Attractive ST ANN’S BAY stretches up the hillside entirely inland from the coast road. Characterized by its porticoed shop-fronts, sloping streets and old-fashioned atmosphere, it’s small enough to cover on foot in an hour, with two central thoroughfares, Bravo and Main streets, meeting in a crossroads. The Main Street shops and market hog the action, and dominating from the top of the street is the town’s distinctive 1860 courthouse (observation gallery open to the public). In the middle of a nearby roundabout, Christopher Columbus strikes a noble pose above sunken ships, and just before the road forks, the pretty Catholic church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is constructed of stone reclaimed from an earlier structure – Peter the Martyr Church, the first stone church in Jamaica, built in 1524 by the Spanish in nearby Sevilla Nueva. The quieter left fork of Main Street holds the library, with its Marcus Garvey memorial statue out front proclaiming the words “We Declare to the World – Africa Must Be Free”. The house where he was born is a private residence, but a parade in his honour takes place every August 17, and the library itself is a good source of information on Garvey’s life.
Staying in St Ann’s Bay has its advantages, especially if you have your own vehicle; you escape the dust and bustle of Ochi while being close enough to enjoy its good points, as well as enjoy the inland sights and scenery.