Montego Bay is a beautiful, sandy getaway for vacationers of all ages. Check out the beach, enjoy an amazing meal, and relax on a beach with views unlike any you’ll see in the rest of the world. When you take a trip to Montego Bay, get ready for an experience you’ll fall in love with.

Early Morning: Start Your Morning Right

The best way to start a morning in Montego Bay is with a delicious breakfast. You have a number of options for outstanding food throughout the city. If you’re in the mood for café style food, head to 1091 Morgan Rod for a meal at Coffee ‘N Crème. Get a fresh-brewed Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, or try one of their perfectly-crafted lattes, cappuccinos, or smoothies. For a satisfying breakfast, order the Rise N’ Shine, which includes two eggs, bacon or sausage, and toast. If you’re in the mood for something a little sweeter, you can’t go wrong with the Sweet & Tasty, featuring pancakes or waffles and bacon or sausage.

Another great option to help you start the day is The Pelican Grill. Here you can start your day with a fresh fruit cup or a Jamaican Fruit Plate. You can also try the Spanish Omelette, featuring sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes. The Pelican Grill is located on the Gloucester Avenue Hip Strip.

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Montego Bay in Montego Bay.

Midmorning: Get Your Shop On

After you eat, it’s time to hit the stores. There are tons of great shopping options throughout Montego Bay that you’ll want to visit. Start off at The Shoppes at Rose Hall. This is one of the best shopping centers in the city, and most hotels in the area offer a free shuttle to and from the mall. While you’re here, you can find some of the top brand options for everything you need, from Roles to Dior and even Cartier.

If you’re looking for a trinket, souvenir, or just a great bargain, check out Sona. You’ll find beautiful wood carvings and unique items throughout the store. Get crafts and local goods along the Hip Strip, which is dotted with stalls and shops. Most local shops expect you to haggle on the price, so don’t be too surprised if you come across the practice.

Noon: Fuel Up for Fun

When lunch time comes around, you have options ranging from local fast food to high-class cuisine. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re going to find something amazing in Montego Bay.

For those looking for a high-class lunch menu, check out Marguerites. This fine dining restaurant has been ranked the Best Seafood in Montego Bay and offers exquisite seaside views. Start off with a Caesar salad, prepared tableside, or some Island Seafood Chowder. The specialty here is the seafood, with options such as pan-roasted salmon, sautéed shellfish, and Tijuana shrimp. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, try the filet mignon or the stuffed chicken breast, stuffed with bacon, goats cheese stuffing, and herb cream.

For a more affordable meal, consider Scotchies. Here you’ll have the option of jerk chicken, jerk pork, chicken sausage, or pork sausage. You can get your meat in a wrap or by itself. Side options include boiled corn, roasted breadfruit, sweet potato, or steamed vegetables.

Parasailing in Montego Bay.

Afternoon: Time for Adventure

It’s not a trip to Montego Bay without a little adventure! There are tours and excursions available throughout the city, and you can find options tailored to every taste. Consider a parasailing adventure to get your blood pumping and see the world from a distance. Parasailing tours are available through several companies, including Captain’s Watersports, C-Jay’s Watersports, and Jamaica Scene.

If you’d rather see the beauty that Montego Bay has to offer, check out the Blue Hole and Secret Falls tours. You can get a group tour or a private tour, depending on your preferences. Your guide will take you to Blue Hole and Secret falls, where you can take a hike through the jungle, go swimming in Blue Hole, or even take a jump off the rocks.

For those looking for an underwater adventure, snorkeling is a great option. You can take a snorkeling cruise with instructions and equipment. Feel like you’ve entered a different dimension as you see and experience all the ocean has to offer. While many hotels provide snorkeling options in Montego Bay, you can also consider booking a snorkeling tour through Jamaica Water Sports.

Late Afternoon: Relax and Rejuvenate

After a busy day exploring and adventuring, it’s time to take a break and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Montego Bay.

Grab a towel and your sunscreen and head to any of the beautiful beaches in and around Montego Bay. With incredible white sands and water that is so perfectly blue you won’t believe your eyes, these beaches are a perfect spot for relaxing. Doctor’s Cave Beach is the most popular beach in the area, offering a great place to people-watch. If you’re looking for a less crowded beach, consider Cornwall Beach. There is a small fee to enter the beach, since it is private property, but it offers a quieter, more relaxed experience.

If you want to feel pampered, check out Escape to Exhale, a local day spa and salon. While you’re here, get your makeup done professionally, have your hair cut, or go in for a mani-pedi. Available spa treatments include facials, massages, and body treatments such as wraps and exfoliation.

Dinnertime: Feast for Dinner

After relaxing in a way that helps you feel better about life, it’s time to grab another meal. With outstanding options all around town, making the dinner decision can be a stressful option. Good thing you took some time to relax!

For a candlelit dinner of unique taste and high quality, check out Sugar Mill. The restaurant is located in what was once the Running Gut Estate on the Rose Hall Sugar Plantation. Today the restaurant is one of the best in the city, and a local favorite for a fancy night out. Start your meal with foie gras or saltfish brandade. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try the Chilean sea bass or lobster. Vegetarian options are also available, including Irie Vitality and jerk tofu and quinoa cake. Other entrée options, such as Wagyu striploin, oxtail ravioli, and glazed duck breast, are all delicious.

MVP Smokehouse is a popular option for a more inexpensive dinner option. Try the curried goat, jerked lobster, or the bar-b-que chicken. You’ll have your choice of signature sauce, allowing you to choose between pineapple bar-b-que, herbed butter, or jerked honey teriyaki. Don’t forget to end your meal with something sweet, such as the strawberry cheesecake or decadent chocolate cake.

Maragaritaville Montego Bay
Margaritaville in Montego Bay.

Late Night: Drinks, Dancing, and More

When the evening starts closing in, it’s time to head out on the town for drinks and dancing. Montego Bay offers fun clubs both on the beach and in the city.

If you’re in the mood for a party, check out Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on Hip Strip. Margaritaville is open every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Dance the night away at the seaside night club, grab a snack when you get hungry, and don’t forget the signature drinks available throughout the night. Margaritaville is known as the place to be, and it’s always hopping.

If your perfect night features gaming, check out Jackpot Jungle in Coral Cliff’s Gaming Lounge. You’ll find a variety of slot machines, allowing you to play progressives, interact machines, and more. There are 120 machines throughout the lounge, and bets range from five cents to five dollars USD.

When you want to check out the wilder side of Montego Bay, head to Rum Jungle. Here you’ll experience live entertainment ranging from local bands to Viva Xaymaca, a Broadway-style show. Rum drinkers rejoice — at Rum Jungle you can try over 100 rums from around the world. There is no cover charge, and the venue is open 24 hours. In fact, it’s the only entertainment spot open all day and all night in Montego Bay.

Where to Stay in Montego Bay

Most of the accommodations throughout Montego Bay are resorts. A large number of these resorts are all-inclusive. While the specific terms vary from property to property, generally “all-inclusive” means that your food and drinks are included in your nightly rate.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Check out the most popular option in Montego Bay — the all-inclusive resorts. The best resort in the city is the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. There are nine restaurants throughout the property, as well as a spa, free wireless internet access, and a private beach. While you’re here, you’ll get unlimited dining, with all the food and drink you want at the bars and restaurants on the property. This all-inclusive style includes alcoholic beverages and fine-dining options. Nightly live entertainment keeps you enjoying the fun all day and night.

At Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, you’ll have access to a full-service spa, swim-up bar, sauna, and more. This is a luxury hotel unlike any other you’ll find. There are 11 restaurants on the property, offering all the free food and drinks you could want. Grab a snack or sit down for a full meal, without worrying about paying extra. You’ll also get a complimentary round of golf at a golf course nearby.

Another beautiful and popular all-inclusive resort option is Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, where you can check out the nightclub, free buffet breakfast, and on-site casino. The all-inclusive experience here is more than you would expect. You’ll get unlimited food and drink, including alcoholic beverages, the mini-bar is re-stocked daily, and the variety of included activities throughout the day and night will keep you entertained.

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Montego Bay in Montego Bay

Family-Friendly Resorts

Several of the top resorts in Montego Bay are adult-only, which makes traveling with the family a little more difficult. Luckily, there are numerous family-friendly accommodations throughout the city.

If you’re booking a hotel or resort for the family, consider Half Moon. Here your kids under age 16 not only sleep free — they eat free, too. There are supervised activities throughout the day for younger visitors, including arts and crafts, video games, and even nap time for the little ones. You can also take advantage of the full-time nannies on site, to allow for a little more freedom.

When you stay at Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, you get easy access to the largest water park in Jamaica — Sugar Mill Falls Water Park. This is an all-inclusive resort, as well, making it a great option for families of all sizes. If you have little ones, make sure to check out the Kids’ Klub, which offers daily activities, a playground, and a fun environment for younger children.

The pools at Sunscape Splash are only four feet deep, making them a great option for the shorter members of the human race. The water park feels and looks like a castle and is an instant favorite for kids of all ages, with its huge waterslides and fun pools. Take advantage of club Mongoose, where you can drop the kids off while you head out on the town. Here the kids can relax, play on the playground, check out the video games available, and more.

Montego Bay Airport

If you’re flying in to Montego Bay, you’re going to come to Sangster International Airport. The airport is about three miles east of the city proper. This is the most popular airport used for those visiting Jamaica’s northern coast. Sangster International Airport offers two terminals, serving 27 airlines around the world. Some of the most popular airlines coming into this airport include WestJet, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Delta.

When you fly into Sangster International Airport, you’ll need to go through customs. There are three customs options — passengers with nothing to declare, passengers with items to declare, and special passengers such as those in wheelchairs or unaccompanied minors. All items that you declare should be listed on your Customs Declaration Form and be accompanied by an invoice.

After getting through customs, you’ll be directed to your hotel lounge if you’re staying at Sandals, Half Moon, Couples, Hyatt Zilara/Ziva, or Club Mobay. The lounges allow you to relax, start enjoying yourself, and rest a little before you head to the hotel. Your hotel will have a shuttle that arrives regularly to pick up visitors. If you have a little time before your shuttle arrives, grab a snack while you wait.

There are several other ground transportation options available, even if you are staying at a different hotel in Montego Bay. Most resorts in Montego Bay offer a shuttle service to and from the airport. You simply need to ask a customer services representative in the airport where to meet your shuttle. You can also rent a vehicle if you’re planning to drive around Jamaica. There are several rental agencies located in the Ground Transportation and Arrivals Hall, including Avis, Hertz, and Island Car Rental.

Before leaving the airport, there are several restaurant options to help sate your hunger. Sit down and have a full-service meal at Air Margaritaville. If you want to grab some fast food to go, consider Diary Queen, Island Deli, Mo’s, or Nathan’s.

Start your shopping early, right at the airport. It’s a good idea to keep these shops in mind as you’re leaving Jamaica, as well, since you’ll be able to get last-second gifts and souvenirs. Casa De Xaymaca offers specialty Jamaican souvenirs. At Flights of Fantasy, you’ll find beautiful jewelry options. Local crafts and leather goods are sold at Native Creations. If you’re looking for packaged food or spices, don’t pass up a stop at Reggae Mart.

If you’re interested in duty-free shopping, there are several options at the airport for this, as well. Get just about everything you could want, from liquor and tobacco to perfume and sunglasses, at Aldeasa. Duty-free jewelry can be found at either Chulani Jewellers or Bijoux. The Xtra-ordinary Store features fine cigars and premium cognac.

When you’re heading back home from your trip to Jamaica, make sure to give yourself time to get through security before your flight. In general, it’s a good idea to leave at least two hours between your arrival time at the airport and your flight’s departure time when you’re on an international flight.

When going through security, remember to remove all metal items from your person, such as jewelry. Separate your laptop or tablet from your other items going through the screening process.

If you get to the airport early, don’t stress. You can relax in the hotel lounges for an affordable fee. This is a great way to end your trip to Jamaica and enjoy the beauty of Montego Bay for a little longer before you leave.

Make the most of your trip to Montego Bay. With so many experiences available in this popular tourist destination, you can create the perfect day over and over, without repeating activities. Plan your perfect day in Montego Bay today and get ready for the trip of a lifetime. This is one experience you shouldn’t pass up.