A VISIT TO BERMUDA’S OLDEST COMMUNITY PROMISES TO BE AN UNFORGETTABLE VOYAGE THROUGH TIME AND HISTORY. A Visit to St. George’s, the oldest and most atmospheric village in Bermuda, located on the island’s far eastern tip, is a must for any visitor. Bermuda’s capital until 1815, the Town of St. George was established back in 1612, shortly after the Sea Venture was shipwrecked on nearby reefs with Bermuda’s first settlers on board. In 2000, the town was awarded official status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the colonial cottages and 18thcentury merchant houses of St. George’s have been preserved, and a walk along the narrow lanes winding back from the water gives visitors an impression of how life may have looked here many centuries ago. History buffs will want to make a stop at the World Heritage Centre on St. George’s pretty waterfront, where an informative short film (A Stroll Through St. George’s) is on continuous play and informative exhibits and artefacts bring to life the town’s early days. Then it’s out onto the quaint streets to start your explorations. St. George’s has a few hills but is a very walkable town. Alternatively, the Olde Towne Railway is an open-air, trolley-like train that will take you through town whilst guides point out facts about the most important sights along the way. King’s Square, on the waterfront, is the heart of town. Colourful re-enactments take place here at the Stocks and Pillory and Ducking Stool, where town gossips met a watery punishment for their loose lips back in the day. Cross the short bridge from the square to the tiny Ordnance Island for great views looking back at town and Somers’ Wharf. There’s a full-scale replica of the Deliverance ship here, which was built after the wreck of the Sea Venture so the survivors could continue their original mission onward to Jamestown, Virginia. If you’ve worked up an appetite, hit one of the seafood restaurants along Somers’ Wharf for great food and sparkling sea views. Then make the short walk to St. Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell, built in 1612 and considered the oldest Anglican church in continual use in the Western hemisphere. The exposed cedar beams in the church’s simple interior were harvested from Bermudian cedar trees, and the surrounding cemetery is particularly fascinating to poke around to read the weather-worn-but-still-legible epitaphs on crumbling headstones. Open to the public, services are held at St. Peter’s on Wednesdays and Sundays. The second-most important religious site in St. George’s is the roofless Unfinished Church, a striking Gothic structure on a hillside just above town that was built in the 1870s to replace St. Peter’s but abandoned just before it was completed. Heirlooms from some of Bermuda’s oldest families are on display at Tucker House, an 18thcentury home that’s been turned into a museum.And the Bermuda National Trust Museum, in a building that dates to circa 1700, is the place to learn about the connection between Bermuda and the American Civil War, when St. George’s played a role as a staging post for confederate shipments to England. For the many sights to check off your sightseeing list here, one of the most pleasant things to do in St. George’s is to merely wander the side streets and alleys. If you prefer a more structured tour, there are plenty of maps to guide you. Old Maid’s Lane is lined with traditional cottages built right into the rocky land (Bermudians like to say you should build your house on stone, not soil.) And a walk down Printer’s Alley will bring you past the home where the island’s first newspaper was printed. Hunt out The Bermuda Perfumery, where unique fragrances have been created for more than 80 years and free tours are offered. And take a break from all the walking in Somers’ Garden, a pretty green spot to relax. The heart of British Admiral Sir George Somers, who arrived in Bermuda on the Sea Venture, is said to Be buried here (his body, according to lore, was taken back to England). Just outside of St. George’s proper (hire a scooter or wear good shoes to make the walk over the hill), there are some great spots to visit, too.Fort St. Catherine is a 17th-century fort where you can see guns and cannons as well as a military exhibit inside. And you’ll want to bring your bathing suit as there’s a great beach right next to the fort, too, that’s very inviting for a swim with postcard views. Around the corner, at Tobacco Bay Beach, limestone rocks buffer a quiet cove from waves, and beachgoers arrive with snorkels in tow so they can frolic amongst tropical fish in the clear water. It’s a quick bus ride from St. George’s to the easternmost lighthouse on the island, St. David’s Lighthouse, built in 1879 from Bermuda limestone.Climb to the top for sparkling water views from the highest point on the island’s eastern side. Getting Here Take advantage of Bermuda’s excellent public transportation and head out to St. George’s by taxi, bus or ferry. Sea Express ferry offers three or four daily trips from Dockyard on weekdays. If you’re coming from Hamilton, it’s best to take a bus to Dockyard first if you want to take a ferry.