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National Museum of Bermuda
National Museum of Bermuda Review
The Maritime Museum, ensconced in Bermuda's largest fort, displays its collections in a series of old munitions warehouses that surround the parade grounds and Keep Pond. Insulated from the rest of the Dockyard by a moat and massive stone ramparts, it is entered by way of a drawbridge. At the Shifting House, right inside the entrance, you can wander through rooms filled with relics from some of the 350-odd ships wrecked on the island's reefs. Other buildings are devoted to seafaring pursuits such as whaling, shipbuilding, and yacht racing. More displays are in the 19th-century Commissioner's House, on the museum's upper grounds. Built as both home and headquarters for the Dockyard commissioner, the house later served as a barracks during World War I and was used for military intelligence during World War II. Today, after an award-winning restoration, it contains exhibits on Bermuda's social and military history. A must-see is the Hall of History, a mural of Bermuda's history covering 1,000 square feet. It took local artist Graham Foster more than 3.5 years to paint. You'll also likely want to snap some photos of the goats that graze outside the building: their job is to keep the grass well mowed.
Dolphin Quest. After immersing yourself in maritime history, you can immerse yourself—literally—in the wonderful world of dolphins. Dolphin Quest offers a range of in-water programs that allow adults and children ages five or older to pet, play with, and swim alongside its eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the historic Keep Pond. There are even specially designed sessions, conducted from a submersible bench, for younger kids. Since entry to the Dolphin Quest area is free with museum admission, anyone can watch the action. Participation in the actual programs, however, costs $160 to $310 and advance booking is recommended. For $700 you can be a dolphin trainer for the day. 441/234–4464. www.dolphinquest.com.
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