There are several grand old plantation houses in easy reach of Montego Bay but if you only have enough time to go to one, try to make it Rose Hall Great House. You won't be disappointed!
About Rose Hall Great HouseThis beautiful mansion dates to the late 18th Century and is one of the most famous landmarks in Jamaica. It is said to be haunted by a former resident, a white witch by the name of Annie Palmer, so night time tours are popular, as you can imagine! It's a good idea to go in the daytime if you're easily spooked or you would like to be able to concentrate on the beautiful architecture and the gardens, rather than dodging ghouls and ghosts. Either way, you'll get to hear all about the fascinating history of the house, including the sad and spooky tale of Annie Palmer that made it so famous. Explore the bewitching Great House where you'll see majestic 18th Century furnishings and décor, all brought back to its former glory by one of American's leading entrepreneurs, John Rollins, in the 1960s. With its lush landscapes and wonderful views, Rose Hall is also a popular venue for luxury weddings and other special occasions. The Rose Hall Great House was also the home of one of America's leading country music artists, Johnny Cash, who was inspired to write the song "The Ballad of Annie Palmer" in 1973.
Getting to the Rose Hall Great HouseRose Hall Great House is only a short journey to the east of Montego Bay and its hotels and resorts, typically taking about 20-25 minutes by car, on average.
Practical informationThe attraction offers a choice of three tours: the Rose Hall Great House & Garden Tour, the Haunted Night Tour, or the Johnny Cash Great House tour, all of which can be booked in advance online. Other places to explore near Rose Hall Great House If you have time to visit some other attractions, here are some suggestions:
The Croydon PlantationAfter visiting the Rose Hall Great House, if you're happy to go further afield, then it's worth making the trip to Croydon Plantation. Here is where the renowned Blue Mountain coffee is grown, among other top quality local produce. In the picturesque Catadupa Mountains, it's also a great place to sample some citrus fruits, pineapple, and other tropical fruits as you admire the glorious views of the Jamaican landscape. The Croydon Plantation is about an hour's journey to the south of Montego Bay, approximately 33km away.
The Belvedere PlantationJust outside Montego Bay is the Belvedere Plantation, where you can see the ruins of an old sugar factory, taste fresh sugar cane, and find out how the 1,000 acres are still farmed today. The site even includes a waterfall where you can take a dip, and a botanical garden and post”Emancipation Village where you'll see a baker, basket-weaver, and coffee grinders showcase their skills. After this grand tour, you can treat yourself to a mouth-watering lunch with Jamaican cuisine while you listen to traditional mento music. The Belvedere Plantation is about 40 minutes to the south of Montego Bay, or around 24km.
The Ras Natango Gallery and GardenFor something a little different, spend some time at the Ras Natango Gallery and Garden, which is just as unusual as its name. It's easy to get to this mountainside eco paradise via the free shuttle service from Montego Bay, so you won't have to do any driving. Once you're there, you can wander through the botanical gardens and bird sanctuary, and admire the work of the talented resident artist. Make sure your camera is charged before you go, as you'll have breath-taking views of Montego Bay and the Caribbean Sea to add to your collection of fabulous photos. Plan ahead and you might even be able to join an art class, too, so you can brush up on your drawing and painting skills. You can also visit the dinosaur garden and get a glimpse of what life would have been like on earth millions of years ago. Then head to the koi pond, see the turtles, and learn about Jamaica's endangered and extinct species. When you're hungry, treat yourself to a tasty meal on site with a nice cold beer or some fresh tropical fruit juice. If you enjoyed the Rose Hall Great House, you'll definitely appreciate the Ras Natango Gallery and Garden. Just remember to book the shuttle service in advance. It's also near the centre of Montego Bay, so you won't have to deal with any long journeys.