November 28, 2021

Grand Cayman Beaches – East Or West, All Are Best!

My tour of Grand Cayman beaches starts in the northwestern tip of this island in West End, and wanders down to the south-east shore, then across the path to East End before turning back north and west to the end of the road at Rum Point.

Barkers National Park

Barkers National Park: Has a few beautiful beaches, unspoiled by audiences or fast food mess. There is a price to pay, naturally, and that is the lack of amenities, aside from a few BBQ pits and picnic tables, you’re on your own here. You’ll need transport to get to Barkers but it’s well worth it for your own tranquility, even on many evenings. Visit Robert Soto’s Watersports here.

The West End

Of all the Grand Cayman beaches, Seven Mile Beach is the big one. That is where everything happens. The sand is a fine, almost white powder, the water’s shallow, and you will find all of the activities people want from a Caribbean vacation. Seven Mile Beach is the place you locate

Parasailing, helicopter rides, jet-skis, tube, along with the usual fast food restaurants to satisfy picky children (of all ages). Even though it’s enormous, Seven Mile Beach is mainly given over to hotels so for sailors or those remaining elsewhere it includes lots of public beaches, such as ‘Public Beach’ off West Bay Road, right next to Marriott Courtyard and Calico Jacks. It is a busy beach with plenty of conveniences, such as BBQ pits, cabanas, a playground for children, and washrooms. Then there is ‘Cemetery Beach’, which may not sound too inviting (I can not envision an Ad Agency coming up with the name) but it is a great beach for snorkeling. Additionally, it is an excellent shore, with trees for shade and picnic tables to make your stay more agreeable. It is at the north end of the seven-mile shore, farther away from the large hotels, but it’s everything the more mature beachgoer desires; shade, picnic benches, and fantastic snorkeling. Public access can be from West Bay Road. See: Cayman Island Watersports | Robert Soto’s Watersports in Grand Cayman

Beneath George Town off South Sound Road, are a range of small beaches, even though the water is too weedy for comfortable swimming. Heading east along the south of the island brings you to little sandy shores in Breakers, Cottage, or even quieter areas like Half Moon Bay and White Sand Bay. At the aptly named village of Breakers, the beach is silent but the sea isn’t. There is no offshore sea to calm the waves here so even on bright, pleasant days, they roll in all the way by the Atlantic and send spray flying on the street.

Still, another place that the waves sweep right onto the beach is a little further east at Frank Sound, a rocky beach of bare, and sharp onshore. Not a conventional beach, in the feeling of swimming or sunbathing, but it is an interesting place if you like rocky shores and the creatures that go with them. Frank Sound also gets the ‘world famous’ (world renowned around Grand Cayman, anyhow) blowholes. All these are natural fissures from the ironshore that squirt water high into the air when the waves crash against the shore. That can be a place to consider nature rather than work on your tan.

Grand Cayman’s East End beaches are the place for chillin’ — with the exception of the resort beaches where you’ve got all you want and more. East End Resorts, for example, Morritts Grand or Tortuga along with The Reef at Colliers Bay, have fine beaches and they are surprisingly quiet and unpopulated. Resort folks come in two kinds — beach sea and folk, and there is lots more pool folk — even big resorts in the peak of the season have idyllic beaches that don’t crowd you. Remaining at Morritts gave us ample opportunity to walk and paddle across beautiful East End shores which didn’t appear to have names but did have white sand, warm shallow water and no one but us enjoying them. The tranquility in the East End of the island is wonderful once you think about how small the island is and the number of visitors it will get annually.

Continuing along the Queen’s Highway and North Side Road takes you past many more scenic, empty beaches where you can own the sand for the day. We never saw anyone on some of them. For us, it was just like being Adam and Eve on vacation. Stay near Old Man Bay and also you can have lunch or dinner in the superb beachside BBQ there.

Should you want to have more water, the end of the street brings you to two more Grand Cayman shores, Rum Point and Cayman Kai. Rum Point is a public beach with golden sand, warm shallow water, trees to give shade, a rocky point so safe even kids can snorkel round safely, and an excellent, very reasonably priced, beach restaurant, the Wreck Bar. Of the Grand Cayman beaches, we liked Rum Point best. We didn’t recognize it as a public beach the first time we saw it since it seemed so much like a hotel. After we got more than that we found it a great spot to go. Boats or jet-skis can be leased from the Red Sail Sports store on site, as well as trips on the catamaran and the glass-bottom ship.

Cayman Kai is a small public beach with a playground for the children, BBQ pits, and picnic tables. Like the busier Rum Point across the road, it’s popular with locals as well as visitors.

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