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St George, also known as the Town of St. George, is located in a parish with the same name and is the main town at the eastern end of Bermuda. The town is steeped with history and a designated UNESCO world heritage site. This is where Sir George Somers and his men landed in 1609 after their ship Sea Venture was wrecked at a nearby reef. While they later continued their journey towards Jamestown, few men were left behind to retain British claim of the island. Later in 1612 the official British settlement began in Bermuda. St. George's Town was the capital of Bermuda until 1815 when Hamilton City became the new capital. 
 
St. George's, right, is the most eastern of Bermuda's one of three cruise ship ports (15 miles from the City of Hamilton). It can only take smaller cruise ships at its two docks and that depends on whether wind conditions will allow them to enter the narrow Town Cut channel shown below.
While you probably think of the Bermuda Triangle, or maybe even Bermuda shorts when you think of Bermuda, in actuality, Bermuda stands more for picturesque towns, lovely weather year round, and the ultimate tourist destination of the very well-to-do. A common misconception is that Bermuda is a beautiful island paradise in the Caribbean. In fact, Bermuda is in the Western Atlantic Ocean, about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, and just under 800 miles away from New York City!
 
Bermuda was uninhabited until 1609. Juan de Bermuda was the first explorer to discover the island chain, and as a result it bears his name. Most early Spanish explorers avoided the islands, calling them the "Islands of the Devils." But an English ship ran aground here and discovered that Bermuda was heaven, not hell. Visitors to Bermuda often feel that Bermuda has a quaint English feel to it. And for good reason; the island is a British dependent, although it does have self-government. Officially, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state here.
 
St. George's architecture and general layout has not changed much over the past four hundred years. Stone buildings built in the early 1600s remain standing to this day. Most of the town people are of African descent, as opposed to the rest of Bermuda, whose residents mainly trace their lineage to Europe. Today, St. George's has openly embraced the tourism industry, and the people are more than inviting and enchanting. So enjoy St. George's history while at the same time marveling at the beautiful ocean views and soaking up the radiant climate of this island paradise.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Port of St. George's. There is road access immediately from the port to the rest of the island.
Taxis are easy to find anywhere in Bermuda. You can find a row of taxis outside any major hotel, in addition to their availability right at the port. Call either Bermuda Taxi Radio Cabs Ltd. (441/295-4141) or B.I.U. Taxis (441/292-4476).
There are no rental cars available in Bermuda. However, Bermuda's buses are particularly efficient in getting around anywhere in Bermuda. Contact the Public Transportation Board (PTB) (tel. 441/292-3851) for more information about the public bus system. St. George's Mini Bus Service (441/297-8492) is a special shuttle service only offered here in St. George's.
 
A very efficient mode of transportation throughout the islands is by ferry. The main terminal is in Hamilton, on Front Street. Call 441/295-4506 for more information. Moped and scooters are widely available for rent, as are bicycles, although they are not nearly as popular. Eve's Cycles (1 Water St., 441/236-0839) rents out all of the above.
 
Getting Around
It's ideal if you can walk. You will need to budget some 3 hours plus the time you will spend at each site. You can also take a mini bus that leaves from Kings Square and serving some of the places mentioned below, but not all. The mini bus goes along specific routes covering Ferry Reach at the western side of St George's parish, Unfinished Church, Tobacco Bay, St. Catherine's Fort, Alexandra Battery, Gates Fort at the north-eastern end and also parts of St. David's Island. It’s available almost every 30 minutes though out the day. You can hop on and off the bus with a day ticket sold at Visitors Information Centers. Call up 441/297-8199 for further information about the mini bus service.
 
As you go through the tour details below, you will get links to various important places. Go through those links for detailed information along with pictures. 
Start your tour at King's Square. This is the town center and heart of St George. This was originally known as the Market Square. A Visitors Information Center is located here. Pick up a free Handy Reference pocket map.
 
