Kingston is the capital of the island of Jamaica, lying on its southeast coast. In Kingston, you can feel the heartbeat of Jamaica. It’s a bustling, vibrant city with plenty to offer. There are two major sections to this city: ‘downtown’ and ‘uptown,’ also referred to as ‘New Kingston.’ Kingston was for some time Jamaica’s only city and is still the commercial and cultural capital. With plenty to see and do, Kingston is a crash course in the island of Jamaica.
Devon House is a must-see destination. The elegant, Georgian-style Great House was built in 1881 by George Stiebel, the Caribbean’s first black millionaire. This national monument offers lush, sprawling landscapes, as well as a full suite of services. Beautifully restored by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, it contains one of the world’s finest collections of antique mahogany furniture. While there, stop by the famous Devon House I Scream Shop. Not far is the Bob Marley Museum, situated on the site of the legendary musician’s home, which he purchased in 1975. The museum is a must-see for all music k.
Rising out of the lush jungle north of the city, the Blue Mountains are a favorite destination with adventure travelers and anyone looking to see what lies beyond the beach. For a more laidback encounter with nature, there’s Hope Botanical Gardens. Laid out on 2,000 acres of land, not only is it the largest open green space within Kingston’s urban boundaries, but it’s the largest botanical garden in the Caribbean. The Hope Zoo is home to 900 animals across 60 species, including indigenous, endangered and endemic animals. Kingston may not be known for its beaches, but locals flock to the shores of Fort Clarence. The beach features amenities like changing rooms, showers, toilets and lifeguards, plus two nearby restaurants serving up fresh fish and so much more.
Kingston is home to many locally made products. Jamaican-made soaps, candles, T-shirts, hair and skincare lines, honey, jams and jellies, sauces, and jewelry can be found throughout the capital. They make for perfect souvenirs and unique gifts. For arts and crafts, a handful of outlets such as Grosvenor Galleries, Island Art and Framing, Craft Cottage and the National Gallery of Jamaica can suit your needs. Impressive pieces can also be found along Kingston’s streets, testament to the nation’s creative spirit. Shoppers may also want to visit Kingston’s many fairs. A popular fair held at Devon House several times a year is Market on The Lawn, which features art, crafts, jewelry, fashion, food and all manner of items in between. Kingston Kitchen is another trendy fair, but its focus is food — from quick eats to full-on feasts, as well as condiments of all kinds. The city also hosts a number of Christmas fairs. Aside from being a shopper’s retreat, Kingston fairs are also a hub for relaxed socializing.
Kingston is where you need to go for an authentic jerk experience. One must-try dish is the Jerk Chicken Coco-which, featuring juicy jerk chicken, fried ripe plantain, lettuce, tomato and fresh red onion with jerk mayonnaise on fresh coco bread. Scotchie’s Jerk Centre on Chelsea Avenue is widely celebrated for their authentic jerk chicken prepared to perfection with the use of wood and zinc. “This is defi nitely the place to go if you want to taste the real Jamaican jerk chicken and pork, along with other mouth-watering items sold at aff ordable prices,” says local Jodi-Ann Dean