News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Fri. Oct. 28, 2016: Forty-eight hours in Kingston, Jamaica is nowhere near enough, but if that’s all the time you’ve got to spend in the capital city, here are a few tips to making the most of your Jamrock get-away.
Day 1 – 11 a.m.: Arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston Jamaica. Get through immigration and customs and exit right across the street to the local coconut vendor. As the locals say: “wash off your heart and your kidneys too” with a fresh coconut, cut right in front your eyes.
Day 1 – 11: 30 a.m.: Take a taxi to one of the local hotels in New Kingston. The charter taxis (aka ‘tourist taxi’) are identified by having RED license plates with two white letters (one of which is ‘P’) and four white digits, indicating they are officially licensed as taxis and insured for riders. The Knutsford Court Hotel is a good option as it’s centrally located at 16 Chelsea Avenue, Kingston 5 in New Kingston. The staff here is extremely warm and welcoming and service on par with many other top hotels.
Day 1 – 12:30 p.m. – A good light lunch option after checking in is to grab a taxi which can be arranged by the hotel bell hop and head over to the Devon House area at 26 Hope Road in Kingston. Here you can choose either a beef, chicken, shrimp and even curry goat patty at the Devon House Bakery and wash it all down with a homemade sorrel drink as you sit outside in the court yard, soaking in the sun and nature at its best. Dessert is optional but highly recommended. Choose from one of the many flavors at the Devon House I-Scream shop. I found the praline and cream to be extra delicious but the mango as well as the Devon House stout flavor is also tasty.
You can also take some time out to check out the souvenir shop on location and buy a few local tokens to take back or grab a taxi and head to The Bob Marley Museum is a museum at 56 Hope Road, Kingston 6. The museum is Bob Marley’s former place of residence and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jamaica time (1 Hour behind the US EST time) Mondays to Saturdays. The entry fee is US $25 for adults and US $12 for children (ages 4-12). The tour is guided and is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in duration.
3:30 p.m. Looking for local rum, spices, jams and the famous Blue Mountain Coffee to take back home at a cost effective price? Then hop a taxi to a local supermarket. There is the Sovereign Supermarket as well as Hi-Lo Food Stores. Head back to the hotel and take a nap until dinner.
7 p.m.: Redbones Blues Café, dubbed a “Kingston classic,” is a great dinner option. This Jazz & Blues themed Caribbean Fusion Cuisine Restaurant & Bar is located at 1 Argyle Road, Kgn 10. It’s airy and elegant dining rooms, intimate terraces, enchanting private gardens and courtyard a delightful find in this city. The menu is a fusion of top-notch Jamaican and international cuisine and includes shrimp stuffed with homemade salted codfish pate, Ackee, Callaloo & Feta Cheese Pasta, Herb encrusted Grilled Filet of Fish in a Caper-Lime Sauce or Coconut Curry Shrimp. Wash it all down with a Scotch Bonnet Watermelon Caipirinha, that is a pure delight on the palette.
10 p.m.: After dinner, check out the local night life at Ribbiz UltraLounge at 29 East Kings House Road, Loshusan Plaza, Kingston Kingston 6. Here you can grab a drink at the bar and watch many of the younger women grind on their man while getting into the groove of the reggae and dance hall rhythms here.
Day 2 – 9 a.m.: Wake up and grab breakfast at the Melting Pot Restaurant right on site at the Knutsford Court Hotel. The hotel includes a continental breakfast option as part of your room rate but be adventurous and try the Jamaican selection off the Al La Carte menu or just ask one of the very friendly servers in the restaurant. The ackee and saltfish is pure delight as is the calaloo, fried bammy, fried yellow plantains, boiled yam and green banana. Prices here are all in Jamaican dollars and the exchange rate varies but is around USD 1 to J $ 125-130.
11 a.m. : After breakfast, take a taxi to the beach. Fort Clarence Park and Beach at Hellshire is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. It is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there is a small entrance fee. Once in there are changing rooms, showers, toilets and lifeguards on duty. Put in your lunch order on arrival so you can have in after a swim in the warm ocean, which is a bit rough and like many islands is also affected by sea weed. Then chow down on your pick of the freshest fish, served steamed or fried along with a scrumptious “festival,” a local doughnut-like treat. Wash it down with a fresh coconut from the coconut vendor.
3 p.m. Head back to your hotel and get ready to check out a local play that is a lot of laughs.
5 p.m.: Soak up some local culture and dialogue too in Patrick Brown’s ‘Blind Spot,’ which is currently up and running again at Centerstage, playing Tuesdays to Fridays at 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cost is J$1,500 per ticket.
8 p.m.: Hungry for really local cuisine? Then head over to M10 Bar & Grill at 6 Vineyard Rd, Kingston. Service here is a bit slow and the bathroom feels like a New York City block away but the rice and peas with oxtail is a good choice as is the curry goat and saltfish fritters.
10 p.m.: Wrap up your two-day trip at The Deck at 14 Trafalgar Rd, Kingston. The Deck offers a laid back safe, after-work liming environment, where friends meet to unwind in a relaxed, semi-outdoor atmosphere whilst enjoying a wide selection of music, rums, beers and other beverages as well as scrumptious finger meals. Mondays and Tuesdays are more laid back with easy listening music; Wednesday nights showcase beer specials with more upbeat musical selections; Thursdays offer ‘Old School’ selections; Fridays are when dancing is a guarantee with a combination of musical selections and Saturdays are “Celebration Nights,” whatever the occasion, the staff and music selectors celebrate with you. On the night I visited, the popular Merritones were playing and I danced the night away to oldies all night long, with little time to catch my flight the next morning.
For more on Jamaica and things to do log on here.