Bermudians drive on the left and car rentals aren't allowed, leaving visitors with the options of mopeds, bikes, taxis, ferries and the cotton-candy pink bus system. Sure, those scooters are cute and you'll be tempted to rent one, but we suggest thinking twice if you're a newbie. The roads are narrow and winding, and you'll find yourself spending a good deal of time getting out of the way of speeding locals who don't care whether they pass on the left or right -- to say nothing of that cumbersome left-side driving detail.
 
If your mind is made up to take a scooter, you should still consider a taxi for evening outings and rainy days. You don't need a driver's license, but you do need a helmet and insurance (the rental company includes both in the rental fee). You also must be over the age of 16. Ask about multi-day prices (about $60 for two days, $81 for three); otherwise, plan on $38 for a one-day rental (scooters built for two will run $55-$65). Rentals are available from Oleander Cycles on York Street. Conventional bikes (livery cycles to the locals) are rentable for about $20 a day at just a few shops throughout the island (contact Oleander for the closest location carrying livery types) -- but since Bermuda is known for its steep hills, it might prove to be a bit of a challenge. If you don't want to splurge on renting a bike helmet, bring one from home.
 
The pink buses travel along all major roadways making stops every 15 minutes, except Sundays and holidays when it's every hour or not at all on some routes -- and it's really not a bad way to sightsee. That's the good news. The bad news is they'll eat into the time you have on the island. Using the Orange Route buses, the trip to Hamilton takes an hour -- though an express bus will cut the time by 20 minutes. You'll need exact change in coins (or tokens) for the fare box (St. George's to Hamilton, for example, is $4, ages 5 - 16, $2, under five, free). Transportation Passes for one or three days are also available for unlimited use for all zones for $12 and $28, respectively. For $2, hop on the year-round St. George's Mini-Bus from 7:30 a.m. to midnight for getting around St. George Parish and St, David's Island. They leave from King's Square -- but you can flag them down along the roadway.
 
Time-saving ferries crisscross the Great Sound between St. George's and Hamilton (1 3/4 hours) and King's Wharf (1 hour) for $4 (kids pay $1), but cash is no longer accepted. Tokens are available at the Hamilton Ferry Terminal, the Hamilton Visitors Service Bureau and the Central Terminal, also in Hamilton. Take mopeds and bikes onboard for routes for an additional $4. Schedules are posted at the landing.
 
Taxis are plentiful but pricy (the first drop is $4.50). If you want to use one for sightseeing, we suggest taking ones that have blue flags on their hoods. That means the driver is government-qualified. Fares increase by 25 percent between midnight and 6 a.m., Sundays and holidays. There is a taxi stand in King's Square, close to Water Street and the Cruise Ship Terminal.
 
Note: The Visitors Service Bureau in King's Square (Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is where to get bus tokens and Transportation Passes, maps and other information before setting out. Also available here is the Heritage Pass, priced at $25 per person, which gives you access to six cultural attractions within a 7-day period: the Bermuda National Gallery, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, Bermuda Maritime Museum, Bermuda National Trust, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and all forts.
 
Things to do and See
You may want to start off at the Visitors Service Bureau (King's Square, 441/297-1642) for general tourist information about St. George's. If you're looking for anything to do in St. George's, chances are you'll find it in or near the central hub of King's Square. All around the square are restaurants, shops, attractions, and artifacts.
 
The Bermudian Heritage Museum (441/297-4126) educates visitors on St. George's unique black history and culture. If you are interested in understanding St. George's colonial days, just visit St. George's Historical Society Museum (441/297-0423).
Lastly, if you have the amazing fortune to be visiting St. George's on the Wednesday closest to April 23 each year, you will see the most elaborate celebration anywhere in the world surrounding a peppercorn: Peppercorn Ceremony. Each year, the Grand Lodge of Scotland presents the city of St. George with one peppercorn, which serves as rent for the entire year. A huge ceremony has been constructed around this grand event, which obviously only serves a symbolic purpose now, but harkens back to a time when rent was collected in peppercorns.
 
