There’s an energy here.
You feel it on Seven Mile Beach, in the hotels, in the streets of George Town, by day and by night. It’s palpable.
It’s because the Cayman Islands is one of the most dynamic destinations in the Caribbean right now, with a tourism offering that’s as fresh and sophisticated and authentic as you’ll find anywhere in the region.
It’s a destination that is modern without compromising its island charm, elegant without being stuffy, a trio of islands with taste and culture that are endlessly welcoming.
And as one of the closest Caribbean destinations to the continental United States, it’s never been easier to get here (and, oh yeah, there’s a sparkling new airport).
Here are seven reasons to visit the Cayman Islands right now.
The Food The Cayman Islands isn’t just a Caribbean culinary capital — this is a world-class gastronomic destination, with quality and quantity at every stratum, from Seven Mile Beach’s breathtaking Blue by Eric Ripert to Cayman Kai’s funky, splendid Kaibo to the tastebud-tingling delights at the Rankin’s Jerk Center. It simply overflows with great places to eat, with a general emphasis on ultra-fresh seafood and sophisticated but relaxed eateries like celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi’s dazzling new Eating House 1503 on Seven Mile Beach.
Camana Bay If there’s one place to be in Grand Cayman right now, it’s this: Camana Bay, the mixed-use community that’s become a center for food, culture and nightlife in the Seven Mile Beach area. There’s a cornucopia of great places to shop, a terrific movie theater, a host of varied restaurants and cafes and some buzzy watering holes. It’s a family-friendly haven that rather uniquely brings together locals and travelers, giving a glimpse into Cayman’s unique brand of the modern Caribbean. Make sure you go for the Flavor Tour, the weekly Wednesday culinary experience that is one of the island’s must-do experiences.
The Beach There’s a reason that Seven Mile Beach is one of the most famous stretches of sand on earth. It’s intoxicatingly beautiful, with jaw-droppingly clear water, soft sand and miles of tropical splendor. But Seven Mile Beach is just the start for a beach-loving traveler in the Cayman Islands, where you’ll find a diverse mix of beaches, from the uncrowded sweeps of the East End to the Robinson Crusoe-level shorelines in Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
The Sister Islands And that brings us to the Cayman Islands’ party piece — or pieces: the Sister Islands. While Grand Cayman is unmistakably Cayman’s tourism hub and most popular spot, its sister islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are worlds unto themselves, places with unique personalities and particular charms. Little Cayman is the place for the far-off island fantasy, the sort of tiny island that we all dream of buying a one-way ticket to. And Cayman Brac is equally fascinating, from its bluffs to its seafood to its remarkable natural environment.
The Culture The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands puts on an impressive slate of exhibits throughout the year, while no visit to Cayman is complete without a stop at Mission House, the centuries-old historic home on the site of one of the first settlements in the Cayman Islands. The latter is in the heart of Bodden Town, Cayman’s historic former capital, a charming beach village that gives travelers a completely different window into the Caymanian experience. And no matter where you go, you’ll encounter the diverse, warm, friendly people that make Cayman such a wonderfully rich place to visit.
The Adventure While the Cayman Islands has long been one of the world’s capitals of diving (and still is), it’s developed a broad slate of adventures for today’s traveler: that means things like bonefishing off Little Cayman; paddleboarding on Seven Mile Beach; exploring the mysterious, captivating Crystal Caves on Grand Cayman’s northeastern coast; kiteboarding in both Grand Cayman and Little Cayman; swimming with rays at Stingray City and, well, you get the picture. There’s something for everyone.
The Golf Cayman Islands, golf destination? While it’s long flown under the radar for golfers, it’s time we let the secret out. There are two terrific courses just across the water from Seven Mile Beach: the North Sound Golf Club, a beautiful 18-hole, 6,605-yard track with some serious views — and the Greg Norman-designed Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Golf Club, a nine-hole course that is likely the most beautiful, most challenging nine-hole course you’ll ever try in your life. The pair add up to the perfect golf complement for any Cayman Islands vacation.