Portland is a more rustic parish, which thankfully allows for a picturesque beach scene. Beaches in Portland are as scenic as they come and you’ll feel like you’ve walked onto a tourism site. However, be mindful that some beaches on this list are public while others are private and might require an entrance fee. But these beaches would not have made the list if the money was not worth it.
Popular for its teal waters that change shades throughout the day, Blue Lagoon is more of an oasis than a beach. A mixture of freshwater and saltwater, Blue Lagoon is open to the sea but fed by freshwater springs. Legend used to say that the Lagoon was bottomless (180 feet) and is home to a sea creature (we haven’t found him yet). In reality, it’s just open waters that you can swim around in or enjoy a boat tour while absorbing the surrounding green flora. Imagine how beautiful it must be to have featured in a film that gave it a name change (thanks Brook Shields).
2. Boston Beach
You’ve probably heard of Boston Jerk Centre and this is just a nearby beach for when you want a view while eating your jerk chicken or pork. However, this beach is also great for water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, and windsurfing and has equipment rentals. Of course, you’ll have to hope for days when the water isn’t so choppy. But if you aren’t into activities and just want a day to relax on the beach you can do exactly that. It’s a small, family-friendly beach with top-notch food and beauty you can’t help but enjoy for the whole day.
Frenchman’s Cove is more than your run of the mill beach. With over 40 acres of remote white sand and crystal water, you can enjoy more on your day at the beach. The cove itself is a pure water river that empties into the salty Caribbean Sea. So, when the water is too strong at sea, there is always the plan B river with a swing. The scenery from their pavilion is the perfect backdrop for weddings, yoga retreats, and beach trips. And a beach day is no fun on an empty stomach so they serve food here. There’s a wide selection jerk chicken, steam fish, burgers, fries, rice at a (supposedly) reasonable price. However, it’s a private beach so please account for things like admissions and chair rentals when you plan your trip there.
4. Long Bay Beach
As a disclaimer, I will point out that there is another Long Bay in Negril (because I guess names were scarce). For the one on the other side of the island in Portland and the longest beach in the parish, you can expect a crescent bay of soft sand, palm trees, azure waters and a possible surf spot. In short, yes, it’s supposed to resemble a brochure. Not far from Boston Beach and Jerk Centre, the shore is also dotted with beach bars and vendors to provide you with refreshments to savor your beach day.
5. San-San Beach
7 miles outside of Port Antonio and near Frenchman’s Cove is a private beach with a narrow but lengthy shore is San San Beach. The waters are usually calm and good for your next fishing, scuba diving or windsurfing adventure (bookable with the people who work there). There are also a variety of small reefs just offshore, making for a great snorkeling experience. And if you’re really the adventurous type, feel free to venture out to Monkey Island (this island has so many names) and see mansion ruins from a colonial past. A word of warning, as shallow as these waters are to the island (swimmable even) it would be safer to rent a boat and avoid sea urchins. San-San is in the nicer parts beyond Port Antonio, so villas are available for rental in case you want more time to enjoy the beach. Overall, go to San San if for a day outside of the city centre.