A thin string of islands joined by bridges, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Great Sound, Sandys parish has long been Bermuda's most strategic. At its northernmost tip is the Royal Naval Dockyard, the largest and best preserved of all of Bermuda's fortifications and home to Bermuda's best museum and the cruise-ship dock. It's also the island's water-sports center, with diving, jet skiing and other watery excursions departing from there. America's Cup competitors will be based at a purpose-built village here in 2017.
Head south, and you pass several small, pretty beaches and the yacht haven of Mangrove Bay before you reach the languid Somerset Village, with its cricket grounds and boat club. Tranquil beaches, a couple of coastal national parks, another well-preserved fort and boat races are among Sandys' attractions, while Somerset Beach is another water-sports base.