So you’ve arrived in Kingston, Jamaica. We know the list of things to do are endless – so here are our recommendations for 5 essential must-do’s if you have a day free to explore:
1. As you depart the airport building, our first recommendation is to hit the nut – the coconut, that is! Cool down at Going Nuts. Right outside the arrivals area, it’s a perfect way to refresh yourself after a flight. Go au naturel – remove the straw and use the coconut as your glass!
Norman Manley Airport, Kingston
2. Grab a taxi and hit the road – 56 Hope Road to be precise! The Bob Marley Museum is a mecca for any fan of Bob Marley and reggae music – where you can get a glimpse into the life of the legend.
A life-size statue of Bob stands in front of the house, next to stone lions; the house tour was fascinating, giving insight into the man himself and his rasta lifestyle, with iconic items on display (including the famous denim shirt he wore on tour framed on the wall), the bullet holes from the assassination attempt and a even a view into his bedroom. We could have spent hours reading the press clippings that adorned the walls from floor to ceiling in one room but there was still so much to see!
From the multitude of music awards won by both Bob and his family, to the studio in which much of his music was created, it was informative and interesting – the tour guide certainly knew her stuff. The official tour ended with a documentary showing in a small cinema which was a real treat. There’s a lovely gift shop where you can get all Marley’d up, murals painted on walls around the grounds and a cafe serving Marley Coffee no less – as if one needed more encouragement to stop and linger for a while….
Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road, Kingston 6
Tel: +1 (876) 927 9152
3. If you time it right (close to lunchtime!), head over to Scotchies for a taste of some quintessential Jamaican cuisine – Jerk Chicken and an ice cold Red Stripe. Here’s a tip: if you get there early, like we did, you’re first in line when the crowds arrive. This place is chipping with customers all day. The amazing smells alone were worth the wait, as we watched the guys in the ‘jerk room’ cooking the chicken on massive BBQ pits with grills made of bamboo and covered with a piece of paling. It’s also a popular place to stop through after a late night of partying! FYI there’s also a location in Montego Bay & Ocho Rios.
Scotchies Jerk, Halfway Tree Road, Kingston
4. Onwards to the historic Devon House for dessert at the infamous I Scream – an almost overwhelming choice of 27 flavours of rich, creamy and delicious locally made ice cream, all made from fresh local ingredients. Some of the more unique flavours included Coconut Cream, Devon Stout (not sure about that one), Rocky River and our favourite, Soursop. A waffle cone comes packed to the brim with huge scoops of yumminess that we almost couldn’t finish. Almost!
I Scream, Devon House, Hope Road, Kingston
5. One of our favourite stores for a bit of retail therapy is Kerry manwomanhome – a unique boutique on South Avenue in Kingston that’s a haven for local fashionistas. It looks deceptively small on the outside, but once you step in the door the space opens up to reveal room upon room with beautiful displays and floor to ceiling shelving showcasing a carefully curated selection of fashion, swimwear, jewellery, accessories, footwear, beautiful coffee table books, art, body products and gift items from both local and international brands.
Retail Therapy at Kerry manwomanhome!
It’s a great place to find pieces by local Jamaican designers such as Lubica and Designs Bimi although the brands do change each season. Owner Kerry-Ann Clarke is also a stylist for none other than Tessanne Chin and Yendi Phillips. Tip: if you visit during opening hours and it seems closed – don’t worry – just ring the bell!
Kerry manwomanhome, 18 South Avenue, Kingston 10
Tel: +1 (876) 929 2096