St. Mary is a parish located on the northeast coast of Jamaica. Tourism began in St Mary in the 1920s when the rich and famous were drawn to the beauty of the coastline. Though St. Mary might be one of the smallest of Jamaica’s 14 parishes, it still has a wide array of interesting places to visit and tourist attractions.
Because of its location, it is mostly favoured as a flourishing banana parish, where you can see acres bananas while driving through St. Mary. St. Mary is also home some nice cultural and historical sites along with botanical gardens and beaches. Here are three great attractions found in the parish of St. Mary.
This English style cottage was once the home of Sir Noel Coward, the British playwright between 1956 and 1973. The cottage is set among sprawling lawns on the top of a hill overlooking the beautiful coastline, about 2 miles from Port Maria. Sir Noel Crawford fell in love with Jamaica while on holiday at the Ian Fleming’s GoldenEye in 1948. He later bought this property this property from the infamous pirate, Captain Henry Morgan and renamed it Firefly. Sir Noel Coward left the property to a close friend before death, which he turned over to the country. The Jamaica Heritage Trust now owns the historic site and visitors can now tour the grounds and see Sir Coward’s final resting place.
James Bond Beach
Formerly known as Oracabessa beach, this public beach has a bar, a restaurant and great changing and bathroom facilities. James bond beach is a really nice and hangout spot. The water is clean and calm and the facilities are well kept. You can take rides out to sea on a glass bottom boat, kayaks or wave runners and you can also find snorkelling and other watersport activities here.
James Bond Beach is also home to Stingray City where you can watch the experts interact with and feed the stingrays. Guests also get to pet and feed the Stingrays as well and if you are bold enough, even pet and snorkel with them. There is a separate admission if you wish to enter Stingray City.
The GoldenEye was the home of famous British Author Ian Fleming. The property is a 15-acre resort, just about 20 minutes outside the town of Ocho Rios. The resort features luxury villa including Ian Flemings home where he wrote all his 14 James Bond novels. Former Island Records owner, Chris Blackwell, who has kept it furnished as Fleming left it, now owns the property.