Things to Do in Kingston Jamaica
- Blue Mountains - The Blue Mountains are the site of Jamaica's first National Park and one of the most spectacular "green" things to do in Kingston Jamaica. The range covers three parishes: St. Andrew, St. Thomas and Portland. Don’t miss the rewarding drive into the Blue Mountains, home of Jamaica's famous coffee. This is a hiker's paradise and a nature-lover's dream. The route via Hope Road and Papine will take you to Newcastle, a historic fort which, in the past, has housed many famous British regiments and today is a training center of the Jamaica Defense Force. A mile further is Hardwar Gap in the Blue Mountain/ John Crow National Park. Also on the way is Hollywell, a park amidst the ridges and peaks of the beautiful Blue Mountain Range with its spectacular views of Kingston, bird-watching, picnic and camping facilities. One of the best trails from Hollywell, Oatley Mountain Trail, might require a guide; check with the ranger station. It is an easy, circular 40-minute hike to a lovely river that's perfect for a dip. Blue Mountain Peak is a stunning but difficult hike that takes an entire day from the base. You'll need to overnight in a lodge and attack it pre-dawn for sunrise. By mid-morning clouds often roll in, obscuring the fabulous views.
Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road is a must for all reggae fans. The museum, one of the most interesting reggae-related things to do in Kingston Jamaica, is located on the site of the renowned reggae artist's home, which he purchased in 1975. This was Marley's home until his death in 1981 and was converted into a museum by his wife, Rita Marley. The main museum displays Marley's personal treasures. There is also a theater, a gallery, and a gift shop selling T-shirts, posters and CDs. Other shops on the property offer snacks, herbs and spices, and African arts and crafts. Be sure to check out the bullet holes in the room upstairs where Marley survived an assassination attempt during the 1976 elections! Also, see the famous former Tuff-Gong recording studio turned movie theater. They give guided tours that are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in length, including a 20-minute video. Tours: Monday-Saturday (and public holidays) 9:30AM to 4:00PM. Admission: Residents - Adults J$500.00, Children 4-12 years J$250.00. Non-residents - Adults US$20.00, Children 4-12 years US$10.00. Also check out Legends Cafe on-site. (1.876.978.2929).
- Bob Marley's Statue - Worthy of a visit, the Bob Marley statue greets you at the entrance to Independence Park - a must for Kingston visitors. Robert Nesta Marley was the first to introduce reggae music to the world. The statue inside the lobby was originally meant for the National Stadium, but people hated it so this one was commissioned and placed outside.
- Cherry Garden Great House - The property was originally a sugar estate owned by Colonel Ezekiel Gomersall. After emancipation, the property was administered by Joseph Gordon who came to Jamaica from Scotland as an attorney for a number of absentee sugar estate owners and later bought several of the estates. He was the father of George William Gordon, National Hero of Jamaica. In 1845, George William Gordon bought the property from his father. He lived at Cherry Garden until he was arrested and later hanged for his alleged role in the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865. Oscar Marescaux bought the property from Gordon's widow in the late 1860s and made some renovations to the Great House. It is an impressive example of a 2-story Jamaican Georgian structure from the mid-19th century. The Great House is located at 46 Upper Russell Heights, Cherry Gardens, Kingston. It is a National Heroes' Site and a private home, but the owners don't mind people visiting to view the outide.
- Church of St. Mary the Virgin – At 99 Molynes Road. While relatively new, this Anglican Church was founded by women, and built in 1960 to serve the community of Molynes Road. A new wing was added in 1998. Try to catch a performance of their professional choir. The church is also decorated with paintings by famous Jamaican painters, such as Barrington and Osmond Watson.
