Grand Cayman’s year-round perfect weather and stunning beach resorts make travel planning especially easy. Vacations here normally include sunbathing and relaxation, but there’s more than gorgeous beaches to explore. Add these local and understated experiences to your next beach vacation to Grand Cayman.
Underwater Caves & The Silver Rush
Divers and marine enthusiasts visit Grand Cayman for hidden ocean caves. These underwater treasures are teeming with schools of fish and underwater wonders. A few weeks each summer, tiny silverside fish gather and move as one massive school between popular spots including Devil’s Grotto and Eden Rock, an event known as the Silver Rush. Divers and underwater photographers relish the chance to swim with the school, a natural phenomenon only found in Grand Cayman.
Cayman Pepper Patch
Everyone needs a good souvenir to take home from a memorable vacation. With a visit to Grand Cayman, you’ll be lugging back suitcases full of gourmet pepper jelly, locally made by island-dweller Carol Hay. This sweet hot pepper jelly is a Grand Cayman favorite that’s popular among tourists and locals alike. It’s perfect for pairing with sweet goat cheese atop a cracker, or for spicing up your morning eggs and toast. Hit the Cayman Pepper Patch and take home some for your friends and family.
The Farmers & Artisan Market at Camana Bay
This beloved retail district runs right along Camana Bay, and is an idyllic way to sample local flavors while entertaining the whole family with local eats and souvenir shopping. Occurring weekly, the farmers and artisan market showcases local culture through demonstrations of basket weaving, conch blowing, and even hermit crab racing—a Caribbean tradition.
The Pirate’s Den Sports Pub & Grill
This pub and grill is a great spot for grabbing drinks and food or catching sports games. The Pirate’s Den is close to Seven Mile Beach, and boasts killer burgers, wings and service that attracts hungry locals.
Set on the calmer end of Seven Mile Beach, Cemetery Beach has crystal blue waters and white sand beaches, and is set along a reef that’s full of marine life, a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers. The reef itself is only 30 yards offshore, making it accessible for any strong swimmer. Bask in the sun or cool off in the shade of the palm trees and sea grape trees that line the beach.
Anchors General Store
This little general store has it all—from beach supplies like sunscreen and shades, to snacks and ingredients for the perfect seaside cocktail. There’s ample outdoor seating here, offering a placid view of the West Bay if your shopping experience gets too stressful. Visitors cite friendly service and varying choices, so if you’re looking to stock up for your next adventure, Anchors General Store is the top choice on Grand Cayman.
The Shoe Tree
A jaunt down South Sound Road leads you to the spot where locals have taken to retrieving shoes and tacking them to two trees along the water to limit litter on the beach. Known as the Shoe Tree, this attraction is festooned with discarded sandals and flip-flops. It’s an unusual sight to see in paradise, but this quirky landmark is ready-made for your next Instagram post.
If you’re looking for a break from the beach, head into the rolling green hills of Grand Cayman via Mastic Trail. Close to the Cayman Crystal Caves, Mastic Trail draws ecotourists with its natural fauna and tropical botanicas that extend for miles. Guides are available from the National Trust, but if you want to go solo, the hiking trails are well-manicured and clearly marked—all you need are some good hiking shoes for the more rugged parts of the trek.
Another uncommon attraction on Grand Cayman is Lover’s Wall, a stacked stone stretch of wall along Queen’s Highway on the island’s quieter eastern region. Views of the ocean and shore make for a picturesque vista, and the breeze and gulls round it out as a relaxing place to take it all in. While it’s not immediately clear how Lover’s Wall got its name, it’s a magically romantic spot to take sunset with your one and only.