Last month I participated in a historic preservation study abroad program in Bermuda, and I wrote a blog post about our experience there documenting historic buildings. This one is nothing about class or research, but a quick traveler’s guide to some of the worth-seeing attractions in Bermuda. Whether you are a history buff or a natural science person, or just enjoying the feeling at sea, you will all find your favorite spot in this lovely place. I hope this post can help you to plan your future Atlantic getaway!
- St. George’s UNESCO World Heritage Site
Located on the eastern end of Bermuda, this historic town was founded in 1612, being the oldest remaining British overseas territory. It has a large number of surviving 18th
century buildings, and the historic urban fabric is well preserved as well. Spending a few hours walking around in St. George’s, you will see the harbor and Somers Wharf (named after one of the first British colonizers in Bermuda), the town hall square (where the new year’s countdown event happens), the State House (sole survivor from the town’s earliest days), St. Peter’s Church (the oldest continuously used Protestant church in the New World), and many other historic houses along Water Street, Church Street, Duke of York Street, and Duke of Kent Street. The beautiful Bermudian architecture and colorful colors of the buildings are impressive, not to mention the ocean view with turquoise color waves.
- Royal Naval Dockyard and National Museum of Bermuda
At the opposite end of the island is the Royal Naval Dockyard, which served as British Navy’s principal base in the Western Atlantic from late 18th
century to mid-20th
century. Today, the dockyard is also the port of call for mega cruise ships arriving in Bermuda. Principle buildings including the Commissioner’s House, the barracks, the ordnance yard, the victualing yard, and the clock tower are major attractions for the tourists. The National Museum, located in the Keep, has exhibitions on Bermudian maritime history, military presence at the dockyard, as well as culture of contemporary Bermudian society. There is a glimpse of Aggie pride here, as one of the underwater archaeology exhibitions mentions Texas A&M Department of Anthropology’s work on discovering and preserving shipwrecks in Bermudian water.
Today there are more than 90 surviving forts in Bermuda, built by British and U.S. Navy in the past few centuries. They signify the strategically important location of this island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Victorian-era stone garrison called Fort Hamilton, near the post-1815 capital city of Bermuda, offers a picturesque view of the harbor. Another example is Fort St. Catherine, near Tobacco Bay to the north of St. George’s. They are great places to learn military history and defense constructions.
Located at 32N, Bermuda’s coral reefs are unique as they are the most northern massive coral reefs in the Atlantic. Today, visitors can see a range of animals and marine life in naturalistic environments at the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo, including living coral reefs, sea turtles, the endangered golden lion tamarin, pink flamingos, and many kinds of tropical birds. The natural history museum here tells the then-and-now story of Bermuda’s natural environment, and the environmental protection efforts currently underway.
Bermuda is world-widely known for its pink sand beaches (actually, the beaches get their beautiful pink color because of a very small marine organism: the red foraminifera). They are year-round locations for water sports and simple relaxation in the sunshine. Most welcomed spots include the Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach along the south shore, and Tobacco Bay to the northeastern tip of Bermuda.
Mingqian Liu | Architecture
Mingqian Liu is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Architecture