It's hard to believe that Bermuda wasn't always a vacation paradise, but since the island lies about 600 nautical miles from the U.S. East Coast, it was once a strategic military outpost for Great Britain. During the American Revolution and the War of 1812, its proximity to the young American nation made it an ideal spot for Britain to station troops and deploy arms. Once nicknamed the Gibraltar of the West, Bermuda was the Royal Navy’s Western Atlantic headquarters for many years.
During the American Civil War, the Confederacy relied on Bermuda as a checkpoint for British ships, allowing them to evade the Union blockade and deliver goods to the South. The island also served as an important naval base during both world wars. It’s no surprise, then, that Bermuda still houses several historic forts. Here are five strongholds worth a visit.