The Best Excursions On Grand Cayman Island
Grand Cayman has a lot of great excursion options . But we were typical tourists and opted to go to stingray city to swim with the stingrays. Ive seen the photos and its just one of those things you HAVE to do when you visit Grand Cayman Island.
To be honest, Im really glad we did. It ended up being a favorite among our entire family and we all had a blast.
Things To Do On Grand Cayman Island: Ave
Ave is the anchor restaurant of the splendid Kimptons Seafire Resort in the Cayman Islands, offering breakfast, brunch, dinner, and bar service for resort guests and local tourists alike. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef Massimo de Francesca, serves up an approachable Mediterranean-inspired menu crafted with fresh seasonal ingredients. Elegant charcuterie boards complement fine land and sea entrees such as New Zealand lamb racks, 45-day dry-aged burgers, and island snapper platters. Weekend buffets offer sushi selections and a liquid craft cocktail buffet serving up limitless drinks. Visitors can also dine at the restaurant’s exclusive Avecita chef’s counter, which serves up Spanish-style tapas.
60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands KY1-1303, Phone: 345-746-4111
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Visit The Stingray City & Sandbar
Top on my list of things to do in the Cayman Islands is the amazing Stingray Sandbar! My husband did this exact excursion with his brothers years ago, and this time around he insisted we do it together. I am SO GLAD we did! These two stingray sites in the Cayman Islands are gorgeous, and they offer an opportunity to interact with friendly rays.
I loved that this particular excursion offered a little bit of everything beautiful island sights, exciting sea life, tasty local cuisine, picturesque photo stops and the opportunity to interact and feed dozens of friendly southern stingrays.
We boarded a small fishing boat and sailed about 30 minutes in the blue waters to the Stingray Sandbar. Once there, we swam in the shallow waters with dozens of stingrays, feeding them and posing for pictures.
After the sand bar portion, we headed out to the open waters of Barrier Reef for a fun snorkel experience among colorful tropical fish. Before heading back to our port, we hit the beach for a delicious lunch at Rum Point.
The day was completely unforgettable!
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Things To Do In Grand Cayman For Families
3. Cayman Turtle Center
One of the most popular family activities in Grand Cayman, the Turtle Farm and wildlife center offers interactive encounters, educational presentations and more. Kids really enjoy the turtle touch tanks and the opportunity to watch a crocodile feeding!! Youll find exhibits, media presentations, as well as a chance to get in the water in a play area with a small waterslide for families and kids.
4. Dolphin Discovery Grand Cayman
If swimming or interacting with Dolphins is on your families wish list, Dolphin Discovery provides a variety of experiences depending on your budget. You can access the center by taxi on your own or with your cruise ship excursion. This is quite popular and its suggested to book ahead of time to make sure you get a spot.
5. Watersports at Seven Mile Beach
Heading to the beach is one of the most fun, easiest and most economical activities for a family coming to Grand Cayman on a cruise. Seven Mile Beach is closeby and arguably one of the most beautiful beaches youll see in the Caribbean.
Seven Mile Beach has a variety of watersports available including jetskis and banana boat rides. Weve done Banana Boating and its been a lot of fun plus, all in all one of the least expensive activities weve done while on a cruise.
Visit A Museum In Grand Cayman
Adventure sports and beaches not your thing? There are plenty of enriching cultural experiences you can enjoy while on the island. Here are some of the best museums to be found on Grand Cayman:
- National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Now in a new 9,000 sq. ft. building you can find local and international art works, sculptures, and exhibits.
- Cayman Motor Museum Car enthusiasts will enjoy some of the rare auto collections this museum has to offer. You can find an exact replica of the first car to drive on Grand Cayman. It is typically closed during the summer months so make sure you check the schedule first.
- The Wreck View Art Gallery Lots of local artwork from the Cayman Islands. Its more of a shop than an art gallery but its a good place to pick up some souvenirs as well.
- Pedro St James National Historic Site This is the oldest building in the Caymans and is a sort of castle that is now a museum. Not only will you learn about the history of this fascinating building but also the history of the islands and its people. The grounds around the museum are well-maintained and wonderful to see as well.
- Cayman Islands National Museum A visit to this little museum will give you a greater appreciation for the people of the Cayman Islands. Engaging displays and videos detail both the human and natural history of your surroundings.
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Camana Bay Observation Tower
Walk to the top of the Camana Bay Observation Tower for a 360-degree view of Grand Cayman from the highest point on the island. Take the elevator up if you are short on time, but be sure to take the stairs down, as you feel like you are diving into the depths of the ocean.
The tower is decorated with a tiled mosaic creating a replica of diving the Cayman Islands.
How To Get To Grand Cayman From The Grand Cayman Cruise Port
Grand Cayman harbor has a tender wharf and ships must remain at sea for the duration of their stop as such, passengers board smaller ships that shuttle them to and from the island. Once on land, you’ll find yourself in the heart of George Towns shopping area, where taxis are plentiful but most things are within walking distance.
