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Help on Kingston

Newcastle upon...
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Help on Kingston

Hi,

I'm in the Cayman Islands and I am going to book a short break to Jamaica but I will be flying into Kingston as I have a better choice of flights. I will arrive late on the Friday evening and leave on the Tuesday morning that way I will get 3 FULL days there. I am looking at things to do I know I want to do the water falls and then maybe have a look round the area but may try and book some sort of trip that takes in tyhe whole Island in 1 day. I know I live in a sunshine places but dont get time tyo sit out in the sun unless its my day off so yes I will want to have a bit of sun bathing time!!! I also would like a 'nice' hotel so any suggestions would be great. Gill x

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Help on Kingston

Random info here...

Nearest commercial falls is dunns river, less than two hours from town, but still worth making a day trip, you can do the beach over that side too... also zip cording. Dolphin swim, enchanted gardens, horseback riding, river tubing and plenty more tourist attractions

Around Kingston you have the blue mountains (take a drive up to Newcastle and stop at Strawberry hill for lunch or dinner (or Sunday brunch) phenomenal views and settings.

Port royal is full of history and the setting of pirates of the Caribbean...out 15 min past the airport... Can get a boat out to lime cay for a less touristy beach scene...

Devon house is lovely (former home of one of the first Caribbean millionarries)... Good ice cream too! :)

if course there's the Marley museum too...

If you're braver and want true culture experience, there's corniation market downtown... Madness on a Saturday...

You can also head out to hellshire for a beach outting, Kingston style... If you go on a Sunday it'll be packed...

As for hotels there are plenty of options, but I'd suggest strawberry hill up in the mountains ($$$) or if you'd rather be in the city, Spanish court..

I'll add more in a bit... On the road now :)

chelle

Edited: 12:49 pm, December 28, 2009
Moncton, Canada
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2. Re: Help on Kingston

if you don't mind driving a little or getting to the next parish, there is somerset falls:

http://www.somersetfallsjamaica.com/

we always spend 2-3 days in kingston at the end of our trip, and usually stay not far from bob marley's museum and enjoy the area very much. everything is walking distance off the section of hope road that has malls, stores and restaurants. Never went to hellshire beach as we always see the other beach on the island so never felt the need to see it yet. :-) of u do, make sure to report back, always nice to see what others have seen on their trip.

if you want to visit around in kingston, make sure you do so with a driver who knows the city, as most roads/streets are without signs.

if you are a coffee lover, you can prob call the owner or son of the Old Tavern Estate to see if you could go see their coffee plantation, if it's do able. If you end up not doing it, they can still meet you to bring you some coffee bean, the very best we've had.

http://www.oldtaverncoffee.com/

Last year we skipped the market and went into what jamaicans calls an Arcade. It's like a mall but with ppl setting souvenirs and crafts just as in the market. it was much more quiet, as we were about the only ones there, and found tons of things. Just can't remember which part of Kingston it was in. Mokko brought us there as he does his own personal shopping there too. Might have to ask him if you want to know about this one.

another nice thing that happens in kingston is the Kingston Art Fair. This is not a market, its more expensive things, but real worth going to see, lots of painters and very good art craftsmen, designers, photographers etc.

give us more details on the type of hotel you are looking for, price range, looks and what will you need there, pool, etc

:-) take care

Edited: 2:48 pm, December 28, 2009
San Francisco...
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3. Re: Help on Kingston

Gill,

I know you are flying into Kingston but do you plan on staying there and are you traveling by yourself?

The Port Antonio area in the Parish of Portland is such a beautiful area with wonderful beaches. We have been to different parts of the island but found that this part of the island was by far our favorite and the beaches were the best in our opinion. We were there in July staying at Kanopi House and Great Huts..... both amazing places. Great Huts is on/overlooking Boston Beach and Kanopi House is located directly on the Blue Lagoon. We liked the location of both properties as they were close to local activities, different beaches, eateries and so on...... Each has a website that you can check out.

I know both of these places will arrange transportation to and from KIN airport and I think it may be about a 1 1/2 hour drive. I am not sure of this time as we did not fly from KIN but I am sure one of the experts can tell you.

You can PM me if you would like detailed info. on either property.

Enjoy!

Moncton, Canada
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4. Re: Help on Kingston

i agree with willow, same with ourselves, we love portland and st thomas area very much. beaches in portland are amazing. many places to stay like willow listed.

i found this new place, it's own by a good friend of ours that we met through our photography meet ups we do down there... here is the website of the place. like may portland properties, very lush and nice :-)

http://www.wix.com/Micshur/Portland

and if you can eat out one day a little away from kingston also, as you enter the parish of portland and get into the town of port antonio; is where the house of the famous chef in Jamaica, Dicki's best kept Secret, is. we absolutely adored eating there. too bad we only done so once, we need to go again! ;-) I remember arranging it through the villa we stayed in at the time.

Edited: 6:26 pm, December 28, 2009
San Francisco...
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5. Re: Help on Kingston

Bighouse,

I checked out this place from an earlier post and yes, nice and reasonable too.

