Countless Caribbean islands offer sand, sea, and sun, but the Cayman Islands stand apart with its distinctly welcoming attitude. Soon after landing on Grand Cayman—just an hour’s flight from Miami—you may find yourself luxuriating on the beach in the company of new friends. In case you don’t have the chance to turn to local Caymanians for their suggestions, however, here’s a quick lay of the land.
BEACHES – One of Grand Cayman’s main attractions is among the most famous strips of sand in the entire Caribbean: Seven Mile Beach. Running along the western edge of Grand Cayman, the beach is pristine. While relaxing on the sand is an option, the area’s slight breeze makes it a popular destination for kite boarding, parasailing, and windsurfing. Seven Mile Beach faces west and is the perfect arena for sunset views, which are made even better by sipping a Cayman Mama cocktail from Calico Jack’s. While it’s often quieter than Seven Mile Beach, on Sundays you’ll find locals arriving in their boats to enjoy an afternoon on this particularly picturesque corner of the island.
BUSTLE – While there’s nothing wrong with a beer and burger on the beach, there are seemingly limitless culinary options to choose from in the Cayman Islands. Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, Grand Cayman is home to more than 200 restaurants, including ones from some of the world’s most famous chefs. Among them are Michael Schwartz, who has an outpost of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink on the island, and Eric Ripert, who created Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
From American to Asian cuisines, and casual fare to fine dining, the culinary scene runs the gamut. Grand Cayman also has a number of cultural attractions to lure you out of the water. Stop by the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park to take in local flora and fauna, in addition to learning about the Cayman Islands’ ecology and plants.
AND BEYOND – Grand Cayman may be the largest of the three Cayman Islands, but its smaller sisters shouldn’t be overlooked. Little Cayman offers a secluded island escape, perfect for a romantic getaway. The smallest of the three islands feels like a private island with only a handful of intimate resorts and fewer than 200 residents. Cayman Brae will appeal to divers and other adventure-seeking vacationers. Take in the view of the sea from the island’s 140-foot bluff, and then dive beneath the water to explore underwater caves, shipwrecks, and reefs.