Found on the extreme East End of Bermuda is the historically-rich parish of St George, which is where the aptly named town of St George's is located. St George Parish is where the first English settlers washed ashore way back in 1609, and St George's Town was settled in 1612. It terms of permanent English towns in the New World, St George's is the oldest. As such, it is where a good amount of Bermuda's most historic buildings can be found. Once the capital of Bermuda, the town of St George's has lost that distinction to the town of Hamilton, which should not be confused with the parish of Hamilton. However, St George's Town has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with its surrounding fortresses, so it still enjoys a good bit of distinction. St George's Town is very much inhabited, and it is where you will find one of Bermuda's three cruise harbors. When cruise ships dock here, the town can get inundated with visitors looking to enjoy the parish's varied attractions, so if you like it tranquil and quiet, you can head over to the West End to Sandys Parish after a visit here.
St George Parish was not the intended destination of
the English crew that landed here 400 years ago.
Admiral Sir George Somers was in command of the expedition,
which was actually en route to Jamestown,
Virginia. Bermuda is surrounded by a number
of reefs, and the Sea Venture, which was the
crew's ship, wrecked on one intentionally to find
salvation from a harrowing storm. Interestingly
enough, this wreckage is believed by many to have inspired
Shakespeare to write The Tempest. The Sea
Venture was the crown ship of the Virginia
Company, which was established by James I of England for the purpose of not only reaching North America, but
also settling it. The crew of the Sea Venture survived, and many of the settlers eventually continued
on to Virginia after building two new ships. As
a side note, the town of St George's was originally
named New London.
Divided in two major parts by St George's Harbor, St George Parish is actually made up of several different islands, as is Bermuda itself. The two main islands here are St George's Island and St David's Island, the latter of which is connected to the rest of the territory by a causeway. Those arriving on flights to Bermuda will arrive in St George Parish, as this is where the airport is, and though the St George hotels don't offer the best selection, you might stay at one of them before heading off to another part of Bermuda. All the main attractions in St George Bermuda can be seen in one day, and it is worth spending at least that much time here. St Peter's Church and Fort St Catherine are just two of the parish's attractions worth adding to your itinerary.
St Peter's Church is the Western Hemisphere's
oldest Anglican place of worship, having been built back
in 1612 by colonists. Unfortunately, a hurricane
all but razed the original edifice in 1712, but some of
the interior managed to survive. One year later,
it would be completely rebuilt on the same plot.
Of particular interest here are the segregated graveyards,
which help to give some insight into the early history
of Bermuda. When time is tight in St George
Parish, you won't want to miss Fort St Catherine,
which overlooks the beach where the Sea Venture crew first came ashore. Dating back to 1614, Fort St Catherine
was renovated time and again, and it is easily one of
the best-kept Bermuda forts. For those interested
in taking an informative audio-visual tour at Fort St Catherine, it is open 10 a.m. until 4
p.m. daily. Other great St George tourism
attractions include the Bermuda National Trust Museum,
which has an informative exhibit on the East End's
role in the United States Civil War, and St David's
Battery and Great Head Park, which affords visitors an
unparalleled view of the East End from its cliff-top setting.
When looking into the St George tourism options, you
can always plan to spend some time at one of the St George
Beaches, especially on warmer days. Gates Bay is
where you will find one of the more interesting St George
beaches, as it is here where the Sea Venture crew first set foot. Tobacco
Bay and Achilles Bay are two of the other St George beaches that you might
consider, and both offer vacation
rentals, changing facilities, and places to eat.
When you're not enjoying the area beaches, or touring
the historical St George tourism sites, you can opt to
head out for a round of Bermuda golf. The Mid Ocean
Club offers an extremely fine golf course, though it is
private and only members and their guests can play here.
If you don't enjoy either distinction, you can play
at the St George's Golf Club or the Tucker's
Point Golf Club, both of which are quality courses that
feature designs by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.