gunpowder Bermuda gave to the American colonists during our Revolution, the first witch burnings on the island, and the confederate doctor who tried to kill northerners during the U.S. Civil war by sending them the clothes of Bermuda’s yellow fever victims.
After the tour you can take photos with the cast. They accept tips or a round of drinks at a local bar. The days and times for the tour vary with the season (and what time it gets dark). So book ahead.
Dinner: Head to *Wahoo’s Waterside Bistro for a pre-tour dinner. It’s popular with local folks and tourists and was hopping the night we were there.
People having drinks at its small bar spill out on to Water Street. In the back, the luckiest diners have water views from tables on the outdoor deck. (Absolutely make a reservation.)
Share mild fish pate and wahoo nugget appetizers. Skip the bready conch fritters. Fish tacos and whole grilled fish are the best entrees.
I had a trio of local rockfish, wahoo and tuna over rice and peas. My tuna was overcooked but the other two were good, especially with the tomato chutney that comes with the dish.
Since you’re going on a walking tour, you can order the cheesecake or lemon meringue pie for dessert without an ounce of guilt.
Plan This Trip
Find the lowest airfares and best flights to Bermuda.
Secure the best rates on popular Bermuda hotels.
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Explore the best options for a Bermuda cruise
A day at the Royal Naval Dockyard: History & Diversions
Discover Bermuda history: Both times we pulled into Bermuda on a cruise ship I wondered about a large Georgian-style house that sits high on top of a hill over the King’s Wharf Naval Dockyard.
Built in the 1800s as the home for the dockyard commissioner, it now houses the National Museum of Bermuda.
The exhibits are well done and it’s worth taking an hour out to learn about the island’s slave trade, its mix of African, Caribbean, Portuguese and British cultures and its strategic role in Britain’s trade and defense. There is also a trove of artifacts recovered from all those legendary shipwrecks. There are also great views from up there.
Teens, tweens and kids 10YO and up will find something of interest in the museum. There’s a beautiful playground and educational playhouse for the under-8 set.
More things to do in the Dockyard: Down below, the dockyard is far more interesting than many cruise ship ports in that it didn’t spring up out of nowhere. The shops, restaurants and tour companies are housed in distinctive colonial stone buildings.
You can book glass-bottom boat and snorkeling excursions here if you want to try spotting a ship wreck and viewing offshore reefs.
In the Dockyard itself there’s mini-golf, a playground with sprinklers and a for-fee snorkel park and beach with changing rooms, chairs, a bar, food and water activities including snorkeling.
The water is clear but I can’t say how good the snorkeling is. The beach is small and gets crowded when ships are in, which is never good for snorkeling.
The beach is incredibly easy and convenient. But, honestly, Bermuda is so pretty to drive around and the beaches are so nice—and free! I don’t know why you would use the snorkel park beach other than to stay near the ship on the last day.
Lunch break: There are several places to eat but we always find our way to the Frog & Onion, a brewpub with an indoor patio. It serves up Dockyard Brewing Company beers alongside British and American pub fare like burgers, Bermuda-onion rings, savory pies and Sunday roast.
The beers are great (I like the lager; Rich favors the hoppy pale ale) and we often caught the late afternoon happy hour while Tiny Traveler napped in ther stroller. We always arrived too late to eat lunch here but all the food we saw going by looked really good.
After lunch you can hunt for souvenirs, fudge and ice cream in the shops before boarding your ship or catching a ferry back to Hamilton.
Fun Things To Do In Hamilton
An Aquarium for the youngest kids
It seemed silly to me to visit an aquarium on island with so much accessible snorkeling. But if you’re visiting with toddlers or children under 8 and need a day away from beach, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is the place to go.
See floor-to-ceiling viewing tanks filled with enormous local fish. Then head outside to see tamarins, lemurs and a huge flock of pink flamingos. There are also giant turtles old enough that child actress Shirley Temple rode on one when she vacationed here in the 1930s.
The best part of the aquarium (for parents) is the small waterside AZU Beastro. Its porch is strategically located next to the aquarium’s large and really well done sea-themed Discovery Pointplay area.
Let kids from 2- 8YO romp and play while you sit back with a glass of wine, beer or iced cappucino. There is probably enough to keep them busy for a good hour while you enjoy the gorgeous Bay views.
All-Ages: if you have older kids and tweens check the aquarium’s calendar for periodic boat excursions to unpopulated outlying islands as well as whale-watching and family-friendly snorkeling trips. This is a relatively new set of programs BAMZ is developing and worth keeping your eye on.
Lunch break: The Village Pantry is a 10-minute walk or 5-minute drive from the Aquarium. It has indoor seating, a comfortable outdoor patio and a somewhat pricey menu that features local ingredients.
The impressive Poke bowls look like savory parfaits. My spaghetti with fresh clams had just enough garlic and red pepper. Flatbreads and pizzas are good options for sharing and the fish tacos are an ideal lighter lunch.
They menu notes the dishes that work for gluten-free, vegetarian or Paleo diets. And the house-made smoothies and sodas are fantastic.
