Any Jamaican would know that the most common place to shop in Kingston is Half Way Tree; although the more popular malls/ plazas (Tropical, Lane, Mall and Village) are actually located on Constant Spring Road and the others like Clock Tower Plaza and York are located in Half Way Tree, the entire area is usually referred to as Half Way Tree by most Jamaicans.
Everything from baby clothes to computer parts, grocery stores to banks can be found in this shopping area.
Saturday is generally seen as “mall day” and some stores stay open a little longer on the weekends. However, now that we’re in the Christmas season, everyday seems to be “mall day” judging by the full parking lots Mondays through to Saturdays. (Recommendation: Best time to get your Christmas shopping done, to avoid the crowd, is from Monday to Friday perhaps between the hours of 10 am and 1 pm, shortly after the stores open and just before the lunch hour rush gets going)
We journeyed to the shopping district recently…
On our way…
Still on your way…. and then we got to our first stop :
Mall Plaza which houses the high end stores GoWest (which sells only the Guess brand of clothing and accessories) and the Swiss Store is also home to the affordable Woolworth store, which now sells everything from sweets to home decor. A few of our favourite stores in this Plaza include:
- Collectibles shoe store
- Sangster’s Book Store (which now has a sitting area where you can read books and have snacks)
- Xtra’s jewellery store
- Xtra’s clothing store
Now, on to our next stop:
Tropical Plaza is home to the famous Puma store, where tourists and locals alike usually go to get their Usain Bolt branded memorabilia, they also have great deals throughout the year. The Plaza also has the Adidas store and the famous Lee’s Fifth Avenue, which has a shoe store, clothing store and home decor centre in the plaza. Although their products may be a little bit more expensive than other stores, they last a very long time. Cellular phone service providers LIME and Digicel are also located in the plaza along with Watts New, an electronic store. A pharmacy, two baby stores, a bank, a computer store, and two jewellery stores complete the offerings of the plaza. Our favourite stores include:
- Puma Store
- Tropical Pharmacy
- Lee’s Fifth Avenue clothing store
We then visited ….
The name is suppose to be literal since at some point they had two gates, but now it has three possible entrances and exits. This plaza houses the popular Island Grill restaurant, which has branches at airports in Miami and Barbados, Western Sports, Brooklyn Supermarket, Carby’s and a number of other stores. The compound is also home to a bank. Our favourite stores in this plaza are:
- Carby’s clothing store (they usually have great prices)
- Carby’s souvenir store
- Manhattan clothing and shoe store
- Island Grill
There’s also a wonderful little female clothing store located adjacent to the Half Way Tree Bus Centre, it’s called Half Price, although they don’t have a sign, the clothes are almost always literally half the price you’d usually get them for and purchasing three of the same items (or items in the same price point) will earn you a discount.
and then we passed the clock which signifies that we have officially entered Half Way Tree…
Other plazas in the area are:
- South Avenue Plaza
- Lane Plaza
- Village Plaza
- Premier Plaza
- Springs Plaza
- Central Plaza
- Pavillion Mall
- Park Plaza
- York Plaza
- Clock Tower Plaza
- Half Way Tree Plaza
Shopping can be a relaxing experience: strolling in the shade of the buildings, popping in and out for air conditioning when it gets too hot and then you can have a nice meal at the food court or any of the fast food restaurants dotting the strip.
Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas !