Beyond the Port in Montego Bay
Posted on February 22, 2013 by sguese
Step off the cruise ship in Montego Bay and you might think this town is overly charged.
The bustling town hides its turbulent history, especially when the spring breakers roll through each year. While home to the island’s busiest airport and cruise-ship port, Montego Bay does have more appeals outside of hotels, bars, and restaurants catering to the holiday set. Get to know the real Montego through its decaying old Georgian buildings and you will see much more than a port, spring breaking city.
Rose Hall Great House: Rose Hall Great House seems to hold court in Montego Bay. The building sets up with a commanding hilltop position, 3 kilometers east of Ironshore. It is considered the most famous great houses in all of Jamaica. Completed in the 1770s by John Palmer, the Rose Hall Great House saw many parties in its day, put on by Mr. and Mrs. Palmer. However, the greatness of this great house was destroyed during the Christmas Rebellion of 1831. Today you can admire its pleasant restoration.
Sam Sharpe Square: Another element to Montego Bay you might miss if you are just here for the holiday kitsch is its elegant squares. Sam Sharpe Square bursts with activity. The cobbled square is named for the national hero, the Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe. Sharpe led the 1831 Christmas Rebellion. Sam Sharpe Square also holds the National Heroes Monument, an impressive bronze statue.
Dead End Beach: Usually we avoid dead ends at all costs, but Dead End Beach in Montego Bay will make you rethink that notion all together. Also known as Buccaneer Beach, Dead End Beach presents a narrow strip of sand, popular mostly with locals. It lacks the crowds of some of Montego Bay’s other beaches so that you can enjoy sunsets without having to fight for a view.
St. James Parish Church and the Museum of St. James: Jamaica has many fine churches, but St. James Parish Church is regarded as one of the finest. Constructed between 1775 and 1782, the church takes on the shape of a Greek cross. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1957, but it has since been restored. The Museum of St. James provides more explanation on the building and its history. Home to relics and other exhibits tracing the history of the church, the museum also contains an art gallery and a 200-seat theater.
Walter Fletcher Beach: If you can’t resist the tourist scene, you will find Walter Fletcher Beach appealing nonetheless. Frequented by both locals and tourists, the beach sits at the end of the Gloucester Ave., Montego Bay’s main drag. It is no wonder the masses come here, anxious to enjoy the long silver of white sand.
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