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Dining At The Cayman Islands Yacht Club Morgans And Bcaro
While fish fry is the local foodie experience, you can also eat cosmopolitan and upscale in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club where there are two excellent restaurants. This is the place to wander around in the daytime if you are a sailing enthusiast and like admiring all the yachts while imagining yourself into the millionaire lifestyle!
I ate at Morgans Grand Cayman one evening, which has a wonderful waterfront position. If I went back Id probably go for lunch, since you can eat on the terrace with a fabulous view over Governors Creek. The focus here is on the seafood, with an ocean to table philosophy and fresh daily catch on the menu delivered direct by local fishermen. The inside part of the restaurant is airy and open to the rafters, while the outdoor terrace is also very pretty as the lanterns coloured light up at night. My catch of the day was beautifully grilled and presented with a lime butter sauce and fresh vegetables on the side, and we finished with a tangy key lime pie.
Recommended Restaurants In Grand Cayman: George Town
Breezes By The Bay Tropical GrillContemporary CaribbeanFamous locally for their Conch Fritters and “Island Drinks.” The favorites also include fresh Whole Fish Escovitch, Jerk Glazed Pork Chop, Curry Chicken and Shrimp, Tropical Seafood Kettle-Cooked Stew, Rasta Pasta and their signature Conch Chowder served in a fresh homemade bread bowl. Breezes has a phenomenal view of the harbor. Full bar. Open Monday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Accepts Amex, MasterCard & Visa.Overlooks the harbor, on Church Street, in George Town.Phone: 943-8439
Grand Old HouseGourmet European/New WorldIf you want to splurge on a great meal in the Caymans, this is your ticket. The menu focuses on seafood, including everything from conch chowder and sashimi to lobster thermidor, their signature turtle steak and crusty tuna. Located in an historic 101 year-old house that was moved to Grand Cayman from Massachusetts. Reservations recommended. Full bar. Open from Monday to Friday 11:45am to 2:00 pm, and nightly from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Accepts Amex, MasterCard & Visa.South Church Street
Luz’s RestaurantCaribbean/HonduranA very popular local restaurant that features local Caribbean and Honduran dishes, including fried crab, turtle and Cayman-style lobster. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Accepts Amex, MasterCard & Visa cards.6 Pasadora Place, Smith RoadPhone: 949-4898
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Cayman Islands Exploring Alternatives
The Cayman Islands, which first extended the ban on cruise ship travel in August, prohibiting ships through the end of 2021, has been one of the most cautious of the Caribbean islands to reopen to tourism as the pandemic gradually comes under better control. Unlike other islands that are more heavily dependent on cruise tourism, however, the Cayman Islands has other economic options.
In addition to tourist travel, which also includes hundreds of thousands of land-based visitors each year, the Cayman Islands supports thriving financial and construction industries.
Furthermore, the Cayman Islands has been reluctant to move forward with large pier construction projects that could damage its delicate marine ecosystem. Without large pier facilities to accommodate ever-larger cruise ships, the nations cruise-based tourism sector is becoming more limited.
Also Read: Things to Do in Grand Cayman During a Cruise
Activists in the Cayman Islands have also expressed concern about emissions from cruise ships and the damage they may do to air quality and other parts of the Caribbean ecosystem. At this time, the nations government has no plans to expand port facilities, but may be considering policy changes about the size of ships permitted to visit as well as the frequency of ships visits.
While cruise travel continues to be banned, the urgency to address environmental concerns is lessened, but still a concern to many in this beautiful Caribbean nation.
Dessert At Gelato And Co
Dave and I like to think of ourselves as gelato experts. After all, weve sampled a lot of authentic gelatos in Italy. We even went to Gelato University in Bologna. Weve learned the difference between fake tourist gelato and the real deal.
Gelato and Co. on Grand Cayman is the real deal people. Owned and operated by an Italian, it offers handcrafted Italian ice creams and sorbets.
- Read more about Cayman Island food here we break down the best Grand Cayman Restaurants
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What To Do In Grand Cayman For A One Day Cruise Ship Passenger
Snorkeling with stingrays is just one option in Grand Cayman.
Grand Cayman is a quintessential cruise port: clean, safe, easy to get around and filled with white sand beaches. The plethora of options can make it difficult for cruise passengers to decide which activities to choose. Fortunately, the island is small enough and most port visits long enough that it is possible to combine multiple activities into a single day.
Things To Do On Grand Cayman Island: Acquarius Sea Tours
Acquarius Sea Tours is owned and operated by a loving couple who have resided on Grand Cayman for over 25 years. They have a deep-rooted appreciation and affection for Stingray City, the Coral Garden, the reef, and the island itself. Acquarius offers amazing snorkeling trips providing old-fashioned service, a spacious boat, and the opportunity to visit some of the most magnificent underwater locales. Visitors will hop aboard the Big John, equipped with a flybridge, full onboard bathroom, and an interior space for children, and begin their 3.5-hour excursion. The tour will take them to Stingray City, Starfish Point, and their choice of snorkeling site, Coral Garden, Secret Garden, or the reef.