(295-4506, seaexpress.bm) To take a Bermuda Breeze bus ride from Hamilton, choose routes 1, 3, 10 or 11. The oneway fare from Dockyard is $4.50 for adults and $2 for children ages 5 to 16. The one-way fare for Hamilton is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 to 16. Ages under 5 years old ride free (292-3851, bermudabuses.bm). You can also try the Transportation Pass, which is good for unlimited rides on the bus and ferry system.Passes cost $15 for one day, $25 for two days, $35 for three days, $44 for four days, $56 for seven days and $55 for one month. Active Pursuits Even in quiet St. George’s you can find exciting activities to enjoy. The historically rich and gorgeous landscapes of Bermuda’s treasured UNESCO site is best explored when you Just Add Water! This experience in the East End takes you on an adventure which will leave you wanting more as their friendly guides share their intimate knowledge of Bermuda’s waters, tantalising the senses as you enjoy the beautiful aquatic landscapes. Just Add Water’s personalised tours cater to the experienced or novice clientele. Full tutorial is always provided, and safety comes first, whether you are renting a Jet Ski, paddleboat, kayak or boat. Fun for all the family, Just Add Water! (707-5000, justaddwaterbda.com) Get ready to have the time of your life with K.S. WaterSports (Thrill Adventures, Rentals & Tours), Bermuda’s No. 1 watersports company for fun and adventure. They offer Jet Ski rentals and tours, Boston Whaler and pontoon boat rentals, kayaks, paddleboards and private boat charters out of the Town of St. George. Experience the thrill of a lifetime on one of their amazing Jet Ski Adventures, which are rated one of the best fun activities to do in Bermuda.Splash and dash throughout Bermuda’s aqua blue waters as their friendly, fun and knowledgeable guides show you some of the best places to see on the water, plus point out many historic landmarks, too. Some of their Jet Ski Adventures even stop at a pink sandy beach area for a short swim or near hidden coves to spot sea turtles. Regular Jet Ski Adventures are 90 minutes long in St. George’s, with the lowest Jet Ski rates in Bermuda plus several Jet Ski Adventures to choose which are perfect for beginners and the experienced Jet Skier. Two-hour, three-hour and half-day private Jet Ski tours are available. Instructions provided to all participants to ensure a safe and memorable experience. All ages welcome. Must be 16 years or older (by law) to drive a Jet Ski. Looking to plan your very own adventure? Then rent one of their brand new 13- or 16-foot Boston Whaler boats or their larger 23-foot pontoon boats. Whether half day or full day, beginner or experienced driver, their instructors will have you up and ready to captain your own boat in no time, so you can head out on the water and explore Bermuda at your own leisure. A detailed map with routes and points of interest to see is provided with every rental. For something a little slower paced and still very fun and exciting, try renting one of their brand new kayaks, paddleboards (SUP) and Hobie Sailing Cats, which are perfect for all ages and skill levels. Are you looking for that true Bermuda Experience? Then privately charter one of their 23- to 55-foot premium charter boats which are perfectly priced for smaller groups, families and friends who want to relax and explore Bermuda’s waters in style and comfort. Swim, snorkel, tour the island, picnic, relax and more. Your dedicated Captain will customise your experience to suit all your needs. Located on the waterfront of the White Horse Pub & Restaurant at 8 King’s Square. Reservations are advised (441-297-4155, or book online at kswatersports.com). Don’t forget to visit their other locations in Dockyard and Hamilton, which offer Jet Ski tours, WildCat boat tours, boat rentals, kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie Cats, and private boat tours and charters. The best way to see the old Town of St. George in 30 minutes is with the Olde Towne Railway Train Tour. Their skilled drivers and friendly staff are eager to