There’s so much more to Grand Cayman than Seven-Mile Beach, the turtle farm and a trip to Hell. Here are the top five things on my island to-do list.
1. The Mudslide
Head over to the Wreck Bar & Grill at Rum Point, where you can slurp a Mudslide where it was invented. Back in the 1970s, the beach bar was the first to combine vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream and ice into the now-famous cocktail, and now they serve as many as 400 a day. Other places have Mudslides on the menu, but most add ice cream to the mix; this is the only bar where you can score the nothing-but-alcohol original.
2. Pure Art
On South Sound, this art and craft studio in a converted century-old cottage is packed to the rafters with original Caymanian and Caribbean paintings, sculpture, and other craft. If you’re looking for jewelry made from Caymanite, the island’s indigenous semi-precious stone, this is the place to go.
3. Season To The Bone
For my money, this humble Windsor Park neighborhood restaurant serves up the best jerk outside Jamaica. Little wonder since owner Hyacinth Natty was born-and-bred on the irie isle. A large portion of jerk pork or chicken and a drink will set you back about $15 – about as cheap a meal as you’ll find on pricey Grand Cayman, and worth every cent.
4. Camana Bay
Minutes from Seven-Mile Beach, this multi-use complex is a one-stop must-see. Shop at Lilly Pulitzer, Books & Books, and Island Company; refuel with a healthy lunch at Jessie’s Juice Bar; then chillax as you watch the waterfront dancing fountains and take in the view of North Sound.
5. Smith’s Cove
Seven-Mile Beach is Grand Cayman’s star strip but I like to plant my bum on Smith’s Cove (also known as Smith Barcadere). Chickens peck at the sand beneath the sea grape and almond trees that shelter this peaceful strand from the main road, and on a weekday your only company is likely to be a handful of hotel employees enjoying their day off. The tiny white-sand oasis is less than 15 minutes from the buzzing Seven Mile scene, but it blissfully feels a world apart.