Top picnic spots in and around Kingston
There’s nothing better than a picnic in the sun. Here are some fun places where you can find a spot with a view and enjoy a leisurely meal al fresco in and around Kingston.
Fort Clarence Beach: This great beach is about 40 minutes west of Kingston in Hellshire, St Catherine. There’s a long, wide stretch of sand with good views back towards Kingston and the sea is warm – you may end up sharing it with the pelicans! Toilets and changing rooms are clean, and there are a couple of beach cafes. It costs $250 for adults and $100 for kids aged 4-12.
Hellshire Beach: Just a little further up the road is another good beach option, with a bit more buzz. The seafood at Hellshire is great if you want to supplement your picnic, but there's also music and lots of people having fun. Tap into the mood and enjoy!
(Image: Robert Powell via Flickr of hibiscus in the Blue Mountains)
Holywell Park: This national park area high in the Blue Mountains offers great views and lush greenery. There are several trails to walk, for different levels of ability, plus picnic areas and restrooms. The birdlife is amazing and visitors can see lots of different kinds of plants and flowers. One tip – bring a sweater. The altitude means it’s colder than Kingston. Entry is $100 (adults and kids) for local residents, or USD$10 for non-resident adults ($5 for kids).
Castleton Gardens: These botanical gardens straddle the A3 main road between Kingston and Annotto Bay. Established in 1862, they are home to thousands of different species of plants. There’s also the Wag Water River if you want a quick dip, and plenty of good spots for a picnic. Entry is free.
Hope Gardens: This tranquil park, just off Hope Road, offers a wide space to stroll and enjoy nature, with the Blue Mountains as backdrop. There’s a bandstand, a Chinese pagoda, a fish pond and a large lawn filled with colourful shrubs and flowers. There’s plenty of room here for everyone. Entry is free, there’s a small charge for parking.
Boone Hall Oasis: This green estate in Stony Hill is known for its Sunday Brunch, but it also has lush grounds through which the Wag Water River flows and a garden centre.
Emancipation Park: In the heart of the capital, this is a shady oasis with well-kept gardens and flowers. There’s a fountain in the middle, lots of benches to sit on and 500m running track for if you want to burn off a little energy. It’s a great place to sit and watch other people! Entry is free.
Devon House: This is another good city-centre option. There's a big grassy area, a playground (an entry fee is payable) and if you want you could top off your picnic with an ice cream from the famous Devon House outlet.
Lime Cay: You reach this tiny island by boat from Port Royal, about 40 minutes from Kingston. There you can experience beautiful white sand as you enjoy your picnic. Once you’ve digested your lunch, you could try snorkeling to see some fish – or spotting planes as they come in to land at the airport.
Where do you like to go? There must be plenty more places. Let us know your favourites!