24. (on the list) Kingston, Jamaica The capital of Jamaica furthers its case as cultural destination, not just a stopover to the beach.
Stay at the Courtyard by Marriott, Kingston’s first new hotel in over a decade, or the SoHo-style Spanish Court Hotel, which has added a second pool, and will open its Montego Bay branch in the summer. Eat like an Olympic legend at Usain Bolt’s restaurant Tracks & Records, or get all things jerk at the latest hot spot Chateau 7 Gourmet Jerk Centre.
Take in old-school reggae at the One World Ska and Rocksteady Music Festival,launched this November; at the newly opened Peter Tosh Museum, honoring the former Wailer; or at one of the dub music parties debuting around the city.
And if you still want beach, hop on the freshly completed North-South Highway and arrive in Ocho Rios in under two hours. — BAZ DREISINGER