Guest post: Seven Top Jamaica Attractions
This guest post is by Michael Rainford. He describes himself as “a Jamaican native proud of the rich culture and diversity of my country.” He runs JamaicaHotelReview.com and likes to “help others discover the wonder of this small paradise island“.
Thinking of traveling to Jamaica soon? Maybe you’ve been before and wonder what other adventure you can unlock on your next visit? A vacation in Jamaica can be any of an endless number of things depending on what you’re looking for. From chilling on a heavenly spot of white sand beach to exploring one of the many legendary landmarks dotting the island, there is something to suit whatever you want your trip to the island to be.
So, where do you even begin? Let’s start with some of the things that make Jamaica the unique destination it is.
Taste Jamaican Jerk
If you know anything about Jamaican cuisine, you will understand that jerked meats, particularly chicken and pork, are among the island’s most popular dishes. There are many restaurants, cook shops, and one-man street-side grills serving up sumptuous helpings of jerk chicken and jerk pork. As a result, you can get your fill of jerk almost anywhere you are on the island. In addition to chicken and pork, you can also have jerk fish, lamb, and even conch from some vendors – all delicious.
Visit the Bob Marley Museum
The late Bob Marley is arguably the most famous Jamaican, having left a treasure trove of reggae songs that have left a mark on the consciousness of millions around the world. A visit to the museum of this musical legend – located on Hope Road in Kingston – will both open your eyes to his achievements and also his musical mastery. A tour of the museum, which was once one of the singer’s residences, will reveal platinum and gold albums, a life-size hologram of the legend, and artifacts related to his work in the studio when he was alive.
Check out the Peter Tosh Museum
While not as famous as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh is also a reggae icon in his own right. He, too, left a lot of music which people the world over still celebrate. Tosh and Marley were part of the same group – The Wailers – before they pursued successful solo careers. Tosh toured with the Rolling Stones at the height of his career and received a pair of gold microphones from Mick Jagger, which are on display at the museum. He also left behind his famous M-16 guitar and a unique unicycle, which are among other items from his life on display at the museum on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston.
Chill out at the Pelican Bar
Floyd’s Pelican Bar is one of the most unusual attractions in Jamaica. It’s not necessarily about the pelicans (although it’s possible to catch a glimpse of these majestic birds on a lucky day), it’s about the fact that the bar is built on stilts in the middle of the sea. Getting there requires a boat ride, but once you’re there, you won’t soon want to leave. In this quaint little hut that is always jamming with choice Jamaican music, you can have a drink and just chill with friends, as well as grab a bite of delicious seafood. It’s also a great spot to watch the sun as it sets.
Attend a reggae/dancehall session
Jamaican music influences cultures all over the globe, and it isn’t hard to see why if you check out one of the many local music sessions that occur all over the island. You can attend weekly street dances held in several communities, as well as see stage show celebrations put on by bigger promoters. These include the July Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute, which usually takes place in January. In between, there are countless music sessions and house parties. Check out Dub Club in Jacks Hill which offers a more laid back atmosphere where you can really “build a vibe.”
Note: be sure to plan ahead when deciding to go to any event. Chances are slim that you will face any harm at a Jamaican street dance or party, but it’s best to go with people you know or people who organize tours to these events.
Hike the Blue Mountains
As Jamaica’s highest mountain range (at over 2,200 meters), the Blue Mountains offer the opportunity to conquer its challenging terrain. There are not many experiences that can rival reaching the peak at sunrise (it’s recommended to hike to one of the lodges the evening before and then depart around 5:45 to catch the sunrise, though it is possible to hike through the early morning with a flashlight). In addition, the national park, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, allows you to experience the wonders of nature in the form of a tropical rainforest blessed with rivers, streams, and a host of birds and animals.
Have Ice Cream at Devon House
Devon House is special to Jamaica and for Jamaicans due to the fact that it was the first great house on the island to be built by a black millionaire. But apart from that, it’s well-known for serving up arguably the best ice cream in the land. There are a bunch of flavors to choose from, including the traditional ones you’re probably used to and others that are more unusual due to their Jamaican influence. Look for guava, soursop, grapenut, rum & raisin, Devon stout made with Jamaican Dragon Stout, and, of course, Blue Mountain coffee. The property features many other shops, including restaurants and a chocolate shop. You can also organize a tour of Devon House, which will let you see artifacts that showcase the way of life from over a century ago when the house was first built.
Looking for more things to do in Jamaica? Check out JamaicaHotelReview.com’s Things to Do list.