reveal the amazing story of this English settlement in the New World. By the end of the tour, you will understand why the historic Town of St. George and related fortifications is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can find their booking office located behind the stocks in King’s Square. (297-5001, email@example.com) It’s also fun to rent a scooter at Oleander Cycles, whose shop is located on York Street. Oleander is Bermuda’s No. 1 cycle livery and offers quality scooters at competitive rates. You will receive safety instructions in a private practice area. The St. George’s location is open seven days a week. (297-0478, oleandercycles.bm) Colourful coral reefs and Tobacco Bay’s proximity to shore makes this popular snorkelling location an exciting and safe choice for exploring underwater life. With crystal-clear waters, clean facilities, umbrella and chair rentals, and fun watersports for all the family, Tobacco Bay National Park has so much to offer. The scenic coves and nature trails complete this picturesque and sheltered bay, the setting for the infamous “Gunpowder Plot” of 1775 that spearheaded the fight for America’s independence. With a vibrant beach bar, café and barbeque serving up tropical flavour and island vibes, you can easily while away the hours from daylight through sunset. Try the Frozen Dark ‘n Stormy, a local favourite with a refreshingly frosty upgrade. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., their friendly and welcoming staff can guarantee a memorable experience. For more information on special events, live entertainment schedules, tours and all-inclusive accommodation and beach packages, please call or e-mail. (705-SAND , firstname.lastname@example.org) Taking It Home As you wander through the town’s alleys, you’ll want to stop by the quaint shops and boutiques that are just as unique as the town’s heritage and take home a little piece of St. George’s. For a choice of traditional Bermuda-made goods, visit Bermuda Memories in their newest location at 9 Water Street. They offer a display of classic art, small collectibles, local crafts, handmade jewellery and colourful hot glass. Watch the working lamp artists creating flameworked collectibles. Bermuda Memories also welcomes you with a taste of Bermuda Rum Cake, made with the island’s rum. They are open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free next-day delivery to your accommodation. (297-3908, dockyardcompany.com) The historic charm of St. George’s is epitomised at The Bermuda Perfumery. Since 1928, artists in the sense of smell have created masterful scents here that capture the essence of Bermuda. Today, Stewart Hall houses a history room, retail store and the fragrance-making studio of master perfumer Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone, where occasionally she hosts intimate perfume-making workshops. Come for a free tour to experience it all and leave with your very own Lili Bermuda fragrance and toiletries. Open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in summer, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter. Also stop by their new Lili Bermuda retail store at 67 Front Street in Hamilton.(293-0627, 800-527-8213; lilibermuda.com, email@example.com) Davidrose has a growing reputation as one of Bermuda’s most exciting jewellery boutiques. They carry an exclusive collection of fine jewellery and silver collection whilst specialising in bridal and custom pieces in their store on Somers’ Wharf. They boast one of the most unique luxury shopping experiences with a spectacular view of the harbour. (293-7673, davidrose.bm) Wander up Water Street and find the lively shop Frangipani. From the cheerful batik sundress in the window to the dramatic wall of jewellery inside, you will be delighted at the eclectic range of beautiful and elegant clothing, shoes, bags and gifts found within. Whether you’re stepping off a cruise or relaxing at a resort, be sure to take the time to visit, as they’re open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during season, and Saturdays and Sundays in the winter. (297-1357, firstname.lastname@example.org) A must is to stop by Just Add Water at 32 Water Street. They specialise in the “Animal” brand of clothing from the U.K., from board shorts, T-shirts, swimwear and dresses. They have many accessories from Anju Jewellery, Suncloud shades and much more. The ATX paddleboards are one of the most popular brands on offer at their store. A full range of water-related products from masks and snorkels, waterproof iPod’s, underwater cameras and other products are also available. The store is also their booking centre for the East End, where their knowledgeable staff can provide you with the ultimate in water experiences, whether it is cruising on a Jet Ski, a rental boat, or paddleboarding and kayaking. (707-5000, justaddwaterbda.com) Located between York and Water Street, Robertson’s Drug Store provides a relaxing and enjoyable shopping experience with friendly staff and pharmacists for expert advice. The store stocks local items and imports from over 100 overseas companies, many from the U.K. This allows Robertson’s to offer a unique range of merchandise to their customers. (297-1828, email@example.com) Saltwater Jewellery Design is an elegant boutique specialising in one of a kind hand-crafted jewellery, so alluring to the eye. Brilliant colours inspired from the beauty of Bermuda’s turquoise waters, coral pink shores and the daring bright hues across the island. Designers Kelli and Rose Thompson create the jewellery using Bermuda sea glass, Bermuda pink sand, semiprecious stones, Venetian glass and freshwater pearls. (519-9906, firstname.lastname@example.org) Beachcomber Kelly Diel has a treasure trove of unique, hand-crafted gifts in the heart of St. George’s. Seaglass Studio is where Kelly creates one-of-a-kind jewellery and ornaments from sea glass found on the local beaches. You can see the rarest colours of sea glass in orange, red and yellow. She also uses driftwood, sea pottery and other sea debris to create decorative signs, mirrors and ornamental sculptures. Visit Kelly at her studio on Water Street, where you can find that special, unique gift to take home. (297-4819, bermudaseaglassbykelly.com) Tranquil Retreat Set on Rose Hill overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage old town is The St. George’s Club, a cottage hotel and vacation ownership resort. Seventy-one Bermudian-style one- and two-bedroom cottages are set in about 12 acres of landscaped gardens with three swimming pools, three tennis courts, bocce and croquet court, a fitness centre and a scooter rental facility. Boasting three restaurants: Griffin’s Bistro & Bar and the new Vespa Pizzeria located in the main Club House and The Beach House at Fort St. Catherine located five minutes away by complimentary shuttle or a pleasant walk across the adjacent Robert Trent Jones golf course (reopening in 2015) at the secluded beach of Achilles Bay. (297-1222, stgeorgesclub.com) Savour St. George’s Following a walking tour of St. George’s museums and shops, or a day of fun in the sun, a great meal or round of drinks is well deserved. In St. George’s, you’ll find some of the best bars and restaurants in Bermuda. Whilst in Bermuda, enjoy a classic Cuba Libre, Daiquiri or Piña Colada made with BACARDÍ Superior or BACARDÍ Gold rum, or have one of Bermuda’s skilled and knowledgeable bartenders prepare one of their fabulous, delicious signature drinks made with a BACARDÍ flavoured rum. If rum doesn’t suit your fancy, maybe a tantalising GREY GOOSE vodka martini. Or simply enjoy the honeyed, smooth and complex flavour notes found in their range of DEWAR’S Scotch whiskies and ABERFELDY single malt Scotch whiskies. Remember, whichever brand you may choose, please enjoy it responsibly. Pick up any of these fine brands at Burrows, Lightbourn Limited. (297-0409) The Beach House, located at Achilles Bay, is in the shade of historic Fort St. Catherine, the most easterly point of the Bermuda islands. Try the casual lunch menu and sip their signature cocktail, the Sunset, or elect to have your own keg of cold Heineken at your table. The Beach House is your own personal place to unwind and have a cocktail or two and watch the sun go down. The Beach House then transforms to an upscale eatery with a great Mediterranean menu with local influence, impeccable service and a select wine list that has something for everyone’s taste and budget. Chef Piero and his team look forward to hosting you at what Fodor’s comments as “Well off the beaten path, The Beach House offers a dining experience unlike anywhere else on the island.” (297-1400, stgeorgesclub.bm/pages/thebeachhouse.aspx) Go Jo’s Coffee Shop sits on the water’s edge next to the infamous Ducking Stool in the King’s Square. Enjoy some of the best local cuisine, freshly prepared for you each day: traditional Bermuda fish chowder, homemade codfish cakes, local fish sandwiches and Jo’s famous sloppy “Go Jo” burgers. A must-try is their ever-popular amazing carrot cake, fudge brownies, old-fashioned fudge and homemade apple pie. (297-0614, email@example.com) Overlooking the old Town of St. George and its harbour, Griffin’s Bistro & Bar is located within The