George Town, Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is everything you want in a Caribbean island. The surrounding waters are home to vibrant coral reefs and sunken sculpture parks that lure divers and snorkelers. Topside, the vibe is mellow, with tidy gingerbread-trimmed homes and eclectic attractions like the conservation-minded Cayman Turtle Farm. Cruise ships anchor offshore near George Town, the capital city and a world financial center (this is a British overseas territory).
What We Love
Restaurants: Grand Cayman has one of the top dining scenes in the Caribbean. Enjoy expert seafood by celeb chef Eric Ripert at Blue, authentic Italian at Casanova, or truffle mac and cheese overlooking the water at Cracked Conch.
Rum Point: Spend an afternoon at this outdoor beach club, where the protected waters are great for easy snorkeling, the bar serves up potent pina coladas, and the casuarina pines are strung with plentiful hammocks when nap time calls.
Best Known For
Seven Mile Beach: One the Caribbean's most iconic stretches of sand, the uninterrupted shoreline here makes it great for long swims or strolls, and the plentiful restaurants along the shore means you're never far from a drink or a snack.
Stingray City: One of the Caribbean's most loved attractions, this series of shallow sandbars in the North Sound is home to friendly southern stingrays. The playful creatures brush up against you as they swim around looking for treats.
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Who It's Best For
Families: With its wide beaches, great infrastructure, and low crime rate, Grand Cayman is an easy place for families to relax and explore.
Scuba Divers: The island has a whopping 365 identified dive sites. The west coast is known for shallow-water dives with colorful reef fish and sea turtles, while the north shore has dramatic drop-offs and larger species like spotted eagle rays and sharks.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's All Buttoned Up: Grand Cayman is a British commonwealth and a center for international banking, so the vibe here is more continental and composed than party-centric.
Susan Moynihan is a Florida-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Parenting and Woman’s Day.