The largest of the three Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman is a popular and thriving island in the Caribbean. While infamous for its off-shore banking, the small island has a lot to offer from pristine beaches, world famous scuba diving and delicious and fresh cuisine. With some of the friendliest people, Grand Cayman is a great escape for a long weekend either solo, with friends or with family!
Only 22 miles long, Grand Cayman houses the territory’s capital in George Town and boasts a population of approximately 53,000 people. Grand Cayman contains five of the six districts in the territory, including Bodden Town, East End, George Town, North Side, and West Bay. Grand Cayman is actually the summit of an underwater mountain, which contributes to its immaculate shoreline and reef wildlife.
Seven Mile Beach
Consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Seven Mile Beach is located on the western end of the island and houses many of the resorts. Completely public (as are all beaches in the Cayman Islands), a stroll along the white sand is heavenly with many alcoves to enjoy a snorkel or swim.
One of the most popular tourist attractions, Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars where stingrays are known to congregate in hopes of feeding on leftover fish. There are numerous tours that offer feedings or snorkels with the stingrays.
The political and financial capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town is more commercial and offers fine shopping excursions from shops and restaurants at Camana Bay to duty-free luxury shopping.
Diving the Wall
One of the best dive sites in the world, Grand Cayman offers unique coral formations, ship wrecks and the infamous “Wall”. I dove with Deep Blue Divers and experienced what they call sky diving underwater with four walls dropping into clear blue water with high visibility.
Cayman Turtle Farm
Located in West Bay, the Cayman Turtle Farm raises endangered green sea turtles. A family friendly attraction, you can feed the turtles and see other creatures such as sharks and birds.
Eats & Drinks
Known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean, Grand Cayman has countless restaurants right on the beach serving the finest fresh seafood. With influences and spices from neighboring islands such as Jamaica, the food is a big reason to visit the island! You will find a less “bumping” nightlife as the best way to enjoy Grand Cayman is with a casual drink on the beach.
I typically hate eating in a hotel, but Seven at the Ritz Carlton is an extravagant exception. With a great bar offering daily happy hour, a fantastic Caribbean menu and a decadent champagne brunch, I could eat at Seven almost every meal!
A more local option on the fringe of George Town is The Brasserie, an artisan restaurant offering fresh fish daily caught from their own boats and produce from their garden. A more casual option is the Market for breakfast and lunch.
A family run restaurant in Rum Point, Kaibo is situated right on the beach with two dining options. Head Upstairs to experience the Michelin chef dining experience with a popular tasting menu. The Beach Bar is a more casual option to score fresh fish and meats off the grill all day. Kaibo also turns up at night so be sure to stick around for a rum cocktail – or two!
The oceanfront restaurant in the Marriott, Veranda, has a Bohemian vibe and takes pride in “fresh fish, simply done.” A great night to visit is on Wednesday for their signature Lobster Fete.
In West Bay, visit the ocean tiki bar Macabuca for drinks with your toes in the sand.
I have stayed at both the Ritz Carlton and the Westin while in Grand Cayman. Both beautiful properties, the Ritz is worth the splurge.
$$$: Ritz-Carlton, Caribbean Club
$$: Westin, Marriott
$: Wyndham Reef Resort, Sunset House
Have you ever been to Grand Cayman? What was your favorite part? Did I miss anything?
I’d love to hear from you!
xx Jet Set Steph