- Cinchona Botanical Gardens – Paradise on a mountaintop, this spot is well worth the effort to find it, if only for the nature and the views. You will probably have to stop someone and ask for directions as the guide books and local maps don't show many of the roads. This rare high-elevation botanical garden in the tropics (about 4,800-5,200 ft above sea level) is the only such institution in the Caribbean. It was established in 1868 by then Governor, Sir John Peter Grant and was once a place for European researchers to study the many species of plants and their medicinal properties. In the early 1870’s several species of cinchona seedlings were brought from Peru by the Spanish and planted on 17 aces of the 24 acre property, thus the name Cinchona Garden. The bark of the cinchona plant produces quinine, which has great worldwide medicinal value for its use in the treatment of diseases like malaria. While the roads to get here are not for the faint of heart, the views from Cinchona are spectacular. Consider a picnic excursion from Lime Tree Farm.
- Clydesdale National Forest Park - Clydesdale National Forest Park is located in the hills of the Blue Mountain range. It was once a coffee works. The factory, drying barbecues and waterwheel can still be seen. You can bathe in a nearby river pool or stroll under the canopy of trees. This is a beautiful spot for nature lovers to relax. The Clydesdale Great House and factory, have been appointed by the Government of Jamaica as a National Heritage site.
- Coke Memorial Methodist Church – At the corner of East Queen Street and Parade in the William Grant Park area, this building is a work of art! Called the Pride of the Parade, the red brick neo-gothic building is reminiscent of the Middle Ages. It opened in 1841 and seats up to 2,000. The structure has been so sturdy that only one major repair has been necessary since the 1907 earthquake. It was declared a national monument in 2002. The caretaker can usually be found nearby to let you in; if you don't see anyone just ask at the small shop located in the complex.
- Constant Spring Golf Club on Constant Spring Road dates back to 1920 when it was designed by Scotsman Stanley Thompson, mentor of Robert Trent Jones. It has an 18 hole championship golf course, tennis, squash and badminton courts, a swimming pool, bar and snack bar. The Club is open only to members and their friends, but visitors to the island can apply for temporary membership. 876.755.2066.
Devon House - This elegant 19th century mansion is set on 11 acres between towering palm trees and overlooks a fountain. It's furnished in 1860s style with genuine antiques and some made-in-Jamaica reproductions. It was built in 1881 by George Steibel, a black shipwright's apprentice who made his fortune in a Venezuelan goldmine. He returned to Jamaica as a millionaire and built Devon House, one of the interesting historical things to do in Kingston Jamaica. The rear courtyard has craft and souvenir shops with quality arts and crafts, a restaurant and an ice cream shop (I-Scream) that specializes in exotic Jamaican flavors. You have to try the soursop ice cream - a favorite. Editor's note: I really enjoyed Devon House, and the property it sits on is lovely; spend some time here wandering around the grounds, take a guided tour of the home & treat yourself to some ice cream. For more historical information, click here. And for a panoramic video of Devon House and its grounds, click here. Address: 26 Hope Road, Kingston. 876.929.7029.
- Emancipation Park - at the corner of Knutsford Boulevard and Oxford Street, New Kingston. Emancipation Park was opened on July 31, 2002 to tie-in with the Emancipation Day celebrations of August 1. The central design theme is freedom from slavery. The controversial 11-foot bronze "Redemption Song" statue by celebrated Jamaican artist, Laura Facey, is at the park's entrance. It was commissioned by the Jamaican Government to reflect freedom and emancipation. There are also several water features that are meant to symbolize rejuvenation and peace. Finally, there are no fences or hedges to act as barriers. Nature lovers can enjoy the Park's scenery lined with tropical flowers and trees, such as the majestic Royal Palm. Most visitors come to the park to relax, eat lunch, read a book or chat with friends. Another important theme in the Park is the acknowledgement of the African roots held by the majority of Jamaican people. Several sculptures of "Adinkra Symbols", originating from Ghana, are placed around the Park, including Futumfrafo - a two-headed crocodile, Wafa Aba - the seed of the Wafa Tree, and The Eban - a fence. See if you can locate each of them on your next trip to Emancipation Park.
