Columbus Park Museum, on Queens Highway, Discovery Bay (no phone), is a large, open area between the main coast road and the sea at Discovery Bay. Just pull off the road and walk among the fantastic collection of exhibits; admission is free. There's everything from a canoe made from a solid piece of cottonwood -- the way Arawaks did it more than 5 centuries ago -- to a stone cross that was originally placed on the Barrett Estate (14km/8 3/4 miles east of Montego Bay) by Edward Barrett, brother of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. You can see a tally, used to count bananas carried on men's heads from plantation to ship, as well as a planter's strongbox with a weighted lead base to prevent its theft. Other items are 18th-century cannons, a Spanish water cooler and calcifier, a fish pot made from bamboo, a corn husker, and a water wheel. Pimento trees, which produce allspice, dominate the park, which is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm, Saturday 8am to noon.
You can also visit the Seville Great House, Heritage Park (tel. 876/972-2191). Built in 1745 by the British, it contains a collection of artifacts once used by everybody from the Amerindians to African slaves. In all, you're treated to an exhibit of 5 centuries' worth of Jamaican history. Modest for a great house, it has a wattle-and-daub construction. A small theater presents a 15-minute historical film about the house on request. It's open daily from 9am to 5pm; admission is US$5.
A Tribute to Bob Marley
Reggae fans from all over the world visit the little hamlet of Nine Mile to pay their respects at the Bob Marley Centre & Mausoleum (tel. 876/843-0498), which is open daily 9:30am to 6:30pm, charging an admission of US$15. Neither the hours of opening nor the price is writ in stone.
The village where Marley grew up and where he was buried has the unusual name of Nine Mile. It's a group of ramshackle farms, stray goats, and chickens.
You can go inside Marley's two-room shanty, filled with family memorabilia, including photographs. Marley lived here from the ages of 6 to 13. Adjoining the shack is the so-called mausoleum in which Marley was buried. He shares the gravesite with his half-brother, who was gunned down by police in Miami during a drug bust.
On-site is a vegetarian restaurant and a little shop selling Marley tapes.
The big event of the year here is Marley's birthday each February 6. Reggae fans descend on Nine Mile to listen to concerts. The performer's son, Ziggy Marley, also a reggae star, often appears to entertain.
To reach the pilgrimage site, take the B3 from Ocho Rios south to Brown's Town, a distance of 39km (24 miles). From there continue south to Alexandria for 10km (6 1/4 miles). Once at Alexandria, turn east (signposted ALVA), going for another 15km (9 1/4 miles) until you arrive at the hamlet of Nine Mile of Marley fame.
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.