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Named Runaway Bay because it was once an escape route for runaway slaves, this beach of white sand is one of the most beautiful in Jamaica. Nearby Discovery Bay was actually first visited by Christopher Columbus during his voyage in 1494, hence its name. An open-air museum, located on Queens Highway, features a collection of exhibits including a canoe made of a solid piece of wood, a water wheel and a tally, which was used to count bananas on the plantations. This museum is open from 8am to 4pm and admission is free.
The first native settlers to the island, and the area around Runaway Bay were the Arawaks, and while they put up a valiant fight to retain control they were eventually overpowered by the Spanish explorers, who claimed the land for the Queen of Spain. Jamaica remained a Spanish colony until the British captured it by conquest in 1655.
Mostly known as a resort area, the nearby village of Nine Mile is the birthplace, and final resting place, of famed reggae artist Bob Marley.