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Few travelers—particularly Americans—take the time to visit Kingston, although organized day trips make the city accessible from Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. That's understandable, as Kingston can be a tough city to love. It's big and has a bad reputation, with gang-controlled neighborhoods that are known to erupt into violence. However, New Kingston is a vibrant and exciting business district with many places for visitors to enjoy. If you've seen other parts of the island and yearn to know more about the heart and soul of Jamaica, Kingston is worth a visit. This government and business center is also a cultural capital, home to numerous dance troupes, theaters, and museums. It's also home to the University of the West Indies, one of the Caribbean's largest universities. In many ways, Kingston reflects the true Jamaica—a wonderful cultural mix—more than the sunny havens of the North Coast. As one Jamaican put it, "You don't really know Jamaica until you know Kingston."
Serving as a magnificent backdrop for the city are the Blue Mountains, with fabulous homes in the foothills. The views become increasingly grand as the roads wind up into one of the island's least developed yet most beautiful regions.
Kingston at a Glance
- Bank of Jamaica Money Museum
- Bob Marley Museum
- Devon House
- Emancipation Park
- Hope Royal Botanic Gardens
- Hope Zoo Kingston
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