St. George’s, Bermuda is the easternmost area of this magical group of Western Atlantic islands. The island is by far my favorite place to be in Bermuda and a must-add item to your Bermuda bucket list. If you find yourself visiting St. George’s, here’s your ultimate guide to everything the island has to offer, from beaches to military forts and beyond.
The town of St. George is touted as the oldest land in the new world – settled in 1612, seven years prior to the permanent settlers in Jamestown, VA.
St. George’s was found unintentionally, when the Sea Venture, a ship en route from Plymouth to Jamestown, intentionally drove into the reef to avoid a storm.
The survivors of the Sea Venture stayed on the island for nine months, building two smaller vessels (Patience & Deliverance) to return back to the colonies.
Originally called New London, St. George’s was the capital of Bermuda until 1815. Today, the town of St. George’s and its many historical landmarks are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Getting to St. George’s
Getting around Bermuda by bus is relatively easy and straightforward. It’s easiest to pre-purchase tickets from a post office or pharmacy so you don’t have to deal with exact change (plus, this saves you a little in the long run).
The bus stops have a pink or blue pole (or are painted in either color). The pink bus stops go inbound toward Hamilton, blue bus stops are outbound.
Since St. George’s is the easternmost portion of Bermuda, the buses going there will read ‘St. George’s’ on the bus itself.
Tourists cannot rent cars in Bermuda, so that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about.
For a scenic journey, try taking the ferry over to St. George. The orange line runs only in the summer and stops at the Royal Naval Dockyard before continuing on to the town of St. George.
Where to Stay in St. George’s
VRBO’s are my favorite option for lodging whenever I travel. It gives the most honest depiction of daily life in whatever country it is that you’re visiting, in my opinion. If you’ve never stayed in one, I highly recommend it!
The 1st two AirBnb’s listed below I’ve personally stayed at – the second two are higher-end options in case you’re looking for a little more luxury. The entire island is easily walkable, so location doesn’t factor in too much.
Jolly Cottage is owned by a good friend of mine, Don Ricardo. The view is absolutely ridiculous, and Don embodies the spirit of Bermudian hospitality. Easy walk to Tobacco Bay and Fort St. Catherine. It’s a great option for a place to hang your hat while you’re off exploring the island.
During my first visit to St. George’s, I stayed at Shannon and Tommy’s Airbnb, ‘Nossa Casa’. It’s got everything you need at a super affordable price and is right by the Unfinished Church and Tobacco Bay. If I hadn’t made friends on the island by now, I’d have kept booking this place every time I come back.
inns & hotels
Where to Eat in St. George’s
If you only go to one place to eat or drink for the entirety of your stay in St. George’s, let it be Wahoo’s. Seriously. During my first trip to the island, I was here every day. Each subsequent time I’ve been here… yep, I’ve been at Wahoo’s every. single. day. I wound up meeting some of the most wonderful people during that time – I actually met my (now ex) boyfriend here.
The staff is wonderful, super friendly, and helpful. Kevon, Tristan, Kai, Cam, Geza & the rest of the Wahoo’s crew will take excellent care of you. The food and drinks are delicious! My go-to is the Wahoo taco (if you’re unsure which size to order, know that they are HUGE – 1 is usually plenty for me).
When you first walk in, the area has a few high tops & an informal bar setting. This is where the fun happens. Regardless of the day, Wahoo’s is always a super popular spot with locals and tourists alike.
There is a more formal restaurant setting toward the back of the building, with a covered patio and indoor seating as well.
At night you can find impromptu live music performances (sometimes by the staff!)
I’ve been to The Wharf many times for drinks, but haven’t had the food here. I’ve heard good things from locals, and the bar scene is nice at night (for the rare occasion I needed a reprieve from Wahoo’s).
Worth noting – this is the only establishment open on the island on Christmas Eve (at night)
View of St. George’s Harbor from outdoor tables at The Wharf
Good spot to stop in for lunch or an afternoon beer, White Horse is located right in King’s Square. There is an indoor dining space as well as a separate bar area, and pictured below is part of White Horse’s outdoor seating.
The suicide wings at White Horse are delicious (although, I like to sweat when I eat, so I would consider these ‘hot’ at best ????).
I stopped in Tempest for lunch one day during my first visit. It’s a higher-end option than the aforementioned restaurants with a slightly more formal setting. Sadly I can’t make any specific recommendations here, as I had a daily special, but the food was quite tasty, I’d absolutely return.
If you’re looking for a full breakfast, this is the place to go (the only place, actually). My insider tip for Mama Angie’s – don’t expect them to open up at the time listed. I spent many mornings hangrily pacing down York St, where the restaurant is located.
If you find yourself too hungry to wait for Mama Angie’s to open, stop in Somer’s to get supplies to make your own breakfast. Somer’s also has a buffet-style selection of freshly prepared foods in case you don’t have kitchen access.
Things to do in St. George’s
Despite being a small island, there’s no shortage of things to do in St. George’s. The island is walkable and picturesque, so even getting lost is a fun activity!
Tobacco Bay is by far the most picturesque (read: insta-worthy) place on the island, ESPECIALLY in the off-season, when you won’t find it overrun with crowds.
Despite the heavy influx of tourists come summer, the beach and surrounding bay is still a great option to relax, float around, and get some sun.
If you come during tourist season, bring a towel or a personal beach chair unless you want to shell out $20 to use a rental. Snorkeling equipment is available to rent as well. Don’t fret if you forgot the cooler – there’s a little bar with drink service right behind the beach.
