The French were the first to colonize Grenada and set up the capital of St George’s (then called Ville de Fort Royal) after the first site, called Port Louis, on the opposite side of the harbor was subject to flooding and malaria. Over 100 years later the English attacked and conquered the island in 1762, during the Seven Years War. Although the French reconquered the island in 1779 when the Brits were busy with the American Revolution, they had to give it back four years later.
All this history has helped shape one of the more attractive towns in the Caribbean and exploring St George’s is a fun endeavor. It sits on the northwest portion of the large natural harbor that is actually the basin of an old volcano. The water front area is called the Carenage and the old wharf and warehouses have be re-purposed as shops, restaurants, and places to stay. This area back up to a short steep hill so the town goes up and over the hill and today the main part of town (including the outdoor market, bus depot, and cruise ship dock) is on this side of the hill.
If you want to go from town to the Carenage or back the other way, you can easily walk up and down the hill and most of the streets this way are filled with stores so you can shop the whole time. Although I have found a few pedestrian only stepped streets that are quiet and will remind you somewhat of small European towns. Your other option is to also use the 100 yard or so long Sendall Tunnel that was dug in 1895 and was a bit of an engineering feat at the time.
While in town make sure to check out Fort George, the National Museum, the Chocolate Museum (all of which I have written about in the past), the old churches, the Central Market (which I will write about tomorrow), and the Christ of the Deep statue. This statue was a gift from the Costa Cruise Line after the local population went out of their way to rescue and shelter the passengers and crew of the ship Bianca C. On October 22, 1961, an explosion in the engine room caused the Bianca C to catch fire and eventual sink. Due to the quick action of local fishermen and boat owners only one person died and the ship was towed away from the harbor entrance, which it would have blocked if it sank there, and is now considered one of the best wreck dives in the world and sits a couple miles from Grande Anse Beach.