- Faith's Pen - The A1 Highway is the longest in Jamaica, running all the way from Kingston to Negril. If you’re crossing the mountain on it from Kingston into St. Ann, Faith’s Pen is about halfway between Kingston and Ocho Rios. This is roadside dining at its finest and one of the fun things to do in Kingston Jamaica when you need a snack! From the south side, it’s about a one-hour drive on A1 and is just beyond Ewarton. Along a curve in the road you will find a neat row of about 15 to 20 roadside huts selling all your Jamaican favorites – jerk chicken, roast corn, festival, bammy, ackee & salt fish, steamed fish – and traditional dishes like cow cod soup and mannish water. Facilities are bare-bones. Stop, meet the people and enjoy the Jamaican hospitality. As with any place where vendors compete with each other, there will always be a few bad apples that spoil it for the whole bunch by overcharging. Make sure to negotiate and know your price in advance. Open 7:00AM - 10:00PM daily. Check out Faith’s Pen on video.
- Fort Charles – This was the first of Port Royal’s six forts and the only one that remains. It is the oldest surviving monument of British occupation of Jamaica. Built between 1650 and 1660, it has withstood attack, earthquakes, fire and hurricanes, and was strengthened in later years by Henry Morgan (the pirate). By 1765 the fort had 104 guns and a garrison with 500 men. Horatio Nelson kept watch here from 1779-1780. Take a guided tour of Fort Charles and its museum housed in the former headquarters of the British Royal Navy. See a replica of Nelson’s private quarters along with a collection of sailing vessel scale models, cannonballs, artillery and the like from the 1700s. It's open daily from 9AM to 4:45PM, except Good Friday and Christmas; 876.967.8438. For a panoramic video of Fort Charles and Giddy House, click here.
- Fort Clarence Beach - This is one of the nicest beaches in the vicinity of Kingston but it's located in St. Catherine, near Portmore. (See details on our Saint Catherine parish page.)
Giddy House - This house was the Royal Artillery Store on the grounds of Fort Charles, built in 1888. It was knocked off-kilter during the Port Royal earthquake. To the left of the house are the remnants of a huge cannon which once defended the city from attacks by sea. For a panoramic video of Fort Charles and Giddy House, click here.
- Gordon House - Jamaica's parliament meets at Gordon House, immediately north of Headquarters House at the corner of Duke and Beeston Streets. The plain brick-and-concrete building was constructed in 1960 and named after national hero the Right Excellent George William Gordon. You can visit Gordon House by prior arrangement to watch how the Jamaican parliament conducts business. Typically the House of Representatives meets at 2:00PM on Tuesdays and the Senate at 10:00AM on Fridays. 876.922.0200.
- Half Way Tree Clock was built in 1913 as a memorial to King Edward VII and occasionally tells the right time. There is always a lot of traffic around it.
- Half Way Tree Court House - This Court House was built in 1807. It was repaired in 1882 due to damage from a storm and two years later was repaired and repainted. The building was not damaged in the 1907 earthquake. The Old Court House has since been refurbished and is now administered by the St. Andrew Parish.
- Headquarters House (a.k.a. Hibbert House) - Located at 79 Duke Street in the William Grant Park area, the Georgian townhouse was built in 1755 by Thomas Hibbert, a wealthy planter, merchant and member of the House of Assembly. Legend says that he competed with three friends to build the nicest house to win the affections of a much married and notorious lady of the day. It is the only surviving house of the four. Thomas Hibbert, the winner, died a bachelor. In 1814 the house was acquired by the military as their headquarters. When the island's capital was moved to Kingston from Spanish Town in 1872, it was purchased to be the seat of the Legislature which it remained for nearly 100 years. In 1960 Gordon House was built across from it on Beeston Street for that purpose. Today, Headquarters House is home to the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Try to check out the basement which is loaded with antiques and the lookout tower with views of Kingston’s skyline. 876.922.1287.
- Hollywell National Park - Located in the hills of St. Andrew, Hollywell National Forest Park lies 4,000 feet above sea level and is about an hour's drive from New Kingston. Because of the very cool temperatures here, Hollywell National Park has a variety of ferns, flowers, and trees that are rarely seen in other parts of Jamaica. It's also a sanctuary for several species of birds, including the Petchary, Woodpeckers, the Hopping Dick and the Glasseye. Hollywell is a great place for nature lovers and eco-tourists to visit. There is a Visitors' Centre, lots of nature trails, a plant nursery, and even cabins to rent.
