Hello and welcome aboard!! This column is dedicated to travelers and dreamers in search of adventure. Today’s unforgettable vacation finds us in the British Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean. We chose accommodations on the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. The Grand Cayman Island is the largest of the three coral islands composing the Caymans. Due to erosion and the occasional hurricane, the beach now measures approximately 5-1/2 miles and is considered one of the best beaches in all the Caribbean.
Situated just 480 miles south of Miami and lying northwest of Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island is a popular diving and snorkeling mecca. The wide, sandy beaches and coral reefs are superb, and can certainly provide a stress free vacation. For us, everything was stress free except for our transportation. We made the mistake of renting a car and we completely forgot that we’d be driving on the opposite side of the road! Travel tip 101: for the sake of your blood pressure, just plan on taking a cab or the bus instead. After all, you do want to live to tell about it!
The Grand Cayman Island is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean. It is, by far the best of the three islands, with its diversity in restaurants and shopping. Our favorite dinner was at Agua, with its inventive seafood dishes and international flair. You’ll find an extensive list of restaurants on the island, ranging from popular dishes to the most exotic creations. And as for shopping, George Town has countless duty-free shops, as the Grand Cayman is the only island among the three with the capacity to host cruise ships. Just be aware of the prices back at home before you buy. “Duty-free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bargain.
Family time is best spent by viewing the 16,000 sea turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm, and wandering through the Pirate Caves of Bodden Town, or snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays at Stingray City. The glass bottomed boats and submarines can always take you to the underwater reefs if you aren’t brave enough for a diving adventure at one of the 160 unique dive sites. Should you take in a diving adventure, be sure to explore the sunken USS Kittiwake along the West Bay section of the Grand Cayman.
There’s enjoyment for everyone on the Grand Cayman Island, including historical sites and parks, the observation tower, helicopter tours, crystal caves, and the national museum. You may want to spend some time at the Cayman Motor Museum to see the original “Batmobile” from the 1960s TV series. This private collection of cars and motorcycles also includes the first limousine owned by Queen Elizabeth II. But save time to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the beach, with its great geysers and blowholes of seawater that erupt from the rocks. All of the beaches are open to the public. Some are off the beaten track, but you certainly won’t do without nearby food, drink or watersports.
The soft white sand and the clear turquoise waters of the Grand Cayman Island is your perfect getaway. For further information view www.CruisePlannersJeffFudge.com or call 501-589-2249. Jeff and Brenda Fudge are local business owners, and members of the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce. You may submit questions to the “QA” at firstname.lastname@example.org.