This tiny little beach is the perfect spot for a quick dip or for some early morning yoga photos. To get to the beach, you climb down a set of stairs located at a restaurant (Blackbeard’s). During the off-season, when the restaurant isn’t open, you can go down and (usually) have it to yourself.
Capt. Nick Brown, whom I met at (surprise, surprise!) Wahoo’s will take you out on a 46′ Fountain Pajot Catamaran to enjoy a relaxing day on the beautiful Bermudian waters. Discover areas off the tourist radar, snorkel & swim, eat & drink, whatever!
Optional custom meals are available, check out the website below for more info. Definitely a solid option for anyone who likes being on the water. Or eating good food. Or drinking.
St. Catherine’s Beach
St. Catherine’s beach offers a great view of Fort St. Catherine, as well as a more expansive shoreline in comparison to the aforementioned beaches. I can’t attest to the crowds in season, but it’s been quiet and peaceful each time I’ve visited during the off months.
It’s a great place to visit during the dawn hours – Bermudian sunrises are unreal.
The forts in St. George’s, Bermuda were all built to guard the Eastern waterways. Gates Fort & Fort St. Catherine were both built-in 1612, and Alexandra Battery was built sometime in the 1860’s.
Gates Fort is my personal favorite (not to mention the best spot to watch the sunrise). It was built to overlook and guard the Town Cut, the entryway into St. George’s Harbor.
If you’re here for sunrise and no one else is around, it can feel a little creepy. That staircase (pictured above center) didn’t help. No museum or anything here, just a unique place to explore and see the rising sun.
Fort St. Catherine
I’ve only seen Fort St. Catherine from the outside. As you can maybe tell from the photos, it was just before sunrise and clearly, not open.
Fort St. Catherine is a coastal artillery fort whose main purpose was to prevent any entering vessels attempting to come in through the reef lines. Overexposure made it vulnerable, and eventually, it became obsolete. The fort is now a museum, the interior preserved, dedicated to artifacts and historic exhibits.
Alexandra Battery was built much later than Fort St. Catherine & Gates Fort, in the 1860’s. There is a beach just below (Building Bay Beach) that is renowned for its sea glass – it’s also where the Deliverance was built (hence the name).
If you go down to the beach and go to the right, you’ll find a cave where you can find more sea glass. Worth noting: It’s illegal to take the sea glass from the beach.
The center of town and a meeting place for locals, King’s Square has a lot going on. Walk over to Ordnance Island to sit in the shade and take in the views, watch an 18th-century reenactment, see the ships going in and out of the harbor, grab a bite at White Horse – whatever!
Paradise Gift Shop, located in the square, has slammin’ local hot sauce (walk in, take a sharp right and it’ll be on the wall in front of you). The Bermuda National Trust Museum is also located in the Square.
Bermuda Heritage Museum
In the Bermuda Heritage Museum, you’ll find all sorts of artifacts and documents pertaining to the history of slavery in Bermuda. The museum highlights the achievements of black Bermudians, as well as exhibits featuring stories of the end of segregation in Bermuda.
Adults $3/Children $2/Under 5 – free
St. George’s Historical Society Museum
The St. George’s Historical Society Museum focuses on Bermudian history. The museum is adorned in period decor and features a recreated colonial kitchen. The museum is only open Wednesdays and Saturdays, but if you happen to be there on a Wednesday, you’ll catch a demonstration on the old Gutenberg printing press – in case that sort of thing interests you!
Adults $5/Children $2/Under 5 – free
Bermuda National Trust Museum
The Bermuda National Trust Museum used to be a hotel, followed by the office of the Confederate Agent during the U.S. Civil War. In 1961 the building was converted to a museum, where you can find a replica of the Sea Venture and a movie on the founding and development of St. George’s, Bermuda.
Adults $5/Children $2/Under 5 free
Part of the Anglican Parish of St George, the picturesque ruins of the Unfinished Church are a quick walk from the center of town. With soaring stone arches, a grassy floor, and the sky for a roof, the church has obviously been a popular tourist attraction in St. George’s.
The interior of the church is currently closed to the public while repairs are made to those areas of the building where weathering has caused structural deterioration. However, the grounds of the church are easily accessible, and you can get a good view of the inside by looking through the arches.
St. Peter’s Church
The oldest (continuously used) Protestant church in the new world, St. Peter’s is also the oldest Anglican church outside the British Isles.
Just Breathe Yoga
Just Breathe Yoga offers morning and evening classes in a variety of styles.
Forgot something at home? They also have a boutique where you can find anything practice-related that you may need.
After class head out back to the adorable little coffee truck with gorgeous views of St. George’s Harbor.
Know Before You Go
– Yes, everything is stupid expensive. Cooking at home won’t help, it’s pretty much the same as eating out.
– Don’t be surprised if things don’t open when they say they will. You’re on island time.
– Drink tap water at your own risk. Bermudians collect rainwater from their roofs into tanks, so there may be some pathogens or bacteria present that your body has no immunity/tolerance for. I’ve drank the tap water, and have never had a problem, but we all have different immune systems.
– If you live on the U.S. east coast, flights are less than three hours – the perfect excuse for a long weekend.
– That pink sand that Bermuda is famous for? Parrotfish poop. You’re welcome.
– Tourists can’t rent cars here, only bicycles and mopeds. Unless you’re an experienced moped rider, I’d highly recommend a bicycle or public transportation.