- Holy Trinity Cathedral - Most beautiful church in Jamaica. See "Trinity Cathedral" below.
Hope Botanical Gardens Off Old Hope Road (near Papine), Hope Gardens was originally part of Major Richard Hope’s sugar estate. One of the English officers who helped capture Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655, Hope was granted a huge parcel of land as a reward. The original Hope Estate was huge, stretching from Newcastle (in the Blue Mountains) down to the sea. In 1881, the government of Jamaica acquired the land (200 acres) to establish an experimental garden. This garden contains the largest collection of botanical plants in the Caribbean and is one of the most scenic things to do in Kingston Jamaica. It was badly damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 but has slowly returned to its former grandeur. It is a popular destination for school excursions, picnics and couples looking for romantic surroundings. It also houses a small zoo, with exotic birds and other wildlife. Part of the Hope Aqueduct, built in 1758 to supply the estate, is still in use. For more historical information, click here.
- Independence Park, also known as National Stadium or “The Office”, was completed in 1962 to mark Jamaica's Independence. You'll know you're there when you notice Bob Marley's statue just before turning into the park from Arthur Wint Drive. The first event held there was the ceremony where the Union Jack was lowered and the Jamaican Flag raised at midnight on August 6, 1962. The stadium, built in 1966, is the island's premier sports center. A statue of Olympic gold medalist, Donald Quarrie, stands outside. The main focus here is football (a.k.a. soccer).
- Institute of Jamaica: Founded in 1879, the Institute is located at 10-16 East Street and is Jamaica’s smaller equivalent of the British Museum or The Smithsonian. The huge red brick building is the storehouse of Jamaica's cultural, artistic and scientific history, established in 1879 by former Governor Sir Anthony Musgrave. The Natural History Gallery is packed full of exotic butterflies, Jamaican seashells, animal specimens, fruits and their seeds, and plants used in Jamaican crafts. The National Library, also housed here, has a wonderful collection of Jamaican books and newspapers, dating as far back as 200 years. Hours: Tues-Thurs: 9:00AM-4:30PM, Fridays: 9:00AM-3:30PM, Saturdays: 10:00AM - 3:00PM. Closed on public holidays. Phone: 876.922.0620.
- Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) Museum (a.k.a. Forces Museum) at Up Park Camp on South Camp Road is an interesting side-trip for military history buffs. This small museum showcases historic memorabilia, weapons, tools and utensils, as well as medals and uniforms collected from the West Indian Regiment and the Jamaican Infantry Militia (1662-1906). There is also an area covering the First and Second World Wars. Gun Court, the formidable structure just south of the museum on Camp Road, is a prison originally established in 1972 to deal with multiplying gun crimes. Cost: J$100.
Hours: Wed–Sun. 10–4. 876.926.8121.
- Jamaica House – in Halfway Tree, Hope Rd, Liguanea area. A bit further up Hope Road from Devon House, Jamaica House features a columned portico and expansive lawns. Initially built in 1960 as the residence of the prime minister, the building today houses the prime minister's office. Visitors are restricted to peering through the fence.
- Jamnesia Surf Club & Camp - Want to try surfing in Jamaica? Head out to the far eastern rural end of St. Andrew parish, about 8 miles east of Kingston on Cable Hut Beach at Bull Bay, and visit this surf club and camp founded and operated by the first Jamaican family of surf, The Wilmots. The patriarch is the dreadlocked Billy "Mystic" Wilmot of Mystic Revealers and Jamaican soap opera fame who is also the president of the Jamaica Surfing Association. JSA's annual Makka Pro surfing championship (in July) has become one of the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean. Wilmot established the club and camp to provide a home for local and traveling surf enthusiasts. Bring your own board or rent one there.
