DescriptionKingston was founded in 1692 when survivors of the Port Royal earthquake resettled around a piggery across the harbor. It became Jamaica's capital in 1872 and is today considered the island's cultural center. An earthquake and fire in 1907 destroyed most of the city, but it was immediately rebuilt. On a broad plain beneath the Blue Mountains, Kingston is built around one of the largest natural harbors in the world.
The new Kingston is even busier than the old; suburbs have grown up around residences of officials and wealthy merchants. The town and surrounding districts are well supplied with good hotels, and the Kingston Craft Market on Port Royal Street is a shopper's mecca. North of downtown is 50-acre (20-hectare) National Heroes Park, where Jamaican leaders Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley and Marcus Garvey are buried.
King's House on Hope Road was built in 1907 as the official residence for the governor-general. Surrounding the house are immaculately landscaped grounds, which are open Mon.-Fri. 8-5; phone (876) 927-6424.
Hellshire Beach, 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Kingston on the coast, has 200,000-year-old Two Sisters Cave with rare Taíno petroglyphs. Nearby is Fort Clarence Beach, a seaside recreational complex. Both beaches are popular with the locals on weekends.
Visitor Information Jamaica Tourist Board, Kingston 64 Knutsford Blvd. Kingston, JAMAICA . Phone:(876)929-9200
Attractions Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
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