11 Best Beaches in Kingston Jamaica [2024]

Have you been wondering best beaches in Kingston Jamaica? I’ve got you covered!

If you’re setting sail for the sunny shores of Jamaica for the first time, you’re in for an absolute treat!This tropical paradise is not just brimming with reggae rhythms and irresistible jerk cuisine.

Kingston Jamaica coastline

As someone who grew up in Kingston, I can tell you that the city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica you’ll ever see.

Whether you’re a seasoned beachgoer or a sandy shore novice, the beaches in Kingston Jamaica promise a delightful blend of relaxation, adventure, and breathtaking beauty.

So, grab that sunblock and get ready to unravel the beach bum in you as we dive into the best beaches Kingston has to offer.

Best Beaches in Kingston Jamaica

This list includes some of the prettiest beach in Jamaica and the closest beaches to Kingston Jamaica.

woman snorkeling in Jamaica

1. Lime Cay Beach

Lime Cay Beach, off the coast of Kingston Jamaica, is a slice of paradise only a 15-minute boat ride from Port Royale.

This unique cay, stretching over 380 meters along the South East Coast, holds the distinction of being submerged at high tide, presenting a mesmerising sight of just sea and soft sand. It’s considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica.

As the largest cay in the vicinity, Lime Cay’s untouched beauty sets it apart from other Jamaican beaches, primarily because its tidal behaviour renders it uninhabitable.

Visitors often embark from the historic Port Royal, located just 2 miles away, bringing along picnic lunches and drinks, since the island lacks facilities for beachgoers and it’s also one of the closest beach to Kingston Jamaica.

However, its charm remains undiminished as Lime Cay offers some of the purest, most tranquil waters in Kingston.

A favourite for both Kingston and Portmore residents, Lime Cay’s allure lies not just in its pristine sands and waters, but also in its panoramic views.

Visitors can gaze at the Kingston skyline or lose themselves in the vastness of the azure horizon. The Lime Cay is considered on of the best beaches in Jamaica.

Though amenities are scarce, with only a recently added portable restroom, Lime Cay’s fame is undeniably enhanced by its feature in the Jamaican film, “The Harder They Come.”

How To Get To Lime Cay Beach in Kingston: Reaching Lime Cay is an adventure in itself. Whether hopping onto a local fisherman’s canoe from Port Royal or setting sail from Y Knot near Morgan’s Harbour Hotel, the journey promises a memorable experience.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Lime Cay Beach:

  • Close proximity to Kingston: Lime Cay is just a short boat ride away from the city, making it a convenient beach destination in Jamaica.
  • Beautiful views: The island offers stunning 360-degree views and sea excursions.
  • Less crowded: Being an uninhabited island, it’s less crowded than other beaches.

Pros:

  • Unpolluted, calm waters: The waters around Lime Cay are clear and calm, perfect for a relaxing swim.
  • Beautiful 360-degree views: From Lime Cay, you can enjoy stunning views of both the city of Kingston and the endless horizon of blue sea.

Cons:

  • No amenities on the islet: You’ll need to bring everything you need for the day, including food and drinks.
  • Accessible only by boat: This could be a con for those who don’t have access to a boat or prefer to drive to the beach.

Why It’s Great for First-Time Visitors: Lime Cay Beach offers a unique experience of being on a small island that’s all beach. It’s a great introduction to the beautiful beaches of Jamaica.

2. Hellshire Beach

Kids swimming in the sea at Hellshire Beach Jamaica in Kingston Jamaica

Hellshire Beach in Kingston Jamaica stands out with its striking absence of hotels, creating a genuine local experience.

A hub for sun-seekers and swimmers, the beach is also a hotspot for live music and open-air concerts.

The beach in Jamaica is conveniently divided into paid and free sections. The paid section boasts facilities like public restrooms, changing rooms, showers, seating areas with beach chairs, and picnic tables.

