Tobacco Bay Beach is one of Bermuda's best beaches for snorkelling, thanks to its crystal clear, shallow waters. It's also a beach with a fascinating history.
How the Beach Got its Name
After the Sea Venture wrecked on the reefs back in 1609, a group of castaways started to explore the island paradise that came to be known as Bermuda. On one of the many beaches they came across something unusual: tobacco growing wild. In honour of this discovery, they named the spot Tobacco Bay Beach.
Four hundred years later, you won’t find tobacco on Tobacco Bay Beach, now a Bermuda National Park. But you will find one of Bermuda’s most beloved beaches, well known for its towering limestone rock formations and shallow waters. It might just be the perfect Bermuda beach – and that’s saying something since Bermuda is full of great beaches.
Snorkelling & Water Adventures
The bay's unusual rock formations make a great haven for marine life. Go snorkelling in the calm, clear waters to see colourful blue parrotfish, grouper, angelfish, blue walruses, sergeant majors and other unique species. You can rent all the equipment you need at kiosks located right on the beach. If snorkelling isn’t your thing, ask about renting stand-up paddleboards, kayaks or kiddie floats.
Food, Drink & Fun
Tobacco Bay Beach is home to a family-friendly restaurant and bar, serving up sandwiches, wahoo nuggets (a local favourite), wings and much more. And there’s nothing better than enjoying a handcrafted cocktail with your feet in Tobacco Bay’s sand. When the sun starts to go down, Tobacco Bay doesn’t shut down. In the summer months, kick off your shoes and cozy up to Tobacco Bay’s Bonfire and Bohemia, featuring live music, happy hour specials and a roaring beach bonfire. It’s a beach party like no other.
Getting to Tobacco Bay
Located in St. George’s Parish, Tobacco Bay Beach is easily accessible. Buy a ticket for a minibus, which leaves roughly every 30 minutes, at the St. George’s visitors center at King’s Square. Or you can walk – it takes about 20 minutes from King’s Square to get to the beach. Just ask the folks at the visitors center for directions.
If you’re a history buff, Tobacco Bay Beach has a story for you. America's Revolutionary War might have turned out very differently if it wasn’t for a group of Bermudians sympathetic to the cause of the American Continental Congress. On the night of August 14, 1775, they stole more than 100 barrels of gunpowder from the Royal Arsenal in the Town of St. George, rolled them across the island to Tobacco Bay, and shipped each and every one to Philadelphia. Read about the infamous Gunpowder Plot and you'll gain even more appreciation for this scenic beach.