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Bermuda is justifiably famous for pink-sand beaches, impossibly blue water, and kelly-green golf courses. But that's only the beginning. Thanks to its colourful past, this small sliver of land also has a surprising number of historic sites. In addition to countless quaint old cottages, it's said to have the oldest continually inhabited town of English origin in the Western Hemisphere and—because of its strategic Atlantic location—more forts per square mile than any other place on earth.

Bermuda has a distinctive culture, too: one that combines a reverence for British traditions dating back to colonial days with a more relaxed attitude befitting a subtropical island. In court, for instance, local lawyers may still wear formal flowing robes—yet there's a good chance that they're sporting Bermuda shorts beneath them. So while you're here, take time to look beyond the obvious and savor all that Bermuda has to offer.

There is certainly no shortage of things to see. The town of St. George's, at the island's East End, is the original 1600s settlement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city of Hamilton (not to be confused with the parish of the same name farther northeast) is home to Bermuda's principal harbour and most of its shops. It's also the main departure point for sightseeing boats, ferries, and the pink-and-blue buses that ramble all over the island. The Royal Naval Dockyard, at the West End, is a former British shipyard that has been transformed into a stunning tourist attraction.

All three of these destinations can be explored easily on foot. The rest of the island, however, is best discovered by taxi, motor scooter, or even bicycle—but only if you're fit, because Bermuda is hilly! The main roads connecting the parishes are North Shore Road, Middle Road, South Road (also known as South Shore Road), and Harbour Road. Their names make it easy for you to get your bearings and almost all the traffic traversing the island's 21-mi length is concentrated on them, although some 1,200 smaller roads also crisscross it.

Bermuda has long been thought of as a pricey vacation destination, but since the Bermudian dollar is on par with the American one, visitors from the States don't have to fret over the declining value of the greenback. Since U.S. bills are so widely accepted, vacationers don't have to bother with currency exchanges, either.