advertisement

Beaches 

You don't really come to Kingston for beaches, but there are some here. To the southwest of the sprawling city are the black-sanded Hellshire Beach, Gunboat Beach, and Fort Clarence. These beaches are very popular with the locals on weekends, and all have changing rooms, heavy security, and numerous food stands. The reggae concerts at Fort Clarence are legendary on the island.

Just past Fort Clarence, the fisherman's beach at Naggo Head is an even hipper destination, or so Kingston beach buffs claim. After a swim in the refreshing waters, opt for one of the food stands selling "fry fish" and bammy (cassava bread).

The closest beach to the city is Lime Cay, a little island on the outskirts of Kingston Harbour, reached by a short boat ride from Morgan's Harbour at Port Royal. This is one of the best spots we've found in Kingston for a picnic. Weekend cookouts are commonplace, and the swimming is good in unpolluted waters. To get a boat ride to the beach, check with the reception desk at Morgan's Harbour Hotel.

Cricket 

This is the national pastime of Jamaica. The best cricket games are played in Kingston at Sabina Park on South Camp Road. For information about matches, contact the tourist office.

Golf 

Caymanas Golf Course, Spanish Town (tel. 876/922-3388; www.caymanasgolfclub.com), lies 10km (6 1/4 miles) west of Kingston and is open to the general public. This is an 18-hole, par-70, 6,855-yard course. Golfers praise this course for its elevated tees and its uphill shots. It costs US$45 for a round of golf here on weekdays, US$50 on weekends, plus US$25 for the cart rental, and another US$15 for the club rental.

A course closer to town, Constant Spring at Constant Spring (tel. 876/924-1610), dates from the 1920s. A mentor of Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Stanley Thompson, laid out this par-70, 6,196-yard, 18-hole golf course at the foot of the Blue Mountains. A round costs J$3,400 on weekdays, J$3,600 on weekends, and club rentals are available. There's also a small pro shop, restaurant, and bar.

Scuba Diving 

Some of the best-known dive sites in the area include Windward Edge, with a depth range of 21 to 27m (70-90 ft.). Reached after a 30-minute boat ride, this site lies 11km (6 3/4 miles) outside of Kingston Cays. There are great photo opportunities here.

Suitable for all levels of divers, the Cayman Trader wreck has a depth range of 9 to 15m (30-50 ft.). A Norwegian cargo ship, the Trader caught on fire in 1977. It was later towed to this site and sunk. The wreck is scattered over a large area. Another stunning wreck that an outfitter can take you to is the Texas, a U.S. Navy ship that went down in 1944. Advanced divers seek out this site, at a depth of 30m (100 ft.). It is particularly known to divers for its stunning black coral.

Tennis 

The best tennis courts are at the Jamaica Pegasus, 81 Knutsford Blvd. (tel. 876/926-3690), which offers two hard-surface courts, each lit for night play. Courts are open to the public, costing US$20 per hour during the day or US$25 per hour at night.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.