Gunboat Beach is a popular destination in Jamaica, perhaps more for its entertainment features than the actual beach-going experience. Most visitors to Gunboat Beach are locals who come to socialize along the shore, especially since the waters of this beach have succumbed to pollution and swimming is no longer recommended.
Gunboat Beach is conveniently located, and there is a lot of activity there. Located on the southeastern coast of Jamaica, it is about seven miles from Fort Charles and close to Portmore, so you can easily make a visit to the town.
There are many options for lodging near Gunboat Beach, and the beach is a featured attraction for the guests at the local hotels. The hotels closest to Gunboat Beach include
Morgan’s Harbour Hotel (7.1 miles, 51 rooms); Four Seasons Hotel (12.3 miles, 76 rooms); Jamaica Pegasus (12.4 miles, 310 rooms); Courtleigh Hotel and Suites (12.5 miles, 132 rooms); Hilton Kingston (12.7 miles, 300 rooms); Christar Villas (14.2 miles, 42 rooms); and Strawberry Hill (18.5 miles, 14 rooms).
Although Gunboat Beach is not a place to swim, its amenities cater to the local crowds that turn out, particularly on weekends. There is live music and various entertainments, many food stands, and adequate changing and restrooms. The presence of heavy security at the beach ensures the safety of visitors as well. Peak tourist season is likely to see the largest crowds at the beach, most of which come to hear the live bands. It’s a great place to meet locals while just hanging out.
Gunboat Beach also offers opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Jamaica with visits to spots like the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is just 15.6 miles to the northeast of the beach. And those interested in Jamaica’s history will find a visit to Fort Charles (6.8 miles northeast(to be well worthwhile. Historical sites include Gordon House (11.2 miles NE), Devon House (13.0 miles NE), Mona Great House (14.2 miles NE), and Hope Great House (15.2 miles NE). Other nearby are Georgian Antique Square (9.0 miles NW) for shopping, the National Gallery of Art (10.2 miles NE), the Tourist Board (12.4 miles NE), the National Stadium (13.1 miles NE), and the popular Bob Marley Museum (13.6 miles NE).
Dining options at Gunboat Beach include local food vending stands and snack bars right on the beach that serve delicious Jamaican specialties, or picnic lunches prepared by many of the hotels in the area. For a more formal dining experience, a meal of French cuisine at the Blue Mountain Inn, about 17 miles from the beach, is a recommended option.