In Jamaica, you can soak up way more than just the sun. The destination is renowned for its rich musical history, from reggae heavyweights like Bob Marley to newbie pop star OMI to industry producer-turned-hotelier Chris Blackwell, who runs a stylish collection of properties under Island Outpost Resorts. Food is a star attraction, too, as Jamaica's fertile land and melting pot of cultures—African, Indian, Chinese, Spanish, and British, to name a few—has informed its culinary traditions. You can't go the island and not sample local specialties like goat curry, ackee and saltfish, fried plantains, and yes, jerk chicken, washed down with a sip or two of local rum.
But it's the island's beaches that are arguably the biggest crowd pleasers, and the reason visitors keep returning again and again. Touch down in Montego Bay, and you're just steps from one of Jamaica’s most sophisticated beach resorts—Round Hill, a favorite with celebrities like Ralph Lauren. Move west to Negril, and you'll find world-famous Seven Mile Beach, a golden stretch of perfect, powdery soft sand that's popular with both locals and tourists. On the north coast of the island sits Ocho Rios, another area with fantastic beaches and elegant resorts, like the historic Jamaica Inn. Drive further east, and you'll hit the chic, laid-back community of Port Antonio. During its heyday in the 1950s, celebrities such as Errol Flynn, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor would visit. Today, the sleepy resort town is still home to a clutch of cool hotels, like the Kanopi House and Geejam.
So whatever type of beach vacation you’re looking for, be it adventurous or totally laid-back, Jamaica has the answer. Here, a few of our favorite sandy spots on this iconic Caribbean destination.