The morning breeze ushers in dawn’s new light as joggers commence the day’s ever-changing cycle. A rare jewel in the heart of Kingston city, Emancipation Park is a refuge for many who seek solitude and a soothing ambience away from the hustle and bustle of daily living.
It’s an oasis where one can rejuvenate among its lush seven-acre landscape that symbolizes the legendary beauty of the island of Jamaica. Nature lovers can bask in the Park’s scenery lined with tropical flowers and trees such as the majestic Royal Palm, its branches stretching outwards beckoning to the skies.
Art lovers can appreciate the beautifully crafted 11ft. bronze sculpture “Redemption Song” by celebrated Jamaican artist, Laura Facey that graces the ceremonial entrance of the Park.
Image source: www.visitjamaica.com
Sitting on 11 lush acres in the capital city, the stately Devon House mansion was the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel. It was built in 1881, on what was originally a 51-acre property.
Visitors to the historical site can go back in time with a tour of the Georgian-style great house. Furnished with a collection of 19th-century antiques from Jamaica and the Caribbean region, the house tells the tale of privileged West Indian society in the Victorian era. The ballroom still has the original English chandelier purchased by Stiebel for the room.
The finely crafted wooden Devon House is even more remarkable given that it was constructed by a man whose background made his climb to success particularly difficult. George Stiebel, the son of a black housekeeper and a German-Jewish merchant, made his fortune from investments in gold mines in Venezuela. He purchased 99 properties in Jamaica, including Devon Pen.
Today, the old stables, kitchen and other buildings on the property host some of Jamaica’s finest restaurants, confectioneries and souvenir shops. Devon House I Scream, makers of Jamaica’s premier brand of ice cream has its flagship store at the location.
Image source: heedmag.com
Hope Botanical Gardens, also known as Hope Gradens, also known as the Royal Botanical Gardens, is a lush 200-acre park located just 10 minutes away on Hope Road. The gardens were established by Major Richard Hope in 1873 from a portion of his estate. Hope, a commander in the British Army, had received his estate due to his role in the regaining of control of Jamaica from the Spanish.
Points of interest at the gardens include a palm grove, an orchid house,ornamental ponds and a cactus garden.
Image source: jamaicaexperiences.com
Situated just 15 minutes off the coast of Port Royal by boat, Lime Cay has a small beach which is one of the Kingston area’s most popular spots for recreation and sunbathing. It is a seasonal hot spot for partygoers, and during holiday seasons, especially on weekends, the island is often swarmed with boats, music and socialites. Lime Cay measures 380 meters from its northwestern tip to the southeastern end, and is 80 meters across at its widest point. Roughly half of the area is wooded; the rest of it is mostly sand and coral.
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Hellshire Beach is located near Portmore, about 40 minutes drive away. It is a popular public beach conveniently located for visitors from Kingston who come mainly on weekends. The place is famed for its escoveitch fish & festival as well as the safe swimming. The beach is more exposed when there is a current running to the south and the waters along the shoreline are often quite cloudy due to the stirred up sand.
The beach was once called ‘Healthshire’ because it had a reputation as a health retreat. The name has since evolved into its name today: ‘Hellshire’.