I’ve started with this activity because it was the coolest thing we did on this trip. We rented a Boston Whaler from Blue Hole Water Sports, located at the Grotto Bay Resort, and went exploring for the afternoon. The people that run it are so knowledgeable and concerned about safety. They went over all the safety requirements of the boat, answered all questions we had, gave us a map, and off we went. The boats are pretty small but are very easy to drive and give you the freedom to stop anywhere you want. We had so much fun that my kids still talk about it. As soon as we pulled out of the marina and into the bay my girls started screaming, “Sea Turtle!!” A huge sea turtle was gracefully swimming beside our boat in the crystal blue water. Each island we stopped on had powder white sand and ours were the only footprints on them.
- Make reservations EARLY because we heard they sell out quickly. We tried to rent the boat for another day (we loved it that much) but there were none left for the week.
- Bring snacks or a picnic lunch and eat on your own private beach. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
- They also rent paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment.
- Prices for renting the boat were very reasonable. $100 for 2 hours, $150 for 4 hours, and $250 for 8 hours. Well worth it!
The weather looked cloudy so we decided it would be a nice first stop to our day. We took the bus into Hamilton Parish and it stops right in front of the aquarium. Wait… bus… seriously? Did I mention I was trying to stick to a budget? The kids thought it was an adventure (Me? Not so much. A rental car would have been lovely). What I liked best about this aquarium/zoo was their focus on conservation. For example, the turtle exhibit discussed the importance of keeping our waters clean and showed the devastation litter has on sea creatures. The aquarium section is a beautiful area with over 200 native species of fish. There are many hands-on exhibits to keep kids interested. The zoo area has animals such as lemurs (that come very close to the public), flamingos, tamarins, Galapagos turtles, wallabies, otters, mouse deer, and many others. The paths you walk along are beautiful with views of the water. I was doubtful because the website made it seem smaller than it was and it turned out to be a nice way to spend the morning.
- Open daily from 9-5 (You will probably not spend more than 2 hours there)
- Adults $10, Children 5-12 $5, Under 5 are free. You can’t beat those prices!
You do not need to be a history buff to enjoy this fort. The view surrounding it is reason enough to go. There are enormous cannons and my kids liked pretending the fort was being attacked and the cruise ships were the enemies (yep… that’s disturbing). The displays are kid friendly and they can climb right up onto the cannons and touch the cannon balls and other ammunition that are displayed. It is a nice place for kids to learn a bit about the history of Bermuda and the methods of protection this small island needed. It is located in St. George.
Another fort? Yep. A few days after we’d visited Fort Catherine someone told us that Fort Hamilton was even better. Since we had planned to visit Hamilton we decided to add that to our agenda. Once again, the panoramic views of the harbor and the city were amazing and I could not stop clicking pictures. My kids were obsessed with the underground tunnels. They were quite eerie but my kids described it as “Cool Creepy.” There were more cannons and it was interesting to learn that the cannons were never fired. The landscaping is beautiful, with many blooming flowers and trees. Lots of shady areas to get out of the sun.
We took the ferry from St. George to the Dockyard, located in Sandy’s Parish. We could have taken the bus but we like to see the island from a different perspective and the views were beautiful. When we got there we toured the fort very quickly. By this point we had our fill of forts from the last few days. The Dockyard had restaurants and some touristy stores full of souvenirs. It has a quaint feel and is place nice to stroll around. Our second stop was the BERMUDA MARITIME MUSEUM. It is a wonderful place for kids to learn more about the history of the island. There is so much to see including underground tunnels, weapon displays, fishing boats, and shipwreck artifacts. The girls loved exploring it and there were plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning.
After lunch we headed over to the DOLPHIN QUEST EXPERIENCE. My youngest daughter is obsessed with dolphins and she sat and watched them swim for a half hour as we waited for our dolphin encounter. We did not make reservations in advance so we ended up doing a dolphin encounter that we didn’t swim with them but we did sit at the edge of the pool and interact with them. The kids loved it because they were able to dance with them, kiss them, and give them many commands. It lasted about a half hour and the price was reasonable. We were able to purchase some great pictures from their website.
- The Dolphin Quest Experience has 8 different encounters. Most are for kids over age 6, but 2 of them offer the experience for kids over age 3. There is even a Trainer for a Day experience. Book reservations in advance so you do not spend time waiting around.
- The Dockyards get very busy when cruise ships are in. Plan around that.
- Museum hours are 9:30-5:00 during Spring and Summer. You’ll want to look at the website for Winter hours. Adults cost $12 and kids under the age of 16 are FREE.