Bob Marley Beach, Saint Andrew

When one thinks of going to the beach in Jamaica, St. Andrew is perhaps the last parish that comes to mind. Some go as far as to ask if this parish even has a beach to begin with, and I’m always happy to educate and say yes, SEVERAL! 🙂 All 14 of Jamaica’s parishes are washed by the Caribbean Sea so it’s a little weird that people assume St. Andrew doesn’t have any beaches just because it’s a largely urban parish and commercial centre. Three years ago I took a trip to the Carib and Wickie Wackie beaches which I wrote about here, and now I’m back with another lesser-known St. Andrew beach.

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7 Unique Activities to Enjoy In & Around Kingston, Jamaica

The great outdoors has been elusive since early March but is finally opening up, even if it is currently blanketed by Saharan dust, and we’re not fully out of the woods yet with several countries seeing a second wave in coronavirus cases since relaxing travel restrictions. Nonetheless, I’m seeing everyone posting their beach pictures and I’m happy. I’ll be enjoying my first taste of summer soon too. I enjoy large open green spaces, beaches, waterfalls, rivers and nature trails, but you know what ‘Rona has made me realize? There are many indoor activities I enjoy too– some I haven’t even done before but are on my mental list of things to try, and I missed having the opportunity to try them. Kingston is Jamaica’s capital city, a bustling centre of business and commerce, but also has a wealth of activities to enjoy. Here are 7 unique indoor activities to add to your list of options for date nights and get-togethers, or as we’d say in the Caribbean–limes.

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Peter Tosh Museum, Saint Andrew

Peter Tosh is a platinum-selling Grammy award winning artiste and is one of the most talented reggae musicians to emerge from Jamaica. He got his claim to fame from the Wailers, a trio which also consisted of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Peter Tosh was born in 1944 in Westmoreland, Jamaica’s most western parish and his life was brought to a brutal abrupt end in 1987 after a home break-in and robbery-turned-murder. Tosh had a rough start with an unstable family background, shuffled around from relative to relative based on circumstances but his musical talent emerged early despite the upheavals. Tosh is a self-taught guitarist and keyboardist who got his first real taste of music and performing when he moved to Trench Town as a teenager and met his fellow band-mates in the early 1960s. He taught them how to play, and they dabbled in ska and rocksteady before finding their calling in reggae, infusing their tunes with spiritual and political messages from their newfound conversion to the Rastafari faith.

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19 Times My Parish (St. Andrew) Left Me Awestruck

Hey guys! I hail from Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston, born unda di clock as we say– a colloquial expression which means one was born not too far from this Victorian-style 33-foot tall clocktower built in 1913! This clock marks the very centre of the parish capital, a crossroad between four major streets in Half-Way-Tree which was once the location of a large cotton tree and how the town got its name.

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Long Walk to Freedom Highlights

Born in the year of ‘Til Shiloh, Buju Banton’s first album released after his conversion to the Rastafari faith, Buju is the reggae legend whose success story my generation has had the honour of witnessing. Us younger folks didn’t grow up under the likes of Bob Marley and Dennis Brown. We grew up instead knowing that life’s Not an Easy Road and learning how to walk like a Champion. Another ghetto youth who showed us that hard work and dedication to one’s craft can elevate one from poverty, Jamaicans everywhere felt disappointed when we heard the news of Buju’s USA DEA charges for conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine in 2009, especially given that we crooned the lyrics to Driver three years prior.

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Holywell, Saint Andrew

Located in the tropical mist forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP), Holywell (pronounced Hollywell) is a cool escape from Kingston’s heat. This 330-acres “park within a park” is blessed by the fragrance of fresh mountain air and pine trees, and at 900m (3,000 ft.) above sea level, the cool temperature allows Holywell’s ecosystem to support a wide variety of ferns, flowers, and trees which are rarely seen in other parts of Jamaica. Many Jamaican birds call this forest home, including all 30 of Jamaica’s endemic birds!

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Hope Zoo, Saint Andrew

My last trip to the zoo was at least a decade ago and I’ve had an inexplicable hankering to visit since last year. Hope Zoo welcomed its first visitors in 1961 but inadequate funding, deterioration and a dwindling animal population led to a decline in public interest. This paved the way for private ownership and in 2011, the Hope Zoo Preservation Foundation (HZPF) took reins. Devising a model from local and international environment and wildlife preservation bodies, the Hope Zoo was transformed to tell the Jamaican story by showcasing local fauna alongside African macrovertebrates and American jungle species since these regions have had the greatest impact on Jamaica.

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Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, Saint Andrew

Jamaica’s Tourism Linkages Network through the Ministry of Tourism is on to something big with this one. The inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival is a three-day weekend affair with the main event taking place on Saturday March 24 at the cool historic military training centre of Newcastle in the Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park (BJCMNP).

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Trench Town Culture Yard, Saint Andrew

Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston pulsates to the beat of reggae music and its raunchier cousin, dancehall music. Both genres originated here so opportunities to enjoy and learn about their origins in Kingston are endless. Bob Marley is indisputably the world’s most famous Rastafarian and reggae’s most celebrated son. Born in the rural district of Nine Miles, St. Ann, Kingston can’t take credit for his birthplace but it can for his rise to fame. Bob Marley and his immediate family relocated to Trench Town, Kingston at age 12 in search of a better life.

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Devon House Tour, Saint Andrew

Ranked as National Geographic’s fourth best place in the world to eat ice cream in 2011, Devon House is already a favourite for residents and visitors alike. However, Devon House is so much more than stellar sweets.

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