The Ultimate Guide to Grand Cayman
Think local restaurants, cuddling with stingrays, and more.
Published May 10, 2017 6:15 AM
If you’re looking for a break at the beach that doesn’t include sitting on the sand at your resort for an entire week, look no further than Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. The largest of the three Cayman Islands is 25 miles long (you can drive it in just a few hours) and has that small-town, friendly feel, in part because the only traffic signals are two four-way stops. While I was there touring the recently opened Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa courtesy of Dart Real Estate, I took some time to explore to discover the best places to eat, stay, and more.
EAT & DRINK:
Going to dinner night after night on vacation can sometimes get a bit dull. If you’re looking for a new experience, try The Flavour Tour at Camana Bay. You start at the West Indies Wine Company before moving onto four different restaurants where you are served the next course and a cocktail. It happens every Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a group of 10-20 people, so sign up early and bring friends. Corner of the Paseo and Market Street, Camana Bay
Looking for a casual place to grab a quick bite? Stop by West Bay Diner for breakfast or brunch for good vibes and even better food. 32 Town Hall Road
This restaurant is located in the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and is incredible. Think fresh, seasonal seafood (don’t skip the ceviche) served in small plates to share. The cocktails are not to be missed either. 60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach
For fresh, local food, go to this food stand. It’s super cute and the perfect spot for an afternoon snack or casual meal. Boggy Sand Road
Other notable restaurants to try: food trucks Gabriel’s Grill Cayman and Smokin Bros, Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant (at the Cayman Island Yacht Club), Bacaro, Grand Old House, and VIVO, a new vegetarian spot.
This newly opened Kimpton masters feeling like a boutique hotel and a resort at the same time. There is no shortage of florals and fauna, delicious poolside bites, relaxing spa treatments, colorful design, and decor inspired by the history of the island. You’ll enjoy the community spaces like the lobby and multiple outdoor lounging areas (there’s a happy hour at 5 p.m. everyday) as much as hiding away in your room. 60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach
The always luxurious Ritz-Carlton is also located on the popular stretch of Seven Mile Beach. Expect a picturesque pool, delectable meals, and so much more. Seven Mile Beach
If you’re visiting with young children or looking to learn more about the history of the island, consider taking a trip to The Wreck of the Ten Sails. You’ll learn the story of the wreck while exploring maritime history trails and a park. Gun Bay
Visiting Camana Bay is a great alternative to the more tourist-centric downtown George Town area. Locals and visitors alike look to Camana Bay for top restaurant experiences, some retail therapy, and a trip to the movie theater. It’s right on the water, so there’s also a conveniently located harbor. Make sure not to miss The Observation Tower—the panoramic view of the island can’t be beat (especially at sunset) and the beautiful mosaic mural will have you mesmerized. 10 Market Street
This is the only place in the world where you can safely interact with stingrays. It is incredible. They are cute, cuddly (seriously), and totally domesticated. The story goes that sailors used to clean their fish near the sandbars, which attracted the stingrays, and after so many years, they continued to return. All you need to know is that they have nicknames, and you can hug them.
Rum Point and Starfish Point
After snuggling with stingrays, head to Rum Point and Starfish Point. There are fun restaurants and bars (like Wreck Bar and Kaibo) to grab a bite at on Rum Point Beach and as for Starfish Point, expect to spot some starfish.
Besides being a great Instagram opp, the tree is actually intended to make a statement about the amount of garbage left on beaches. Feel free to add one (or both) of your flip flops to the fully covered tree. Bodden Town
This is the spot for scuba diving. There’s an eco-friendly focus, and they can accommodate divers at both advanced and beginner levels. 571 North West Point Road
This historical landmark in Grand Cayman is the perfect place to pose for a cheesy, but totally cute, photo if you’re vacationing with your boo. Queen’s Highway, East End
Make sure to stop by this natural wonder if you’re on the east side of the island. Depending on the weather, water can spray over 15 feet high. Sea View Road