Port Antonio, Jamaica
Set on Jamaica's lush northeast coast, Port Antonio was long a favorite with a Hollywood crowd that included Errol Flynn, Audrey Hepburn, and Truman Capote. Nowadays, it's the hippest spot in Jamaica, a mélange of stylish hotels, small recording studios, jerk stalls, and the island's most attractive beaches.
What We Love
Boston Bay: In addition to some of the best surfing waves in Jamaica, this inlet half an hour east of Port Antonio showcases the island's best "jerk" — spicy chicken, pork, and fish barbecued over a pimento-wood fire.
Frenchman's Cove: Framed by rocky headlands, strewn with talcum-powder fine sand, and fed by a meandering freshwater stream with a Tarzan rope, this is arguably the Caribbean's best beach.
Best Known For
Blue Lagoon: This amazing, teal-colored cove blends salty sea and fresh spring water. It's ideal for swimming, paddling, or just sipping an ice-cold Red Stripe in the pier-top bar.
Rafting the Rio Grande: For hundreds of years, locals used bamboo rafts to transport bananas and other goods to the coast. It was wild man Errol Flynn who turned running the river into a popular tourist attraction.
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Who It's Best For
Beach Bums: From the black sand of Orange Bay to the big waves of Boston Bay, Port Antonio's 15-mile shoreline offers an incredible array of places to get wet.
Film Buffs: From Errol Flynn's onetime stomping-ground Navy Island to Tom Cruise flipping cocktails at Frenchman's Cove to the "Firefly" home where Noel Coward entertained his celebrity friends, the area is rife with show biz history.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Anticipate Downtown Blues: Port Antonio's historic core is badly in need of renovation, many of the historic structures on the verge of extinction.
It's Spread Out: Most of Port Antonio's must-see sights and experiences are strung out along the coast to the east of town. You'll need to arrange ground transportation to see what the area really has to offer.
Joe Yogerst is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Travel + Leisure.