Moreover, for safety, a designated area is roped off and monitored by lifeguards, ensuring safe swimming zones.

A short distance westward in the free section, you’ll encounter numerous stalls offering mouth-watering fried fish and other local delicacies.

How To Get To Hellshire Beach in Kingston: Located a mere 30-minute drive from Kingston, accessing Hellshire Beach is convenient. For those relying on public transport, Line 1 bus departs from the junction of Marcus Garvey Drive and Port Kingston Causeway, reaching Hellshire in roughly an hour.

If you’re driving, the quickest route involves toll roads: from Port Kingston Causeway, merge onto Fort Augusta Drive, then follow Port Henderson Rd, and finally Hellshire Main Rd to reach your destination. Though there’s an alternative via the Municipal road, it can extend travel time by about 15 minutes. Whichever route you choose, Hellshire Beach promises an authentic Jamaican seaside experience.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Hellshire Beach:

  • Great for swimming and sunbathing: The calm waters and lifeguard-patrolled area make it a safe place for swimming.
  • Lifeguards on duty: The beach is safe for swimming, with lifeguards on patrol.
  • Entertainment options: From concerts to festivals, there’s always something happening at Hellshire Beach.

Pros:

  • Local food stalls: The beach is lined with stalls selling local Jamaican food, perfect for a beachside meal.
  • Open-air concerts and festivals: Hellshire Beach is known for its lively events and concerts.

Cons:

  • Can get crowded during events: If you prefer a quiet beach, it might be best to avoid Hellshire Beach during events.
  • Some areas are paid: While there is a free section, some areas of the beach require an entry fee.

3. Fort Clarence Beach Jamaica

People relaxing on Fort Clarence Beach in Jamaica Kingston

Located in Kingston, Jamaica, Fort Clarence Beach stands out as a delightful exception to the city’s non-beachy reputation.

This expansive white sand beach, situated approximately 5 ½ miles from Fort Charles and just beyond the Portmore community, offers a peaceful retreat especially appealing to families and tourists.

Its serene ambiance means fewer crowds compared to other Kingston beaches, making it an idyllic spot for picnics.

Visitors are welcomed by a nominal entry fee, and in return, they get to revel in the beach’s calm waters, perfect for swimming.

The beach also buzzes with life during its frequent music festivals, not to mention the occasional beauty pageant and bodybuilding contest.

Convenience is a priority here, with clean restroom and changing room facilities on offer. However, what truly elevates the Fort Clarence Beach experience is the authentic Jamaican culinary journey it promises.

Local vendors line the shore, preparing fresh Jamaican delicacies. From fried and steamed fish to grilled and curried lobster and conch, everything is freshly caught and cooked to perfection.

Paired with traditional sides like steamed or fried bammy or the delightful ‘festival’ bread, it’s a gastronomic treat that complements a relaxing day at this favourite weekend public beaches in Jamaica for many Kingstonians.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Fort Clarence Beach:

  • Family-friendly: With lifeguards on duty and a calm swimming area, it’s a safe and enjoyable beach for families.
  • Lifeguards on duty: The presence of lifeguards ensures a safe swimming environment.
  • Parking area and beachside dining options: The beach offers a parking area and a variety of beachside dining options, adding to its convenience.

Pros:

  • White sands and blue seas: The beach boasts beautiful white sandy shores and clear blue seas, making it a picturesque spot.
  • Less crowded: Being less crowded than some of the other beaches in Kingston, it’s ideal for a peaceful day out.
  • Entry fee: There’s a minimal entry fee to access the beach.
  • Regular events and festivals

Cons:

  • Can get crowded during events: While it’s generally less crowded, it can get quite busy during events.

4. Boardwalk Beach

Just a short distance from the entrance to the Fort Clarence Beach Park, Boardwalk Beach is a hidden gem offering a peaceful seaside escape from bustling Kingston.

Upon entering through the park, you’ll be greeted by the sight of quaint wooden structure.

