19 people found the following review helpful:
Small, picturesque, British island with the sites & beaches close to the pier, September 1, 2010
Tobacco Bay, Fort St. Catherine and the downtown are all within walking distance
Bermuda is very expensive and Hamilton is very crowded.
saw things this way
When we arrived at St. George's through the channel that bears the same name, we couldn't wait to go exploring. This quaint island on the northwestern end of Bermuda has done a good job of holding on to its past. We spent the first two of 3-1/2 days at this rather quiet end of Bermuda exploring the beaches, the churches and the shops downtown. It is a magical place. The British accents were alluring and being called "Love" by everyone added to the magic. And, the ship was met by the town crier and that set the tone.You won't find the usual slew of tourist shops you see in just about every other cruise ship port of call. Instead they have a number of specialty shops -- wool goods, clothing, chocolate, art, alcohol, tobacco, jewelry, crystal, novelties and keepsakes. We liked the old nautical maps but bought a newer version to take home that was more in our price range. The bars and restaurants offer something for everyone and although we ate most of our meals on the ship, we had to have some Shepherd's Pie and a couple pints of bitters.We probably had the most fun swimming at Tobacco Bay. To get there, you can pass on the cruise's excursion. If you have difficulty getting around, get a taxi or a van. If not, walk into town (it's a block off the pier) and go ahead and take a look at St. Peter's Church then head west to Government Hill Road (less than 50 yards). Go up the hill to the Unfinished Church and then continue up hill past the old armory. Stay on the Government Hill Road through the St. George Golf Course and 10 or 12 minutes later it dead-ends just above Tobacco Bay. You can rent snorkels, masks and fins and you can swim in the bay and the ocean. Everything there, including the beer and food is reasonably priced. We spent the better part of the day swimming and climbing on the unusual limestone rock formations. Be careful, the rocks can be very sharp.When we left, we took Barry Road to Fort St. Catherine and gave it a quick look. It is a real fort/museum and has nice beaches on either side. We decided to come back the next day and it was well worth it. If you can, after you've been through the fort and museum, walk out below the southern wall to the cannons that have been abandoned there. St. George's has the feel of Old World England and we enjoyed just about every minute there. Of course, we also explored the other parts of the island - St. George's to Hamilton, the capitol, is a 35-minute bus ride, about 20 minutes by cab. The southern beaches are especially nice. We liked the Aquarium, the Gardens and the Cave we went to on the way, but Hamilton is a bustling city and very different from St George's. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful city and getting there from St. George's takes you through much of the islands and gives you a good idea of how the locals live. But once you are there, you are in a business center that's big on retail and banking. You'll notice that the businessmen wear suit coats with their Bermuda shorts and a good percentage of them ride around on scooters. But the hustle and bustle down on the wharf was annoying -- there were two large cruise ships docked there and I felt like I was in Times Square. It cost us about $60 to have a hamburger, a tuna sandwich and two drinks but we just chalked it up to the added expense of being on an island and in the middle of tourist-ville. We were both glad to get back to our end of the islands.When you go to Bermuda you are presented with a number of choices. If you are a diver, there are more than 125 wrecks to dive on. The northern beaches have limestone formations and the southern beaches have beautiful pink sand. There are plenty of great beaches, a lot of shopping, attractions and nightlife. Of course, you can allocate your time to doing it all, but if you prefer to stay on the roads less traveled, I'd suggest seeing if you can arrange to get on a cruise that will be docking at St. George's and enjoy a bit of Old World England while you are there. We did and I found out that the steps of St. Peter's in the early evening is a perfect place to ask your lady if she would marry you.
(Review ID: 148)
16 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful, quaint town, August 3, 2010
Historic, easy going, lots to do, walk to beach, waterfront dining, lovely town
saw things this way
This is one of the most beautiful of islands. Plenty to do, or not, as you choose. Very easy to get around. Scooter rentals, cabs, water taxis, buses. Fantastic weather, friendliest people. It's a small island so you can't get lost if you want to explore on your own. We have been there a dozen times, and will keep visiting. Our favorite vacation spot!