- Jewish Cemetery - The old Jewish Cemetery at 1 Hunt's Bay in St. Andrew, is an important landmark in Jamaican history because it's the oldest denominational cemetery on the island and one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the Western Hemisphere. It was founded by the Jews of Port Royal in the latter part of the 17th century when a Jewish community flourished there. Port Royal was an impressive commercial center and Jews who arrived here took a prominent part in its activities. Those buried in the cemetery were brought by rowboats from Port Royal. It appears that no bodies were taken to the Hunt's Bay cemetery after the 18th century since the latest tomb, that of Moses Ferro, bears the date 1771. Many of the old tombs are inscribed in 3 languages - Portuguese, Hebrew and English. The oldest tomb is believed to be that of Abraham Gabay who died April 6, 1672. Today the cemetery has again fallen into disrepair. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared the Old Jewish Cemetery a national monument on July 15, 1993.
- Kings House - This was built as the home of the Lord Bishop of Jamaica. It included a 19-acre property formerly known as Somerset Pen. The government purchased the house in 1872 to be used as the residence of the Governor-General. It was badly damaged in the 1907 earthquake but was rebuilt in 1909 with a new design. After extensive renovations it was reopened to the public in late 1995. The gardens are open to the public every day. Some notable people have been entertained here, including Prince Albert and Prince George (later George V), the Duke and Duchess of York (later George VI and his Queen), HRH Princess Margaret and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. 876.927.6424. For a panoramic video of King House's interior, click here.
Kingston Harbour – Kingston Harbour is the world’s 7th largest harbor and is considered one of the most beautiful. Port Bustamante, on the northwest corner, is one of the busiest ports in the Caribbean. From West Beach Dock, a ferry ride of 20 to 30 minutes will take you to Port Royal. Despite downtown's rough reputation, and the noise of cargo business and the airport close by, the harbor is an unexpectedly enjoyable area where locals stroll and fish off the concrete docks. It also offers a nice viewpoint of the progression of Jamaican architecture, from the historic buildings to the west to the modern high-rises of the 1960s to the east. The Negro Aroused Statue is the highlight of the waterfront. This bronze piece by Edna Manley (wife of former premier Michael Manley) shows a slave breaking free of his chains; it'a a replica - the original is in the National Gallery.
- Kingston Parish Church - This magnificent Anglican Church at 70B King Street is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful and has served as the island’s state church since the 17th century. It was originally known as the Parish Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle and seated 13,000! A tombstone dated 1699 indicates that the original church on the site was built after the 1692 earthquake. There is a French chalice here from 1689, a collection of church plates from 1701, and the organ dates from 1722. The earthquake in 1907 destroyed the church and the present structure was rebuilt in 1910, replicating the original design except for the tower. The clock tower is important to true Kingstonians - those “born under the clock” (within earshot of its bell). The Church contains sculpture by John Bacon, the leading sculptor of his time. The tomb of Admiral Benbow is on the floor below the altar. The tablets and tombstones make interesting reading. The statue of St. Thomas was a gift from the Syrian community. Several members of the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II, have worshiped here.
- Liberty Hall was established as the headquarters of the Kingston Division of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in July 1923. Liberty Hall was the Mecca to which black Jamaicans could flock and participate in the programs of the UNIA. At Liberty Hall, black people had a voice. Liberty Hall was their very own social club and intellectual center. This was Marcus Garvey's center of operations for a while and today the museum here seeks to inform the public about the work of Jamaica’s first National hero.
- Lime Cay - This tiny uninhabited offshore island has beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water, so it's by far the best beach in the Kingston area, whether you're skinny-dipping, swimming, snorkeling or just chilling. You can get there with an excursion offered by the Grand Port Royal Marina hotel (formerly Morgan's Harbour Hotel & Marina) in Port Royal. The hotel also offers "day use" rooms which include round-trip boat transfers to Lime Cay. You can also hire a boat from the Y-Knot bar on Port Royal Slip Way on the dock (they are usually open 9AM to 7PM daily), or hire a fisherman to take you and pick you up. Weekends can be particularly lively on Lime Cay and busy with locals, while weekdays are much quieter. Bring water shoes in case the sea urchins are around. Also bring food and drinks because there is no restaurant at the moment and no guarantee that any food vendors will be working. There are also no changing facilities or bathrooms.
