Montego Bay is the tourism capital of Jamaica, a title it easily earns because of the various activities, restaurants and vibrant nightlife offered to the enthusiastic visitor.
Mobay, as it is called locally, offers access to various exciting pursuits on land, water and in the air, as well as places to sample famous Jamaican cuisine, and exhilarating spots to party the night away.
Montego Bay Beaches
When it comes to beaches, Montego Bay has some of the best in Jamaica.
If you're staying in an all-inclusive hotel or beach-front hotel, chances are, you have a perfect white-sand beach within walking distance. But if you aren't, here are some great beaches in Montego Bay that allow public access.
Doctors Cave Beach: At Doctor’s Cave Beach umbrellas and loungers are available for rent, and, if you choose to, you can lounge all day.The new “Groovy Grouper” Beach Bar and Grill provides a great variety of delicious meals and tropical themed drinks.
Cornwall Beach: At the peak of the tourist season, Cornwall Beach is more likely to be visited by tourists than by local Jamaicans, and it is always popular among beachgoers with very small children, since it usually has the mildest of swimming conditions.
Aquasol Beach Park is an ideal attraction for the young and young at heart, with its MoBay 500, a unique GoKart racing circuit, kiddies snack bar and soda fountain, they also provide two professional tennis courts and equipment, water trampolines, jet skis, banana boat rides, wave runners, kayaks, pedal boats, glass-bottom boats, and snorkeling. You are also welcome to participate in a game of beach volleyball or table tennis.
River Tours in Montego Bay
Montego Bay is also blessed with several impressive roaring rivers. You’ll find that river rafting & tubing are often as gratifying as any beach activities.
Martha Brae River rafting, for instance, boasts a relaxing three-mile river tour with complimentary natural fruit juice and a visit to Martha’s herb garden, where you will learn about local herbs and their many fascinating properties.
Great River Adventures offers a slightly different way to travel with river tubing tours where you can relax and enjoy the rapids and enchanting lagoons. Afterward, you can go shopping and enjoy authentic Jamaican dishes at the nearby shops and restaurant.
Historic Sites in Montego Bay
The Rose Hall Great House is one of the most interesting historical sites around, famous for the somewhat terrifying potential to have an encounter with the resident ghost- Anne Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall.
Wild rumors keep alive an epic, colonial era, tale of her witchcraft and jealousy, turned to murderous rage, directed at several husbands and male plantation slaves. A rage that eventually led to her death at the hands of one of these slaves. If you have a tolerance for some fright and appreciate local history and lore this is sure to resonate with you.
Croydon Plantation: Nestled in the foothills of the Catadupa Mountains, Croydon plantation is the birthplace of National Hero- Sam Sharpe. Capture the history of Jamaica by visiting the birthplace of one of one of Jamaica’s most celebrated National Heroes, who gave his life in the fight against slavery. Visit this prize–winning Plantation, holder of the coveted National Champion Plantation Trophy several times, to sample tropical fruits in season and enjoy a delicious Jamaican buffet in the cool and relaxing atmosphere of the lush green mountains of St. James.
Sam Sharpe Square: Located in the center of downtown Montego Bay, the Sam Sharpe Square gives visitors a peek into the life of one of Jamaica's National heroes, Sam Sharpe.
He was the main instigator in the 1831 slave rebellion, which eventually led to the emancipation of Jamaican slaves.
Greenwood Great House: For a bit of architectural history as well, Greenwood Great House is not only a fine example of late eighteenth century Great House construction but also functions as a museum housing historical evidence of that period in Jamaica, in the museum is the original library of the founders of the plantation, the Barrett Family.
Golf Courses in Montego Bay
After all the history you may want to relax and play a few rounds of golf on one of Montego Bay’s globally renowned golf courses.
Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Half Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club (Rose Hall) and the Three Palms Ocean Course each present their own unique sights and challenges.
Cinnamon Hill Golf Course: Course designers von Hagge and Baril designed Cinnamon Hill Golf Course with elevations that give the sense of both links and inland golf.
It's an experience like no other with the cool ocean spray on your cheeks as you putt on seaside greens and the wind whistling through the pines as you tee-off on the 17th hole, 350 feet above sea level.
Half Moon Golf Course: Situated on the historic 4,000 acre Rose Hall Estate, and sited on 200 acres of lush greenery and rolling countryside, The Half Moon Golf Course is carved out of Jamaica’s historic Rose Hall Plantation and is an 18-hole championship golf course also designed by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril. This 6,758-yard, Par 71 treasure is sure to race the pulse of any true golfer.
Three Palms Ocean Course: Just across the road from the Wyndham Hotel, Three Palms Ocean Course is the reincarnation of a course originally built by Henry O. Smedley in the early 1970s. Smedley's course was the home of four Jamaican Open championships, but the new Three Palms opened with new tees, greens, fairways, bunkers, and an irrigation system, as well as a lengthening and re-routing of the entire course. Three palms now has a par-71, 6,637-yard layout, complemented with a well-equipped golf shop, a thrilling driving range, and a well-groomed putting green.
Montego Bay's Bird Sanctuary
If you're a bird/nature lover, or just want to capture some amazing pics, the Rocklands bird sanctuary in Montego Bay is a must!
They have some of the most exquisite species of birds there, and what I like the most, they are not in cages or restricted to the area. These birds choose to hang out here.
The story behind the place is that the original owner of the house was a true bird lover. And over time, they developed a level of trust for her that has been passed down through the generations.
So even though she's no longer there, the birds know that they're safe here, and will fly right up to you and land in your hands.
It's an amazing experience for all ages.
Montego Bay's Nightlife
Oh the nightlife! Montego Bay never really sleeps and that’s probably because the nighttime activities are so captivating.
Margaritaville Montego Bay: Jam at Margaritaville Montego Bay, a fun and exhilarating outdoor club where you can enjoy great local and international food, drinks, and live entertainment; or join the reverie at the famous Pier One for fun and affordable bar fare.
Pier One is a great place to have some inexpensive drinks and dance while listening to live music.
Where To Eat in Montego Bay
Pier One on the waterfront is one of Montego Bay's most electrifying open-air Seafood Restaurants that has been in operation since 1986. Located on a scenic cape overlooking the Harbor and the City, you get a feel of being on the ocean while you dine in a most breathtaking atmosphere with spectacular Sunsets! Pier One serves a wide variety of delicious seafood done in so many unique ways that you will find something you enjoy.
The Pelican Grill has been serving truly Jamaican home-style dishes for almost 50 years. Centrally located on Montego Bay's famous Gloucester Ave. (the Hip Strip). The Pelican Grill bills itself as ‘the place where the locals eat’ and its traditional, expertly spiced, Jamaican cuisine is the reason why.
Scotchies Jerk Restaurant: In the mood for great Jerk? You just have to find Scotchies Restaurant in Montego Bay. The casual setting at Scotchies is part of the experience. You will enjoy the tasty jerk dishes under thatched roofs just as the originators, the Arawak Indians, did centuries ago. Scotchies goes the extra mile in terms of offering meal complements- Mouth watering roast breadfruit and yam go well with the Jerk dishes. A Jamaican favorite, bammy (baked/fried Cassava cake), is another dish complement that scores big at Scotchies. The smoky aroma, which permeates the grill area is only a herald of what is to come. The carefully selected blend of herbs and spices will leave your taste buds electrified.