The two-story restaurant and event space features open-air balconies overlooking the beach’s emerald waters.

Make your way down the wooden steps to the shore, where traditional rustic wooden benches and beach loungers await for an afternoon of sunbathing.

The fine white sands and calm turquoise waters are perfect for swimming. After working up an appetite, head upstairs to savour delicious Jamaican fare like jerk chicken, festival, and ice cold Red Stripe beer.

At night, the beach comes alive with live reggae music, dancing under the stars and one of the best beaches near Kingston Jamaica.

How To Get To Boardwalk Beach in Kingston: To reach Boardwalk Beach in Kingston, Jamaica, just follow the road from the entrance gate of Ft. Clarence Beach to its end. There’s a modest parking area on your right. The beach entrance is conveniently located through a gate on the seaside.

Top 3 benefits of visiting Boardwalk Beach:

  1. Proximity to Fort Clarence Beach Park: You can easily visit both beaches in one day.
  2. Delicious food and drink options: The beachside restaurant offers a variety of local and international dishes.
  3. Free parking: No need to worry about finding a spot for your car.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and serene location
  • Family-friendly
  • Regular special events

Cons:

  • Entry fee required
  • Can be crowded during special events

Price: Low to Mid-range
Best For: Families and groups

5. Waves Beach

Waves Beach in Kingston Jamaica, offers the quintessential island experience with its unique blend of relaxation and excitement.

Located beside Boardwalk Beach, Waves has carved out its own distinct identity, drawing both locals and tourists in droves.

One of the major attractions here is the uninterrupted free wifi, a boon for the digital nomad or the casual browser.

The beach’s seafood offerings are unparalleled, with their All You Can Eat Crab events being a major crowd-puller.

Yet, for those who seek serenity, the beach does not disappoint. With thatched umbrellas offering shade and rustic board sun loungers inviting you to relax, the golden sands and gentle waves beckon you to unwind.

Whether you’re diving into the clear waters, feasting on fresh seafood, or simply soaking in the Caribbean sun, Waves Beach promises an unforgettable experience.

Top 3 benefits of visiting Waves Beach:

  1. Variety of events: From food events to sports nights, there’s always something happening.
  2. Free wifi: Stay connected even while you’re relaxing on the beach.
  3. Delicious seafood: Enjoy the All You Can Eat Crab food events.

Pros:

  • Lively atmosphere
  • Free wifi
  • Regular events and parties

Cons:

  • Can be crowded during events
  • May not be ideal for those seeking a quiet beach experience

Price: Mid-range
Best For: Young adults and seafood lovers

6. Bob Marley Beach

Nestled along Jamaica’s picturesque eastern coastline lies the aptly named Bob Marley Beach, a serene stretch of black sand in Jamaica paying tribute to the island’s most legendary musician.

Named after the reggae icon who often wandered its shores, this popular beach offers a slice of paradise with its soft sands, crystal clear waters, and stunning Caribbean views.

Early mornings bring local fishermen coming ashore, granting access to the fresh catch of the day.

The beach features a gradual slope, with clear shallow waters that get deeper gently – ideal for splashing about.

How To Get To Bob Marley Beach in Kingston Jamaica: Getting to Bob Marley Beach is part of the experience – take the scenic coastal A4 highway from Kingston heading east towards Yallahs until you spot the entrance on the right. Please be aware that the journey by bus or taxi can be lengthy, usually ranging from 30 to 40 minutes, contingent upon your starting point in Kingston and prevailing traffic conditions. If you’re considering using a taxi, it’s advisable to book one in advance.

Top 3 benefits of visiting Bob Marley Beach:

  1. Clear, clean water: Perfect for a quick dip.
  2. Beautiful dark sand beach: A unique feature that adds to the beach’s charm.
  3. Fresh catch: Enjoy the freshest seafood right on the beach.

