The most-photographed beach in Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay (South Shore Park off South Rd., opposite the junction with Horseshoe Rd.) is equally popular among locals and visitors, its various moods appealing to a diverse range of beach-lovers. Arguably Bermuda’s  number-one tourist attraction, it welcomes shiploads of tourists daily during the summer cruise season; often they are taxied here the moment their vessel makes port. As a result, weekday afternoons May–October see the half-moon-shaped bay packed with bodies soaking up the soft sand, balmy water, and picturesque surroundings. Flotillas of cabs descend to ferry them back to Hamilton’s docks around 4:30 p.m. every day.
Staffed by lifeguards May 1–October 1, the beach itself is alluring, but its on-site services allow for a full day’s outing. A concession at the entrance sells towels, beach mats, sunblock, sarongs, souvenirs, and flip-flops. Rentals beginning at 9:30 a.m. include lounge chairs ($10), umbrellas ($10), rafts ($12), and body boards ($8.50). Hair-braiding à la Bo Derek, formerly a Caribbean tourist highlight, finally made it to Bermuda in the 2000s, and local women and girls posted at Horseshoe in the summer will twist your locks into elaborate cornrows—just be careful of scalp sunburn afterward.
A bonus of Horseshoe Bay is the café, where waterlogged beach bums can slake their thirst and heat with sodas and ice cream, as well as fast-food meals. Baby-changing facilities, showers, spacious sky-lit bathrooms, and outdoor showers and faucets for washing sandy feet before the ride home are also generously provided.
Locals head to Horseshoe Bay year-round at dawn on Saturday mornings to swim, run, and walk, enjoying the serenity of the beach and its dune trails before the day’s later crowds. Horseshoe is a favorite hangout of Bermudian teens and twentysomethings on Saturday afternoons, when night owls nurse their hangovers with pizza, cheeseburgers, and eyefuls of beach-trotting fashionistas.
Families with young children also choose Horseshoe for its cliff-sheltered ends, which offer shade and wading pools. Horseshoe’s beach has less of a steep surfside drop-off than next-door Warwick Long Bay’s , lessening the undertow and allowing for wading farther out. There is also a kid-perfect adjoining cove, officially named Port Royal Cove but unofficially dubbed “The Baby Beach,” to the west of the main stretch. A turquoise swimming hole encircled by cliffs that keep its waters flat, this little gem is a big draw for moms and nannies with toddlers or infants.