A visit to St. George’s, the oldest and most atmospheric town 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. St. George’s has a few hills but is a very walkable town. King’s Square, on the waterfront, is the heart of town. Colourful reenactments 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. Just steps from here you will find the Visitor Information Centre. They offer up-to-date information on Bermuda events, attractions, tours and transport. You can also pick up your public transportation passes for the buses and ferries (297-0556). The Town of St. George also offers free Wi-Fi around King’s Square (sponsored by the Visitor Information Centre and The Corporation of St. George’s). Just connect to the Destination St. George’s network. The St. George’s Foundation’s mission is to invest in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Town of St. George and its related fortifications future by providing cultural, educational and recreational experiences that will benefit both residents and visitors now and for generations to come. They work to support and revitalise the local economy by creating new opportunities for business, and to develop historic St. George’s as a world tourism destination. Visit the first-class World Heritage Centre, which serves as the prime orientation centre, housed in a massive restored U.S. Civil War warehouse, with a full range of related activities, from walking tours and educational programmes to lively historical reenactments and open-air concerts on the Plaza. Discover why the historic town and its related fortifications have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in a range of interactive and family-friendly exhibits — including life-size dioramas, informative touch screens and a short orientation film entitled A Stroll Through St. George’s. There is the maritime exhibit of original artwork highlighted by the scale models of the Sea Venture, Deliverance, and Patience, the first ships critical in Bermuda’s first settlement. The newest displays are the huge restored painted murals of old Bermuda done by Emile Verpilleux. Pick up maps and guides and unique souvenirs from the charity gift shop, Second Hand Rose. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed public holidays. Elevators are available for the disabled. Free Wi-Fi. Admission: adults, $5; seniors, $3; children 5 to 12 years old, $2 (297-5791, 297-8043; sgf.bm/about/worldheritage- centre). Then it’s out onto the quaint streets to start your explorations. Cross the short bridge from the square to the tiny Ordnance Island for great views looking back at town and Somers’ Wharf. Operated by The St. George’s Foundation is a full-scale replica of the Deliverance. Visit this life-size replica of one of the two ships built by the castaways of the Sea Venture wreck of 1609. Explore above and below decks and follow the audiovisual exhibits that portray life on board and how this ship became famous as “The Ship that Saved America.” Below decks you will meet William Strachey, Secretary to the Virginia Company, an automatronic life-size character that tells the tale of survival on this bounteous island and of the eventual rescue of the starving settlers in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed public holidays. Disabled entrance for lower dock. Admission: adults, $3; seniors and children 5 to 12 years old, $2. (297-0045 , 297-5791; sgf.bm/about/deliverance) The foundation’s vision for St. George’s involves more than bricks and mortar. It’s about fostering a sense of pride amongst citizens and developing a rejuvenated town that’s alive with activity and excitement, a place people will want to visit time and time again. Their motto is “Celebrating 20 years of Bringing Bermuda’s History to Life within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.” (297-8043; sgf.bm) If you’ve worked up an appetite, hit one of the taverns or seafood restaurants along Somers’ Wharf for a quick bite 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-stilllegible 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 18th-century 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 a seasonal Orange Route that operates from April to November to St. George’s from Hamilton, via Dockyard. In addition, there are four high-speed catamarans that serve these routes (295-4506; marineandports.bm). To take a Bermuda Breeze bus ride from Hamilton to St. George’s, choose routes 1, 3, 10 or 11. Or you can take the bus from Dockyard, via Hamilton, to St. George’s (292-3851; gov.bm/bus-fares). You can also try the Transportation Pass, which is good for unlimited rides on the bus and ferry system. Passes cost $19 for one day, $31.50 for two days, $44 for three days, $48.50 for four days, $62 for seven days. Children’s passes cost $9.50 for one day, $16 for two days, $22 for three days, $24 for four days, and $31 for seven days. TIME TO PLAY 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 are great for exploring. Get ready to have the time of your life with K.S. WaterSports (Adventure Tours & Rentals), Bermuda’s No. 1 watersports company for fun and adventure. They offer Jet Ski rentals and tours, Boston Whaler and Pontoon boat rentals, kayaks, paddle boards, Hobie Cats 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 75 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, threehour and half-day private Jet Ski tours are available as well. 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-foot 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, paddle boards (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 four amazing premium charter boats ranging from 23 feet to 55 feet long, which are perfectly priced for smaller groups, families and friends who want to relax, cruise and explore Bermuda’s waters in style and comfort. Swim, snorkel, tour the island, picnic, spot sea turtles 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, St. George’s. 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, paddle boards, Hobie Cats and private boat tours and charters. Travel back in time with Moran Meadows Bermuda Horse Trail Ride, as you ride along the country lanes, lush trails, pristine beaches and historic forts of the northeast coastline whilst enjoying a relaxing and personalised trail ride tour of St. George’s, Bermuda’s original settlement and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sink your hooves into the beach where the first settlers swam ashore in 1609 and enjoy views of Fort St. Catherine, Alexandra Battery, Gates Fort, the Unfinished Church and the famous Sea Venture Monument. (537-0400; bermudahorsetrailride.com) TREASURES TO TAKE 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 collectables, local crafts, handmade jewellery and colourful hot glass. Watch the working lamp artists creating flame-worked collectables. Bermuda Memories also welcomes you with a taste of Bermuda Rum Cake, made with the island’s rum. They are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free next-day delivery to your accommodation. (297-3908; dockglass.