Travel

5 Places to See in Kingston

5 Places to See in Kingston Kingston coastline

Kingston Parish is the smallest of Jamaica’s 14 parishes. It features the natural Kingston Harbor and offers panoramic views of the Blue Mountains to the north. Kingston is also the name of a town established in 1692 within Kingston Parish, which became the permanent capital city of the country in 1872. The boundaries of Kingston Parish were established by Law 20 of 1867, and from that to the present, the town of Port Royal and the land known as Palisadoes have also become part of the parish. Kingston Parish was created by the English government, but before the English came to Jamaica om 1655, the indigenous Taino people and the Spanish, who were the first Europeans to arrive on the island, were present on the land.

Kingston was a town before it was a parish, emerging from the destruction of the commercial hub of Port Royal following the earthquake of 1692. Until 1693, Kingston was a town in the parish of St. Andrew, but its growing importance as a trading center result in Act 32, “An Act for Making Kingston a Parish,” and its boundaries were created at that time. In the 19th century, after the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865, the number of parishes was reduced to improve the administration of the government. Law 20 reduced the number of parishes and redefined boundaries to enlarge Kingston Parish by including parts of St. Andrew and Port Royal parishes. Five interesting places to visit in Kingston Parish include:

Bob Marley Museum 5 Places to See in Kingston

Bob Marley Museum
Most visitors to Kingston head straight for the former home of reggae icon Bob Marley. The home has been transformed into a museum commemorating the life and music of Marley, one of the most recognized representatives of Jamaican culture. The house features 19th century architecture, while the property includes an 80-seat theater, a photo gallery, a record shop, and a gift shop. The shops offer a variety of Bob Marley merchandise, including clothing, posters, postcards, and more. The record shop offers Marley vinyl albums and CDs, and a selection of Marley and Tuff Gong items including Marley coffee and children’s books by Cedella Marley. There is also the One Love Café where visitors can enjoy a meal after taking a tour that provides insight into the many aspects of Marley’s life.

Port Royal
Port Royal offers a look at the history of piracy in the Caribbean and its peak years in Jamaica. Known as the “Wickedest Place on Earth” during its heyday, the once celebrated trading center was destroyed in a 17th century earthquake. The site also features exploration of Jamaica’s naval history, featuring remains of forts and canon, and a museum of items recovered from the sea that submerged the city and give a picture of life before the earthquake.

Devon House & Devon House I-Scream
Devon House was built by Jamaica’s first Black millionaire, George Stiebel, and is one of the nation’s most honored historic landmarks. Stiebel accrued his wealth from gold mines in South America. The mansion offers a mix of Caribbean and Georgian architecture that has been furnished with a collection of Jamaican, British, and French antiques and reproductions. It is surrounded by lush, green, and perfectly manicured lawns. It was declared a national monument in 1990 by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. In addition to its historic importance, Devon House is known for its excellent ice cream shop that offers flavors like guava, soursop, Blue Mountain coffee, and Devon stout.

Coronation Market
The market is an excellent place to find local crafts, souvenirs, fruits, and vegetables. It is the biggest farmer’s market in Jamaica and in the English-speaking Caribbean. It is so big that tourists often find it useful to hire a guide to help them find their way through the many vendors. The market is located in downtown Kingston and is reputed to sell its goods at much lower prices and much fresher than other venues. The busiest days for the market are Friday and Saturday when visitors can get a real taste of Jamaica’s unique culture.

Hope Botanical Gardens Jamaica
The gardens were once part of the estate of Major Richard Hope, an English officer who helped to take Jamaica from the Spanish in 1655. The property was originally a sugar plantation and the original source of Kingston’s water supply dating from 1766. Two hundred acres of the plantation became Hope Gardens in 1874 and were used as a botanical experiment and teaching station. It was expanded into a public park later on. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was so impressed by the garden on a visit to Jamaica in 1953 that she bestowed the designation of “royal” on the property. This was the first such designation for any public garden or park in the Caribbean for many years. Over the years, the gardens have experienced significant renovations and now offer an attractive destination for nature lovers. The acres have been divided into smaller gardens, including the Chinese Gardens, with each featuring indigenous Caribbean plants. It is also home to the Hope Zoo, which exhibits animals from Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Several concerts are staged there during the year as well.

Photo – Official Facebook Page for Bob Marley Museum

Photo – Deposit Photos

Photo – Official Facebook Page for Devon House I-Scream

About the author

Stephanie Korney