Who doesn’t love the idea of a relaxing weekend getaway to the Cayman Islands? You’re crazy if you answer NO.
We decided to book our mini moon to Grand Cayman Island, the largest of the Cayman Islands. It was a quick and direct flight from Chicago so I was game.
I’ve been to a few different islands in the Caribbean but Grand Cayman was easily the most welcoming I have ever been to.
There is unique quality of the Cayman people and the salty aired good vibes that radiate from the island. The combination of the two makes me want to come back again and again.
If you don’t feel like relaxing for the entirety of your beach vacation (no judgement as I don’t like to) you’re in luck because there are many wonderful things to do in Grand Cayman.
A few highlights about Grand Cayman Island is the beaches are insane. Crystal clear blue water. White sand. Incredible food. Welcoming people. There is no urgency to life here. Talk about a great escape from urban life to island life. What more could you ask for my friends?
According to Frommer’s the off season in Grand Cayman is from April to mid December when prices are cheapest. Peak season is December to April when prices are at their all time highs but the weather is ideal during this time.
Temps in the high 80’s and and at night mid 60’s.
I’d avoid travel during hurricane season which is between June and November. Ultimately the best time to go is whenever you can! We traveled in mid December and we could not have asked for better weather.
9 Things to do in Grand Cayman
1. Explore the East End
Take a day trip and explore the East End of the island. It’s a lovely drive with many opportunities to pull over for a photo opp without tourists photobombing your shot. Be sure to check out the blowholes too.
2. Swim with the rays at Stingray City
Out of all the Grand Cayman excursions offered on the island the stingray tour ranked high on our list. We booked with White Sand Watersports. This company offers a tour called “breakfast with the rays” which departs the dock at 7 am to ensure they are the first boat to arrive to see the rays. This tour included swimming with the stingrays and some time for snorkel. It was a great length of time, 2.5 hours which leaves you an entire day full of exploration.
We were able to feed, pet, and swim with the stingrays. It was so surreal. This was one of the most spectacular excursions I’ve ever been a part of. Get your butt out of bed early and beat the cruise guests that swarm the area all day long. It’s worth it if you’re looking for a private experience with the stingrays!
3. Dine at the best Grand Cayman restaurants
Grand Cayman offers a nice blend of casual and upscale restaurants.
Let me tell you about my favorite local culinary experience we had on the island. Vivine’s Kitchen is exactly what it sounds like, you’re going to a woman’s kitchen for lunch. Vivine provides local, seasonal, and fresh home cooked meals out of her personal kitchen. I ordered the oxtail and the hubs ordered snapper for lunch. While we waited for our food we hung out on her back patio lounging in her hammocks, sippin on Fanta just swinging in the breeze.
Our mains were both served piping hot with red beans and rice, a side of coleslaw, veggies and plantains. Both were divine. I was really craving some conch.
Conch is in season from November 1-April 30, so I had to get my fill while I was there. I asked if they had any available for us. She told me she’d go to the back and check out the situation. Out she came with a bowl of conch soup. I was so grateful. She smiled and exclaimed to me she worked off the spirit. I was happy to hear that the spirit was in my favor that day.
4. Consume all the tropical drinks
Two days we did absolutely nothing except sip tropical cocktails and read books on the beach. It was fabulous! It’s always tough convincing me to do this as I really like to do and see as many things as possible but my husband loves to relax.
Marriage is all about compromise.
And so we drank passionfruit, mango and strawberry blended drinks while lying under the warm sun.
5. Hang out on Spott’s Beach
Spott’s Beach was recommended to us by a local. Spott’s is a FREE public beach where you can swim in the ocean with wild turtles. Skip the Cayman turtle farm my friends. Aren’t you a fan of free beaches? Me too. We brought our snorkeling gear and of course our Hero 6 GoPro to record this awesome experience.
We swam with 6 different turtles while we were there! It was so amazing to witness these playful creatures in their natural habitat. I’m also quite positive I saw barracuda which was extremely terrifying, it was at least three feet long and about 20 feet away. Way too close if you ask me. NO I didn’t capture a picture because I was so focused on getting my ass back to shore.
Spott’s beach had approximately 10 people there when we showed up. We basically had the place to ourselves, it was nice to escape the crowds on seven mile beach. We set up shop underneath a palm tree for a few hours and sipped on coconuts, (thanks to the gardener nearby who offered to hack a few open for us) walked the beach and swam with turtles. This was the most romantic day.
6. Have a famous mudslide at Rum Point
Since we were in the area for our stingray excursion we figured we’d make our way over to Rum Point. Grand Cayman is known for their mudslides so we had to try one and man oh man they did not disappoint. So tasty and full of booze-I definitely had a buzz after just one!
7. Explore Starfish Point
If your into starfish this is a great place to be. These guys can be found in the water very close to the shore just chilling.
Many of the Grand Cayman excursions will offer up Starfish Point as a destination to visit. You can snorkel, swim, search for starfish and if your lucky maybe even a stingray or two.
8. View a sunset
Beach vacations demand a sunset viewing. What better way to close out a wonderful day than by showing gratitude to the very thing that energizes you day in and day out. I captured this beautiful sunset shot from our balcony at our fabulous hotel on seven mile beach, The Westin.
9. Go paddle boarding
I’ve only paddle boarded once before and it ended with me in cold lake water-not fun at all. Anyways The Westin offered 45 minutes of paddle boarding for FREE so we took advantage of that one morning.
It’s a lot harder than it looks and requires a ton of core-no idea how people manage to do yoga on one of these?! I only fell off once if your wondering and the Caribbean waters greeted me much warmer than the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.
Renting a car in grand cayman is very important in order to explore the island. Driving here is a breeze, just be prepared for the vast amount of roundabouts and driving on the left side of the road if you’re not familiar. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
What is your favorite beach destination? Let me know in the comment section below!