- Maiden Cay - Another of the little islands that form the Port Royal Cays, you can hire a fisherman from Port Royal to take you out there or catch a water taxi from the Morgan's Harbour Hotel and the Y-Not dock in Port Royal. Great spot if you want to sunbathe and snorkel all day!
Mavis Bank, a coffee farm high up in the Blue Mountains in a valley area known as Mavis Bank, invites visitors to come and see how the world famous Blue Mountain Coffee is grown and processed. The drive up into the mountains is spectacular and the tour of the factory is extremely interesting. You’ll see everything from the coffee cherries to the storage, curing, and roasting of the beans. 876.977.8005.
- Mona Great House - Mona Great House is of Jamaican Georgian architecture with thirteen rooms. It is a two-story building constructed of brick and mortar. The upper story is sand dashed, while the lower is made of red bricks. The roof is shingled. The great house was attached to the Mona Estate which was established in 1681. Several distinguished visitors including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip have stayed at the great house. Mona Great House is a private property.
- Money Museum at Bank of Jamaica - The Museum is housed within the Bank of Jamaica located at Nethersole Place on Kingston's waterfront. Learn about the art of making coins and bank notes, the crime of counterfeiting, and the history of money in Jamaica and around the world. Bank of Jamaica gives you the history of Jamaica through the story of its money. Kids should also enjoy this one. The museum is open from 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday and admission is free. They will also give guided tours for groups of 10 or more by appointment. Phone: 876.922.0750.
- National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica - At 4 Tom Redcam Drive, Kingston. If this company is performing while you are in Kingston, by all means take in one of their very impressive performances. The voluntary organization's mission is to provide a vehicle for talented world-class dancers and foster cultural awareness. The performances are spectacular. Check their site for scheduled events. Phone: 876.631.5879.
- National Gallery of Jamaica at 12 Ocean Boulevard in the William Grant Park area has a large collection of art by Jamaican artists in 25,000 square feet of floor space. There are eight permanent exhibitions, including a pre-20th-century collection of historical artifacts that can be traced back to before the 1400s. Their collection is the finest in the island and should not be missed. Opening hours: Tuesday-Thursdays: 10AM to 4:30PM, Friday: 10AM to 4PM, Saturday: 10AM to 3PM. Last Sunday of every month: 11AM to 4PM. Admission: J$400; Guided tours J$3,000. Phone: 876.618.0654.
- National Heroes Circle (or Park) - Located on East Street, this park is dedicated to the memory of Jamaica's national heroes and is the final resting place of prominent Jamaicans who have made significant contributions to the country's development. There are some intriguing statues and memorials at the south end of the Park, making it one of the most interesting things to do in Kingston Jamaica. Royalty, national and international leaders often visit to lay wreathes at the tombs. This used to be called Kingston Racecourse as it was the horse racing track for Kingston. When the races were moved to Knutsford Park (now New Kingston) the area was called George VI Memorial park. The name was again changed after Independence to National Heroes Park. There is always an honor guard of the Jamaica Defense Force in the park. Their dazzling uniform of red and black is eye-catching. Marcus Garvey is buried here< as is the beloved “Crown Prince of Reggae” Dennis Brown, who died in 1999.
Negro Aroused Statue - Edna Manley's original "Negro Aroused" statue was first exhibited in 1937. The statue depicts a crouched man breaking free from bondage. Manley was commissioned to create a larger version in 1977 but, before it could be shipped to New York for bronzing, it was destroyed in a warehouse fire. In 1982, Edna Manley produced a third version which was closer in size to the original. It was posthumously enlarged in 1991. Negro Aroused is a popular landmark at Kingston's Waterfront.
- Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate - Alex Twyman started his small 130-acre coffee farm about 4,000 feet up on the cool, northern slopes of the Blue Mountains in 1968. Today, it produces the only single-estate Blue Mountain coffee in Jamaica. The family will happily give a tour of the working farm and explain the coffee growing and exporting process, but call ahead to make arrangements. They will also sell you some great coffee after your visit! Phone/Fax: 876.924.2785. An interesting article about Old Tavern from Gourmet Magazine.
