In the past, Bermuda was not typically thought of as a "family" summer vacation destination. Not anymore! Now the island is going out of its way to encourage families with it's new "Camp Bermuda" program.
Running from June 1 through September 30, the Camp Bermuda program encourages discovery and exploration of the island's nature and history. Hotel children's programs offer day-long supervised activities for kids to enjoy, both at the hotel and during field trips around Bermuda. "It's not uncommon these days for both parents in a household to work, and quality time together is very important ... especially on vacation," said The Honorable A. David Dodwell, Bermuda's Minister of Tourism. "We created Camp Bermuda to tie together all Bermuda's existing family-oriented activities and programs and added some new ones for members of the whole family to enjoy together."
A Camp Bermuda Activity Kit is available to kids upon check-in at island hotels featuring family programs. Designed to look like a treasure chest, the activity kit envelope is a great place for kids to stash keepsakes, photographs, and island treasures collected during their trip.
Beginning the week of June 1, weekly pink sandcastle building contests will be held at Elbow Beach, Southampton Princess, Sonesta Beach Resort, and Marriott's Castle Harbour. At the end of the 17-week program, a grand prize winner will be selected and will receive a return trip to Bermuda for their family.
A Camp Bermuda Pen Pal program has been created to encourage building relationships between young Bermudians and visiting children. Registration forms are available at participating hotels. Upon completion of these forms, visiting children will be matched with local Bermudian pen pals, in cooperation with the Bermuda Department of Education.
Three new on-island activities have been added as part of Camp Bermuda. Families can enjoy the M.V. Bermuda Longtail Family Cruise on Tuesdays, St. George's Family Day on Wednesdays, or the Royal Naval Dockyard Family Day on Thursdays.
With its clear waters, beautiful beaches, and semi-tropical climate, Bermuda is a great summer destination for families. For more information about Bermuda or the Camp Bermuda program, including special rates and packages, contact your local travel agency, drop by the Bermuda website, or call 1-800-BERMUDA.
Please Note: There are specific travel document requirements for parents of adopted children or children traveling with an adult other than their parents. Do make sure to ask your travel agent or call the Bermuda Department of Tourism for more details.
This imaginative play environment is equipped with a two-level climbing frame, a variety of rides and games, and a deli. For more information, call 441-293-3333.
Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum & Zoo
Flamingos, seals, iguanas, monkeys, and over 100 species of fish and marine life will fascinate all members of the family. Here you'll learn about coral reefs, and Bermuda's birth through volcanic eruption. Our kids loved the touch pools with their starfish and sea urchins, as well as the zoo with its Galapagos tortoises, alligators, and pink flamingos. This year, this popular attraction is currently featuring the new Australasia Exhibit, a free-range immersion exhibit housing animals from Asia and Australia. The North Rock Exhibit is also excellent, featuring a 140,000 gallon tank with lots of local species. This is one of the largest coral reef exhibits in the world. For more information on the Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, call 441-293-2727.
Bermuda Botanical Gardens
This is a great place to stop and smell the flowers from all around the world. The 36-acres of gardens are home to over 1,000 varieties of plant life. There's a great aviary, and a sweet-smelling garden for the blind. Beatles fans will enjoy knowing that during one of his strolls through these gardens, John Lennon found the double fantasy plant and decided to use it as the title for his last album. For more information on the Gardens, call 441-236-4201.
The Bermuda Forts
Fort Hamilton, Fort Catherine, Gates Fort and Scaur Hill Fort Park are great places for kids. With awesome vistas of land and sea, these well-preserved, historic forts are guaranteed to transport your children back to the days of pirates. Fort Hamilton offers a great view of Hamilton Harbour, and Fort Catherine has a historical diorama called the "Crown Jewels", as well as its own resident ghost. For more information on Fort Hamilton or Fort Catherine, call 441-297-1920. For more information on Gates Fort or Scaur Hill Fort Park, call 441-234-0908.
The Bermuda Golf Academy
Do you have a young Tiger Woods in your family, or simply some serious miniature golf fans? Then, this might be a great attraction for you. The Bermuda Golf Academy features an adventurous 36-hole miniature golf course which is open rain or shine. Food and beverages are available in the clubhouse. For more information, call 441-238-8800.
Bermuda Maritime Museum
This converted 19th Candor Victorian fortress features recovered treasures and artifacts from island shipwrecks. Send the kids to the "wreck room", which provides the gory details on the more than 300 ships that have sunk in local waters. Remember -- you are in the Bermuda Triangle! You'll also get to see the Tucker Treasure from a 16th Century Spanish wreck, and interesting exhibits in The Queen's Exhibition Hall. A boat-building workshop is also offered. For more information, call 441-234-1418.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
This facility, the first of its kind in the world, recently opened just outside Hamilton. The 40,000 square foot multimedia attraction focuses on exploration, research and discovery in the waters off the coast of Bermuda and around the globe. The highlight of this facility is The Dive, a seven-minute attraction that simulates a deep ocean dive 12,000 feet below the surface. Visitors enter a dive capsule for a realistic descent to the Atlantic Ocean floor, experiencing sights, sounds, and temperature changes at different depths. The Institute also features two floors of multisensory exhibits and interactive displays illustrating the latest in underwater exploration technology. This attraction is entirely wheelchair accessible, and also houses an outdoor restaurant with great views of Hamilton Harbour.
Our kids love exploring caves, and Bermuda has many of them. The Crystal Caves are one of the many caverns of glistening stalactites and stalagmites, and the spectacular lighting creates and unforgettable experience. These caves had such a great effect on one young visitor that later, when he became Jim Henson's creative director, he used it as the basis for Fraggle Rock. For more information, call 441-293-0640.
Dolphin Quest at the Southampton Princess
The Dolphin Quest program is brand new at the Southampton Princess this year. Children can join experienced trainers in games and hands-on contact with the dolphins. "Fins and Flippers", a 2 1/2 hour informative and fun "camp" experience, includes a 30-minute Dolphin Discovery. Our children participated in the "Fins and Flippers" program offered by Dolphin Quest at the Hilton Waikoloa on Hawaii's Big Island. It was excellent. The camp portion appeared to be most appropriate for children ages 5 or 6 to 10 or 11. Make sure to make your reservations early, as these programs fill up very fast. For more information on Dolphin Quest, call 441-238-8000, extension 6325 or 6329.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Spectacular views of Bermuda are found from the balcony of this historic monument. The Lighthouse Restaurant and Tearoom serves gourmet breakfasts, great lunches, and the traditional afternoon tea complete with scones and clotted cream. Our kids loved the afternoon tea experience -- especially the clotted cream! For more information, call 441-238-8679.
Glass Bottom Boat/Snorkeling Trips
Bermuda is surrounded by over 200 square miles of reef formations and well over 300 shipwrecks. The clear waters of Bermuda offer spectacular opportunities for exploring the colorful reefs in the area. Guided tours around the Bermuda Snorkel Park provide insights into the tiny islands that make up Bermuda as well as its flora and fauna. Glass Bottom Boat trips are particularly great for smaller children who may not feel comfortable snorkeling. In addition, some tour operators are also offering new "eco" tours. For more information, call 441-234-1006 or 441-292-8652. The Bermuda Snorkel Park operates Monday through Saturday from May through October. Other diving and water sports centers offer additional snorkeling trips and opportunities.
Kids love costumes and parades, and these dancers provide the best of both. Anytime, anywhere, these fascinating masked dancers wearing exotic, colorful costumes materialize on the streets dancing to the musical accompaniment of drum and fife. The name, costumes, and the rhythm's beat came to Bermuda in the 17th century, possibly from Angola. The Gombey Revue is performed in Hamilton on Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. Fruit punch and cookies are served.
Here's a great way to venture out to sea and feed colorful schools of fish underwater without even getting your hair wet. According to the operators, anyone from 5-85 can easily manage these undersea walks, conducted to depths of 10-12 feet. Allow about 3 hours for this attraction. For more information, call Hartley's Underwater Wonderland at 441-292-4434 or Greg Hartley's Under Sea Adventure at 441-234-3000. Advance reservations are required.
Horseback riding is a wonderful way to see the beautiful Bermuda countryside. Experienced or inexperienced riders are all welcome to ride through scenic trails, sand dunes, and along the beaches. Horseback riding is available year-round, and all rides are accompanied by qualified instructors. Horses cannot be hired and ridden without supervision, as Bermuda has strict laws governing horseback riding in public areas and on public beaches. For more information, call Lee Bow Riding Centre at 441-236-4181 or the Spicelands Riding Centre at 441-238-8212.
M.V. Bermuda Longtail Family Cruise
This historical and cultural island cruise includes full commentary about the various islands in Hamilton Harbour, guides hikes on two islands, and an authentic treasure hunt. The cruise takes place on Tuesdays only. For more information, call 441-292-0282.
This is a great place for families to hike or bike. Walk the length of the trail, or just sections of this 21-mile former railway route. Divided into seven sections, the trail affords views of breathtaking scenery, flora and fauna, sea scapes, and attractions such as the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural Museum & Zoo, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, and a beautiful bird sanctuary called Warwick Pond.
Royal Naval Dockyard Family Day
This event includes a fun reenactment of the 1814 invasion of Washington, D.C. by British troops based in Bermuda. This is the event upon which "The Star Spangled Banner" was based. Children and parents take part in the action which includes admission to the Maritime Museum, the chance to lob some "cannonballs", sip Navy "grog", and wear a cocked hat. This event takes place only on Thursdays. For more information, call 441-234-1709.
St. George's Family Day
St. George's, Bermuda's first capital founded in 1612, has proclaimed Wednesday's "Family Day". Come experience reenactment of life in Bermuda in the 1700's, slide presentations, walking tours through Ferry Point Park, and the Ducking Stool used in bygone days to punish gossips and an occasional witch. For more information, call 441-297-1532.
This sprawling, sumptuous resort hotel is one of the participants in this year's Camp Bermuda program. From June 22 through September 1, this resort offers a variety of supervised indoor and outdoor activities for kids 5-11 and 12-16 as part of its family program. Kids can enjoy arts and crafts, movies, lizard watching and scavenger hunts, as well as off-property excursions (at an extra charge) including shopping trips and visits to local attractions. In addition, from March 30 through November 15, children 16 and under stay free in a room with one or two adults and receive complimentary breakfast and dinner daily -- resulting in a huge savings in meal costs. If you are planning to take most of your meals at the resort, strongly consider taking the meal plan. During the high season, the hotel offers a number of options for dining.
The six-story, modern main building sits on top of a hill near the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, while the Whaler Inn beach club is located above the surf at South Shore Beach. The beach at the hotel is beautiful, and the beachfront snack bar is perfect for feeding the kids at lunchtime. For a little variety, walk over to Horseshoe Bay Beach and enjoy the picture-perfect setting. The crowds at that public beach can get heavy later in the day and on the weekends.
The Southampton Princess features 598 rooms, 36 suites, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, indoor and outdoor pools, an 18-hole par 3 golf course, 11 tennis courts, croquet, a health club with spa facilities, beach, dive shop, snorkeling, motorbikes, parasailing, nightclub, shops, and other activities. The resort also offers features Dolphin Quest, a $1.6 million dolphin encounter program giving people the chance to get up close and personal with dolphins in a safe and supervised environment. One does not have to be a guest of the Southampton Princess to take part in the dolphin programs, however, guests of the resort have an opportunity to reserve space in the program in advance when they purchase special hotel vacation packages. Those not on the special package can reserve space for their children up to four days in advance. $$$$
Sonesta Beach Resort
Box HM 1070
Hamilton HM EX
This family-oriented, beachfront resort is one of the participants in the Camp Bermuda program. The resort's Just Us Kids program is open to children ages 5-12 and encompasses a wide variety of daily activities such as arts and crafts, hiking, treasure hunts, indoor/outdoor games, boat rides, and mini Olympics. Children ages 2-4 may participate in the resort's Just Us Little Kids program available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Activities include an array of games and a computer familiarization program called "computertots" for toddlers. The programs run from June 15 through September 2. Kids under 16 can stay free in a room with their parents, and will also receive complimentary meals.
This lovely property is the only resort hotel on the island which offers you the opportunity to step directly from your room onto a sandy south-shore beach (a great advantage for families with kids!). Set on a point surrounded by coral reefs, this six-story modern hotel has great ocean views and direct access to three beaches. Two of the three are large, lagoon-type pink sandy beaches studded with palm trees -- perfect for those with small children. The beach closest to the main section of the hotel features a swimming platform, a watersports shop offering a variety of water toys, and beverage service.
The Sonesta Beach Resort includes 365 rooms, 34 suites, 3 restaurants, 3 bars, indoor and outdoor pools, health spa, 6 tennis courts, beauty salon, water sports, motor bikes, shops, nightclub, playground, and other amenities. If you plan on taking most of your meals at the resort, strongly consider the meal plan. Meals in Bermuda are expensive, and this plan (combined with the resort's "Kids Eat Free" program) can offer a substantial savings for families. $$$$
This huge, beautifully landscaped beachfront property offers the "Bring The Family" Program, which features a free daily kids' camp (primarily designed for 4-12 year olds) from May 1 through September 30. Beach combing, storytime, pool games, resort exploration, and outdoor water balloon fights are just some of the fun activities kids can enjoy. In addition, kids 12 and under eat free. Babysitting services are available. This resort is one of the five hotels participating in the Camp Bermuda program.
The 34-acre property is set on a hill overlooking a beautiful south shore beach. Marked paths meander down the hill to the shoreline, where there are changing rooms and restrooms, as well as a full range of beach equipment. The beach facilities are also available to outside guests, at a rate of $10 per person for cruise passengers and $5 per person for guests of other hotels. There are four restaurants, 3 bars, a pool (with a nice shallow end for kids), tennis courts, water sports, and shops. Make sure to try to get one of the rooms with an oceanview. They are wonderful. In our opinion, the land-side rooms are significantly less appealing, and do not offer a balcony or patio. $$$$
Grotto Bay Beach Hotel & Tennis Club
11 Blue Hole Hill
Hamilton Parish, CR 04
As one of the participants in the Camp Bermuda program this year, the Grotto Bay is offering the "Family Fun Vacation" Program. This family-oriented resort offers its guests a beachfront pool, water sport facilities, and a wooden playground. All activities are free with the Family Fun package running from April 1 through October 31. The daily program for kids ages 4-12 features cave crawling and fish feeding on the property, entertaining sightseeing excursions, and special dinners and pizza parties in the evenings.
The hotel is located across the bridge from the airport amid 20 acres of gardens and next to an enclosed bay with natural caves and beautiful coves. Set in the bay are a fish-feeding aquarium and two lighted underground attractions: the Cathedral Cave for swimming and Prospero's Cave. The resort features 198 rooms, several suites, a pool, beach, tennis courts, health club, water sports, and motorbikes. The hotel also offers scuba diving and snorkeling from a private deep-water dock. $$$-$$$$
This resort is also one of the participants in this summer's Camp Bermuda program. Boasting the largest privately-owned beach on the island, this resort offers lots of fun for the entire family. From May 1 through September 2, the property is offering "Castle Kid Zone" and "Family Bonding at its Best" Programs. Family activities range from treasure hunts to Swizzmania (a weekly children's party) to Mudslide, a fun event where kids slide down into a pool of chocolate pudding.
The Castle Harbour Resort is bordered by Harrington Sound on one side and the Castle Harbour golf course on the other. This big, modern hotel (not a castle on the hill for those who were wondering) offers a small beach on Castle Harbour, and the island's largest private beach on the South Shore. The South Shore beach is accessible by shuttle transportation. Guests have access to three pools, the 18-hole Castle Harbour golf course on the resort grounds, 6 tennis courts, health club, watersports, motorbikes, beauty salon, and other amenities. $$$$
Belmont Hotel, Golf & Country Club
Box WK 251
Warwick WK BX
This large pink hotel is located on 110 acres between Harbour and Middle roads. It's not on a beach, but it does offer a variety of sports and activities. The Belmont's children's program, called the Kee Kee Club, is offered during the summer months for a fee. The program allows guests to enroll their children ages 2-12 in a program that includes an activities program, free meals, and other amenities.
The resort offers 149 rooms, a suite, 2 restaurants, one of the largest pools on the island (saltwater), miniature golf, putting green, three tennis courts, shops, and more. $$$
This informal, nicely-landscaped cottage colony surrounding Cox's Bay welcomes families. The sandy beach is nice for shelling, and the snorkeling is great in the quiet cove just off the beach. The attractive, two- to eight-unit cottages are located on along the sloping grounds, and feature small, but nicely done guest rooms. During the summer months, Ariel Sands also offers a children's program. The location of this property is especially nice for families who wish to be closer to Hamilton and St. George's for shopping and sightseeing.
Amenities at this property include a restaurant, 2 saltwater pools, a freshwater pool, putting green, exercise room, 3 tennis courts, watersports, beach, and volleyball. $$$$
Although Bermuda measures just 22-square miles, special efforts have been made to protect, maintain, and enhance as much open land as possible for the use and enjoyment of both visitors and residents. A "ribbon of green" traverses Bermuda from east to west, made up of 79 national parks, nature reserves, and beaches covering 847 acres. Bermuda's 34 small and picturesque beaches include famous Horseshoe Bay and Jobson's Cove, both part of the south Shore National Park.
Two beaches, Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay Beach, tend to be some of the most popular beaches open to the public. The Elbow Beach Hotel charges a small fee for each non-guest, keeping that portion of the beach relatively uncrowded (as public beaches go). Umbrellas and lounge chairs can be rented here, and a small Cafe sells refreshments. There is a free public beach next door, but it tends to become very crowded on summer weekends.
Horseshoe Bay Beach in Southampton tends to be what people think of when they visualize a Bermuda beach: a 1/3 mile of curved pink sand and crystal clear waters. There are lifeguards here during the summer, making the beach especially attractive for families with children. You'll also find an assortment of beach rentals, a good snack bar, and rest room facilities. Be aware, however, that there can be a strong undertow at this beach -- especially when it's windy -- so keep a good eye on the kids when they are in the water. Because this public beach is one of the island's most appealing, it can get crowded on summer weekends.
Some of the other memorable beaches available to Bermuda visitors include:
Admiralty House Park/Clarence Cove (Pembroke Parish): For those who love to explore, this property was once home to an eccentric admiral who enjoyed entertaining in fascinating sea caves situated on the property. Rich with history and mystery, the grounds are hilly; a solitary tennis court rests at the top of a hill with a breathtaking view of the ocean below. Clarence Cove is a small, protected beach with shallow water, making it great for children. The sea caves are also great for snorkeling.
John Smith's Bay (Smith's Parish): This long, flat beach is accessible to people with handicaps and has a lifeguard from April through October, making it perfect for families. Small caves at one end of the beach provide shelter for people who enjoy the view but not the sun. Its recently complete picnic area is visited frequently by a mobile vendor offering food and drink.
Ferry Point Park (St. George's Parish): Popular among island campers and picnickers, this22 acre area offers much to explore and is great for walking. A tiny graveyard with a monument commemorates soldiers who suffered from yellow fever in 1864. There's a large sinkhole called "Lovers Lake"; a lime kiln, magazine, and martello tower are lessons in history, and an open meadow provides evidence of a cedar forest that once flourished before a blight destroyed it in the 1940's. For a natural phenomenon -- especially in June, July, and August -- watch the monthly glow work show which occurs precisely three days after a full moon and 56 minutes after the sun sets. At the end of a tiny bridge that stands new Martello Fort, female fireworms who normally live on the bottom of the water float to the surface and emit a special green bioluminescent chemical to attract males. Come see for yourself -- if your timing is right.
Shelly Bay (Hamilton Parish): The sandy bottom, shallow water, and recently renovated park -- complete with jungle gym, slides, and swings -- make this beach a perfect one for children. The water at this beach is also protected from strong southerly winds. The parking lot and surrounding area are accessible to people with disabilities.
Spanish Point Park (Pembroke Paris): A giant playground for children and adults alike, this waterfront span offers trees and picnic tables; visitors cal also swim the short distance from shore to a small island right off the beach.
Spittal Pond (Smith's Parish): This 64 acre nature reserve and park sanctuary is a major habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds and is situated along the rugged coastline bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the South. Here visitors can also see the famous and mysterious Spanish Rock and Jeffrey's Hole, as well as Bermuda's only two wild flamingoes. This is a great place for families to hike and view wildlife.
Walsingham Trust (Hamilton Parish): Also known as "Tom Moore's Jungle," this reserve is a nature lover's dream where live caves, collapsed sinks, brackish ponds and mangrove swamps can be seen. It's also home to endemic plants and trees. The reserve takes its nickname from its location adjacent to Tom's Moore's Tavern, a fine Bermuda restaurant named after the Irish poet who, while visiting Bermuda, wrote of a calabash tree that once stood on the property.
West Whale Bay Park (Southampton Parish): This is one of the island's prettiest and most romantic settings. Before reaching the beach, there's a large grassy area, perfect for picnics. The short span of beach is isolated and private; it's also great snorkeling locale. Old West Whale Bay Fort stands nearby for exploring.
Where to Eat
Bermuda is very family friendly, and hungry kids and parents will find great variety in Bermuda when it comes to mealtimes. With food influenced by the island's different nationalities like English, Italian and Portuguese, coupled with classics like hamburgers and hot dogs, there's always something to please everyone.
Bermuda has an abundance of restaurants -- from casual to the more formal (for those special romantic evenings out!). A number of Bermuda's hotels along the South Shore also have beachfront dining options. Many of these hotels also offer children's menus as well.
If you're planning on a meal outside your resort hotel or cruise ship, some great family-friendly dining options are offered below...
Located on Front Street in Hamilton, this combination restaurant and family entertainment center offers an 8,000-square-food play space with a variety of rides and games, a separate toddler's area, and a special themed space to celebrate birthdays. The Feed Store Deli, which is attached to Bellybusters, offers gourmet foods and coffees at reasonable prices. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Located on Reid Street in Hamilton, this funky underground eatery offers parents a special $5 three-course kids lunch of a burger, lasagna or chicken. Other great selections include potato skins and Philly cheesesteaks. Open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner.
Located in Walker Arcade in Hamilton, families can grab anything from California-style salads to fried zucchini. The Belgian waffles with blueberries are especially great. Daily blackboard specials add variety. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pink's Deli, Hamilton
Located on Front Street in Hamilton Harbour, this restaurant not only has patio dining with sweeping views of the Harbour, but also offers healthy sandwiches, gourmet beef and chicken pies, pizza slices, and oversized hot dogs. Open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
MR Onions, Hamilton
Located on Par-la-Ville Road in Hamilton, this local restaurant (kind of the Bermuda equivalent of TGI Friday's) is known for its fresh seafood and barbecue. It's a great place to take the kids, who will enjoy the baby back ribs and ice cream sundaes. A special children's menu is available from 5-7 p.m. Early bird specials are also offered. Call ahead for more details. Open Monday through Friday for lunch from noon until 5 p.m., and daily for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.
Kathy's Kaffee, Hamilton
Located on Front Street in Hamilton, Kathy's Kaffee serves super coffee and other treats in a cafe-style atmosphere. The menu includes Bermuda's famous fish chowder, curry chicken, hamburgers, and vegetarian chili. The Macadamia cookies and Bailey's Bay Oreo Cookie ice cream are sure to please the kids (and the adults, too!). Open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.
La Trattoria, Hamilton
Located on Washington Lane in Hamilton is this popular family eatery. Parents are encouraged to make a reservation early, as this economical place does fill fast. Kids and parents will enjoy fresh ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, and homemade gelato. Early dinner specials are also offered. Open Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner.
Rosa's Cantina, Hamilton
Located on Front Street in Hamilton, this is a great family place for Mexican food. When making reservations, call ahead and make sure to let them know you have children -- helium balloons, activity sheets, and crayons will be waiting. Open daily from noon to 1 a.m.
Tio Pepe, Southampton
Located opposite Horseshoe Bay Beach in Southampton, this economical restaurant's mouth-watering Italian dishes include homemade pizzas, lobster ravioli, and veal parmigiana. Casual dress is perfect for either lunch or dinner, and inside or outside seating is available. Take-out orders are also offered for those coming from a day at the beach -- or if you'd rather enjoy a beach picnic. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., and take-out is available from 11 a.m. until 10:15 p.m.
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton
For those enjoying this public beach in Southampton, an outdoor food concession stand is available, offering snacks such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas, chips and soft drinks. Picnic tables with colorful umbrellas make this a great place to spend the day and enjoy a beach picnic. The concession stand is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Paraquet, South Shore
This old-fashioned diner offers both fast service (at least, when we've been there) and good food. From your seat at the soda fountain, you and the kids can have a mouth-watering view of all the homemade pies and cakes while watching cooks prepare fish and chips, burgers, soups, and more. The booths are great, too. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Pirate's Landing, West End
Located at the Royal Naval Dockyard on Bermuda's West End, this restaurant offers hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches and more. Be sure to try one of the famous potato burgers! Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner.
The Frog & Onion Pub, West End
Located at the Royal Naval Dockyard, this huge English pub features such typical British specialties as bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes with gravy and vegetables) and lamb stew pie. Caesar salads and grilled chicken breast platters are also available. There's a great game room in the back with video games for the kids. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Somerset Country Squire, Somerset
Located on Main Road in Somerset overlooking Mangrove Bay, this waterside English tavern-type restaurant features a special a la carte menu for kids. Specialties such as steak and kidney pie and curried mussel pie are also available. The Bermuda fish chowder is particularly good. The restaurant is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch and 6:30 p.m. through 10 p.m. for dinner.
Black Horse Tavern, St. David's Island
Visitors who make it to this restaurant by 6 p.m. can watch the fishermen off-load their catch, a great treat for kids. The atmosphere here is informal, and the establishment offers both indoor and outdoor dining options. Our kids loved looking at the big shark on the wall, and all the other mounted fish. If you're in the mood for something different -- try the shark hash on toast. It's very popular! After dinner, families can enjoy the sunset while the kids play on the rocky shore. Open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and on Sundays from noon to 1a.m.
Money $aving Tips
Want to save some money on your next trip to Bermuda? There are some great programs going on this summer to help you do just that! Here are a few tips:
** As part of the "Camp Bermuda" program running June 1 through September 30, new transportation passes have been developed for children at a 50% discount off adult prices -- $5.00 for a one-day pass, $10.00 for a three-day pass, and $15.00 for a seven-day pass.
** This summer, the Bermuda Department of Tourism is helping to promote the "Summer of $97", encouraging visitors to come to Bermuda for only $97 each way. This special airfare offer is available only through your travel agent when you stay for a minimum number of nights at one of a select group of participating hotels. These include: Belmont Hotel & Golf Club, Elbow Beach Bermuda, Grotto Bay Beach Hotel & Tennis Club, Harmony Club, Marriott's Castle Harbour Resort, The Princess - Hamilton, Pompano Beach Club, Rosedon, Sonesta Beach Resort, Southampton Princess, Stonington Beach, and the White Sands Hotel & Cottages. A number of these properties also offer children's programs. Please note that this rate has extremely limited availibity at this point, so don't be disappointed when you call.
To take advantage of this offer, you must book no later than July 31 for travel through September 30th. The promotion is based on air-inclusive packages available through travel agents and select wholesalers such as Delta Dream Vacations (800-872-7786), GoGo Worldwide Vacations (800-821-3731), USAirways Vacations (800-262-0123), Empress Travel (800-284-8440) and others. A minimum night hotel stay is required. For more information, call your travel agent or 1-800-821-9001 and make sure to ask for the Bermuda Tourism: Summer '01 promotion.