Escape Seattle: Jamaica

Escape Seattle: Jamaica

Seattle in the winter can be tough. For those of us with any sense, it’s time to pack up, ditch the traffic, and cash in your vacation hours to rejuvenate at the beach. But which one? After recently returning from the Caribbean, I would like to recommend Jamaica.

Jamaica is home to the world’s fastest man: Usain Bolt, the world’s best rum: Appleton, and the world’s best reggae, including the legend himself: Bob Marley. The island is nothing short of a spicy cultural paradise. Eat the local street food like cheese patties (dough stuffed with beef and cheese), jerk chicken and curried goat. Drink Magnum (tonic wine), Appleton, and whatever once-off special the bartender is slanging by the pool. Where you stay is conducive to what you will do, but regardless of where you are on this magical island, you’ll feel the chill Caribbean vibes and the welcoming warmth of the locals.

Hot spots

Montego Bay:
Of the JA resort towns, Montego Bay is probably the most famous – and not for nothing. Montego Bay is home to crystalline waters, and the destination of the island’s rich and famous. If you stay in Mo Bay, there’s a good chance you might run into the owner of Sandals Resort hosting a yacht party. Visit this swanky destination in July and experience the wildly popular 4 day international celebration of dance hall and reggae; Reggae Sumfest. Stay at the luxurious private villas of the Tyrell Club and treat yourself to a view of the Caribbean Sea with all the tropical amenities your heart desires.

Negril:
On the Western side of the island, Negril is an adventure lover’s utopia. Its best known for Rick’s Café where visitors can enjoy cocktails like Rick’s World Famous Rum Punch, spectacular sunsets, and an exhilarating dive into the clear azure depths. If you’re lucky you might even catch a local performing daring trick dives out of the trees.

New Kingston:
Kingston doesn’t get the hype that the rest of the beach laden towns of Jamaica get. The Business District is booming with professionals, entrepreneurs, and everything up and coming in Jamaica.
Whether you’re in Kingston for business or pleasure, stay at the Jamaican Pegasus where the brunch is free, Tuesdays means live music by the pool, and all of the staff members know your name. Walk across the street to Sweetwood Jerk Joint and get jerk chicken, sausage and a festival bread stick with rice and peas plus a Red Stripe on the side. The meat is smoky and spicy in a good way plus you can check out the pit while you wait. Don’t miss the iconic Bob Marley Museum or the historical shipping landmark Port Royal, established in 1518. Learn about Port Royal’s infamous pirates then boat out to Lime Cay, a private island just of the coast of Port Royal for some sunbathing on white sand.

Don’t Miss

- Appleton Rum Estates: Visit the lush Nassau Valley and get a behind the scenes look at the distillation of the world’s finest rum. Rum production at the estates dates back to 1749.

- Ocho Rios: Ocho Rios hosts some of Jamaica’s another slew of pristine beaches. Inland “Eight Rivers” is known for the tourist attractions like the scenic Dunn River Falls, mysterious Green Grotto Caves, or deep relaxing water of Blue Hole.

- Blue Mountain Peak: Hike to the highest point on the island and take in sweeping panoramic views of everything that Jamaica has to offer.

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