Summer – a time of family, friends and fun! If you’re looking for ideas on where on the island to go and are not up for the conventional beach trip, or even a day exploring a new river or waterfall, there are some other excursions you can try. No matter where on the island you are situated, there is something to do despite popular belief, here are just a few:
Kingston & St. Andrew
Who says you have to drive hours out of town to enjoy the day? Not too high up (from Papine Square – 20 mins to an hour, depending), you can visit a few locations on your way up World Heritage Site the Blue Mountains. Make a coffee stop and enjoy delectable pastries, spend a day by a [cold but refreshing] river followed by a meal, enjoy the scenic gardens & pools, camp out and enjoy the view of the city. There are quite a few options not too far out of your league, you just have to look for ‘em.
Check out: Cafe Blue, Strawberry Hill, Serendipity Holistic Resort, EITS Cafe, Holywell, Gap Cafe, Starlight Chalet
image via Serendipity Holistic Resort
You’ve probably never considered this, but fishing can be a fun group activity. Round up the crew and visit a fish farm, where you need not worry about investing in expensive fishing equipment as you can rent lines for the day and are provided bait. Have your catch of the day cooked for your dining pleasure in a group lunch/dinner on site. Besides fishing, depending on where you visit, there may be other activities at the location such as paintball.
Check out: Little’s Hobby Hut Fish Farm, Dacosta Farm
image via Little’s Hobby Hut Fish Farm
Submerge your body in the Milk River Mineral Bath, one of the most radioactive in the world making it extremely therapeutic! Characterized by its water flowing from the crevices in a hill into small bathhouses, you can top off your relaxation with a full service spa, restaurant and bar.
image via TripAdvisor
Golf anyone? Jamaica actually possesses one of the oldest golf courses in the entire Caribbean, and the Manchester Country Club has the oldest course in the island. At an elevation of over 2,000 feet, enjoy much cooler temperatures than any other courses found along the coast. Get a hole in one on 9 greens, 18 tee boxes.
image via Leantonio’s Vacation
Take a 20-minute boat ride over to Floyd’s Pelican Bar, a rustic wooden bar built on a sand bank a quarter of a mile out to sea; Literally, it’s a wooden structure in the middle of the water! Enjoy a seafood meal, sunbath, drink a beer in the middle of the sea, and take a dip…the water around the bar is actually shallow enough for you to swim in (responsibly of course after all that food and beer).
Also check out : Jake’s Treasure Beach
image via Jake’s Hotel
Rick’s Café isn’t the only jump you can make in Westmoreland, there is Blue Hole Mineral Spring that’s 35 feet deep beneath a cavernous opening encased by limestone. Naturally-occurring minerals in the limestone act as an underground filter for the steady up-welling of water, leaving behind a pure bath of minerals. Too timid for the jump? You can brave the ladder for your descent, or engage in another activity such as the swimming pool, hike, horseback and more.
image via Blue Hole Mineral Spring
Spend the day horseback riding, whether you’re a beginner or experienced rider. Explore the terrain ranging from beaches, to coral coastline, to mountain tops. You may also check out the sites and scenes including a variety of critters and plants.
Check out: Rhode’s Hall Plantation, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
image via Rhode’s Hall Plantation
Have a day-long excursion with your group at the world-famous Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, starting with plunging right into the Caribbean Sea from a 120-foot water slide starting at the roof. There are some large floats and trampolines in the sea for you to frolic on after you’ve been dipped. Follow up your swim by indulging in island-inspired delicacies and ice cold drinks on the sunset patio to unwind. As evening falls, put on your dancing shoes at their seaside nightclub. P.S. Make sure to pick up a souvenir t-shirt or two before you go!
image via Margaritaville
View the natural phenomena of glowing water at Luminous Lagoon/Glistening Waters. Take a half-hour night cruise and have a short swim in the phosphorescent lagoon which glows when disturbed due to the microscopic organisms in the water. This phenomenon is said to only occur in 3 places in the world! There is also accommodation and restaurant/bar so no need to make a long drive home at night if you don’t want to.
image via Glistening Waters
Have a group retreat and enjoy a fun-filled day of activities. Soar through the sky via zipline tour and/or find out who is the real ‘top shotta’ in a friendly game of paintball, then enjoy a meal together after all the ramping.
Check out: H’Evans Scent, Chukka Caribbean Adventures
image via H’Evans Scent
Nestled in the hills of St. Mary, you can find havens for nature lovers who want a relaxing setting. Have a picnic, scenic walk, and maybe even some bird watching. Enjoy the outdoor scenery and end with a swim in a pool or river.
Checkout: Castleton Gardens, Tapioca Village
image via Jamaica Tourist Board
Portland has been labelled by many as the parish with the island’s biggest abundance of natural beauty. See gorgeous views of lush vegetation surrounding tranquil waters as you go rafting, which has been said to be a very peaceful and relaxing experience. You also have the options to go swimming, eat, or just relax on the banks of the river.
Check out: the Rio Grande, Blue Lagoon
image via Things to do in Jamaica
Learn to surf, then relax on a black sand beach! Staying to watch the sunset while the waves of the sea crash against the shores is also a sight to behold. Great for laughs, bonding, and memories.
Check out: Longboarder Bar & Grill, Makka Pro beach
image via Longboarder Bar & Grill
Have you been to any of these places? Share your experiences, and also any added suggestions, in the comments!