Pros:

  • Less crowded
  • Beautiful and serene location
  • Fresh seafood available

Cons:

  • Far from Kingston city center
  • Public transport can be inconvenient

Price: Free
Best For: Locals and Bob Marley fans

7. Macca Beach

Tucked away east of bustling Kingston lies the surfer’s haven of Macca Beach. Known for its excellent waves, this secluded spot draws board-toting wave riders from across the island.

The beach’s claim to fame is hosting the annual Macca Pro Invitational surf competition, where crowds gather to cheer on the island’s top wave shredders as they carve up the aquamarine barrels.

While the surf here might not match the epic swells of Hawaii, the consistent head-high waves offer a thrilling ride for experienced surfers.

Beginners can try their luck on the smaller swells sheltered by the rocky outcroppings. Though amenities are limited, Macca Beach’s world-class waves make it a must-visit for surfers seeking an authentic Jamaican vibe away from the resort crowds you usually find in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios.

How To Get To Macca Beach in Kingston: Follow the A4 highway east from Bull Bay to uncover this hidden gem.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Macca Beach

  1. Great for surfing enthusiasts.
  2. Hosts the annual Makka Pro Invitational.
  3. Nearby calmer waters for beginners.

Pros:

  • Vibrant surfing community.
  • Annual surfing event.
  • Nearby spots for beginners.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginner surfers.
  • Can get crowded on event days.

Price: Free
Best For: Surfing enthusiasts

8. Bull Bay Beach

Nestled along Jamaica’s picturesque northeast coastline lies the serene and secluded Bull Bay Beach.

Known as a local secret and escape from the busier resort towns, this miles sandy stretch of beach in Kingston Jamaica offers a peaceful atmosphere ideal for relaxation.

Weekdays are quiet with just a handful of people enjoying the solitude. But weekends bring more activity, as local families arrive for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and beach games.

The main access point features a casual beach bar, serving up cold Red Stripes and jerk chicken to hungry beachgoers.

20-minutes down the coast is Jamnesia Surf Camp, offering lessons for all skill levels in the fun Caribbean waves.

With a few small shops and eateries nearby, you’ll find all the essentials. Dogs roam freely, eager to befriend you.

While not a major attraction in Kingston, Bull Bay Beach appeals to those seeking an authentic Jamaican experience off the beaten path. Its raw natural beauty and laidback vibes create a haven of relaxation.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Bull Bay Beach

  1. Serene and quiet during the week.
  2. Proximity to surf school and amenities.
  3. Great for hanging out and relaxing.

Pros:

  • Quiet and peaceful.
  • Close to surf school and amenities.
  • Friendly local dog pack.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for swimming.
  • Can be too quiet for some during the week.

Price: Free
Best For: Those seeking tranquility

9. Fairy Hill/Winnifred Beach

Empty Winnifred Beach in Kingston Jamaica

Fairy Hill Beach, renowned as Winnifred Beach is a slice of paradise. Situated just beyond a steep incline and a series of enchanting lagoons in Port Antonio, this beach presents an ideal setting for a revitalising swim.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of the beach, adorned with delightful eateries and local vendors.

The offshore reef presents an unparalleled opportunity for snorkelling in Jamaica, making it a must for avid travellers and one of the beaches close to Kingston Jamaica.

Whether you engage in the myriad beachfront activities or opt to unwind amidst the powdery white sand, Winnifred Beach promises an authentic Jamaican adventure that will remain etched in your memories.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Fairy Hill Beach

  1. Beautiful offshore reef for snorkelling.
  2. Lively atmosphere with delicious eateries.
  3. Authentic Jamaican experience.

Pros:

  • Great snorkelling opportunities in Jamaica.
  • Lively atmosphere with local vendors.
  • Beautiful white sand beach in Jamaica.

Cons:

  • Can get crowded.
  • Not easily accessible due to steep hill.

