You might have noticed that I have been MIA for a while. My husband and I just returned from our second trip to Grand Cayman. Last year we chose the Cayman’s as our destination to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was like a second honeymoon (OK, who am I kidding, it was our first actual honeymoon since back then we were too poor for anything like this!) This year he gave me a choice between a 50th birthday party or another trip and I happily chose to lounge here, kid free, for a wonderful week!
I thought it would be fun to do a few blog posts about our trip and Grand Cayman as it is one of my favorite spots in the world. When we were doing research into a spot for our trip last year, we had several requirements….Beach, Snorkeling, Gluten Free Food, Relaxing and Safe. Cayman met all of those and more…
So many people have asked about our trip so here’s the scoop….The Cayman Islands are comprised of 3 islands in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman is the largest followed by Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. My goal is to visit all three eventually but, for now, I can tell you a little bit about the biggest island…Grand Cayman.
Grand Cayman is a British Overseas Territory. The advantages to visiting here are that English is the primary language, everyone takes US Currency, and it has the kindest people I have ever met. It is very safe on Cayman which allows you to travel throughout the island, taking advantage of all that it has to offer. The Cayman Islands have their own currency called CI. Everywhere you go, your bills will be calculated in both CI and US$. The US$ is not worth as much as the CI$ so be prepared that things aren’t quite as inexpensive as they might first appear. If you pay in US$, you will receive your change in CI. We enjoyed bringing the bills back to the kids as they are unique and interesting.
Grand Cayman is not an inexpensive destination…I’ll just put that out there right now. There are no all inclusive deals there (although I heard that something was in the works). Of course, as with anything, you get what you pay for and this place is well worth the cost. The place to be on the island is Seven Mile Beach. It’s incredibly beautiful, calm and safe. Last year we stayed at the Westin Grand Cayman Beach Resort and Spa. In keeping with the relaxed island vibe, it was pretty casual and overall we loved it. Unfortunately, we found out upon arrival that all of the restaurants were closed for renovation so that was a bummer but, other than that, it was a nice place to land.
This year we decided to go a different route and rented a condo of our own right on the beach. I mean…10 steps to the beautiful water! (those are our chairs right outside our condo door above^^^) I highly recommend this route if you visit Cayman. We were walking distance to the Marriott which had an amazing breakfast every day and we rented a car so that we could tour the island at our leisure. While you certainly don’t need a car on Cayman, we like to drive the island and snap photos so it works for us. The island has numerous buses that are very inexpensive as well as taxi’s with the friendliest drivers ever. They will give you a card and you can call them all week to take you anywhere you wish to go. We even bumped into a cab driver from last year who remembered us this year. Great stuff!!
If lying on the beach all day is not your thing, there is so much to do at the various resorts. We brought our own snorkel gear as the snorkeling right outside of the hotel/condo was great. Last year we went parasailing, rented wave runners, took a sunset cruise, visited the Turtle Farm and Sting Ray City (where you can hold them in your arms right there in the ocean).
This year we were more interested in relaxing and seeing the rest of the island so we took a drive to the East End where so many of my photos were taken. We also went to Rum Point…a fun tourist beach with showers, restaurants etc.
There are many artists who work on Grand Cayman including one of my favorites whose studio we visit every year. This year we purchased an original painting to commemorate our trip. I can’t wait to find a place to hang it in our house.
If you are celiac/gluten free like me, Cayman is the perfect place to visit. Even if you are not, the restaurants there are top rated and wonderful. While they do have the less expensive basics like Wendy’s and Burger King, I highly recommend that you try Chicken Chicken (imagine a Caribbean version of Boston Chicken). The food was great and the portions were huge. I will be writing an entire post about eating gluten free in Cayman in the future so don’t miss that.
Grand Cayman is a beautiful, relaxing, and happy place to visit. If you have any questions or need more information about the places that we stayed or visited, just comment below and I will be happy to share with you. I highly recommend it as a vacation destination!!