Hidden gems: Unique things to do at Montego Bay’s beaches

Jamaica

Exclusive beaches with warm water and white sand are the hallmark of Montego Bay’s robust resort scene. There are plenty of unique things to eat, see and do on the Caribbean waterfront, where you can experience beach life like a local.

Landscape photo of Sandy Bay beach shore.
Sandy Bay near Montego Bay, Jamaica.

BBQ on the Beach
Located just off Montego Bay’s touristy “Hip Strip,” Bigg’s BBQ Restaurant and Bar perches over a small strip of white, sandy beach. Order Jamaican jerk, Midwest barbecue or a supremely fresh fish platter, then soak up the sun and scenery from the outdoor dining deck. Take the stairs down to the beach, where you’ll find an unpretentious space sitting serenely adjacent to the well-known, often-crowded Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club beach.

Plate of Jerk Chicken at Scotchies restaurant.

Play Beach-Club Style
Settle in for a day of resort-style play at the private Seawind Beach Club, wedged in between the Sunscape Splash and Secrets St. James resorts in the Freeport section of town. Most days you’ll only share the sandy beach, cabanas, pool and warm ocean water with long-term island visitors and residents, but call ahead first because several cruise lines offer shore excursions that can quickly fill up the club. Try the fruity tropical drinks and save room for a meal of classic island cuisine with a contemporary twist in the club’s bright, airy dining room.

Bocal of fruity cocktail on a beach table

Plane-Spot in Paradise
Take a ride past the bustling Hip Strip and down Kent Road until you run out of pavement at the edge of Sangster International airport. The tiny strip of sand here is appropriately called Dead End Beach, and is located next to an airport. Watch and hear the jets as they cruise in low for landing. This is also one of the best out-of-the-way spots to catch stunning Caribbean sunsets.

Tropical beach, sunset

Snorkel Away
Splash in the surf, go snorkeling, enjoy a volleyball game or simply lounge with a cool drink from the bar at Cornwall Beach. Showers and lockers are available for your convenience. Guests from the casual all-inclusive Royal Decameron Hotel next door and occasional groups of cruise ship passengers hang out at this lusciously white-sand beach, too. There is a nominal fee for day use.

Feeding the fish

Trek on Horseback
Take a plunge into warm Caribbean water while riding bareback on a horse. Don’t worry if you’re a novice—the talented guides at Half Moon Equestrian Center will make sure you’re comfortable with your equine mount, and helmets and life-preserver belts are provided. For a more relaxing adventure, take a romantic horseback ride along the bay to Sunrise Beach, or bring the kids for a pony ride and playtime with the Center’s friendly farm animals.

Montego Bay

Go Go-Carting
Let the younger ones in your crew blow off excess energy with a whirl on the go-carts at Aquasol Beach, conveniently close to shopping, cool shade and the touristy Margaritaville. You might hear folks in town refer to this curving stretch of sand as Walter Fletcher Beach, as it was known in earlier, quieter days. There is a fee, but you’ll have a gorgeous view of the ocean and a short trip back to downtown.

Boys and men go-karting on a track.