Plan your next trip with this parish-by-parish staycation guide
Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay
It’s no secret, wherever in the world you find yourself, if you have some time on your hands, you’re probably planning your next staycation.
Since COVID-19 has restricted international travel for many – even those who don’t mind the mandatory 14-day quarantine – travelling overseas is just not the same anymore. So we turn inward.
Simply put, a staycation is a holiday you travel for without moving locations; a getaway that doesn’t involve going too far, while being totally relaxing.
This could be your backyard, a resort on the North Coast, a visit to one of your favourite heritage sites in another parish, or packing a few must-haves for a few days at the family home in rural Jamaica.
Google data shows that, since 2010, ‘staycation’ has enjoyed a 58% rise in search frequency — with a 10% year-on-year increase in 2015 alone.
Staycay searches are therefore forecasted to keep climbing with consistent peaks in July, August.
Traveldailymedia.com notes that ‘Staycation online bookings rise to 127% as non-essential travel resumes’.
And, because staycations are recommended for these reasons and more…
The shorter the distance, the less the spend
Maximise your vacation time
You get to explore and re-connect with your country
Build connections with local merchants and organisations
You promote your country to international travellers
Staycations are usually less stressful and affords an entire family the opportunity to travel together instead of one or two family members at a time
You make your own rules – instead of booking through a travel agency, plus, local rates are cheaper than the rates for international visitors, therefore reducing costs further.
Here are some parish-to-parish options for your next local staycation…
Perhaps one of Hanover’s most refreshing attractions, the Mayfield Falls in Pennycooke boasts 21 cascades down the Mayfield River.
It’s about an hour and a half out of Negril and has enough room for patrons to swim, dive, and lounge.
St Elizabeth Safari
The St Elizabeth Safari runs on the opposite side of the more popular Black River Safari with local businessman Dr Donovan Bennett operating a virtually identical 75-minute tour up the Black River.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Doctor’s Cave Beach is quite popular haunt along Gloucester Avenue in the second city. It is open every day 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. Though masks are not mandatory while on the beach, without a mask, you will not be allowed to enter.
Good Hope Plantation
Listed among the top sights and landmarks in the parish via TripAdvisor, the Good Hope Plantation is a must-visit.
It appeals to all ages and is home to Jamaica's largest and most complete nature adventure park, which has active adventure and leisure activities, and cultural learning experiences.
Plan a family picnic/river date to Paradise Park: river, park and private beach in Negril.
Horse-back riding is no longer available, but the park, river, and beach are natural mainstays. Tell Ruth your friends at Loop Lifestyle sent you.
This popular black sand beach in Clarendon comes decked out with fishing vendors that provide the catch of the day and other savoury seafood meals after you take a dip in the crystal clear water.
Dean’s Place operator Jah D and a number of other cook shop owners/fisherfolk along the beach are ready to serve.
Farquhar Beach is about an hour away from Mineral Heights and in close proximity to Milk River.
No reservations required.
Bird-Watching at Marshall’s Pen
This is an ornithopilhe’s dream – open for appointment-only bird-watching, the Marshall’s Pen attraction in the parish of Manchester is for guests with a keen interest in bird-watching and the like.
Be sure to take your binoculars.
Mystic Mountain is currently open to locals only and is offering affordable packages for groups and individuals.
Lightweight clothing, binoculars, sunscreen, camera, sunglasses and comfortable shoes are highly recommended for a trip to the Ocho Rios site.
Book before July 31st here for discounts.
DaCosta Farm and Attraction
Hostesses Judian and/or Nadian are are likely to be your first point of contact at DaCosta Farm and Attraction.
All safety protocols observed, you too can enjoy a number of activities including paintballing, dune-buggy rides, a dip in the water park, a play area for kids, and a bar and restaurant for leisure.
Open: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm and up until 6 pm on weekends.
Tamarind Great House
This hillside gem was once known as the Crescent Estate, which was destroyed by fire in 1987 and rebuilt then restored as a 10-bedroom colonial-style great house by English couple Gillian and Barry Chambers – who live on the property with their son Gary.
A room for two per night (including breakfast) will cost at least US$95.
Museum of Jamaican Music
If you plan to visit the Museum of Jamaican Music, schedule your appointment via the National Gallery of Jamaica or the Institute of Jamaica.
The museum’s director/curator Herbie Miller will be happy to speak with you about the storied Rock musicians and musical history.
Tel: 876.476.6575 – Herbie Miller
876.922.1561 – National Gallery of Jamaica
876.922-0620/0626 – The Institute of Jamaica
San San Beach
San San Beach is located at the base of San San Hill (neighbouring Frenchman’s Cove), where much of the area’s most luxurious villas are found.
Described as ‘the most beautiful beach in Portland’, San San Beach offers warm, shallow waters, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
The R Hotel
Enjoy a 360° view of Kingston at the luxe R Hotel at #2 Renfrew Road. The quaint cosmopolitan haunt’s main attractions include views of New Kingston, dining at either of the two concept dining rooms, lounging by the rooftop pool, or by the Blues-themed rooftop bar.
Stokes Hall Great House
An earthquake in 1907 left Stokes Hall Great House in ruins. Today it is owned by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and is a great site for the kids to enjoy.
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