Cayman Islands Beaches

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Cayman Islands Beaches
The beach is the perfect place for adventure, family-friendly fun, romance, and revelry—though not necessarily all at the same time. Find out where in the Cayman Islands is the best for you.
By Jordyn Kraemer, AFAR Local Expert
Photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Beachside Fine Dining
    Splashing out for a special meal is especially enticing when on the beachfront, where the clear air, sounds of the waves, and—if you plan it right—spectacular sunset add an unmistakably island ambiance. Hemingway's, on Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach, is a top choice, renowned for its fresh seafood. For a romantic experience, try a moonlit dinner in the outdoor gazebo at Osetra Bay, in Grand Cayman's West Bay, where world cuisine is enhanced by local Caribbean ingredients.
    Photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Superb Snorkeling
    Despite its name, beginner snorkelers will feel at ease at Grand Cayman's Cemetery Beach and Reef, where vibrant coral heads are within an easy swim from shore. Adventurous snorkelers can explore the wreck of the Cali—a masted schooner which sank a short distance from Grand Cayman's George Town. The vertical coral wall in Bloody Bay, off Little Cayman, is easily reached from shore, as are the reefs at Preston Bay. The entire north coast of Cayman Brac is ringed with reef, and the wreck of a 330-foot Russian frigate, the Captain Keith Tibbetts, lies only a few hundred meters off the northwest coast.
    Photo by Jo Ann Snover/age fotostock
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    Beach Picnic Spots
    Owen Island lies just off the southwest coast of Little Cayman. Accessible by kayak or rowboat, this secluded and pristine island is free of any buildings, homes, services, or businesses, making it a romantic spot to spend the day away from any crowds. If you're not looking for total desertion, pack a picnic and check out Cayman Kai on the northern tip of Grand Cayman. Uncrowded, with calm waters and white sand, this beach comes equipped with tables, bathrooms, and beach volleyball. Visitors with kids should consider Dart Family Park, also on Grand Cayman, as the site has tables, shade, and a kids' play area.
    Photo courtesy of Dave Taylor/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Water Sports in the Caymans
    One of the best ways to experience the tropical waters of the Caymans is to get out on them. Water sports enthusiasts in the know head to Seven Mile Beach, just north of George Town on the west side of Grand Cayman, for kayaking, diving, Jet-Skiing, snorkeling, wakeboarding, and more. Gear is available for rent on-site at this coral-sand beach, and there are ample restaurants, bars, and public facilities to ensure a comfortable visit. Those looking for a private charter can negotiate a day out on a fishing boat, catamaran, or yacht, but be sure to organize in advance.
    Photo courtesy of Don McDougall/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Perfect for Families
    Spotts Beach, on the southern shore of Grand Cayman, is popular with families because it has calm waters, plentiful shade, and play areas made for kids. In the shadow of cliffs, this white-sand beach also has access to offshore reefs. Those looking for big adventure should take the kids to Boatswain's Beach, where they can snorkel, swim with the turtles, and visit the on-site aviary. Families on Little Cayman can visit Blossom Village, a settlement that dates back to 1833; it has quaint seafront cottages facing a dock, and a seesaw for the little ones.
    Photo by Alexander Shalamov/age fotostock
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    Beaches with Hammocks
    Tall, sturdy, and frequently found in pairs, palm trees seem made to support hammocks. Stake out a spot on the beach and take in the view from the best seat in the house. On the north tip of Grand Cayman, visit Rum Point for a swing in the whimsical striped hammocks. You can watch the cruise ships in the distance while enjoying a rum punch from a nearby beach bar. For an even more romantic hammock experience, try Cayman Brac Beach Resort in Cayman Brac. Located adjacent to Brac Reef, this facility has tandem hammocks, where two can swing side-by-side, and is open to the public year-round.
    Photo courtesy of Mark Narsanski/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Secluded Beaches
    Those looking for privacy on Grand Cayman can visit Old Man Bay on the north side of the island. With hidden coves and an undeveloped shoreline—the nearest restaurant is about a mile away—you can count on peace and quiet. If you're looking for some ecological diversity, Barker’s National Park on the northwest coast of Grand Cayman is a beach bordered by mangroves. Only accessible via a long dirt road, there are no on-site facilities. Picturesque and secluded, Point of Sand (called Lover's Beach by locals) is situated on the eastern tip of Little Cayman, and has excellent snorkeling shallows and fine sand. With no facilities and few villas, Sea Feather Bay, on the south coast of Cayman Brac, is another fine place for quiet contemplation.
    Photo courtesy of Patrick Gorham/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Where to Watch the Sunset
    Sunsets in the Cayman Islands are magnificent, best appreciated from a west-facing beach and with a drink in hand. Luckily, there are plenty of suitable beaches to choose from on the islands. On Grand Cayman, join other sunset-spotters at Smith Cove, where the natural barriers of coral reef and limestone ensure calm waters. On Cayman Brac, there's no bad place to watch a sunset. The tiny island is wedge-shaped, with a beach at the west rising up to bluffs in the east. Stop at the West End Lighthouse on Little Cayman, or check out Owen Island off the southwest tip of the island.
    Photo courtesy of Jay Easterbrook/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
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    Bars on the Beach
    As the busiest of the three islands, it's no surprise that Grand Cayman has the top picks for beachfront bars. At Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill, on the Cayman Kai peninsula (arrive by car or water taxi from Camana Bay), you can dance to live music under a thatched hut while sipping a delicious rum-based cocktail. Visit the Rare Rum Bar in the Upstairs Restaurant to sample various local libations. At the far western shore of the island, the Royal Palms Beach Club Reef Grill is a hip beachfront bar that turns into a throbbing club each night from Wednesday through Saturday. The music ranges from reggae and calypso to full-tempo house.
    Photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism