The City of Hamilton is Bermuda's financial center as well as the seat of its government. Hamilton is also the primary shopping and nightlife area in Bermuda and where cruise ship passengers descend upon arrival. The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity's 157-step tower affords panoramic views of Bermuda.
The Royal Navy Dockyard, from where British war ships set sail for war in America, is a quick ferry ride from Hamilton. In addition to its historic military buildings and fortifications, the Dockyard is comprised of several tourist attractions including the Bermuda Maritime Museum, the Dockyard Glassworks & the Bermuda Rum Cake Company (a hot glass studio and working micro bakery), the Bermuda Craft Market (where more than 60 local artisans sell their work) and the Bermuda Arts Centre (with rotating exhibits of local art).
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, in Southampton, is the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world. A 185-step climb earns a sweeping view of Bermuda and, depending on the time of year, whale-watching opportunities.
The Bermuda Railway Trail runs the length of Bermuda along a 22-mile route from St. George's to Somerset. After cars were banned on Bermuda to preserve its tranquil atmosphere, the Bermuda Railway opened in 1931. "Old Rattle and Shake," as it was called, was designed to improve transportation between Bermuda's towns for both tourists and locals alike. But within 17 years, increased traffic, high cost of maintenance and a new and efficient bus system conspired to shut down operations. Today, 18 miles of the original railway are accessible as a walking and cycling trail that winds.
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) is home to more than 100 species of indigenous fish as well as animals from the Caribbean, Australia, Asia, Madagascar and the Galapagos.
Many ships followed the Sea Venture into the treacherous reefs that surround Bermuda, leaving literally hundreds of wrecks along the seafloor for divers to explore. The sunken vessels originate from 15 different countries and span the years from the Spanish treasure galleons to luxury trans-Atlantic ocean liners. In conjunction with the Bermuda Department of Tourism, dive-tour operators offer a Shipwreck Certification Programme through which dive aficionados can collect frameable parchment certificates for the wrecks they dive.
No visit to Bermuda would be complete without a visit to one of its many beautiful pink-sand beaches. Of these, three stand out: The pink crescent that is Horseshoe Bay Beach, in Hamilton Parish, is Bermuda's most photographed, and arguably most popular, beach. St. George Parish's Tobacco Bay Beach, named for the tobacco discovered growing here by Sea Venture survivors, has a snack bar and equipment rentals. Elbow Beach, in Paget Parish, is dotted with hotels and ringed with coral reefs.