The most obvious way to spend your time in Bermuda is relaxing on a pink-sand beach, a dark and stormy in hand while you relax the day away. But there’s so much more to do on a cruise to these diverse islands than getting a tan. Here are five reasons to explore beyond Bermuda’s famed beaches.
Sea turtles thrived in the waters off Bermuda until they were hunted to near extinction during the 16th and 17th centuries. Over time, lawmakers and conservationists have worked hard to create a safe haven for the prehistoric creatures as they mature. With its pristine coral reefs and abundant seagrass beds, there are many opportunities to witness the beautiful marine animals — mostly young green and hawksbill turtles — swim about the waters of Bermuda. For the best way to see these graceful creatures at sea, try snorkeling in the shallow waters off Ferry Reach and Clearwater Beach, or taking a glass-bottom boat ride. However, if you prefer to stay on dry land, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is home to a few giant green sea turtles that can be freely viewed in the pool by the entrance.
Stretching across 37 acres, Southlands National Park offers a unique chance to experience nearly every possible natural habitat Bermuda has to offer, all in one place. Once housing the private residence built in the late 18th century for a wealthy businessman, this pristine tract of land was nearly turned into a hotel resort before the government made a deal with the developers to turn the heavily wooded estate into a national park. Today, this mystical Garden of Eden in Warwick continues to enchant visitors with its dense banyan grove (the largest in Bermuda), limestone quarry gardens, reflective ponds and stunning coastline.
While swimming in turquoise waters under a sunny sky may seem like bliss, there’s quite a lot to enjoy underground as well. Bermuda island is actually home to 150 limestone cave systems, many of which are filled with crystal-clear underground lagoons, some of which are perfect for bathing as well. Two of the most popular, Fantasy Cave and Crystal Cave, offer guided tours and stunning views of sparkling white stalactites and calcite mineral formations that resemble frozen waterfalls.
There are sandwiches and then there is Art Mel’s fish sandwich — an impressive construction consisting of freshly baked raisin bread stacked around an ample tower of crispy red snapper. Various custom add-ins include cheese and coleslaw. However, unless you’re a competitive eater, you’ll need to share this favorite with a fellow diner. There are two Bermuda locations: the original restaurant in Hamilton and a newer outpost in St. Georges.
Even if you don’t have time to traverse every part of Bermuda, you can still get a bird’s eye view of paradise from Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. Standing roughly 360 feet above sea level, the 168-year-old lighthouse’s cast-iron balcony offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the island. Stop by for the panoramic sights and stay for the food, with breakfast, lunch and dinner options at The Dining Room, located next to the base of the lighthouse.