Negril is a middle ground between the touristy bustle of Montego Bay and the laid back charm of Ocho Rios, and in many ways it was the best of both world. Negril is a place where you can kick back when you feel like it (the 7 miles of pristine beaches and the 7 miles of impressively tall cliffs certainly help in that respect), and when you tire of lounging about you can do some sightseeing around town. Tourism is the lifeblood of Negril, and there is much to do in this lovely Caribbean gem of a town even when you are not having fun-in-the sun. Here are some of the most interesting tourist attractions in Negril for those holidaymakers who want to go beyond the beach ambiance.
Celebrated playwright, actor and British wit Sir Noel Coward lived out the last years of his life in his Negril estate, the beautiful Firefly. The mansion hasn’t changed much since the time when the Queen visited it in the 60’s. Sir Coward’s partner gave the estate to the state, and now Firefly is a museum dedicated to his life and work. You can take a tour of the artist’s studio, of the beautiful rooms, and see memorabilia and photographs of Coward and his famous friends.
photo by Jeremy Hetzel
Appleton Estate distillery has been producing some of the finest Jamaican rum since the 18th century, and as such it is an attraction both for the history buff and the rum appreciator. Although it is located at an hour and half drive from Negril, the trip to Appleton Estate is more than worth it. Tour the estate and learn about how rum is made, and have a taster of fresh sugar cane juice while at it.
A proper beach should always have a proper lighthouse, and Negril doesn’t come up short in this respect. The 20 meter tall Negril lighthouse was built in 1894 and it is one of the earliest examples of concrete lighthouses. You can climb up the 103 steps to the top of the lighthouse and get a stunning bird’s eye view of the entire area. The solar-powered lighthouse is not only a great tourist attraction in Negril, but also eco-friendly!
One of the most beautiful beaches near Negril is Bloody Bay, a place whose name might put off some visitors but which is an incredible natural spot. The beach most likely has a gruesome history – it is said that it was the site of some brutal battles between pirates, while others say that it was used by whale hunters to butcher their prey. In any case, this mysterious beach is completely enchanting.