Boston Bay Beach (18 km. east of Port Antonio) – this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. It’s also popular with surfers. This beach got its name, because American agribusiness traders began shipping locally-grown bananas to Boston (USA) from 1870 onward (including a time when a company subsequently set up to continue that trade, Boston Fruit Company, would eventually become part of the agribusiness giant United Fruit Company).
Blue Lagoon (Fairy Hill, 13 km. east of Port Antonio) –– Enjoy rum punch on the shaded veranda or watch the colors of the lagoon change with the movement of the sun. The Blue Lagoon is over 178 ft deep and is Port Antonio’s most famous attraction. Hours: Daily 9 am to 10 pm. Local tour guides on-site charge various fees (negotiable).
Fort George Village Shopping Arcade (downtown Port Antonio – across from the court house) – opened in 1997, this three-level shopping center houses various types of retailers – from jewelry to PCs and other electronics, to jewelry, souvenirs, etc.
Carlos’ Café (22 Belmont Road, New Kingston) – this is bar in the uptown part of Kingston, frequented by well-heeled locals, along with some tourists passing by. Thursday is Karaoke night, and Friday is Latin night. It draws a professional after-work crown on Friday evenings.
Almond Tree Restaurant (Hibiscus Lodge Hotel, 83-85 Main Street, Ocho Rios) – located within this seaside resort, this is a charming upscale two-tiered patio restaurant with its eponymous almond tree growing through its roof. Seafood and other items are served here, including some with local influences, such as jerk lamb.
Appleton Estate Rum Tour (Appleton, Siloah, Maggotty) — Appleton Estate Rum Tour gives the visitor an inside look at the rum-making process. Visitors watch resident donkey “Pax” demonstrate how juice was extracted from sugarcane in the 18th century. From there the tour takes visitors to the Distillery & Aging House where the different methods of distillation are shown. Visitors are then able to juice their own cane, sample white rum and boil “wet sugar”. Call for more details (876-963-9215) or browse through their website: www.appletonrum.com
Kingston – now the capital of independent Jamaica, Kingston’s history goes back to 1692, when nearby Port Royal was destroyed by a massive earthquake, which spurred gradual redevelopment at a nearby area. Nowadays, Kingston (as the largest city on the island) acts as the country’s business center, as well as most government ministries being located here. To many locals, Kingston is the “heartbeat of Jamaica”.
Half Moon Shopping Village (Half Moon, North Coast Highway, 11 km. east of Montego Bay) – this shopping center, located within Half Moon resort and housed in bright yellow buildings, has a mix of pricey boutiques, as well as more affordable wares. Along with the shops, there are also restaurants, a bank and a post office.
Blue Beat Jazz Lounge (Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay) – located on Montego Bay’s so-called “Hip Strip”, this upscale venue offers more mature vacationers and locals live jazz music in a cozy setting with atmospheric lighting and cool blue décor.
Boston Jerk Centre (Boston Beach, Route A4, east of Port Antonio) – the main attraction to this open-air restaurant is its popular jerk pits. Healthy portions of jerk chicken, pork, goat and fish are served here – a great introduction to BBQ Jamaican cuisine for first-time visitors. Side dishes typically include rice and peas.