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As claims to fame go, this one is pretty cool: The world's fastest man ever, Usain Bolt, was raised just outside of the northern Jamaica town of Falmouth and went to school there. Centuries earlier, the coastal town was best known as one of the Caribbean's most prosperous towns, its wealth based on sugar, coffee and rum though all of those were surpassed by the slave trade. By the mid-19th century, however, economic decline was swift, and the once-bustling harbor fell into disuse. Today, its waterfront district with the stone St. Peter's Anglican Church is a National Heritage Site, and the outlying area is filled with historic buildings such as the Green Park Great House, once owned by the great-grandfather of poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Falmouth is described as one of the Caribbean's best-preserved Georgian towns, but not all is well. The humid Caribbean climate wreaks havoc on wooden homes, and many are in dire need of upkeep. Thankfully, the World Monuments Fund has helped, and the town is the perfect place to dream about picking up a fixer-upper on a heritage walking tour. Falmouth is also a great starting point for visiting any of the towns along the north coast, from Montego Bay to the west and Ocho Rios to the east.