Despite a large influx of visitors, Montego Bay retains its own identity. A thriving business-and-commercial center, it functions as the main market town for most of western Jamaica. Mo Bay, as it's known, is even served by its own airport, Donald Sangster International. This is the most cosmopolitan of Jamaican resortss. As such, Montego remains the grande dame of island resorts.
The Montego Bay area offers some of the finest -- and most expensive -- dining in Jamaica. But if you're watching your wallet and don't have a delicate stomach, some intriguing food is sold right on the street. For example, on Kent Avenue you might try spicy jerk pork. Seasoned spareribs are also grilled over charcoal fires and sold with extra-hot sauce. Naturally, either dish goes down better with a Red Stripe beer. Cooked shrimp are sold on the streets of Montego Bay; they don't look it, but they're very hotly spiced, so be forewarned.
The two great houses below can be toured in the same day. Occupied by plantation owners, each great house of Jamaica was built on high ground so that it overlooked the plantation itself and was in sight of the next house in the distance. It was the custom for the owners to offer hospitality to travelers crossing the island by road. While these homes are intriguing and beautiful, it's important to remember that they represent the sad legacy of slavery -- they were built by slaves, and the lavish lifestyle of the original owners was supported by the profits of slave labor.