Grand Cayman is more than just a tropical paradise. It offers countless adventures and experiences for locals and visitors alike! Whether you are an active adventurer who loves the water or a chilled-out beach goer on the hunt for some tacos, you are sure to find something you love on this island. Keep reading to discover the Top 10 Things to Do in Grand Cayman!
1. Swim with Stingrays at Stingray City
Stingray City is a large sandbar located within the barrier reefs that surround the island. Its dreamy turquoise waters and famous community of stingrays make this spot one of the most beautiful and iconic in the Caribbean. Book a tour or organize a private charter for the day. The boat crew will assist you in feeding, holding and even kissing the stingrays! (For seven years of good luck!) Do not worry, the stingrays are very friendly to their human visitors. Just think of them as water puppies! One thing is for sure, a visit to this quintessential Cayman attraction is an absolute must while staying on the island.
2. Take a Paddleboard Yoga Class with Vitamin Sea
If seeing the words “paddleboard” and “yoga” next to each other in a sentence is anxiety-inducing for you, please hear me out! Trolling the Vitamin Sea Instagram account and imagining myself atop a paddleboard on Seven Mile Beach was one of the only things that got me through my last subzero winter in Minnesota. While Vitamin Sea offers standard SUP rentals, I would highly recommend trying out their yoga classes which are taught ON the water at sunset. The poses are adaptable to all levels making this a great opportunity for beginners and seasoned yogis alike! If historically you have been “allergic” to the world of yoga, this is your chance to “dip your toes” in a friendly, beachy environment. Even if all you do is lay on your paddleboard the whole class, you are still getting your money’s worth!
3. Kayak the Bioluminescent Bay
Bioluminescence is a spectacular underwater nighttime phenomenon that sounds like something out of a dream. High concentrations of bioluminescent phytoplankton activate and emit a beautiful blueish-green light when you move the water with hands, feet, or paddles. The good news is you don’t have to be dreaming to live out this one-of-a-kind experience! Cayman Kayaks offers kayak and electric boat tours through this magical bay’s calm waters. Feeling brave? Other tours on the island allow you to jump in and snorkel. I foolishly agreed to a DIY “tour” on my friend’s inflatable raft. With a new-to-island boldness in me, I fearlessly jumped into the dark waters and immediately stepped on a jellyfish. My bioluminescent experience was over as quickly as it started. The Midwest girl in me panicked and jumped out without having enjoyed even a minute of bioluminescent bliss. Let that be a lesson to you to pay for the organized tour and enjoy the natural phenomena from the safety of a boat or kayak!
4. Book a Fitness Class on the Palm Height’s Rooftop
You may be thinking, who wants to work out while on vacation? Stick with me here, because the view from atop this boutique hotel on Seven Mile Beach is breathtaking and the fitness classes are next level. Need relaxation? Clear your mind and soul with one of Janine Martins’ sound healing sessions. Want to sweat it out? Check out Jude Love’s Full Body Conditioning or Naturally Heated Pilates. You can even join a group cycle class and move to the rhythm of choreographed beats. Whatever flavor of movement you choose, you will be able to feast your eyes on the expansive view of the Caribbean Sea between “oms,” jump squats, or cycle sprints. But be careful, even just one class in this awe-inspiring space will have you spoiled for life. Never again will you be content with an at-home YouTube workout. The solution is simple…move to Grand Cayman!
5. Shop for Local Produce at the Farmer’s Market
If you are looking for a true, authentic taste of the island, one of the best ways to get it is by visiting the Farmer’s Market at the Cricket Grounds. Here you will not only stock up on fresh produce, but you will also get a chance to connect with the Cayman community and support local businesses. The best time to visit is when they open at 7:30 am. Take a leisurely loop around the market, speaking with vendors and asking questions about the unique island produce. You may even be able to sample a new fruit you have never tried before! Be prepared to leave the market with lots of goodies and inspiration for a new recipe. It is truly a great way to experience Cayman and support the community.
6.Take a Road Trip out East
Rent a car, roll down the windows and turn up the Soca. A road trip out East is an absolute must for your Cayman bucket list! There are many attractions and local spots to discover in this part of the island. The ideal itinerary should include beaches, adventures in nature, and of course, food and drink! Be sure to check out Barefoot Beach in Northside, a secluded area offering stunning vistas and a bohemian feel. If you are looking for adventures in nature, check out the Mastic Trail, Botanical Gardens, and the Parrot Sanctuary. Lastly, for food and drink you cannot go wrong with Over the Edge Cafe in North Side or Vivine’s Kitchen in Gun Bay.
7. Brunch with the Best of Them
Brunch is one of the most popular Sunday social activities on the island. There are many lovely brunch options in the Seven Mile area including Tillie’s, Luca, Westin, and Marriott. It is such a popular occasion that even sushi restaurants like Yoshi and Mizu/Pani are offering brunch specials in Cayman. My personal favorite brunch destination is Tillie’s on Seven Mile Beach. A truly iconic experience, this restaurant will wow you with their creative design, delicious food, and outrageously cool DJs.
8. Explore Underwater Grottos and Shipwrecks
Before moving to Cayman, I thought exploring sunken ships and underwater caves was only possible in the movies. This island makes these adventures so accessible with its plethora of shipwrecks and world-class diving culture. With over 40 dive operations and 365 dive sites, there is literally a dive site for every day of the year. Even if you do not have your PADI certification, there are many spots that can easily be explored with just a mask and fins. Eden Rock and Spotts Beach are great for a quick snorkel whereas the USS Kittiwake guarantees a diving adventure like no other! Many people say that the best of Cayman can only be seen underwater. Decide for yourself on your next trip to the island!
9. Take your Taste Buds on an Island Tour
Cayman is said to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean. It features a wide variety of fine-dining options, casual beach restaurants, and charming local eateries. Interested in an upscale dining experience? Reserve a table at Seven or Taikun at the Ritz-Carlton. Looking for a more laid back, beachy vibe? Head to Coccoloba for margaritas and tacos or Da Fish Shack for the best calamari of your life! There is certainly no shortage of high-quality restaurants in Cayman!
10. Watch the Sunset from Seven Mile Beach
Saving the best for last. It is true what they say, the best things in life are free! Seven Mile Beach is the most emblematic attraction of the Cayman Islands. Even so, this natural wonder is not to be taken for granted. Walking its stretch of white sand perfection as the sun goes down is one of the most peaceful and inspiring experiences you can have in this part of the world. Bring a bottle of wine and a couple glasses for your very own Cayman happy hour. Take a moment to be grateful for this beautiful little island paradise and mentally note your future return trip back to Grand Cayman! No one can stay away for long!