Montego Bay has many lively nightspots, but aside from the buzz around Margaritaville, you have to search them out. Doctor’s Cave Beach is great for a drink at sunset, and some of the restaurants listed double up as bars: Houseboat Grill is superb for cocktails and bar snacks (happy hour 5.30–7pm), with Friday night attracting the expat crowd; Memorabilia has a wonderful bar with a private section of beach; while the Beach House is a lively spot at weekends. At the other end of the scale, the Dead End at the end of Kent Avenue beyond the Strip is often busy with Jamaicans taking a drink and listening to music at sunset.
Live music is surprisingly thin on the ground, with all-inclusive resorts snapping up local performers. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a full-moon party at Doctor’s Cave or Cornwall Beach, a sound-system jam at Aquasol or other one-off events advertised on Irie FM or on posters. The large music events of the year are Jamaica Jazz and Blues in January (see Basics) and Reggae Sumfest in July/August.