Planning a trip to Kingston? Our experienced travel editors break down the town so you can make the most of your stay. Let these itineraries be your guide, whether you're here for a weekend or a whole week.
1 Start out the morning with a contemplative visit to the 100-year-old sand-floor Shaare Shalom, Jamaica’s only synagogue.
2 Then head to the streets surrounding St. William Grant Park, called the Parade and bustling with activity during the day. National Heroes Park is where the “corn ladies” sell their homemade treats to hungry locals and tourists. Browse Coronation Market, the largest and busiest outdoor market on the island.
3 Later, have an authentic Jamaican jerk meal at one of Kingston’s informal eateries: Scotchies Tree, Chelsea Jerk Centre or Rib Kage Bar & Grill.
4 If you’re game, sample Kingston’s nightlife at Quad, where you’ll have a choice of four venues.
1 Make tracks for Spanish Town, the second-largest urban center after Kingston, chockablock with Rasta bars.
2 Spanish Town also has the most extensive examples of Georgian architecture in the Caribbean. Visit the St. James Cathedral, the oldest Anglican Church outside England, built in 1520.
1 Leave the rental car at the hotel and hire a driver to visit Trench Town and the Tuff Gong Recording Studio to see the mixing board used to record the Marley classics “No Woman, No Cry“ and “Stir it Up.” The record stores on Orange Street have the widest selection of reggae music on the island.
2 Take the ferry from Ocean Boulevard to Port Royal for a peek at Jamaica’s pirate past.
1 For a breath of fresh air, spend a day in the Blue Mountains with a stop at Strawberry Hill for lunch or dinner. The drive takes less than two hours from Kingston. For the adventurous, arrive before sunrise and bring flashlights to illuminate the 7-mile ascent to the top of the Blue Mountains. At 7,402 feet above sea level, the peaks are spectacular, with vistas of Cuba on a clear day and fresh coffee beans perfuming the morning air.