This is a guest post by Catherine, who runs The Squirrel Machine blog.
Now that the temperatures have reached single digits in New York City, it is just about that time of year when I seek refuge and much needed relaxation in the warmer climates of Grand Cayman Island. Although, I have been vacationing in Grand Cayman for years, I have yet to grow wary of the island’s picturesque beaches and sites.
Through my travel experiences, I have found that there is something about returning to the same location time and time again. You begin to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity in a place that you know like the back of your hand. It is that feeling of ease that continues to draw me back to Grand Cayman each year.
Fun in the Sand
While Grand Cayman is known for its famous Seven Mile Beach—which is interestingly only five and half miles long—I like to get my beach-fixe at Smith Cove, an equally beautiful spot where the atmosphere is less touristy and much more relaxing. Located right outside of George Town, enjoy snorkeling in Smith Cove’s clear blue waters and take in the serene view alongside island natives.
Keep in mind, there is not much around this beach when it comes to food and other amenities. When preparing for this day trip, make sure to pack a cooler with lunch and bring your own beach chairs and umbrella.
Where to Shop
After spending a lazy day at the beach, I like to walk around Grand Cayman’s downtown area. Make sure you taste some of the amazing local cuisine and stop at the local shops for some unique, Caribbean souvenirs while you are there.
One of my favorite spots, Camana Bay, is just a few minutes off of Seven Mile Beach. Here you will find some of the best Grand Cayman shopping. The town of Camana Bay has a wide variety of stores ranging from well-known brands like Island Company and Lilly Pulitzer to local island shops and a farmer’s market. Be sure to grab a refreshing smoothie at Jessie’s Juice Bar and cool off by the mesmerizing interactive fountains.
When dinner rolls around, I like to splurge and go to Lighthouse Restaurant. Make a reservation in advance and ask for the private outdoor table overlooking the ocean. Watching the sunset reflect off the aqua blue water is one of my favorite Grand Cayman views. For two people, it will cost you about $100-150. Don’t balk at the price, though; the fantastic quality of the food paired with the amazing view makes it worth every cent!
If you are looking for a more casual option check out Windsor Park’s local favorite, Season to the Bone. Owned by Jamaican native, Hyacinth Natty, Season to the Bone has—what I believe to be—the best jerk outside of Jamaica. Sit outside and enjoy this delicious, authentic meal in a laidback atmosphere. For about $15, you will get a large portion of jerk pork or chicken and a drink. Embrace the wonderful combination of culture and friendliness at this local neighborhood food joint!
This post was written by frequent traveler and blogger, Catherine, who runs The Squirrel Machine blog out of her home (and on the go, as long as there’s a WiFi connection!). A New York City native, Catherine has vacationed in the Cayman Islands for years and has developed a deep appreciation for the warm weather paradise. In addition to traveling, Catherine is passionate about writing and enjoys providing her readers with posts on a variety of topics. Head over to The Squirrel Machine for more posts on travel, entertainment, health, business and more!