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Jammin' in Jamaica: 24 hours in Kingston

Jammin' in Jamaica: 24 hours in Kingston

Posted by Shanelle Weir on February 21, 2014

At less than an hour away, the busy cosmopolitan city of Kingston, Jamaica, offers a wealth of sightseeing opportunities. For those looking for some rest and rehabilitation, the neighboring Blue Mountains are just a short drive away. During a recent press trip to Kingston Weekender managed to squeeze in a few hours for sightseeing. Here are some of our top favorite things to see and do. 

Bob Marley Museum 

A visit to Kingston definitely means a visit to the Bob Marley museum, the reggae legend’s home in his later life. The colonial-era house on Hope Road includes Marley’s personal treasures, photographs, memorabilia, gold and platinum records, as well as his recording studio. The tour even includes the room where Marley survived an assassination attack, with guides pointing out the bullet holes which remain on the walls to this day.  

Bob Marley purchased the house in 1975 and lived in it until his death in 1981. It was converted into a museum by his wife Rita Marley some six years later. Dominating the forecourt, painted in Rasta colors, is a life-size bronze figure of the reggae great. Guided one-hour tours, which includes a 20-minute film, run regularly throughout the day and cost US$20.  

Scotchie’s jerk stand  

No trip to Jamaica would be complete without sampling some local cuisine. Jerk is a Jamaican speciality, and Scotchie’s is one of the island’s most famed jerk spots - it has even been featured on the U.S. Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” hosted by popular culinary personality Anthony Bourdain. 

At this rustic open-air restaurant just a five-minute drive from the Bob Marley museum, diners cay enjoy hearty portions of jerk pork or jerk chicken, washed down with a refreshing Red Stripe and a side of festival, bammy or roasted breadfruit. Order at the hole-in the wall, then enjoy your jerk feast at one of the thatched-roof huts. The meat is prepared the authentic way, grilled on sweetwood and pimento wood logs in huge pits, and tastes absolutely delicious. If you can’t make it to Jamaica, Scotchie’s is set to open a branch here in Cayman called Pepper’s Smokehouse at the former location of Aqua Beach, Seven Mile Beach.  

Devon House 

Located in the heart of Kingston and just around the corner from the Bob Marley Museum, this stunning heritage site is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated historical landmarks, offering a striking contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city. The mansion is the architectural dream of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel, constructed during the late 19th century. Guided, one-hour tours of the house are held regularly throughout the day.  

After, be sure to stop off for ice cream at “i-scream” in the courtyard of Devon House. A household name across Jamaica, the ice cream shop sells more than 27 flavors, including bordeaux cherry, rocky rivers, devon stout and sour sop. Be warned though, portion sizes are more than generous; my one scoop resembled about four scoops and I struggled to devour it before it became a melted mess.  

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