When you want a vacay that veers between vibesy and chilled in a location that’s a short hop from many major US cities, it’s hard to see past Jamaica.
This Caribbean paradise punches above its weight in many fields – including an impressive musical heritage with a truly global footprint and delicious cuisine which you’ll never get enough of once you taste it.
But the best part of Jamaica is its people, who embody the inclusivity, determination, inventiveness and humour that’s ingrained in the national DNA.
However, if you stick strictly to the tourist traps and don’t stray from your resort, you’ll miss out on the magic of the real Jamdown.
So if you want to grab good vibes, follow these 10 Jamaican vacay tips for US travellers.
- Bob Marley Museum, Kingston
If you’re an admirer of the late, great reggae icon, visiting the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road, Kingston is a must. This is Bob’s former home, so informative guides will show you everything from his bedroom and kitchen to the bullet holes in the wall left from the failed assassination attempt in 1976.
- Port Royal
Port Royal is situated close to Norman Manley International Airport, on a spit of land that curves around Kingston Harbor. In the 17th Century, it was dubbed ‘the wickedest city on earth’ thanks to feared pirates and privateers like Henry Morgan. Much of the original city sank during a massive earthquake in 1692, but the ruins and local rum bars and eateries that remain are well worth a visit.
- Rose Hall, near Montego Bay
Jamaica is a land where witchcraft (‘obeah’ to locals) is very much a part of everyday life. And one of the island’s most infamous legends involves Annie Palmer, a wicked enchantress who allegedly murdered several of her husbands in the early 19th Century. If you’re staying in Montego Bay and are feeling brave, touring Annie’s home Rose Hall lets you experience some of the spookiest vibes in the world.
- Coach travel
You can hire a car in order to hit the road in Jamaica, but precarious roads and the often erratic manoeuvres of local drivers might make you extremely antsy. However, travelling on the Knutsford Express coach is a cheap, safe and comfortable way to make your way between hotspots like Kingston, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril. Book tickets at knutsfordexpress.com, then sit back in air-conditioned comfort as you cruise from coast to coast.
- Getting to Jamaica
You can fly to Jamaica direct from US east coast airports like JFK and Miami, but it’s not hard to find connecting flights from any US location on sites like Kayak and Skyscanner. And if you want a stress-free pre-flight experience to set yourself up for a relaxing trip, rather than reaching your hub via public transport, booking US airport parking on Looking4.com lets you travel in the comfort of your own ride.
That’s our list! Share your own Jamaican vacay tips in the comments section.