Grand Cayman's Secret Beach

What’s not to love about Grand Cayman’s Seven-Mile Beach? Sugar-white sand; glassy turquoise waters; a string of hotels, restaurants and bars right on the sand (shout out to Calico Jack’s!); and a lively, in-the-thick-of-it vibe. But sometimes even the beach-iest bum wants to take it down a notch and chill out on a patch of sand that’s a little more laidback and local. That’s when you should head to my preferred patch of sand, Smith Cove.

Also known as Smith Barcadere,  this chill-out spot on South Sound, just a few minutes’ drive outside George Town, has tiny twin beaches, warm silky waters, great snorkeling and absolutely no “scene.” Beyond restrooms and a few picnic tables there are no amenities, so bring your own beach chair, umbrella and cooler of drinks. Your fellow beachgoers: local families, a handful of in-the-know expats, and a vocal flock of local chickens that peck their way through the tangle of foliage that conceals the quiet strand from the main road. Smith’s Cove is beach, pure and simple – and just the way I like it.

What are your favorite secret Caribbean beaches?