Pristine beaches, friendly stingrays and rum punch make this Caribbean destination the perfect place to escape reality.
The Cayman Islands have long been a favorite vacation spot of the super-rich, thanks in no small part to their banking industry (hello, off-shore accounts), but the British Overseas Territory also makes for an affordable destination for the everyman. Stay in Grand Cayman, the largest and most cosmopolitan of the three islands, and fill your days with a mix of adventure and relaxation.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Book a room at the meticulously maintained Comfort Suites on crescent-shaped Seven Mile Beach in George Town, where the plush pillows will make you think twice before jumping out of bed. General Manager Tom Mason is an industry legend, known for greeting every guest by name as they come and go.
ACTIVITIES: A must-do is a tour of Stingray City, a shallow sandbar off the coast, and one of the few places in the world where the rays happily swim and interact with humans. Snorkel in the three-foot- deep water as they swim over your head, or feed them fresh squid from your hand. The Cayman Islands is also a mecca for scuba divers, who appreciate the deep drop-offs and old shipwrecks. Nature lovers won’t want to miss Cayman Turtle Farm, a conservation facility where endangered Green Sea turtles are raised.
FOOD: After a morning in the surf, walk north along the beach for couple of miles, people watching as you pass a dozen other hotels, for lunch at Calico Jack’s beach bar. Later, watch the sunset and dine at DaFish Shack in George Town, where fresh caught snapper and breadfruit chips or lionfish tacos rate as the must- tries. If you drive to Rum Point, be sure to stop at Tukka, a family- run restaurant on the beach with an Australian flair.