Oh... Dickies! We did have the pleasure of eating there and it was really a special place. He and his family are wonderful people. We stopped in there to make reservations for a day at the end of the week and he wanted to cook for us right then. He was working on the bottom floor and was going to stop what he was doing and cook for us. It was probably the most memorable and best dining experience ever. They even made a special cake for us with our names on it! That will be our first stop on our next visit. Just a very special place and so different not to mention the food is outstanding!

BTW.... love all of your pictures. Have viewed many times:)

Willows

Moncton, Canada
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6. Re: Help on Kingston

such an accurate description of dickie's place. so special... so i guess you know its secret huh :)

glad you like our photos. we will soon be writing for our local paper about our next visit to mokko's yard. def. will be stopping at mischur in feb, so we will let you know how staying there is.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Help on Kingston

a few other kingston notes...

nightlife if you are so inclined... many popular options exist in around new kgn... popular clubs such as quad (usain's favourite hangout) or pure:plush are only a few minutes from the spanish court... asylum is also around the corner (but has changed names, i think it's called the building now)... depending on when you are going there is likely an uptown party keeping... watch for signs or post your dates and i can check for you if you're interested... also for the more adventerous there are the weekly street dances... not advisable to go alone as a foreign female...

dining... plenty of options in new kingston... redbones was great (it's a jazz place)... cuddyz is a sportsbar/hangout that has some good food... rib cage is good too... ummm... plenty of good chinese around half way tree... amazing drum pan chicken (jerk) roadside up redhills road or on clifton a good driver will help you find these.. seafood is best from the source so make sure you pick something up if i you head to port royal or hellshire.. just don't go hungry as it isn't a fast food type deal :) there are literally hundreds of other options, it's hard to find bad food in kingston i find... those are just my favs :)

as for taking in the island in one day... jamaica is big and many roads are not... the best you might get is to cut from Kgn to ocho rios thru the hills, coast road to mobay, down to negril and then over to black river, then back in thru the hills thru mandeville and on to spanishtown/kingston... and that'd likely take upwards of 12-13+ hours of driving time without any more than bio-break stops.... unless you really like car rides, not really a good way to actually experience anything... you do miss the lovely parrishes of st mary, portland and st thomas this way too... which adding them would be another 6+ hours at least, likely more if you hit traffic....

i'd pick one area (portland is a pretty one, but i'd actually say not good for a day trip... too much to see and do (much just natural beauty) and once you get off the main roads, too slow going to travel and really experience in a day... if you do choose to visit portland, i'd suggest at least an overnight (and if you're flying tuesday morning, i'd suggest you be in kingston for monday night)... portland is beautiful beyond belief, but trying to see a lot of it in one day has been described as frustrating and i've heard many not feel it was worth the trip/money... the drive over to portland is, however, one of the most beautiful on the island, so if you don't mind plenty of car time, it might still work for you..

kanopi house was suggested for a lovely spot in portland, geejam is another i'd suggest.... i've stayed at great huts as well and it's lovely but might be too rustic for some, you're very much IN nature there :) also, as far as portland goes, if you're looking for city action/options, you won't really find it there...

my suggestion would be to stick to the ochi area for a day trip if you're not looking to get away from kingston as a home base, you'll get the waterfall (dunns is touristy, but a fun climb, and IMO more interesting and enjoyable if you're not going up as part of a chain gang :) if you're not interested in overpriced items and aggressive sales pitches avoid the market at the top ) along with pretty easy access to plenty of things to do, more bang for your buck so to say... portland is beautiful beyond belief, but trying to see a lot of it in one day has been described as frustrating and i've heard many not feel it was worth the trip/money... the drive over to portland is, however, one of the most beautiful on the island, so if you don't mind plenty of car time, it might still work for you..

i agree that in kingston a good driver is a valuable asset, but streets are, from my observations, typically well marked... however, as a newcomer, you really don't know which ones to avoid and that isn't marked :) they also change names frequently, change from one way with little notice and other interesting traffic nuances which make it a challenging and confusing drive at best... if you're looking to get around, having someone who knows the city carry you is a good idea...

okay, hope that helps some :)

Chelle

Moncton, Canada
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8. Re: Help on Kingston

chell does bring up a very good point here, you would prob do more in 3 days in ochi than in portland. portland is very lush and beautiful, its more slow and things are spread out... where as ochi, you could easily have a hotel near the beach and the dunn's river fall and still have night life.

plenty of choices it seems, i'm sure you will find what you need

;-)

Newcastle upon...
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9. Re: Help on Kingston

Ive checked flights and I would arrive in Kingston late evening on the Friday and then have a full day Saturday, Sunday, Monday and hopefully Tuesday and then leave first thing on Wednesday morning. So I would need to find out how long it would take me to get to this place that you are saying to stay and also to pre book my trips so Im not wasting time there booking trips. Gill x

Moncton, Canada
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10. Re: Help on Kingston

which place were you thinking of going Gill?

sounds like you will have more time than anticipated :)