St. George’s Club, a cottage hotel and vacation ownership resort. It is open for lunch and dinner during the high season. Chef Piero has transformed the bistro with a menu and a selection of great wines to satisfy both taste and budget. If you want to try something different, the Branzino done in sea salt and plated at the table or the pasta with lobster served family-style are personal favourites. This season they will incorporate a new option with Vespa Pizzeria to cater for younger families visiting The St. George’s Club. (297-4235, stgeorgesclub.bm/pages/griffinshome.aspx) Soccer and Friends Sports Bar & Restaurant is the newest restaurant in the East End located at 3 King’s Square. Local food is their specialty and they use only the freshest ingredients, preparing every dish from scratch. They serve a wide selection of dishes from fresh salads, soups, local fish and seafood to succulent steaks and delicious dessert. Stop by for lunch or dinner and watch your favourite team play on their high-definition Tvs in the sports bar downstairs or relax and enjoy a signature cocktail upstairs in the restaurant whilst taking in views from their porch overlooking King’s Square. Free Wi-Fi available. (297-0891) Sweet SAAK Bakery is the quintessential family-run bakery. SAAK is an anagram from the initials of the four siblings that run this homestyle Bermudian bakery. No need for exact directions to this sweet shop on York Street in St. George’s. All you need to do is follow the delicious smells of dailybaked items wafting from their doors. All items are baked on location using family recipes. Ample indoor seating, a library and Wi-Fi available. Make yourself at home and welcome to the family. (297-0663, sweetsaak.com) Enjoy harbourside seating and cosy romantic dining year-round in St. George’s at Tavern by the Sea. The menu reveals culinary skills from their international chefs, offering fresh seafood, juicy meats, healthy salads and signature comfort meals. Try their delicious local lobster specials with a savoury stuffing prepared to your liking. (297-3305) Tempest Bistro is situated in a restored former military warehouse on Water Street and offers French bistro variations on local favourites that have proven to be pleasing to both locals and visitors alike. The exposed brick and original archways throughout give warmth and comfort, providing a relaxing atmosphere for any dining occasion. (297-0861) Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio is centrally located in the heart of St. George’s and boasts panoramic views of the harbour. It offers a wide range of menu choices guaranteed to satisfy any picky eater, from the famous locally caught fish items — including wahoo nuggets, rockfish Picasso and, of course, the award-winning fish chowder — to the delicious schnitzel sandwich and ever-changing pasta special. Bring your family for a nice relaxing meal, or come for a romantic dinner overlooking the moonlit harbour. (297-1307, wahoos.bm) White Horse Pub & Restaurant is Bermuda’s favourite pub and seafood restaurant in St. George’s, well known for its creative and colourful dishes, friendly service and breathtaking views of St. George’s Harbour. The pub offers inside dining, covered waterside dining and an outdoor waterfront bistro area. The White Horse serves a wide selection of fresh local fish, flame-grilled steaks, as well as popular English and Bermudian pub favourites. Great food, great prices, great menu selections, all in a relaxed and casual atmosphere for you to enjoy. Fancy something cool and refreshing? Then sit back and relax at their inside or outside waterfront bar, whilst sipping on one of their signature cocktails, mojitos or frozen drinks made especially for you. For all you sports fans out there, this is Bermuda’s No. 1 sports bar in St. George’s. Come enjoy wall-to-wall sports coverage of your favourite teams from morning to night. The White Horse is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; bar open until 1 a.m. or later. Takeout is available. (441-297-1838, or visit whitehorsebermuda.com for specials, upcoming events and reservations) Wong’s Golden Dragon Restaurant, located on York Street, offers the most captivating, high-quality Chinese takeout food in the Town of St. George. The distinguished chef, Chunlee Wong, serves a fusion of Szechuan- and Cantonese-styled food, providing a rich pageant of the foremost seafood, meat and vegetarian meals. Check out their lunch and seasonal specials and their party-to-go menu. Open Monday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (297-0408)
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