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Visiting Jamaica: 4 Reasons to Visit Jamaica's Smaller Towns

There are so many reasons to visit the Caribbean island of Jamaica.
The sun, the beaches, the food, the rum or my personal favorite, the Red Stripe beer!
The question remains, however, exactly where should I enjoy it?
When making your own plans, don't forget to explore the island outside of your particular hotel and make the effort to include some visits to Jamaica's smaller towns.
Here are four destinations worth considering:

1. Visit Port Royal, Jamaica

Port Royal sits at the western end of the Palisadoes sand spit which is the causeway from the Kingston Airport into Kingston. At one time, during the 1600's Port Royal was not only the capital of Jamaica but the most important British Port on the east side of North America: considerably more important than Boston! Even Admiral Lord Nelson had quarters there.

Unfortunately an earthquake hit in 1692 and leveled this once famous port city, famous for its wealth, pirates and lawlessness.

It's well worth a visit today however, for this history laden tourist attraction has attempted to showcase its past history with artifacts such as canons and other weapons, together with reconstructions.

Oh yes, the film 'Pirates of the Caribbean' was also filmed there.

2. Visit Mandeville, Jamaica

The town of Mandeville is situated 2000 feet above sea level, at approximately the center of the island but only some 65 miles west from Kingston.

It was planned in 1816 and named after a Viscount Mandeville, and this picturesque town was deliberately built with an 'English' feel to it: stone walled fields, stone buildings and green pastures.

Of course at 2000 feet above sea level the climate was very 'English' as well.

There are gardens, parks, spas and flower covered fields. The Mountain Coffee Factory is located here, various guest houses and Jamaica's oldest Golf-Club, and the first in the Caribbean, 'The Manchester Golf-Club' circa 1868!

3. Visit Port Antonio, Jamaica

Port Antonio, on the north-east coast of Jamaica, is less than a hundred miles from Kingston. It first became famous as a port in the 1880's when the expanding banana trade pushed its weekly sailings totals higher then the English port of Liverpool.

Later, in the 1950's it was discovered by the rich and famous. Hollywood shot movies and the stars visited.

Today it still is the place to be seen and the Jamaican Government has serious plans for Port Antonio to become Jamaica's third cruise ship port. The new Marina, Blue Lagoon and Frenchman's Cove are major attractions, and diving, mountain biking and caving are some of the activities that are available.

And don't forget it's close to the famous Ocho Rios but with far fewer tourists!

4....and of course you must visit Nine-Mile!

You don't go to Jamaica without visiting Nine-Mile in Saint Anne's. If you don't know why you should make this trip, don't mention the fact while you are in Jamaica! The magic words to remember are 'Bob Marley'.

Robert Nesta Marley was born in Nine-Mile in 1945 and his mausoleum is situated here also. Nine-Mile is one of the shrines for Jamaica's most famous musical personality...(the other one is the museum in Kingston!) And please don't admit to not knowing who Bob Marley was: just listen to the music in Jamaica and all will become clear.

Include a trip to the birthplace of the holder of the Jamaican Order of Merit in your plans. This would be the ideal place to share a bottle of Red Stripe beer or even try some Rastafarian foods!

When you plan your Jamaican dream vacation, remember to include the smaller, less advertised, towns. Your vacation will be the more interesting for it!



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