George Town and Seven Mile Beach
Duration: Half Day
Spend a day exploring the charming city of George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands, during your Caribbean holiday. Located on the western side of Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands, this is one of the most popular stop-off ports in the Caribbean – mainly because of its excellent duty-free shopping! Your tour ends with a visit to Seven Mile Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
An early morning visit to George Town is a completely different experience to the rest of the day. The shops are closed, the streets are quiet and the cruise docks are tranquil. But this all changes as the day progresses, when hoards of tourists descend on the town to make the most of the duty-free shopping just off the cruise pier. Overall, the best shops can be found along the waterfront in Downtown George Town, which still retains its old world charm and relaxed atmosphere. You can pick up a bargain and find numerous gifts and souvenirs in the outdoor markets, whilst the Grand Harbour Centre shopping complex boasts an exciting array of island goods, from traditional arts and crafts and handmade clothing to jewellery, leather and liquor. Many of the shops and boutiques sell high-end luxury goods at heavily discounted prices, which onshore retailers find impossible to match, including Swiss watches, diamonds and popular designer labels.
If you are looking for something a bit more unusual to take home, you can find some quaint island treasures in the smaller outlets dotted around the town, which make ideal gifts and souvenirs. The Cayman Islands are particularly famous for their rum and cakes, so don’t forget to stop at the Tortuga Rum Company shop in George Town before you leave. Here you can sample delicious rum cakes and other rum-based produce whilst picking up a bottle of island liquor at the same time.
If you want to gain an insight into the history and culture of the Cayman Islands, a visit to the Cayman Islands National Museum is a must. Opened in 1990, the museum is dedicated to the preservation and research of the rich Caymanian heritage and houses over 4,000 items artifacts ranging from coins and natural history specimens to rare documents, a 14 foot catboat and a three-dimensional map depicting the underwater geological formations that surround the Cayman Island. A variety of exhibits also showcase age-old methods of rope-making, fishing and roof-thatching. The museum includes a gift shop and café, so you can pick up some souvenirs before enjoying a drink or meal overlooking the sea.
After all that shopping and sightseeing, it’s time for some rest and relaxation on Grand Cayman’s largest and most popular beach. Walking out of the docks, we head north of George Town until we reach Seven Mile Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Blessed with powdery soft white coral sands and crystal clear azure waters, this is the ideal place to soak up the sun, swim or enjoy a wide range of water sports. Despite its name, this seemingly endless stretch of beach is actually only five and a half miles in length and is the most developed area of Grand Cayman. Here lies the greatest concentration of resorts and hotels on the island, as well as numerous cafés and restaurants along the seafront, so relax here with a cocktail and enjoy the views of paradise.
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Luxury hotel operator Mandarin Oriental has revealed plans to open a new resort on Grand Cayman, the largest of the tropical Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean. Slated to open in 2021, the new 100-room beachfront resort will be the company's second hotel in the Caribbean.
The island of Grand Cayman will host a brand new festival in 2019. The Kaaboo Cayman will make its debut on 15th and 16th February 2019 on the picturesque Seven Mile Beach and will be a mix of music, comedy, and entertainment. The line up so far includes Duran Duran, Bryan Adams, Counting Crows, Flo Rida, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Salt-N-Pepa, Wanda Sykes, and David Spade.
The Cayman Islands are already recording successful tourism numbers this year. According to preliminary numbers from the Department of Tourism, the island nation received 39,185 stayover visitors in January, which was a 23.87 percent increase compared to the same month in 2017. It was the country's most successful January ever, and the eighth consecutive month of record-breaking growth.