Even though my husband, Sean and I got married back in October, we decided to plan a belated honeymoon to Bermuda for May, in order to enjoy the warm weather without the crowds and avoid hurricane season! When most people think of Bermuda, they mainly think of it as a beach destination. And while the island is a great place to have a relaxing beach vacation, there are other hidden gems for the more active adventurer to explore! Here are a few of the highlights of our 8 day adventure in Bermuda:
Snorkeling at Tobacco Bay and John Smith Bay Beaches
Located outside of the town of St George on the east end of the island, Tobacco Bay Beach is a small beach and sheltered bay with rocky coves where the “locals” live. If you enjoy water activities and marine life, I highly recommend spending time to snorkel at the bay. There were a plethora of fish swimming around the rocky coves, including the blue parrotfish, which is well-known in Bermuda’s waters. We brought our own snorkel gear, however the beach provides rentals as well.
John Smith’s beach is a small beach that is less touristy (no bars at the beach) and more popular with the locals. Not only is the beach itself stunning with its pink sands and teal waters, it is also an amazing place to snorkel along its rocky coves. Most of the fish tend to congregate over by the rocks and you will also see a variety of coral life!
Crystal and Fantasy Caves
Even though Bermuda is known for its beautiful pink sands beaches, some of its stunning views can be seen from underground! These caved were discovered in the 20th century by two teenage boys playing cricket. While both caves have subtle differences, you’ll find crystal clear, turquoise waters and majestic stalagmites and stalactites at both Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
Nature Trail to Spittal Pond Nature Reserve
When arriving to Spittal Pond, it appeared to be a few walking trails in the woods around one of Bermuda’s only ponds. However, these trails lead to spectacular coastal views! These rocky cliffs also make for a great picnic spot!
The reserve is known for its rocky shore habitat, including an unusual marine limestone formation that locals call “the Checkerboard.” It is also home to a variety of wildlife and makes an ideal place for bird watching.
Taking a Ferry to the Royal Naval Dockyard
Located on Bermuda’s west end, the historic Royal Naval Dockyard is home to a major cruise ship port and is a great hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. We took a ferry right from Hamilton to the Dockyard and spent a half day there grabbing lunch at The Frog and Onion Pub and drinks at Calico Jack’s floating pirate bar! We also spent time wandering inside the clocktower shopping mall and trying out a rum swizzle cake.
Visiting the Unfinished Church in St George
I first heard about the church while reading Atlas Obscura, and knew I had to check this little place out for myself (I love visiting quirky, off-the-beaten path destinations). The Gothic church is located in the town of St George and was originally constructed as a replacement for St. Peter’s Church, which had been badly damaged by a hurricane.
Due to funding problems, parish infighting and yet another damaging storm, construction of the church was never completed. Now, its dramatic archways and grey stone walls can be marveled at, at no charge. Some people even choose this church as the location for their Bermuda Destination Wedding!
Sipping Bermuda’s National Drinks: Dark ‘N Stormy and Rum Swizzle
Bermuda is known for its love of rum (its well-known brand, Gosling practically sponsors everything throughout the island). As it was our honeymoon, we often could not help but indulge by wrapping up our day with a refreshing dark ‘n stormy or a punchy rum swizzle. Even if you are not a big alcoholic drinker, many restaurants have alternative mocktail versions similar to the iconic Bermudan Rum Swizzle for a fruity, refreshing treat!