Saint James Parish:
Beaches & Fun Things to Do
Beaches & Fun Things to Do
Saint James has many fine beaches, waterfalls, eco-tourist destinations, recreation and other fun things to do. Here are some of the things to do and hidden gems:
- Aquasol Theme Park: Located at Walter Fletcher Beach, Aquasol Theme Park greets visitors with enough activities and entertainment to keep you busy all day. The park's long list of attractions includes banana and pedal-boats, jet skis, wave runners, water trampolines, glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, parasailing, beach volleyball and underwater murals. It has a go-kart track with 10 Honda bumper carts. The park also has tennis courts, lifeguards, a disco, a first-rate seafood restaurant, and a gift shop. The Voyage sports bar and restaurant has 42 big-screen TVs, pool tables and slot machines.
- Cinnamon Hill Golf Course at Rose Hall - This is a par-71 course designed by von Hagge and Baril, and is located next to the Rose Hall Resort & Country Club. The newly renovated 18-hole course offers a variety of mountain, island and ocean views along with 7,000 yards of greens and tees to challenge players of all skill levels. They have friendly and professional service with reasonable green fees. There are lots of hills, drops in elevation and undulating greens; not as difficult as White Witch.
- Cornwall Beach – This white sand beach draws large crowds because of its central location near major hotels and restaurants. Find them between Doctor's Cave Beach and the Decameron Hotel. But don't let the crowds keep you away—this is an excellent destination for spending your day playing on the beach, or swimming in the cool blue sea. The beach offers umbrellas & lounge chairs, and a new facility offers showers, towels and fun beach activities like snorkeling and beach volleyball. Hours: 8am-6pm daily. Every Wednesday from 9am-3pm they have a beach party. Phone: 876.979.0102.
- Doctor's Cave Bathing Club at White Sands Beach. When you need to cool off while in Montego Bay, this beach on Gloucester Avenue in the middle of the “Hip Strip” is perfect; it is full of history and legend. Donated in the 1900s by a wealthy doctor, the Doctor's Cave legend began in 1920 when an article was published about the healing powers of the water that laps its shores. People flocked here from around the world for its supposed curing powers. The cave was destroyed by a hurricane in 1932 but today the beach has many amenities, a well-kept, sandy shoreline and crystal clear water. There are restrooms, showers and changing areas, a restaurant and a cyber cafe. Beach chairs and umbrellas are also available for rental.
- Half Moon Equestrian Centre: The centre is part of the Half Moon Resort at Rose Hall. This is Jamaica's premier horseback riding facility offering riding for all skill levels, beach rides, pony rides for the kids and lessons in basic dressage, jumping and polo.
- Half Moon Golf Club: The club is part of the Half Moon Resort at Rose Hall. The championship par-72 course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and has been recently renovated. It has uniquely shaped greens, challenging holes and a spectacular view. Although a beautifully manicured course, it is not as challenging as some of the others on the island. However, it is excellent for beginning to intermediate golfers. Tee time reservation information is available on the website.
- Montego Bay Craft Market - The city's main craft market on Market Street is a kaleidoscope of color. The colors that dominate are yellow, blue, purple and green. You really cannot miss it. Purchase a wide range of straw and wooden souvenirs at the small shops. The selection also includes T-shirts, hats, dolls and other novelties. Sample some of the yummy and reasonably priced food offered here. It is a great way to try Jamaican dishes. Be prepared; if you purchase something from one vendor, the others will try to get your attention as well. A polite “no thanks” usually does the trick!
- Montego Bay Marine Park – Located at Pier One Marina, Howard Cooke Boulevard, this park is an educational adventure about the ocean and its inhabitants. This is Jamaica's first protective park, and the very idea of it being completely underwater makes it a fascinating excursion for all age groups. It was established to preserve the natural resources of this underwater wonderland. Dozens of tropical fish, their environs and amazing coral reefs are protected under national law and there are programs and tours to learn about the species that live here. Head to the waterfront to find glass bottomed boat tours. You can explore the park by kayak. Charter boats are also available to take you out to the fish feeding grounds and coral reef areas. Although there is no official charge, contributions are thankfully received as the Park is greatly in need of monetary assistance.
