While Bermuda is a honeymoon destination for some, it’s a great place to bring your family—a friendly, easy-to-navigate island, close to the East Coast of the USA (short flights with kids!).
Families might like beaches with facilities and lifeguards most of all (be aware, these are seasonal; the beaches do not have lifeguards year-round). Try Horseshoe Beach on South Shore, Clearwater Beach, very close to the airport, Shelly Bay, a protected cove with a wide expanse of usually calm, flat and shallow water, and Tobacco Bay in St. Georges, also well protected by rocks, shallow for much of the way to the rocks and great snorkeling (be aware that during the summer, Friday evenings are a bit happy-hour-like at Tobacco Bay).
Crystal Caves entertain young and old and are always popular, but especially so on a rainy day. There are two cave systems to see here—Crystal Caves and Fantasy Caves (save money and buy tickets to both at the same time). The caves were only just discovered in 1905, which seems relatively recent for a small island. Walkways take visitors over deep blue pools–in the summertime, the caves are a respite from heat. Guided tours point out the important formations and recount the history of the discovery of the caves in detail. Rubber-soled shoes are suggested.
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) is a little gem that has been part of life in Bermuda since 1926, and is now one of the world’s oldest aquariums. The aquarium features fish, local and not, exhibits, outdoor exhibits with ancient sea turtles (local volunteers sign up to give turtles regular scrub baths!), sea lions (check out feeding times), and more.
There is an aviary on site, and the new Madagascar exhibit, with lemurs and other animals from that island ecosystem. (Joining the zoo as a member you become a member of the worldwide Association of Zoos and Aquariums and can enter associated zoos and aquariums around the world free! By the same token, if you are a member of your own local zoo/aquarium, inquire about using your member card to enter BAMZ.)
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Bermuda Fun Golf opened in 2013—and people seem to love it. Part of the scene at Royal Naval Dockyard (and catering to so many who come off the cruise ships). The designers built on one acre of property with plenty of ocean views and based the holes on some of the best holes found on course in Bermuda, USA and Scotland. There’s a place to grab a bite to eat and something to drink (adult beverages included).
Geocaching—treasure hunting with a GPS system, where the treasure is sometimes just the little log book geocachers like to fill in and other times little trinkets—has grown by leaps and bounds in Bermuda in the past few years, much of it thanks to one passionate ex-pat. This is a welcoming and enthusiastic crowd. The locals have even placed snorkel caches out for the enthusiasts.
Bermuda Island Geocachers (BIG) is the website for all things Bermuda. Contact the group for more information: [email protected]
See live freed from a shipwreck, treasure brought up from the ocean by Teddy Tucker, and a 7,290-year-old cedar tree trunk that was recovered from the ocean at Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI), just on the edge of Hamilton. There are traveling exhibits, temporary exhibits—learn why lionfish are threatening the reefs the world over—and check out the 1,200 shells on exhibit. BUEI is also the place to book a whale watch in the late winter/early spring months or to book the occasional “glow worm” cruise on certain nights (around full moon nights when bioluminescent fireworms swarm to the surface) throughout the year. Check the website for information on those special events.