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 fragrancemaking 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 through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in summer, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter. Also stop by their Lili Bermuda retail store at 67 Front Street in Hamilton. (293-0627, 800-527-8213; lilibermuda.com) When walking down York Street, don’t miss the aptly named Churchill’s for your wines, spirits and cigars. With the only walk-in humidor on the island, this is the place to stop for your Cuban cigars and the Bermuda Cigar Co. line of cigars, fine wines, cold beer and sodas. Winston Churchill said, “I am easily satisfied with the very best,” and now you can be, too. They offer the finest selection of cigars, fine wines — over 250 references — gifts such as cigar cases and cutters, lighters, glasses, decanters and wine openers. Hours of operation are Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (297-1650; churchills.bermudawines.com) Confections is a Bermudian boutique bakery passionately dedicated to the simple beauty and nostalgia of the traditional Bermuda sugar cookie. Their recipe has been tried, tested and painstakingly perfected for well over 20 years, thereby ensuring that each cookie has a seamless and delectable blend of airy lightness, a respectable crunch and just enough sweet persuasion to keep you coming back for more. Their very special limited-edition America’s Cup cookies, designed in celebration of the 2017 America’s Cup, are available by delivery to your hotel, at select retailers islandwide and at The Gift Garden of Salt Spray Soap Co. located at 7 Water Street in St. George’s. (505-DIE4 ; confections2die4.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 whilst specialising in bridal and custom pieces. Davidrose is located in the historic Town of St. George. They boast one of the most unique luxury shopping experiences with a spectacular view of the harbour. (293-7673; davidrose.bm) Digicel is Bermuda’s most popular mobile provider, with the bestvalue Prepaid and Postpaid plans, the widest selection of phones and a Price Promise that means you will never pay more. Only Digicel offers plans specifically for visitors. Ask how to get free Facebook, What’sApp and Instagram, and ask about a “Phone to Go” option at their authorised dealer store, All Talk, located in King’s Square, St. George’s. (297-3151; digicelbermuda.com) 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) Just across the street from Frangipani is the newly branded combination of Bermuda’s premier mobile, TV and internet service providers, One Communications. They now offer all of your telecommunications needs under one roof. With this growth in available services comes the island’s best lineup of smartphones along with its first state-of-the-art fibre optic network: Fibre Wire. Experience super-fast internet speeds, the island’s largest HDTV channel lineup plus Pay Per View and Video On Demand options. Businesses across the island, large and small, will also receive specialised attention from a dedicated Business Solutions team who understand what is needed in today’s competitive markets. The focus on customer care and their innovative approach to helping businesses succeed are signature benefits demonstrating how One gives you more. (onecomm.bm) The big blue building standing proud between York and Water Streets, Robertson’s Drug Store is the local shopping hot spot. Expert pharmacists and friendly staff can guide you through the hundreds of gifts, toys, books, treats and their specialist ranges of natural skincare and hair care. (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 are 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) Stop by Savory Kernels at 3 Bridge Street, steps away from King’s Square. Known as Bermuda’s first gourmet popcorn shop, they offer more than 70 different flavours of popcorn, with 10 in store at a time. They pop kernels fresh by hand every day and offer a variety of flavours such as dill pickle, salt and vinegar, strawberry and lemonade — even chocolate-covered selections such as Oreo Cookie and S’mores. They can do custom bulk orders for special functions as well as birthday party bags and tins. Savory Kernels is the perfect gift for your family and friends back home or a special treat for yourself. But remember: Once you try their delicious popcorn, you won’t want to put it down! See what everyone is talking about. Savory Kernels also has a location in Hamilton on Queen Street. (234-POPS ; email@example.com) Beachcomber Kelly Diel has a treasure trove of unique, handcrafted gifts in the heart of St. George’s. Seaglass Studio is where Kelly creates one-of-a-kind jewellery 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) TAKING A BITE OUT OF 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 welldeserved. Here, you’ll find some of the best bars and restaurants in Bermuda. 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, oldfashioned fudge and homemade apple pie. (297-0614) Sweet SAAK Bakery is the quintessential family-run bakery. SAAK is an acronym 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 daily-baked 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) Tempest Bistro is situated in a restored former military warehouse on Water Street, Somers’ Wharf, and offers international-style 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) Temptations Café is a lovely sandwich shop which offers its customers a chance to experience a quaint slice of Bermuda. Whether you stop in for a hot beverage, an egg and bacon breakfast bagel, a hearty sandwich made to order or a sweet treat, you are welcomed like you’re at home. Eat in or takeout — affordably priced — open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (297-1368) 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 awardwinning 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) The 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, flamegrilled 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, Thai, Malaysian and Cantonese-style 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 through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (297-0408; wongsgoldendragonbda.com)
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