Check out the Top 10 Topside Diversions in Bermuda
Discover Bermuda’s history, sea life and military heritage in the island’s many museums, enjoy the architecture and parks of Hamilton and St. George, and more in our guide to Bermuda's 10 best topside experiences.
When you are not diving be sure to enjoy these experiences.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) advances understanding of the world’s oceans and seas. It also provides a unique learning experience for people of all ages. Whether one of its comprehensive exhibits, or a fun BUEI Summer Camp for kids, visitors will leave with a better appreciation of our oceans and their critical importance to the planet.
Bermuda Maritime Museum
In 2009, the government of Bermuda transferred Casemate Barracks and its adjacent buildings and fortifications to the Bermuda Maritime Museum, creating the National Museum of Bermuda. Visitors can explore 500 years of local history and culture on display in the buildings of the 10-acre citadel, the Keep. The restored Commissioner’s House, bastions, cannons, shipwreck artifacts, local watercraft, maritime art, spectacular sea views and dolphin encounters can all be found at Bermuda’s largest fort.
Rogues and Runners Museum
The Rogues and Runners Museum presents a detailed exposition of Bermuda’s role in America’s Civil War. Bermuda had many ties with the Southern states through business and family connections. Although Britain officially remained neutral, Bermudians favored the South, wanting to help their friends and benefit commercially as well. The museum documents the true story of the blockade-runner Fannie, which returned to Bermuda in June 1864 with a crew infected with yellow fever. The disease soon spread across Bermuda, killing hundreds of people.
Springtime brings flowers, warm breezes and, during the months of March and April, humpback whales. These incredible marine mammals pass through Bermuda’s waters on their way north to their Arctic feeding grounds. Seeing these massive creatures breach is awe-inspiring, and photographing their tails as they lift slowly from the water is a must-have memento. Even better, glass-bottom boat excursions allow visitors to view the whales in their natural environment.
The warm and crystal-clear waters of Bermuda provide a perfect environment for snorkeling. A myriad of exotic and beautiful marine life is waiting to be discovered in the shallow reefs just off the pink coral sands of the island’s world-famous beaches. Explore on your own or as part of the many group trips provided by the island’s resorts and dive operators.
Bermuda cuisine is a reflection of the island’s blended heritage and coastal access to premier seafood such as wahoo and the ubiquitous rockfish. Traditional dishes include codfish and potatoes served either the English way — with hard-boiled egg, egg sauce and olive oil — or as the Portuguese-influenced variant — with a tomato-onion sauce — hoppin’ john, pawpaw casserole and, of course, Bermuda fish chowder. The island is also famous for two signature drinks: the Bermuda rum swizzle and the Dark ’n’ Stormy, which features Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Black Seal Rum mixed with ginger beer.
The town of Hamilton was named after Sir Henry Hamilton, who served as Governor of Bermuda from 1788 to 1794 and was instrumental in supporting the settlement of a town in the central parishes. It quickly thrived and overtook the town of St. George, becoming the capital of Bermuda in 1815. Today, it’s the hub of international and local business on the island, but Hamilton also has a unique character reflected in its many historic buildings, churches, shops, museums, galleries, parks and gardens.
In December 2000, Bermuda’s historic town of St. George and related fortifications were designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The town is where Bermuda began. Named after the legendary dragon slayer and patron saint of England, it was Bermuda’s capital for more than 200 years. Today, nearly four centuries later, evidence of its remarkable history abounds. While St. George is a popular center of business and retail activity, it’s the town’s history — visible in its picturesque cottages, quaint lanes, and a wealth of military, civic and religious architecture — that makes St. George a true treasure.
Royal Naval Dockyard
In 1809, land was purchased on Bermuda’s Ireland Island for the construction of a Royal Naval Dockyard that would be the largest British naval facility outside the United Kingdom. After the American War of Independence and the loss of British ports in the colonies, the Royal Navy needed a winter anchorage and a major dockyard that was capable of repairing a ship of the line. As you visit the dockyard today, the sweep of history is all around you in fine old stone buildings, wharves and fortifications. You step back in time to the era when Britannia ruled the waves.
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (BAMZ) was founded in 1926 and is one of the world’s oldest aquariums. Situated in picturesque Flatts Village, the seven-acre facility remains a top attraction for visitors of all ages. It’s also an important center for science education, research and species conservation. The aquarium showcases more than 200 species of fish and delicate marine invertebrates from Bermuda’s shallow coastal waters, spectacular northern coral reefs and nearby ocean.
Over the years, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum has become synonymous with Bermuda. It is an essential ingredient in Bermuda fish chowder, adds the island flavor to the Bermuda rum swizzle, and is the tempest in Bermuda’s favorite cocktail, the Dark ’n’ Stormy. Visitors can tour the distillery and enjoy tastings of Black Seal and other Gosling’s rums — Gosling’s Gold and Gosling’s Old. Teetotalers can always enjoy a cold ginger beer.
Discover everything the shipwreck capital of the world has to offer with our exclusive Bermuda digital dive and travel guide. Explore Bermuda's top dive sites and underwater experiences as well as the island’s best dive operators, resorts and topside diversions. Finally, use the Plan Your Trip feature to get travel deals or book your dream Bermuda adventure.
Brought to you by: Bermuda Department of Tourism