Cayman Islands — Attractions
Many Cayman Islands visitors spend their entire vacation at Seven Mile Beach, whose five and a half mile long stretch of white sand contains the most shops, restaurants, and resorts on Grand Cayman. However, Cayman Islands attractions extend beyond scuba diving and sunbathing. Visitors can also watch endangered sea turtles grow at Boatswain’s Beach’s Cayman Turtle Farm, hike the 200 year old wooded Mastic Trail or explore the caves on the tiny island of Cayman Brac.
Seven Mile Beach
Although Seven Mile Beach is actually only five and a half miles long, it still provides plenty of room for most of Grand Cayman’s restaurants, resorts, and shops, as well as plenty of locations to sunbathe along its coral shores. As a public property, Seven Mile Beach’s entire length is at your disposal and despite heavy development and a large number of tourists, this beach on the west coast rarely feels overcrowded or overwhelming.
Address: Western Grand Cayman
Stingrays started gathering to feast on cleaned fish guts left behind by fishers at the Stingray City Sandbar decades ago. By the late 1980’s, scuba divers began feeding them an even tastier treat, squid. Today, the sandbar is among the few places on earth where visitors can safely observe, touch, and even ‘kiss’ these sometimes deadly sea creatures, which is said to bring seven years of good luck.
The tiny village of Hell was named after its ‘hellish’ location around the sharp and desolate limestone West Bay landscape in northwestern Grand Cayman, some which may be 20 million years old. Made-up of unusual coral and shell formations, even most animals avoid Hell and its surrounding biosphere. However, many humans not only want to say they’ve ‘been to Hell’ during their Cayman Islands stay, but to send a postcard from the Hell post office to friends and family back home.
Address: Northwestern Grand Cayman
Cayman Islands National Museum
The biggest museum on the Cayman Islands is housed inside George Town’s former Old Courts Building. A large percentage of the museum’s more than 8,000 artifacts originally belonged to one man named Ira Thompson, who sold his Caymanian collection to the government in 1979. Today, a 14-foot catboat and a three dimensional underwater map are among the museum’s most impressive exhibits.
Address: The Cayman Islands National Museum, P.O. Box 2189, George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-1105
National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
No less than 30 percent of the art on display at this George Town gallery was created by talented local artists. As the only non-commercial art gallery on the Cayman Islands, the National Gallery puts on about half a dozen exhibitions with approximately 60 pieces of art each year. Lunchtime lectures are held every afternoon on each month’s fourth Wednesday.
Address: National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, 103 South Church Street, George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-1002
Pedro St James
No Cayman Islands building is older than this Savannah seaside estate first constructed in 1780 as the home of a wealthy plantation owner. Pedro St James later became a meeting place for the first elected government in 1831 and the place where slavery officially ended in 1835. Today, the restored plantation home contains a café, theater, historic exhibits, and a visitors’ center.
Address: Pedro Castle Road, P.O. Box 305, Savannah, Grand Cayman, KY1-1502
Cayman Turtle Farm
The commercial sea turtle farm at West Bay’s Boatswain’s Beach is among the few places where visitors can see these endangered creatures grow. The farm features a cultural center, aviary, snorkeling lagoon, artificial predator reef, and approximately 100 round concrete tanks filled with growing sea turtles. The size ranges from tiny six ounce babies that visitors can touch to fully grown 600 pound giants. Guests also have the option of snorkeling in the fish filled lagoon whose glass wall is shared with a shark tank. Turtle dishes are served at the farm’s restaurant and snack bar.
Address: Cayman Turtle Farm, 825 Northwest Point Road, West Bay, Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman’s highest elevation stands 60 feet above the two mile long Mastic Trail, which has connected Old Man Bay to Frank Sound for more than two centuries. Some of the trees which grow along this scenic route have stood for over two million years. It takes roughly 45 minutes to drive to the Mastic Trail from George Town, and about three hours for the average hiker to make this scenic journey through Cayman Islands’ greatest variety of flora and fauna.
Address: Frank Sound Road, Grand Cayman