KINGSTON, Jamaica, Saturday May 20, 2017 – Resting at the foot of the Blue Mountains and overlooking the world’s seventh-largest natural harbor, Jamaica’s capital city Kingston is the cultural heartbeat of the island with its pulsating reggae rhythms and rich history.
Named by The New York Times as one of the ‘52 Places to Go in 2017’, this diverse city is a melting pot of cultures. It offers a feeling and a vibe like no other Caribbean city: a wide variety of attractions, events, restaurants, and nightlife activities that are sure to satisfy the discerning traveler.
“Our busy cosmopolitan Kingston is one-of-a-kind, offering a bustling city experience between a mountainous backdrop and the Caribbean sea,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Whether it is the One Love spirit of the great reggae legend Bob Marley, or the tantalizing taste of Devon House ice cream, there is a wide variety of activities, historical sites, entertainment, and restaurants that offer an unparalleled cultural experience that is authentically Jamaican.”
Visit the restored Georgian-style Devon House, a national monument built in 1881 by Jamaica’s first black millionaire, for a tour of the mansion, its garden, shops and restaurants. Always a hub of activity is the Bob Marley Museum, housed in the late musician’s former home and recording studio, or the newly opened Peter Tosh Museum, honoring the former Wailer. The National Gallery of Jamaica houses the island’s finest art collection, from Taíno artifacts to Spanish and British colonial art to contemporary works. Flowers and trees bloom year-round at the 200-acre Hope Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1881 and features an orchid house.
Visit Port Royal, the former pirate capital of the Caribbean where buccaneers like Blackbeard and Henry Morgan lived; the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica, with its displays of masks and jewelry; and the Victoria Crafts Market, where vendors sell colorful batiks, wood carvings, straw baskets and other locally crafted wares.
Take a hike on the Blue and John Crow Mountains.
Approximately an hour’s drive from Kingston are the island’s famed Blue and John Crow Mountains, the longest mountain range in Jamaica. At 7,402 feet, it is the highest peak and offers outdoor adventure and undiscovered beauty, including bird watching. Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee is one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. There are several plantations that visitors can tour, such as the Craighton Coffee Estate and the 200 year-old Old Tavern Coffee Estate. Blue Mountain Bicycle Tours offers downhill riding tours that pass through the misty slopes, coffee plantations and waterfalls.
Jamaican jerk chicken is usually a bit hit.
Jamaica’s cuisine features a mix of cultural influences that date back to her Chinese, European, Indian and African ancestors, creating an eclectic and tasty combination that is uniquely Jamaican. From jerk to ital, from fresh seafood to fruits and vegetables, from roadside cook shops to five star restaurants – the dining experiences are mouthwatering. Some of the popular spots include: Gloria’s Rendezvous, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records, Chateau 7 Gourmet Jerk Centre, Redbones Blues Cafe, and OPA Greek Restaurant.
Jamaica is known for its rich culture and the capital city is always abuzz with activity. With a vibrant theater scene, visitors can choose to experience one of the many dance or theatrical performances which reflect the island’s diverse talents. A trip to Kingston would not be complete without a visit to one of the many lounges, bars or clubs, to experience reggae and dancehall in its birthplace. Nestled in the hills overlooking Kingston, Kingston Dub Club is a haven for dub, roots and reggae lovers from around the world. Every Sunday, Rockers Sound Station hosts a musical vibration with millennial musicians behind Jamaica’s reggae revival. Other popular spots include: Fiction Fantasy, The Quad Night Club, Stone Love HQ, and Famous Nightclub.
Kingston offers an array of choices in the city or on the outskirts in the mountains. Spanish Court Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, or The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Altamont Court Hotel, Knutsford Court Hotel all are in the heart of the city or try a boutique mountaintop oasis like Strawberry Hill, twelve charming cottages located at 3,100 feet up in the Blue Mountains.
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