After a short 90-minute flight from busy, over-populated Miami to Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport, you’ll be ready to break out the bikini and straw hat and lounge on the beach at your hotel. The Cayman Islands are three small islands located in the western Caribbean Sea and the perfect no hassle getaway from main land United States.

When you walk out onto Seven Mile Beach, one of Grand Cayman’s most popular and picturesque beaches, take a deep breath and allow your shoulders to return to their natural resting place. It only takes a few minutes for the calming waves and cool ocean breeze to take effect and allow you to relax into island time.

Paradise starts at Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. The sand is so white it almost sparkles when the sun shines down and the water is like a watercolor painting with thousands of shades of green and blue. Let’s just say if Monet had lived in the Cayman Islands and not France, we might have a series of Caribbean Sea paintings instead of his famous lily pads.

Whether you arrived on Grand Cayman as a partner in a romantic getaway or for a family vacation, there are so many ways to enjoy your holiday. We’ve outlined a few of our favorite activities, restaurants and hotels that are sure to make any trip an incredibly memorable experience.

Day One:

You wake from your hotel room bed at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, a beautiful spot on the southern end of Seven Mile Beach, and immediately go for a walk near the shore. Even at 7am, the warm waters call to visitors to jump in and everyone with a stand up paddleboard to a kayak to a sail boat will be out in the ocean.

Get in your rental car and drive towards the north west side of the island. Remember to drive on the left, arriving at Macabuca for an ocean side lunch of conch fritters, burgers and sandwiches. Bring your bathing suit and snorkel gear and explore some of the best shore diving/snorkeling on the island. Even if you don’t explore the underwater world, it’s fun to watch as others jump in and out of the water recounting what they spotted on their trip.

Spend the afternoon at the Cayman Turtle Farm. Located not far from Macabuca, your inner marine biologist will love this part of the trip. Snap a photo or two of you holding a turtle in the touch tanks and see how baby turtles are moving and eating in the Turtle Hatchery. You can even snorkel alongside dozens of turtles in the adventure park. With a variety of ways to enjoy the marine park, bring your suit and plan to spend a few hours in the snorkel cove and water park.

Dinner at Ragazzi or Luca. Depending on what you are craving for dinner, we have two restaurants that are sure to please by renowned Chef Federico Desto. Ragazzi is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria, known for pastas and pizzas and their fine wine collection. We loved the frutti di mar (seafood) pizza, topped with lobster, shrimp, scallops and mussels. If you’re craving a fine-dining experience, head to Luca for delicious seafood entrees. 

Day Two:

Dive. With over 365 dive spots around the Cayman Islands, you could spend an entire year in the Cayman Islands and not dive the same spot twice.

Not a diver? Try any one of the amazing water activities, like SUP (stand up paddle boarding), rent a sailboat, kayak or just float around the water. The water is so warm and clear that you could spend all day enjoying it before you want to get out.

Dinner at Solana at the Marriot Hotel. Grab a drink and enjoy the sunset on the deck at the outdoor restaurant. With nightly bands and low-key music, you can dance under the stars between courses of dinner. 

Day Three:

Stingray City. Start the morning at one of the Cayman Islands most talked about tourist attractions. This half-day activity is perfect for families with kids of all ages or friends who are kids at heart. (Read our full report of this incredible experience here.)

Explore Camana Bay. This little town within a town has everything you need off the beach. Shop at a few of the high-end stores and have lunch at Ortainique to try the breadfruit tacos. It’s definitely a meal that is very instagramable.

Dinner at Calypso Grill: Back on the North side of the island, Calypso Grill is perfect for a romantic dinner on the water at sunset. The restaurant is set in an old house, with the entire backside open to the sea and at the perfect spot for an ocean breeze. Splurge on dessert here- their rum cake is one of the best in the Caribbean.

Day Four:

Explore George Town, preferably on a non-cruise ship day to tour the shops without the crowds. Bring your suit and relax at a locals’ favorite, Smith Cove with cool rock formations that line the oceans entrance. Plan to have lunch or dinner at the super romantic and old world, oceanfront Grand Ole House restaurant. You might even have lunch next to a millionaire and you won’t even know it.

–       If you love to try local brews, you have to make a stop at the Cayman Islands Brewery for a tasting and Brewery Tour. We love Caybrew and the 345 Stout.

–       Traveling with kids? Join the Atlantis Submarine tour for an unique view of a ship wreck without getting wet.

Day Five:

Relax. On your last day on the island just slow down and enjoy the beach. Book a spa appointment at La Mer Spa to end your vacation as relaxed as possible. As you head to the airport, stop by George Town Yacht Club for your last island meal. Order the fish tacos, conch fritters, fish chowder and the coconut shrimp, for a sure to please every taste bud meal. 

Additional tips:

Plan your visit around one of the many festivals or island events. Some of our favorites, which will make couples, divers, foodies and kids happy, include: Lions and Legends, Miami Dolphins Football Camp, Pirates Week, Cayman Cookout, Orlando Magic Basketball Camp, and Flowers Sea Swim.

Have a few extra days? Book a short flight to one of the sister islands for a completely different experience and extend your island vacation a few more days.

Two other fantastic hotels:

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Sponsored by Cayman Island Tourism