- Papine-Mona Aqueduct - The Papine-Mona Aqueduct is a fine example of civil engineering in 18th Century Jamaica. The Aqueduct once served the Mona, Hope, and Papine Estates with water from the Hope River. The Aqueduct which served the three estates, terminated at the Mona Wheel house on the Campus of the University of the West Indies. The Papine-Mona Aqueduct was built by Thomas Hope Elleston in 1758. This brick structure can still be seen on the University Campus. The Aqueduct was a part of the Mona Estates which produced up to 1908. This estate was as large as 1,372 acres.
- Plumb Point Lighthouse - Plumb Point Lighthouse was built in 1853, eleven years after the construction of the Morant Point Lighthouse. It stands on the Palisadoes Peninsula at Great Plumb Point near the entrance of the Kingston Harbor. The Tower which stands at 70 feet is built of stone and cast iron. The light is visible as far as twenty-five (25) miles.
Port Royal - As the pirate capital and trade capitol of the New World, Port Royal was labeled as "The wickedest city in Christendom." Port Royal is one of the most interesting historical things to do in Kingston Jamaica - don't miss it. It will also soon (hopefully) be approved as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The notorious pirate Henry Morgan spent a great deal of time here with the hustling prostitutes and flowing rum. Blackbeard stopped here regularly on his Caribbean trips. Most of the old city sank beneath the waves in a violent earthquake in 1692. There were 8 other earthquakes, 16 devastating hurricanes and three horrible fires. It's a wonder anything is still standing today. Today the town of Port Royal, dilapidated and rundown, is a small fishing village. Over the years much excavation work has been done to recover artifacts from this rich town. Fort Charles, once commanded by Admiral Lord Nelson, still stands and the silent cannons still keep watch. The Maritime Museum is located in Fort Charles while the Port Royal Archaeological and Historical Museum, which houses artifacts salvaged from the sunken city, is situated in the old Naval Hospital. To get there, drive along the road past Norman Manley International Airport or catch the ferry across the harbor.
- Rockfort Mineral Spa – In Rockfort on Windward Road that runs east out of Kingston, near Harbour View, Rockfort Mineral Spa is located in East Kingston, close to the site of the "Rock Fort" which gives the area its name. It is believed that the natural spa was uncovered in 1907, as a result of the earthquake which destroyed Port Royal. The spa houses one large communal public bath and many private baths, massages are also available. Rockfort Spa is fed by natural mineral streams from the surrounding Rockfort Hills, which are slightly saline and very radioactive. The water is believed to have therapeutic qualities. Bathing is limited to 45-minute sessions. Open: Tuesdays to Fridays (8AM – 4PM); Saturdays & Sundays (7AM-6PM). Closed Mondays. Fee: Adults - J$400.00, children 4 to 12 - J$280.00, senior citizens - J$280.00. Phone: 876.938.6551.
- St Andrew Parish Church - One of Jamaica's oldest churches, this Anglican Church is located on Hagley Park Road. Founded in 1664, it was named after the apostle Andrew, patron saint of Scotland. The current building was erected in 1700 after the original church was destroyed in the earthquake of 1692. Additions over the years include three separate chapels; interestingly, the famous 1907 earthquake destroyed another section of the church. The church is home to beautiful monuments and memorials, representative of the histories of Jamaica and England. The gravestones in the adjoining cemetery are a virtual Who's Who of Jamaica.
- St. Peter’s Church - As you drive along the Palisadoes, you arrive first at St. Peter's Church. It's usually closed, but you might persuade the caretaker, who lives opposite, to open it if you want to see the silver plate, said to be spoils captured by Henry Morgan from the cathedral in Panama. In the ill-kept graveyard is the tomb of Lewis Galdy, a Frenchman swallowed up and subsequently regurgitated by the 1692 earthquake.
- Sunshine Amusement Complex - Located in the heart of New Kingston beside Emancipation Park and opposite the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, this amusement park (formerly Putt-N-Play Amusement Park) has fun rides for the whole family, such as bumper cars, a carousel, spinning teacups, etc. A good spot to entertain your little ones for a few hours. Phone: 876.906.4814.
