Dead End Beach, Saint James

Jamaicans are unpretentious when it comes to place names so it’s no surprise that this beach gets its name from being located at the end of a dead end street in Montego Bay, St. James parish. When I started this blog back in December 2016, I said I’d make it my point of duty to highlight free beaches across Jamaica since I resent the privatization of our best pieces of coastline and the need to pay for enjoying the natural resources of sun, sand and sea. My two beach posts in 2018, namely Frenchman’s Cove and James Bond Beach, strayed from that commitment but here I am, back in 2019 with the free beach link!

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Salem Beach, Saint Ann

Salem Beach near Runaway Bay is perhaps not much of a swimming beach but is worth a visit if you’re dining at the moderately expensive restaurant which has made it popular– Sharkies Seafood. Sharkies is located on Salem Beach and what they lack in speed, they make up in deliciousness by producing seafood that’s comparable to all the great seafood eateries in and around the corporate area with which I’m familiar. Besides, if you time your visit near to sunset, the setting is glorious. With that, let’s talk about:

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Little Dunn’s River, Saint Ann

Little Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios is the last remaining span of free north coast between Portland & St. Ann’s Bay in Jamaica. Attempts have been made in the past by the government to shut it down, citing that the property was a safety hazard to patrons but really with the motive of handing over the property to private developers. In 2013, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) posted guards at the site, erected a fence with a locked gate, placed no trespassing signs on the property and mounted no parking signs on the adjacent strip of road on which patrons would park.

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Cardiff Hall Beach, Saint Ann

I can’t help but ruin the surprise at the start. I’ve finally found a free Jamaican beach which I rate full stars! I had the opportunity of spending time in Saint Ann as part of my medical training and with what free time I had, my colleagues & I went beach-hopping on a budget like true A.f.E. style. What better place to go beach hopping than on the north coast! I couldn’t let my time in St. Ann pass without doing so even if I prefer rivers to beaches. On one overcast afternoon we sought out Cardiff Hall Public Beach in Runaway Bay, also called Flavour’s Beach because of a restaurant on the property by the same name. Here’s how that went:

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Fantasy Beach, Saint Ann

Fantasy Beach, also called Priory Beach, is a large strip of coastline for the tiny Saint Ann town of Priory. This sleepy public beach just outside of Ocho Rios wakes up on weekends to mostly local families who stop by to swim, play football, have dinner and unwind.

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Lyssons Beach, Saint Thomas

Lyssons Beach is one of Jamaica’s better public beaches, a prime jewel in Saint Thomas near its capital Morant Bay. This white strip of coastline has two sections but the best part of it is that they’re both free! One is managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), a government arm charged with maintaining Jamaica’s shoreline. The other is owned and operated by the University of the West Indies (UWI) for its students. My experience is based on the UWI portion but the coastline and views are the same.

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Bull Bay Beaches, Saint Andrew

I figured it was time I feature a stereotypical Jamaican chill spot having written about waterfalls, museums, a botanical garden, mountain and mineral spring. You guessed correctly: a BEACH! 🌴 In keeping with A.f.Elle budget-friendly style, I chose an unpopular one: the Wickie Wackie beach in Bull Bay.

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