Under Water Exploration—Virtually
I wish I’d been able to persuade my family to visit the Ocean Exploration Center at BUEI. Interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators allow you to try your skills on an Americas Cup sail boat, dive 12,000 feet under the sea and learn the secret of the Bermuda Triangle (geological abnormalities or aliens?)
There’s also s shipwreck gallery, treasure room and large shell collection. This is the get-off-the-beach activity for tweens, science-loving teens and any kids who have outgrown the aquarium.
A Fort With a View
While you’re in Hamilton, stop by Fort Hamilton, the highest point in the city. Built to protect the dockyards, it’s been turned into a grassy park with stellar harbor and rooftop views.
Canons and ramparts sit among beautiful bushes and shade trees. It’s a place where kids can safely romp and teens and grown-ups can chill.
Below this cheerful park lies a pretty darn spooky labyrinth tunnels and rooms that were once used for storing and transporting munitions.
A dry moat around the fort is like the land that time forgot. A jungle-like maze of banyan trees, bamboo, wild flowers and vines, it’s home to wild chickens and other small wildlife. Kids usually find it to be quite an adventure to walk all the way around.
Admission is free and it’s a nice spot for a picnic. On Mondays at noon in the off-season you can see a skirling ceremony of bagpipers, drummer and highland dancers. If you visit in late October, look for Halloween activities that take advantage of those spooky tunnels.
Biking the rail trail
Bermuda was car-free well into the 20thcentury so a train track was built in the 1930s to move goods and people between town and countryside. Locals preferred their horse-drawn wagons and mostly used the station houses for storing root vegetables.
The railway ceased operation completely when World War II brought cars to the island and is now a 21-mile Railway Trail for walking and biking.
The trail snakes along and away from the coast. The stretches with water views are the most scenic, but the inland parts show you some of Bermuda’s wild native fruits, trees and herbs. It helps you to see the island as partly rural and more than just a series of beaches.
The rail trail is hilly and mostly black top or packed dirt. There are places where the trail has been interrupted by development or hasn’t yet been rehabilitated and you have to briefly detour from it.
You can rent bikes to set out on your own or book a guided walking tour both in the Dockyard and from tour companies in Hamilton.
We went with Social Cycles, a Hamilton bike shop that does tours on request. Having a guide was handy for helping us to navigate and to tell us what we were seeing along the way.
Our guide told us how Bermuda homes were built to withstand hurricanes and pointed out indigenous Bay bushes. We also left our bikes to walk up to a fort that was completely hidden from the trail but offered amazing views and a great picnic spot.
Tweens and teens should be able to handle trail easily. Attaching a tagalong to your bike is a good bet for kids who aren’t yet strong bikers. Most companies have either bike seats or trailers for babies and young kids.
There are a lot of scenic picnic spots along the trail or just off of it. If your tour doesn’t include lunch try to bring along a picnic to have along the way.
Post-cycling snack: Count yourself lucky if your bike ride takes you through Somerset. If it does, you can stop at the Bridge Trading Post, a bakery in a former post office.
Kick back on the sunny yellow porch with a slice of the best coconut cake you’ll ever have in your life. The ginger and red velvet cakes aren’t too shabby but the sweet, light coconut cake is divine. Lemonade and ice teas are refreshing, too.
If the place isn’t busy ask about the owner’s family photos that are hanging on the wall. You’ll learn about her postman dad and one family’s bit of Bermuda history, it’s a nice accompaniment to the cake.
5 Bermuda Beache For Families
Ferry To St. George: Tobacco Bay Beach
As I’ve said, a popular day trip is taking the high-speed ferry to St. George to visit the Crystal Caves and Tobacco Bay beach.
Surrounded by huge boulders that block the waves, Tobacco Bay is ideal with kids and my second favorite Bermuda Beach.
You can snorkel around the rocks and see quite a few fish. If the tide is out, you can walk from 1 side of the bay to the other looking for minnows, which kept Tiny Traveler engaged at 2 ½ and again at 5.
Snorkelling around the rocks is hit or miss, though, and teens might find the beach a bit too tame, especially when the tide is low.
A small snack bar rents snorkel gear and has okay (not great) bathrooms and changing rooms.
Lunch: A friendly local recommended Arty Mel’s Spicy Dicy in St. George. We shared a sandwich piled high with crispy fried fish strips and a side of rice of peas. Tiny Traveler had a kid’s portion of fish and chips.
It was good and a deal by local standards. But it really is a hole in the wall. They have a few tables in the back but I recommend getting your fish sandwiches to go. Take them to the beach, dine al fresco in St. George’s charming square or find a bench with a water view.
Tip: Most people visit the caves in the morning and then head to Tobacco Bay in the afternoon to cool off.
We decided to do the reverse. Logistically it made more sense and we missed the crowds in both spots. But it was definitely hotter traveling and we were covered in sand all day.
You can take a bus from St. George to the Caves. You’ll get there and back more quickly you can takea cab from the ferry dock, but cabs are expensive, just FYI.