Seven Mile Beach, KY1 1202, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-939-8178
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Grand Cayman’s Best Beaches
Seven Mile Beach. Located just north of George Town. It’s actually only 5 miles long, but many people consider SMB to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s lined with hotels, resorts and shopping centers, and easily accessible from George Town by bus or taxi.
Rum Point. Generally quieter than Seven Mile Beach, Rum Point is a beautiful beach with an alluringly casual and relaxed atmosphere. Here you’ll find many free loungers and hammocks where you can bask in the sun or take in the view there are panoramic views towards the north. Family friendly Rum Point is perfect for picnics, and public picnic tables are available for your use. It’s about a 45 minute ride by taxi from George Town.
Smith’s Cove. Located on South Sound, this beach offers the convenience of being close to the cruise port to allow for more time enjoying the sun, sand and sea. With restrooms, picnic benches, showers, phenomenal snorkeling and great photo ops, you should add Smith’s Cove to your to-do list.
West Bay Public Beach. Located after the 4-way stop in West Bay with a wide stretch of powder-soft sand and an abundance of shady sea grape trees, this stop is perfect for families. There is also a dock, restrooms and changing facilities, showers and huts/benches.
Cayman Kai. Cayman Kai has huts, benches, hammocks and a New Orleans atmosphere at the Kaibo bar and grill. With beach volleyball and an annual Mardi Gras festival, Cayman Kai is a fun place to spend some time.
Introduction To Grand Cayman:
There are many activities to do in the Cayman Islands.
We have compiled the best list of things to do in Grand Cayman. Our local knowledge ensures that this list is kept up-to-date.
The Cayman Islands is a UK over-seas territory. However, the island is mostly influenced by the USA due to its close geographical proximity. It is only an hour flight from Miami to Cayman. English is the native language.
Most of the island’s tourists are from the USA. Cayman is known for being extremely safe, which is why it is a popular vacation destination for families you can roam freely, allowing peace of mind. There is still some crime, but crime levels are far lower than other Caribbean islands.
Full-time population is only about 65,000.
We receive about 2 million tourists every year. There are more cruise ship passengers than over-night tourists, however, the over-night tourists out-spend the cruise ship passengers.
There is no heckling here certain Caribbean islands will subject you to people trying to constantly sell you stuff, but not in Cayman. Poverty is almost non-existent due to the booming tourism and financial service industries.
Grand Cayman is the main island in the Cayman Islands. The other two islands are Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
We hope that you choose Grand Cayman as your next vacation destination. We hope that we have summarised what to do in Grand Cayman in this list.
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Where To Eat In Bodden Town
In Bodden Town, you can eat at The Lighthouse Restaurant, which is located just past the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Garden. This is an Italian-style restaurant that was built inside of an old genuine lighthouse! It is filled with nautical memorabilia and lots of things to look at as you cozy by to the bar. It also has a deck you can eat on that overlooks the sea. They serve Italian inspired dishes as well as seafood.
Disclosure: Dr. Maloney has been to Cayman a few times, but as is common in the travel industry, Dr. Maloney was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purposes of review on a few of her trips. On other trips she paid for the adventure on her own. While it has not influenced her review, PointsandTravel.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. All photos are either taken by the author or we have been given permission to use these photos. There may be affiliate links in this article.
Take A Submarine Tour
Atlantis Submarines Cayman Islands offers an unforgettable experience. This high-tech, inviting submarine can hold 48 passengers and allows you to see some of the worlds most beautiful coral without having to get into a wet-suit. So, if SCUBA diving is off your list but you still want to see the coral, this is your ticket. Pick-ups are at Seven Mile Beach and the cost is around $110 per adult.
There is also a glass-bottom boat tour you can take for some of the more shallow reefs of Grand Cayman.
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High End Goods And Duty Free Shopping
Grand Cayman’s high-end shopping destination, the Town Centre at Camana Bay offers a dynamic mix of international brands and local retailers. West Bay RoadSeven Mile Beach
Bayshore MallThis mall contains a collection of high end shops, where you’ll find clothing boutiques and watch vendors.South Church StreetDowntown George Town
Cardinal AvenueCardinal Avenue is downtown George Town’s main shopping street, and is another Mecca for high-end goods, including clothing boutiques and watch stores. Here you’ll find Caymania Duty Free, across from the Post Office, which specializes in fine jewelry and fragrances.Downtown George Town
Duty Free CentreThe Duty Free Centre contains a selection of stores featuring jewelry, sunglasses, coin dealers and other shops.Edward StreetDowntown George Town
Galleria PlazaThis shopping mall, about half way up Seven Mile Beach from downtown George Town, contains a number of shops offering duty free goods and other, more pedestrian stores. If you’re looking for a bookstore, visit the Book Nook, which has an outlet here.West Bay Road