Price: Free
Best For: Snorkelling enthusiasts, foodies

10. Gunboat Beach

Gunboat Beach is a not a must-visit for first-time visitors, because swimming isn’t advised due to pollution, its popularity as an event venue makes it a worthwhile destination for locals.

Enjoy breathtaking views of Kingston Harbour while partying into the night.

Top 3 Benefits of Visiting Gunboat Beach

  1. Popular event venue.
  2. Great view of Kingston Harbour.
  3. Vibrant nightlife.

Pros:

  • Popular spot for events.
  • Great views.
  • Vibrant nightlife.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for swimming.
  • Can get crowded during events.

Price: Varies depending on the event
Best For: Nightlife enthusiasts, event-goers

11. Maiden Cay

While Maiden Cay Beach may not be situated in the most secluded parts of Jamaica, it still offers a splendid opportunity to bask in the sun, soak up the sand, and relish the laid-back atmosphere that the island is renowned for.

What defines this beach near Kingston Jamaica as truly exceptional? Is it the crystal-clear waters, the plethora of activities, or the tantalising culinary delights? The answer lies within your own contemplation.

All I can do is explain why Maiden Cay stands out as a remarkable beach, perhaps even the finest beach in Kingston Jamaica.

First and foremost, it’s important to note that Maiden Cay is not your typical beach in the conventional sense, as it is not located on the mainland coastline.

Rather, it is a small island off the coast of Port Royal, entirely encompassed by shoreline and coastline.

So, while it may not be technically classified as a beach, it undeniably possesses all the qualities one desires in free beaches in Jamaica.

How To Get To Maiden Cay Jamaica: Accessing this hidden gem in Jamaica is relatively effortless, as numerous boats are readily available to transport you there, with the journey from Port Royal typically lasting no more than ten minutes.

Top Benefits of Visiting Maiden Cay Beach

  1. Unique island beach experience.
  2. Laid-back atmosphere.

Pros:

  • Unique island experience.
  • Beautiful surroundings.
  • Laid-back atmosphere.

Cons:

  • Requires a boat ride to reach.
  • Not a traditional beach.

Price: Boat ride cost
Best For: Those seeking a unique beach experience

Best Kingston Area Beaches FAQs

Does Kingston Jamaica have a beach?

Yes, Kingston, Jamaica has several beaches. Although it’s not as renowned for its beaches as some other parts of the island, there are indeed beaches in and near the city.

Can you swim in Kingston Jamaica?

Yes, you can swim in some of the beaches in Kingston. However, it’s always important to be cautious and heed local advice, as some areas might not be suitable for swimming due to undercurrents or other factors.

Is Kingston Jamaica near water?

Yes, Kingston is located on the southeastern coast of Jamaica and is bordered by the Caribbean Sea.

How far is Kingston Jamaica from the ocean?

Kingston is a coastal city, so it is right on the ocean (specifically, the Caribbean Sea). As soon as you’re at the coastline in Kingston, you’re at the ocean.

What is Kingston Jamaica known for?

Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica. It’s known for several things including:

  • It’s cultural significance in the music world, particularly reggae and the legendary Bob Marley, with the Bob Marley Museum being one of its prominent attractions.
  • The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, a leading tertiary institution in the Caribbean.
  • Its status as the economic and political hub of the island.
  • Historic sites such as Port Royal, which was once called “the wickedest city on Earth” during its heyday as a pirate haven.
  • Emancipation Park, a symbol of freedom from slavery.
  • The Blue Mountains to the north of Kingston, known for their coffee and hiking trails.

What is the most popular beach in Kingston Jamaica?

One of the more popular beaches in Kingston is Hellshire Beach. It’s not just a place for swimming, but also for enjoying seafood dishes, as there are several beachfront restaurants that serve fresh fish and other seafood delicacies.

Another option is Lime Cay, a small cay located off the coast which is a popular spot for locals on weekends.

Remember that while Kingston has some nice beaches, Jamaica’s most famous beaches are found in other parts of the island, such as Negril and Ocho Rios.

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