- Rastafari Indigenous Village - Visit a working village built with the nature’s gifts — trees, plants and herbs, the river — for some educational insight into the culture, philosophy and spirituality of Jamaica’s Rastas. All the villagers do not live at the location but work together here to showcase their lifestyle. There is drumming, dancing, craft making, Ital cooking, working in the healing herbal garden, planting in the organic garden. The village is in the Montego River Valley about 15 minutes from the town center. Tours are available Tuesday through Saturday and start at the restaurant at the Montego River Gardens, Porto Bello, with a guided walk on a trail across the river to the Village. You will also find a home-grown line of products including crafts, herbal goods, aromatherapy and other items to promote healthy living. Contact them in advance to book. Phone: 876.285.4752 or 876.410.1770.
- Reel E-Zee Sportfishing - Charter the well-equipped 39' "E-Zee" sportfishing boat to fish for marlin, tuna, sailfish and wahoo along the North Coast. If you have no desire to fish, you can just go along for the relaxing cruise and swim or snorkle! They also have a catamaran and trimaran available for private charters. Phone: 876.381.3229.
- Rockland’s Bird Feeding Sanctuary – in Anchovy (off Anchovy Main Road, look for the signpost). This is a must if you are a bird lover! It’s the feeding place for many of Jamaica’s indigenous birds. You never know just how many species you may see because Jamaica has 252 and of these 24 are endemic, including the Doctor bird, Jamaica’s national bird, saffron finches, the Jamaican oriole and ground doves. It’s usually open from 2 to 5PM daily; if you arrive around 3pm, you can witness their faithful appearance to feed from the experts' and the visitors' hands. Kids love the experience too. The road up is pretty bumpy but the trip, and the lovely view of Montego Bay from up there, is worth the trip.
- Rose Hall Beach Club - One of the north coast's most popular beaches, this spot lures you with its soft sand, clear water and an atmosphere of fun in the sun. On the main road, 11 miles east of downtown Montego Bay, near the Rose Hall Great House is where you'll find this private beach, filled with amenities to make your visit comfortable and convenient. Changing areas, restrooms, shower stalls and food – everything you need. There are water sport activities and, sometimes, live entertainment. Lifeguards are always available. This is said to be the safest beach in MoBay. The admission charge discourages most locals from entering, but this is a beautiful spot for swimming and hanging out.
- Tryall Golf, Tennis and Beach Club – This is Jamaica's most prominent golfing hotel, located on the site of an enormous sugar plantation. The 18th-century Tryall Water Wheel, which still functions, can be viewed from the main road. It was restored following its destruction in the slave revolt of 1831. The former great house has been renovated into a luxurious hotel; some of the independent villas even have personal pools; you can imagine the prices. With meticulous greens and the most difficult course, this is a golfer's paradise. Ralph Plummer designed the course, and it incorporates a handful of natural hazards, such as the ocean itself, Flint River, as well as its antique waterwheel. This pricey course requires you to have a caddy, which is extra. The beach club is open to hotel guests and those using the golf facilities.
- Walter Fletcher Beach - Protected from the winds, Walter Fletcher Beach provides the best swimming and snorkeling in Montego Bay. Centrally located near the city's main attractions, the beach does get somewhat crowded. The extraordinarily calm waters and on-duty lifeguards make Walter Fletcher very popular for families with younger children, and there are a convenient restaurant and changing rooms on the beach.(Also see Aquasol Theme Park above.)
- White Witch Golf Course – This championship course is located on the grounds of a former sugar plantation which is now the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall. Named for the wicked "White Witch" of Rose Hall, this course is one of the most magnificent in the Caribbean. It was designed by Robert von Hagge, who incorporated the mountains and valleys into the par-71 course as well as sweeping views of the ocean from most of the holes. This newest course in Jamaica is set on 600 acres of lush countryside and is about 10 minutes (by car) from the resort.
- Zipline Adventure Tours - Scared of heights? No problem mon! Enjoy the views of rural Jamaica on the longest zipline in the Caribbean with the best reputation for safety and customer service. Located in the small mountain farming community of Lethe in Hanover Parish, they are about 30 minutes west of Montego Bay. They will arrange free transportation from most locations in MoBay. Click here for more information in our listing on the Hanover page.
For Saint James' cultural and historical building and sites, click here.