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  KINGSTON, JAMAICA

Thank you for visiting our site on Kingston, Jamaica. Below is a brief history of Kingston followed by a description of trips, shopping, restaurants and night life. Once you are finished reading be sure to visit our main page for: other towns of Jamaica, pictures of Jamaica, facts about Jamaica and other Jamaican links.

Kingston has a number of unique attractions to enjoy. Dhana Car Rental and Tours, Ltd. can help you experience these sites by renting a car. Reserve online now or call toll free for more information 1-866-276-1884. We have rates as low as US$175 per week, plus taxes and insurance. Click here to find out why Dhana's rates are so low.

Kingston, Jamaica's capital, lies on the fertile plains of Liguanea (pronounced Lig-a-nee — an ancient Arawak Indian name) between the cays and banks of the eastern coast and the towering Blue Mountains. In this picturesque setting has grown a city of over half a million people: a bustling, sprawling city which is a place of deep and striking contrasts.
Kingston is not the sort of resort paradise to be found on the north coast but it offers a great deal more to the traveler who seeks to gain more than a sun tan from a holiday in Jamaica.

Jamaica's first capital under the Spanish occupation was at Spanish Town, some ten miles inland, whereas the island's major centre of trade was at Port Royal at the edge of the harbour which is the seventh largest harbour in the world.

After a series of disasters at Port Royal in the 17th century, including the tragic earthquake of 1694 and a subsequent fire, traders began to settle on the mainland and established the original township of Kingston which grew enormously in importance as a port.

Today the original waterfront area along Harbour Street, once redolent with the aromas of colonial West Indian trade in rums and spices, has been re-developed and shipping has moved out to Newport West, adjacent to the extensive Kingston Industrial Estate.

A great deal of Kingston is pure shanty town, but again one sees striking contrasts, especially in New Kingston, situated between the teeming downtown and mid town areas and the fading but still gracious suburbs of St. Andrew. New Kingston is a business area which embodies the best of modern tropical town planning, graciously combining high rise buildings and well-groomed gardens with the soaring Blue Mountains as a backdrop.

The hillside suburb of Beverly Hills with its luxury homes gracing the cool slopes is well named. The Californian Los Angeles cannot boast more elaborate architecture than its Kingston namesake.

Places to Visit

Kingston has a number of unique attractions to enjoy. Dhana Car Rental and Tours, Ltd. can help you experience these sites by renting a car. Reserve online now or call toll free for more information 1-866-276-1884. We have rates as low as US$175 per week, plus taxes and insurance. Click here to find out why Dhana's rates are so low.

Blue Mountains
Visitors should not miss the rewarding drive into the Blue Mountains, home of Jamaica's famous coffee. 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 centre of the Jamaica Defense Force. A mile further on is Hardwar Gap in the Blue Mountain/ John Crow National Park. At Hollywell, a little further on in the park you will find trails and magnificent views which will make you glad you made the effort.

Mavis Bank
Mavis Bank, a coffee farm high up in the Blue Mountains, 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. A cup of Blue Mountain Coffee sampled on its own home soil, so to speak, must be every coffee lover's dream but Nature lovers too will enjoy this trip. 977-8005/8015

City Tour
Any tour company in the city will offer you a tour of Kingston's cultural and historic points of interest or you can make arrangements with an individual taxi driver. Agree to a price before setting off. Devon House should be included on every visitor's itinerary. Situated on Hope Road, it is an old colonial mansion of outstanding elegance and architecture. King's House next door is the residence of the Governor General. Further up Hope Road lies the Bob Marley Museum which attracts thousands of fans each year. Still further up Hope Road is Hope Botanical Gardens which also houses a small zoo with birds and animals from all over the Caribbean and the Americas. In the same area lies the campus of the University of the West Indies, surely one of the prettiest campuses in the world, nestling in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.

The National Art Gallery on Ocean Boulevard, has a large collection of works of Jamaican artists.

Lime Cay
Morgan's Harbour Hotel at Port Royal offers an excellent trip out to the offshore island of Lime Cay, a favorite spot of local yachtsmen. The white sand beach and clear water that abounds with fish make skin diving and swimming memorable. 967-8075

Port Royal
Most of the old city of Port Royal, once the pirate capital of the New World, sank beneath the waves in a violent earthquake in 1692. Over the years much excavation work has been done to recover artifacts from this rich, but wicked town. Fort Charles, where Lord Nelson once strode the quarterdeck, still stands and the silent cannon still keep watch from its battlements. The Maritime Museum is located in Fort Charles itself 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 you can drive beyond Norman Manley International Airport or catch the ferry across the harbour.

Cambioman
Visitors in New Kingston can change foreign money to Jamaican dollars very conveniently and at very competitive rates at Cambioman situated in the Dehring, Bunting and Golding Building on Holborn Road. 960-6699.

Revolution Gallery offering ceramics, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, prints and photographs by Jamaica's leading artists. Upcoming exhibitions not to be missed include "Scandalous Pleasures of Myth & Memory" in March 2002. In June experience "Heavy Metal." 929-0045

Wassi Art
This gallery at Devon House carries unique pottery pieces from its studio in Ocho Rios (see the Ocho Rios section for details of the studio tour).

Mayfair Day Spa; a day spent here will rejuvenate body and mind.

Restaurants

Kingston, like any other cosmopolitan city, naturally offers any number of dining experiences from Jamaican to Oriental, from plain good food to the most exotic dishes. Check out the following.

