Destination Highlight: Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman has a reputation of being an Americanized tourist destination as opposed to a true Caribbean island, but there are plenty of reasons this island is worth visiting. From delicious restaurants to unique diving experiences, Grand Cayman has so much to offer on your next tropical vacation.
Food & Dining:
Grand Cayman is home to many of the traditional beach bars that you would expect in the Caribbean. However, the island also boasts many hidden gems that impress with their seafood, barbecue, and other dishes.
Sunshine Bar & Grill -
As Trip Advisor’s #1 rated restaurant on Grand Cayman, Sunshine Grill will not disappoint. Hidden behind the Sunshine Resort, you have to know where you’re going to find this gem. They have incredible burgers, but you should try the Sunshine Reuben made with blackened fish and served with their “sunshine scramble.”
Ritz Carlton Andiamo -
Yes, it’s the Ritz, but the food lives up to the hype. This al-fresco restaurant is the perfect setting for a fancier dinner on the island, plus it’s accessible by water! The italian food isn’t what might usually eat on a tropical island, but it’s amazing nonetheless.
If you’re looking for a classic waterfront bar & grill, Rackman’s is your spot. With a huge patio and bar, it’s perfect for enjoying the island weather with a drink in your hand. Try the Shark Attack on the rocks, you won’t regret it.
Gelato & Co -
Grand Cayman is not the place that you would expect to find authentic gelato, but that’s exactly what you get at Gelato & Co. Owned by an Italian couple, this shop has 26 flavors of gelato, plus sorbet and other desserts. It’s the perfect spot to cool off on a hot island day.
Things to do that aren’t diving:
While you may be coming to Grand Cayman for the numerous dive sites, there is so much more to do on the days you aren't spending in the water.
Crystal Caves -
This underground cave system is a must see on the island. The caves were only recently opened to visitors, which means they are basically untouched and in pristine condition. A few different companies offer guided tours to see the underground lakes and stalagmites. You definitely don’t want to miss this unique experience.
Farmers & Artisans Market
Open every Wednesday from 12pm to 7pm, this market is a great way to see more of the authentic local side of the island. Local vendors sell everything from fresh produce to local arts and crafts. If you’re looking for a souvenir or gift, this is an infinitely better option than your hotel gift shop.
Grand Cayman is home to many of the best dive sites in the world. From exploring sunken ships to swimming face to face with wildlife, there is something for everyone.
Starfish Point -
Not necessarily a diving spot, but this beach on the north side of the island is filled with starfish basking in the sun. This beach is gaining major popularity, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning for a less crowded experience. Just remember - don’t take the starfish out of the water!
In 2011, the USS Kittiwake was sunk to provide a new, insanely popular dive site. It’s max depth is 20 meters, which makes it great for divers of all levels. Prior to sinking, holes were cut in the sides to allow exploration of the inside of the ship. This site is not only popular to divers - garden eels, stingrays, and eagle rays have often been spotted hanging out around the ship!
Stingray City -
For years, fisherman would would clean their fish around these sandbars. Now, stingrays flock to the area, providing a unique experience to pet, feed, and swim with tame stingrays. There are two sandbars - one shallow for snorkeling and one deeper where you can actually dive with the stingrays.
The Wall -
Grand Cayman has an actual wall surrounding the entire island that allows divers to swim in calm, protected waters no matter the weather. The west & north walls are most popular, with the bottom starting at 40 feet and dropping to thousands of feet almost instantly. In most areas there is visibility up to 150 feet down into the clear, blue waters. There’s no question why it is one of the most popular dive sites in the world - tarpon, turtles, barracude, eels, spotted rays are commonly spotted in this area.