Fort St. Catherine & Museum
This extraordinary museum, dating from 1614, is the largest fort in Bermuda, standing guard over the pristine beaches.
 
The Bermuda National Trust Museum: Though it was once the Globe Hotel in the 19th century, its history goes back to 1699, when it was built as the Governor's house. Unbeknownst to anyone, its first governor (Samuel Day) secretly secured the title to the house in order to use it as his future home. His secret was out the day the next governor turned up to move in. Today, the museum exhibits the history of St. George's. Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. King's Square.
 
Carriage House Museum: Filled with 19th-century buggies and such that were all used to get around before the automobile first showed up in 1946. You'll see beautifully restored broughams, phaetons, an opera bus, even a small child's runabout. Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Water St.
 
Carter House: One of Bermuda's oldest houses, it's now a museum with exhibitions on the history of whaling, piloting, fishing and farming. It's also a chance to see dolls and children's toys made from palmetto leaves. Tuesday - Thursday and Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Second Sunday of each month noon - 4 p.m. Southside Rd, St. David's.
 
Holy Trinity Church: See-worthy. Originally built in 1623, the view of Harrington Sound rates a detour here. Anglican services on Sundays. Trinity Church Rd, Baily's Bay.
 
St. George's Historical Society Museum: In a home built around 1700, this museum contains an original 18th-century Bermuda kitchen, complete with utensils from that period. Other exhibits include a rare 300-year-old breeches Bible, a letter from George Washington, and Native American ax heads. Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Duke of Kent St.
 
Somers Gardens: Opened in 1920 by the Duke of Windsor, here lies the tomb of Admiral Sir George Somers amid a lovely array of roses, hibiscus and palm trees. Daily. Duke of York St.
 
Tucker House Museum: Once the home of the well known Tucker family of England, Bermuda, and Virginia, it displays a notable collection of Bermudian furniture, portraits and silver. You can also see where Joseph Hayne Rainey (a black refugee of the Civil War who worked as a barber before going on to become the first black representative in the U.S. Congress) is said to have set up shop. Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Water St.
 
Unfinished Church: A beloved landmark, it was to replace St. Peter's. Work was intermittent from 1874 to 1899 -- but beset by financial woes, in-fighting and severe storm damage, parishioners decided to restore St. Peter's instead. Daily dawn - dusk. Duke of Kent St.
 
Deliverance: Steps from King's Square and the cruise terminal. Head over a small bridge to see a full-scale South American pine, teak and Bermuda cedar replica of the small sailing ship the shipwrecked survivors of the Sea Venture built in 1610 to carry them on to Virginia (the original was probably Irish oak). There's a self-guided tour through the ship. Daily. Ordinance Island.
 
Featherbed Alley Printery: Check out the working 17th-century Gutenberg-style press that was used for more than three centuries. It's also home to the early editions of the Bermuda Gazette published from 1784 - 1816. Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Featherbed Alley.
 
Fort St. Catherine: Originally built in 1613, this is probably the most impressive fort on the island, though the original towers have been rebuilt. You'll see a series of dioramas in its museum -- as well as an excellent exhibit of swords, muskets and pistols. You'll also see replicas of England's crown jewels. Daily 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Coot Pond Rd.
 
Old State House: Oldest building in Bermuda (1620). It's where Bermuda's parliament and principal courts met when St. George's was the capital. It's worth a look from the outside. Princess St.
 
St. Peter's Church: Appropriately high above the town's main street is the oldest Anglican church (early 1700s) in the Western Hemisphere. The original was built in 1612 on the same site. In addition to the beautiful cedar work, you can see the 1625 St. George Chalice and the mahogany alter -- said to be the oldest piece of furniture in Bermuda.
 