Columbus, located in the lobby of the Le Meridien Pegasus, is a first class Italian restaurant, open from 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm. 926-3690.

La Brasserie offers a wide variety of local and international dishes and is located poolside at the Le Meridien Pegasus. Featuring both air conditioned and open air sections. Transformed at night into a romantic elegant restaurant. 926-3690

Pizza Cella at the Le Meridien Pegasus serves custom-made pizzas and pastas in an intimate cellar with keg tables. 926-3690.

The Cafe by the pool at Le Meridien Pegasus offers freshly brewed tea and coffee, ice creams and a fine array of delicacies. 926-3690

The Pool Bar at Le Meridien Pegasus offers tasty snacks as well as seasonal local and international dishes. 926-3690.

Akbar on Holborn Road is an authentic Indian Restaurant with North Indian Cuisine, ranging from the mild Reshmi Kabab Masala to the very hot Mutton Vindaloo. The Tandoori Chicken cooked in the clay Tandoori oven is very popular and very healthy too, since absolutely no oils are used in the preparation. Free pick-up and drop-off within New Kingston 926-3480.

Alexander's, located in the Courtleigh Hotel, is a charmingly cozy restaurant with a menu that is truly international. Their Pool Bar is very casual and it's pizza and pasta menu is popular with the lunch-time crowd. 929-9000.

Hotel Four Seasons on Ruthven Road offers continental and German dishes and desserts. 926-8805.

Gordon's Restaurant at the Devonshire offers all the wonders of oriental cuisine under one roof. Whether your taste be for Korean, Japanese, Chinese or Thai dishes you will find something here to please. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday. Saturday, dinner only. 929-7027

Grog Shoppe at Devon House on Hope Road is partly traditional English pub with brick lined walls and dark wood and partly beer-garden/ restaurant so you can sup your brew in whichever atmosphere you choose. Blackboard menu proclaims the day's fare. The food is good with some unusual offerings such as Vegetable Run Down (Vegetables cooked in coconut milk and absolutely delicious). Prices are very reasonable too. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. See Night Life section which follows for evening entertainment. 929-7027

Indies Hotel has a delightful garden patio restaurant. English fish and chips is a strong favorite on their menu. 926-2952.

Mayfair Hotel has a charming old-fashioned dining room serving excellent food. Jamaican Buffet by the poolside every Wednesday night. Saturday is Barbecue night, while Sunday Brunch is a popular event. 926-1610.

Night Life

For those who still have enough energy to seek night-time pleasures, Kingston will not disappoint.

Grog Shoppe at Devon House is a convivial spot with a lot of action nearly every night of the week. There are frequent live jazz sessions with Karaoke on Thursday for those reckless souls who seek the limelight. Enjoy the Friday Happy Hour from 5 pm to 7 pm with live music from 6pm. The Friday night buffet is popular. A great place to meet people. 929-7027.

Half Time Sports Bar at 61, Knutsford Boulevard is open from 11 am until the last customer leaves. 906-1452.

Mayfair Pub at the Mayfair hotel is probably the closest thing to a genuine English pub in Kingston, complete with faithful clientele. 926-1610

Mingles Pub at the Courtleigh Hotel is open Monday to Friday from 5 pm and Saturday from 8 pm. Friday's After Work Jam always attracts a good crowd for the DJ dancing and special snack menu. 929-9000.

The Polo Lounge at Le Meridien Jamaica Pegasus, with its mahogany furnishings and soft candlelight creates the ideal atmosphere for evening relaxation. 926-3690.

Peppers, a lively open-air nightspot. 969-2421.

Movies. There are two theatres in the Sovereign Centre on Hope Road. 978-3522.

Theatre. Jamaica's performing arts tradition is well established and Kingston boasts three theatres. Contact the Ward Theatre, 922-3313, The Barn, 926-6469 or The Little Theatre, 926-6129.

2006 Jamaica Carnival

Below is the schedule of events for Carnival 2006:

Sun. Mar 5th - Kingson - Carnival Heart Institute of Jamaica 3k Walk.

Fri. Mar 10th - Negril - Carnival Ocean Blue. Come out in your Blue - Jungle Club.

Sat. Mar 18th - Junction - Carnival Mermaids in Green. Come out in your Green - Pines Centre.

Sat. Mar 25th - St. Thomas - Carnival Three Finger Jack. Come dressed as Pirates and Wenches - Colonel Cove.

Sun. Mar 26th - New Kingston - Carnival Harbour Blast. Sailors in White - Street Dance.

Sun. Apr 2nd - Port Antonio - Carnival Sinking Sands. Beach Party - Folly Grounds.

Sat. Apr 8th - May Pen - Carnival May Day. Red Alert wear something red - Jamalco Sports Club.

Sun. Apr 9th - Montego Bay - Carnival Bay Watch. Beach Skimpy & Hot - (Mid-Nite Mas).

Sun. Apr 16th - St. Ann - Carnival Chukka Cove. Tidal Wave - Ride the Waves.

Sat. Apr 22nd - Kingston - Carnival Vintage vs Soca - Pegasus Poolside.

Sun. Apr 23rd - Kingston - Carnival Kingston Road Parade.

Sun. Apr 23rd - Kingston - Carnival Grand Finale and Last Hurrah Concert at the National Stadium.

LINKS TO INFO ON OTHER JAMAICAN TOWNS

Below is a list of other major towns in Jamaica:

Kingston

Port Antonio

Ocho Rios

Montego Bay

Negril

Mandeville & the South Coast

 


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