Our favorite Beach: Warwich Long Bay
My favorite Bermuda beach is Warwick Long Bay. It’s far less crowded than famous Horseshoe Bay and quie scenic.
The surf along the main beach is rough. Teens will like it; little kids and swimmers not used to he ocean will not. But the sand is soft and pink. And this beach has a couple of secrets.
First, kids will like this Bermuda beach because there is a nice big playground perched above it at the end of the beach furthers from the Dockyard (closer to Hamilton). It has a bunch of slides, climbing structures for little kids and a big spider net for older kids to climb.
You can see the playground from the road (but not from the beach). If you want to find it, ask the bus driver let you off at the Hamilton end of Warwick Bay.
Second secret: At the opposite end of the beach from the playground (the end closest to the Dockyard), there’s is a tiny protected cove. It’s hidden by an outcropping of rocks that seem to mark the end of the beach.
When the tide is out kids, 8 and up will want to climb around the rocks. When it’s in you can snorkel and swim.
It’s another good place for spotting minnows and crabs and doing some easy snorkeling. around the rocks at the back. I love this beach because it’s usually pretty quiet and it’s a very easy place to keep an eye on little kids.
Lunch: From this beach, we usually head into Hamilton for a walk along the water on Front Street. The food trucks you might spot along here are known for offering tasty food and relatively good deals.
You can’t wrong with most of the pubs and restaurants on and near Front Street, particularly the Mad Hatter, The Hog Penny and the no-frills Lost in the Triangle.
We’ve eaten a few times at the Lobster Pot. They do great fish chowder and conch fritters. Tiny Traveler has fish & chips from the kids menu. It’s on a side street a few blocks back from Front Street. It’s more local and a little more gently priced than the places that cater to either tourists or the folks in nearby offices.
When I was on my own I wandered into the Astwood Arms because its mix of traditional details and modern fixtures seemed inviting. The menu has the usual Bermuda pub fare as well great vegetarian options like Korean fried Cauliflower, sweet potato chili and a quinoa salad. The Scotch egg and deviled eggs are tempting if you just want a snack.
Afterward lunch we go souvenir shopping, usually in a super market, for black rum, ginger beer, Cadbury chocolate and pepper-spiked sherry sauce. Then we a bus or Ferry back to the cruise ship.
Near the Kings Wharf: Black Bay and Somerset Long Bay
We hit two beaches on our last day of our second visit. The first was Black Bay, which we chose because it’s near the Dockyard and cruise ship port. It’s a series of small, rocky beaches separated by jetties. The water is a bit shallow and grassy, but very clear and the snorkeling was pretty good.
This is a good all-ages beach because it’s easy to keep an eye on little ones, but older kids can venture out to snorkel around the rocks.
Tiny Traveler waded, collected rocks and played on a patch of beach that we had entirely to ourselves. Rich and I took turns snorkeling in the very clear water while the other kept an eye on her.
If you venture 500 feet down the road along the water (toward the Dockyard) and look for a flight of stairs behind someone’s patio, you’ll find a small sea-glass beach.
Tiny Traveler liked sifting through piles of polished glass to find colors she liked and shapes she recognized. We admired the freeform art made by others. Teens would certainly make their own structures.
It’s a great, free thing to do with all ages, but keep in mind that Bermudans prefer you admire the glass and leave it where it is.
In the afternoon we went to Somerset Long Bay Beach, which has a lot of shade and an idyllic stretch of sand. Teenagers will hate you if you bring them here. But this beach is ideal with the under-5 set.
Somerset beach had a nice hidden-away feel to it, but the water that didn’t rise above or shins no matter how far out we ventured. And a large swatch of sea grass made swimming impossible.
It was fun to wade and look for turtles and fish in the grass. Then we sat in the shade while Tiny Traveler enjoyed the playground and splashed in the shallow water and e until it was time to head back to the ship.
Lunch: Between our beach excursions we stopped in tiny Somerset for lunch at the Country Squire. Rich & I shared a salad, excellent fish & chips and a last bowl of fish chowder while viewing the harbor from the outdoor patio.
The Squire has a pretty standard kids menu, from which Tiny Traveler had mildly seasoned chicken wings and fries.
Famous Horseshoe Bay
Horseshoe Bay has the island’s famous pinkish sand. It’s a nice beach, with quiet hidden coves tucked behind rocks at either end. And there are amenities including food, a bar and bathrooms.
But everyone who visits Bermuda visits this beach. My advice is to get up early, enjoy the sand and surf, then head into Hamilton or back to the dockyard for lunch when it starts to get hot and crowded.
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* We were guests of Go To Bermuda at the Haunted Histor Tour, Wahoo’s, the aquarium, the museum the Village Pantry and the Social Cycles tour. Other activities we did on our own. We did not offer any particular coverage in exchange for this access. Our opinions are always our own.
* All photos by FamiliesGo! except those provided by the National Museum (playground) and Bailey’s Ice Cream Parlour.