- Trench Town Culture Yard - Located at 6-8 1st Street in Trench Town, Kingston, the Trench Town Culture Yard was declared a National Heritage Site in 2007. You'll find a souvenir shop and a small museum containing articles, instruments and furnishings used by Bob Marley. Call ahead to arrange a guided tour. Tours end at the Casbah Bar at the front of the property which, together with the shady verandah outside, are a lovely place to relax and reflect on the work of Bob Marley. Open daily 6AM-6PM; Admission: US$10.00. Phone: 876.859.6741.
- Trinity Cathedral (a.k.a. Holy Trinity Cathedral), at 1 George Headley Drive at North Street, is a national landmark. Built in 1911, the beautiful stained glass windows are original, the pipe organ is the oldest and largest in the English-speaking Caribbean, and there are 3,000 square feet of murals and frescoes inside. Most funeral services for the nation's dignitaries are held here. This Roman Catholic Cathedral, designed by American architect Raymond F. Admiral, features an 85-foot-high copper dome, the only Jamaican church to have a copper roof. It was built to replace the Holy Trinity Church which was ruined in the 1907 earthquake. Pope John Paul II held Mass at the Cathedral in April 1993. It is only open during services (5:30AM weekdays, 8:30AM Sunday) or you can call ahead for the caretaker to let you in. 876.922.3335.
Tuff Gong Recording Studio – At 220 Marcus Garvey Drive, Tuff Gong Records, named for its founder, Bob 'Tuff Gong' Marley, is one of the Caribbean's largest and most influential studios. Initially established on Orange St, the enterprise then took up residence at 56 Hope Rd at what is now the Bob Marley Museum before returning to downtown Kingston at its present site. Bob Marley's early mixing board is still in use here today as the studio continues to turn out hit records, not the least of which are those by his son Ziggy, the studio's current chief. The Company's goal is to carry on the legacy of the late Bob Marley by producing music that inspires and motivates people towards peace, justice and self-fulfillment. Visitors are welcome to a 45-minute tour provided you call first to make sure the studios are not in use. A gift store sells CDs and singles, plus T-shirts, tapes, crafts and a miscellany of Marley mementos.
- University Of The West Indies (UWI), wedged between Long Mountain and the Hope River, spreads over 635 acres of the former sugar states of Mona and Papine. The stone aqueduct that used to provide water power for both factories is a campus landmark. The area was used as a concentration camp for Germans during the Second World War. The University began in 1948 with 33 medical students. Interesting buildings on campus include the Chapel which was formerly the old sugar warehouse at Gayle’s Valley Estate in Trelawny. The stone was dismantled and rebuilt as the Chapel. Also see the Creative Arts Centre and the Department of Psychiatry, both recipients of the Governor General's Award for Architecture
- Vale Royal - This is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Jamaica. The house was built in 1694 by Sir William Taylor, considered one of the wealthiest men in Jamaica at that time. It was then known as Prospect Pen. The government bought it in 1928 and it became the official residence of the Colonial Secretary whose post was next to that of governor. It is probably the only house in the Kingston Corporate Area that still has a lookout tower. Vale Royal is not open to the public.
- Ward Theatre - The Ward Theatre was presented as a gift to the city of Kingston in 1912 by Colonel Charles Ward, then Custos of Kingston. It occupies a site in Downtown Kingston, which has been in continuous use as a theatre since the 1770s. The first was the Kingston Theatre and the second was the Theatre Royal which was destroyed in the 1907 earthquake. The greatest personalities in Jamaican theatre and world famous celebrities have performed on its stage. It has been undergoing renovation and may not be open yet for tours but you can still admire the sky-blue facade with white trim.
- William Grant Park - Originally the site of a 17th-century fortress with artillery positioned in the direction of Kingston harbor, this park is named for Jamaican union leader and black autonomist Sir William Grant. In the 1980s, the park, in the historic public square at the top of King Street, was beautified. The park is in the center of "Parade," an area the British Military once used for public hangings and official gatherings.