Note: The Old Rectory behind the church is only open to visitors from November - March. Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Anglican service Sunday 11 a.m.). Duke of York St.
Crystal Caves: You'll ooh and ahh at what's lurking 80 feet under the ground -- the highest concentration of limestone caves in the world. Discovered in 1905 by two kids playing cricket, the caves are named for the incredibly clear water inside the caves -- so clear that it's possible to see the bottom through 50-plus feet of water. Definitely cross the crystal-clear Cahow Lake via the somewhat submerged pontoon bridge to look down into a fairyland of caves. Guided tours every 30 minutes (you'll finally learn the difference between stalactites and stalagmites!). Daily 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wilkinson Ave, Baily's Bay.
 
Note: If you have an aversion to climbing lots of steps or you're a bit claustrophobic, cross this off your to-see list.
 
Nonsuch Island: Near the entrance to Castle Harbor, this exceptional nature reserve is the brainchild of David B. Wingate, Bermuda's conservation officer from 1966-2000. Inspired by the rediscovery of the rare Bermuda petral, he aimed to restore the island's native flora and fauna inside the 15-acre island, incorporating microcosm features of almost every Bermuda habitat from pre-Colonial days. See at least 25 species of migratory water birds such as the yellow-crowned night heron. Access to the island is limited, but visits can be arranged. Near Castle Harbor.
 
Spittal Pond Nature Reserve: Bermuda's largest wildlife sanctuary, it attracts about 25 species of waterfowl from November to May. Absolutely consider the very scenic mile-long walk past an amazing variety of flowers and trees. Don't miss Jeffrey's Hole, a cave named for an escaped slave who supposedly hid out here. Guided tours Friday 1 p.m. Daily dawn - dusk. South Shore Rd.

Golf and Water Sports
Tucker's Point Golf Club (441/298-6915) in Tucker's Town has over six thousand yars of course overlooking the ocean; the combination of a championship course and panoramic views is a must-see for all golf-lovers. A very popular course with cruise ship visitors, St. George's Golf Club (1 Park Rd., 441/297-8353), is very lovely in its own right, and is definitely affordable. There are countless snorkeling and other water sport operators in and around St. George. You should have no trouble finding them, and in all likelihood they will find you.

Putting around is easy in Bermuda, given that they've got the most golf courses per square mile of any other place on earth. We've listed those closest to St. George's.

Note: Golf balls are astronomically expensive. Bring your own.
Mid-Ocean Club: The best you'll come across. Rated one of the best in the world. C.B. Macdonald-designed 18-hole par 71. Private, but allows visitors Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can book tee times up to 24 hours in advance. Greens fees $190. 441-293-0330.

St. George's Golf Club: Wonderful sight lines on an 18-hole par 62 Robert Trent Jones-designed course. This was one of the last designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. prior to his retirement. You can book tee times up to seven days in advance. Greens fees $50-$55. 441-297-1836.

Tucker's Point Golf Club: Challenging 18-hole, par 70 Roger Rulewich newly-designed course. Incredible views. Private, but allows visitors. You can book up to 48 hours in advance. Greens fees $185. 441-298-6959.
 
Beaches
Bermuda's beaches are world famous, and with good reason. Tons of clean white sand, crystal clear waters, and warm temperatures attract beach bums the world over to the tiny island chain. You should have no trouble finding the beach of your choice. Right next to 
Fort St. Catherine is Achilles Bay Beach, a small but charming cove, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Tobacco Bay Beach on Coot Pond Road is a little out of the way, but it's a really pretty location. Pale pink sand, beautiful rock formations and clear waters await you here.

The beaches are small when compared to most found in the U.S., ranging from as narrow as 15 yards to about half a mile. Set your mind on idle and let the sun go to your head on pink-tinged sands that seem to melt into the sea.

Notes: Bermuda's Guide to Beaches and Transportation is free at all visitor centers and most hotels. Body boards can be rented for about $20 from local shops around the island.

Achilles Bay: Small beach that's got great snorkeling and windsurfing. Not as crowded as Tobacco Bay. Gear rentals, changing room, snacks.

