GRAND CAYMAN will surprise you. Most people know this small (76 square miles) tourist haven as a Mecca for Scuba Diving, or a prime cruise port filled with some of the most popular (read: overcrowded) attractions in the Caribbean. Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City and the shops and bars of George Town are certainly well-trod territory for day-tripping cruisers, but for those who stay here a few days and venture to the island’s more remote regions, Grand Cayman has a wealth of uncommon surprises in-store, whether you’re there to dive or not. In the south, historic Bodden Town invites exploration and a sampling of the island’s finest weekend fish fry at the Grape Tree Cafe. Further east, a stop at Vivine’s Kitchen promises a taste of the finest traditional Cayman Islands cuisine. Circle around to the north shore and you’ll soon run into Rum Point, the hot spot for toned and tanned locals and visitors in-the-know. The frozen mudslide served here is reason enough to make the trek here. Grand Cayman’s one and only hiking attraction, the Mastic Trail, is located nearby. Though unspectacular compared to offerings in other parts of the Caribbean, the Mastic Trail is a boon for bird-watching, and boasts an interesting history worth exploring… if you don’t mind snakes. You can even eschew the large, high-rise hotels along Seven Mile Beach in favor of one of the island’s growing collection of quaint bed and breakfast properties. The Retreat at Lookout stands out for its exceptionally friendly service, authentic Caymanian vibe, and location on a working farm! Wherever you roam in the areas east of Seven Mile Beach, crowds and tourist traps give way to serene seaside vistas, historic attractions and the true soul of this very special place.
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