Downtown Kingston Jamaica
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Downtown Kingston Jamaica

 

About Downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Few Caribbean islands can offer up the diversity of Jamaica where there's so much more than Jamaican rum, sun & Jamaican reggae - especially in the often overlooked capital city of Kingston, the heartbeat of Jamaica and the second largest English-speaking city south of Miami, Florida. Kingston overlooks what is the seventh largest natural Jamaican harbor in the world. Like a fan, the city spreads north from the Jamaican harbor as far as the foothills of the famous Jamaican Blue Mountains impressive peaks that form a glorious backdrop to the whole.

Kingston combines Jamaican business with Jamaican leisure. With an eye on satisfying the most demanding visitor, this cosmopolitan Jamaican city extends excellence in upscale high-rise accommodations, fine Jamaican dining, pulsating Jamaican nightlife, Jamaican business and financial services, Jamaican shopping and culture. Just like any major metropolitan city, we have our share of street vendors, beggars and unappealing, less desirable areas, but north of the harbor and uptown, Jamaica’s "New Kingston" sparkles. Most people think of Kingston as being divided into two parts. It's not unlike a vibrant modern American city in that there's a downtown sector -- stretching north from the Jamaican waterfront to the busy traffic junction at Cross Roads and also a Jamaican uptown sector, which extends to the smart suburbs located at the base of the mountains. It will probably take you at least half a day to check out the downtown sights maybe a bit more to encompass all the must-dos in the Jamaican uptown area.
 

Downtown Kingston Jamaica is a great place to sample the essential Jamaican atmosphere of this noisy and vigorous metropolis. Finding your way about on foot is pretty easy, since Kingston uses the grid system. If you get tired, flag down a Jamaican taxi as rates are fairly reasonable and it's more straightforward than trying to tackle the chaos of the city's bus system. The Jamaican waterfront is a pleasant place to begin your tour of the area. Mixing alongside industrial-looking ships and warehouses, you get fishermen and pelicans, vendors flogging root snacks, and people dozing under the shade of a palm tree. Ocean Boulevard is the Jamaican waterfront's breezy main strip, and its focal point is the emotionally charged "Negro Aroused" statue depicting a crouched Jamaican man breaking free from bondage. This is a replica of the original now in the Jamaican National Gallery by Edna Manley, wife of former prime minister Norman Manley and mother of another former prime minister, Michael. The highlight of the Jamaican waterfront walk is the Jamaican National Gallery, a repository of Jamaican art, with important works by John Dunkley, Carl Abrahams, David Pottinger and Barrington Watson.

The Jamaican Crafts Market at the western end of Ocean Boulevard open daily except Sunday houses myriad little stores where you can pick up Jamaican jewelry, Jamaican T-shirts, Jamaican carvings and richly embroidered baskets, though don't expect to be able to barter prices down. The area just north of the grassy Jamaican waterfront forms the historic city centre, though many grand 18th century Jamaican buildings were flattened in an earthquake in 1907. In colonial days, King Street was the main thoroughfare, and despite the earthquake, it still retains a number of beautiful old Jamaican buildings with columned verandahs and decorative carvings.

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