Planning a trip to the beautiful island of Jamaica? The country has a rich culture and history with the various parishes concentrated with numerous heritage sites, none more so than the capital, Kingston. Here are five of the rich cultural attractions the vibrant city has to offer:
1. Port Royal
Only a short distance away from the national airport is the town of Port Royal. Once described as the ‘Wickedest City in the World’ the legendary Port once home to notorious pirates is a historical mecca of the pirate age. With cannons and forts, old style saloons, and some of the best seafood the island has to offer. A visit to Port Royal is like being transported back in time to the days of the infamous Henry Morgan. You can visit Giddy House, a building left permanently tilted by the Earthquake of 1907 which swallowed a part of Port Royal in the sea. Take a long walk along the beach and if you fancy a bite to eat stop by the renowned Gloria’s restaurant and treat yourself to your choice from a wide array of Jamaican style seafood.
2. Devon House
The historical 19th century Great House tells the tale of life in Colonial Jamaica. A tour of the Great house will transplant you into a day in the life of the wealthy, upper class Jamaican family in the 1800s. Plus, is there ever a bad time for ice cream? Especially the world-renowned Devon House ice cream. Treat yourself from the endless myriad of flavours available at the Devon House ice cream shop. The Estate now also houses an Italian style pizzeria, Chocolate Dreams bakery, various other restaurants and gift shops. All the ingredients necessary for a great day out.
3.Bob Marley Museum
When one thinks of Jamaica the very first name that springs to mind is that of Bob Marley, legendary Reggae artiste and one of the greatest musicians to have walked this earth. The Bob Marley museum is the site of the residence of the reggae icon up until his time of passing. Guided tours are offered where one can learn about the life of the late, great musician, browse through the gallery of photographs and the record shop. There is also a gift shop where you can get souvenirs and memorabilia. After your tour you can also grab a bite to eat from the extensive menu at the One Love Café.
The Emancipation park located in the heart of New Kingston, the primary commercial district of the capital, is a breath of fresh air in the city. (Or oasis in a concrete jungle). At the main entrance to the park is the magnificent, towering, fountain statues commemorating the end of slavery. With its tall, beautiful palm trees, lush lawns and picturesque landscape its no wonder so many couples choose to immortalize their wedding day by having photoshoots there. A perfect spot to have an evening of outdoors relaxation with your significant other or even a kickabout with the kids (There’s an ice cream parlour next-door and cotton candy vendors). The park is also enclosed by a running track for the fitness enthusiast in us all. The best part about this attraction is it’s free.
5. Trench Town Culture Yard Museum
Take a tour of Reggae icon, Bob Marley’s hometown in St. Andrew. See where he grew up, made music, played football. This former Tenement Yard was the early home to Reggae legend Bob Marley, and was the place where the Wailers was formed and they recorded their first album ‘Catch a fire’. The Culture Yard today hosts a small museum which presents the phenomenal history of Trench Town along with articles, instruments and furnishing used by Tata Ford, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The Culture Yard is recognized as a National Heritage site due to its importance as a home and workplace to persons who put Reggae on the map.