St. George's, Bermuda
Typical Bermuda Beach Scene
Language and Currency
What is St. George's Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?
English is spoken throughout Bermuda and the currency is the Bermudian Dollar, which is equivalent to a US$. US Currency is readily accepted anywhere on the island.
St. George’s is one of the nine parishes that comprise Bermuda, all measuring 1250 acres. Located on the very eastern tip of this pretty archipelago, visitors are greeted by warm breezes and friendly people. The friendliness of the residents is most evident as you traverse the winding roads. Don’t be alarmed by the trumpeting horns you will here on the highway. It is just an exchange of greetings between islanders. St. George’s is where colonists, en route from England to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1609, encountered a violent storm and ended up shipwrecked. Determined to continue on their voyage they built new ships to transport them to Jamestown. But, word of the fruitful soil they had discovered found its way back to England and a new entourage of colonists set sail for this promised land. It was then that the true settlement of Bermuda began. A full-scale replica of the “Deliverance” is still displayed on Ordinance Island, across from King’s Square. As you wander the neat, narrow streets, notice the17th century architecture that remains as a testament to the past. The historic town of St. George’s has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Steeped in English tradition, afternoon tea, Boxing Day and the Queen’s Birthday are major events. You will see no litter or graffiti on this island. The residents take great pride in their verdant marshes, sparkling beaches and marvelous homes hidden behind oleander and hibiscus shrubs.
Bermuda enjoys a mild subtropical climate. Temperatures range from the low 80’s to upper 80’s (Fahrenheit) from June through October. November – March temperature drops and ranges from the 70’s – mid 50’s, but never freezes.
The ships dock at Ordinance Pier in front of the Main Square in St. George’s Harbour. The entire town of St. George’s is within walking distance of the pier, but if you venture further out on the island, metered taxis are readily available. Be aware, however, that taxis in Bermuda are very expensive (as are many things), and a cab to Hamilton will run about $35. Your best bet while in Bermuda is the excellent public bus/ferry transportation system. Ferries run from St. George’s to Dockyard and Hamilton as do buses. Buses run frequently and most parts of the island are within walking distance of a bus stop. A one day pass ($13), or 3 day pass ($23) can be purchased which allow unlimited use of all buses and ferries. Rental cars are not available on the island (only residents are permitted to drive cars). I strongly suggest you do NOT rent a motor scooter. The narrow winding roads are the scene of numerous tourist scooter accidents. One visit to Bermuda and the site of visitors “road rash”, as well as the numerous disasters you see along the road, and you will understand my warning!
St. George's Shopping
You will find wonderful stores and quaint shops all along Water Street and York Street, the two main streets in St. George’s. Trimingham’s, a Bermudian chain, located on Somers Wharf, is a great one stop shopping experience.
British goods, such as, porcelain, fine china and crystal, silverware and fine tableware are all great buys. Imports from Great Britain and Ireland, such as, Shetland and cashmere sweaters, Harris tweed jackets and Scottish woolen goods are exceptional buys. Also, check out the cedar wood gifts, carriage bells and antiques.
St. George’s is truly a visit to the past. Every Wednesday and Saturday at noon from May to September, the past comes to fore as the town crier, in full costume, rings his bell and a reenactment of his tribunal doles out 18th century justice in King’s Square. Offenders are sent to the public stocks, pillory and ducking stools. A walking tour is the best way to explore this end of the island so make sure to pick up one of the self-guided walking tour maps of St. George at the visitor’s bureau near the Town Hall.
Check out the replica of the “Deliverance”
While on foot you will be able to visit the Deliverance on Ordinance Island. This is a replica of the ship that returned the shipwrecked passengers of the Sea Venture to Virginia.
Visit the Town Hall.
Highlights of a walking tour will include Old State House, the oldest stone building in Bermuda, Somers Garden, the Unfinished Cathedral, the Historical Society Museum and
St. Peters Church
St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere that is still in service.
Fort St. Catherine
Fort St. Catherine & Museum, just outside the center of town, (about a 10 minute walk) makes for great historic exploration. Also on this eastern end of the island, just west of the airport, in Bailey’s Bay, a visit to the Bermuda Perfumery & Gardens, where perfume is made from Bermuda flowers can prove interesting. Bermuda’s signature fragrance, Paradis, is manufactured here.
If spelunking is your thing, then don’t miss the Crystal Caves, also in Bailey’s Bay, to view the fantastic array of stalactites and stalagmites and a clear 55 ft. lake. While in this area, take a liquid libation break at the Swizzle Inn.
Although the south shore beaches are much more scenic, Tobacco Bay is only a 10 minute walk from the pier and offers fantastic snorkeling in the shallow, tranquil waters of a coral cove. A beach bar/restaurant, water sports and changing facilities are all available. Fort St. Catherine Beach, next to Tobacco Beach is another good choice for lounging, swimming and enjoying the beautiful Bermuda sand. Combine the beach with a visit to the fort and you have the makings of a great day. If you are interested in exploring the undersea world, but hesitant to go snorkeling or get wet, then Bermuda Bell Diving at Flatts Village, in Smith’s Parish, is a fun excursion.
On the top of my list would be a snorkeling session at Tobacco Bay, followed by a short walking tour of St. George’s coupled with some excellent shopping. I would also include time spent on the patio of the White Horse Tavern as a high priority
There are a number of excellent choices on the island, so I am going to recommend those that are in closest proximity to Ordinance Pier. However, as I have already indicated, even while in St. George’s the entire island is at your disposal, so, check out the King’s Wharf and Hamilton reviews for other suggestions. A great place for lunch, or some English Fish ‘n Chips, is the White Horse Tavern in King’s Square. The patio, along the waterfront, is a great place to watch the boat traffic and enjoy the view. Order a “Dark and Stormy” (Bermudian Black Seal Rum and ginger beer) and relax, island style! Just west of the airport, near the Crystal Caves in Walsingham Bay, is Tom Moore’s Tavern. Seafood is the specialty at this establishment that serves mainly French and Italian cuisine. It is a bit on the expensive side, but the excellent service and food are worth it! The poet, Thomas Moore, wrote some of his poetry here, and his famed calabash tree is only a few yards from the tavern. For some serious partying, head for the Swizzle Inn, also close to the Crystal Caves, on Blue Hole Hill. This is the home of the famed Bermuda Rum Swizzle. Their motto is “Swizzle Inn, swagger out”. Enough said!!Travel Guide to St. George