Clearwater Beach and Park: A 36-acre great-for-kids site that includes nature trails. Reid Clearwater Cafe is a good bet for snacks and light meals. Gear rentals for snorkeling, as well as chairs, lounges, towels and rafts. Changing rooms, showers and restrooms. 

Cooper's Island, off St. David's Island.
Tobacco Bay: Great snorkeling. You can see families of squid and even octopus. Gear rentals, umbrella rentals, changing room, snacks. Tends to get crowded with other cruise passengers.
 
Dining & Nightlife
For lunch and for something light and casual, just walk over to Gojo's Cafe located at Kings Square and next to the Visitors Information Center. Try out the Cowboy sandwich and frappuccino. It's good and it can't get any cheaper. Another great restaurant is Tempest Bistro at Kings Square where you can sit at the balcony upstairs and watch the activities in the square. The inside dining room is also nice. White Horse Restaurant is also located at the Square.
 
Restaurants are easy to find in St. George's, but some do stand out above the rest. The Carriage House, located on Water Street (441/297-1730), has a large, diverse menu that caters to all tastes. If you are really hungry, get lost in the Bermuda Triangle; a trio of filet mignon, shrimp, and chicken. Reservations are recommended. White Horse Tavern (441/297-1838) in King's Square is a comfortable restaurant and bar, and is located right on the harbor. A seafood-heavy menu prevails, but there are also sandwiches and salads, if that's more to your fancy. Pasta Basta (1 Elliott St., 441/295-9785) is the place for freshly served Italian food. You get to watch your dish being prepared, which is a nice touch.
 
Black Horse Tavern: Shark hash and celebrity sightings. Per-person cost for three courses including wine will run about $25. Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Sunday noon - 3 p.m. St. David's Rd.
Carriage House: Expensive, but worth it. They carve the rack of English spring lamb tableside. Their signature Bermuda Triangle -- filet mignon, shrimp and chicken breast -- is a top choice. Per-person cost for three courses including wine will run about $25. Daily 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 22 Water St.
Freddie's Pub on the Square: Popular hangout for English fare. Try the shepherd's pie; it won't disappoint. Per-person cost for three courses including wine will run about $25. Daily 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. 3 King's Square.
San Giorgio: Italian fare with great views. We say stick with the pastas. Per-person cost for three courses including wine will run about $32. Reservations recommended. Daily 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Water St.
White Horse Tavern: Would you believe us if we said the Philly steak sandwich was to die for? Per-person cost for three courses including wine will run about $25. Daily 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. King's Square.
As for nightlife, just stay in King's Square. The best bars and nightclubs are all centrally located here.
 
Shopping
St George has far fewer shops than Hamilton, but there’s a few interesting options for an afternoon of retail therapy.The Bermuda Perfumery is as much of a tourist attraction as it as a store. Situated in a historic building on Queen Street it manufactures and sells the Lili Bermuda brand of fragrances. Visitors can tour the building and learn about the production process.
 
Most of the other shops in St George are located on York Street or Water Street. Water Street runs west from King’s Square and is home to shops such as Vera P Card (figurines), the Island Shop (island-inspired gifts), and the Book Cellar. York Street runs parallel to it. Stores here include Robertson’s Drug Store (pharmacy), Churchill’s (fine wines, spirits, and cigars), and the Somers Supermart (grocery and deli).
 
Art shop enthusiasts could do worse than to pay a visit to the Bridge House Art Gallery at 1 Bridge Street (441/297-8211). Local artists put their wares up for sale here, and there are some magnificent pieces at affordable prices. A unique fashion sense prevails at Constable's Woollen Fashions (441/297-1995). The clothes here lean toward cold-weather climates, so if you are a snowbird, you may be able to find good deals on winter wear. If you just need to fill up on affordable souvenirs, your one-stop shop is Crackerbox (15 York St., 441/297-1205). T-shirts, post cards, shells and the like are available here.



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