Find the Heart of Grand Cayman on Seven Mile BeachAlong the western shore of Grand Cayman rests a stretch of sand known throughout the travel community as one of the world's best beaches. With placid waters and endless amounts of pure white sand, Seven Mile Beach is what makes Grand Cayman special. Though the beach comes up a mile and a half short of its name, there is certainly no shortage of space to relax in the sun. Furthermore, as you walk along the beach you will notice activities that range from cafes and bars beneath the palms to scuba diving and snorkeling. When you visit Grand Cayman, you will immediately see why Seven Mile Beach is at the top of so many lists.
Courtesy of the calm water and casual atmosphere, Seven Mile Beach is known as one of the most family-friendly recreation sites in the Caribbean. The warm water has a sandy bottom, making it a great place for children to swim. Families can rent all types of water toys, from snorkeling equipment and paddle boats to jet skis and windsurfers for the grownups. There are also a few spectacular scuba diving sites off the shore of Seven Mile Beach. Where the gently sloping shoreline meets the coral wall surrounding the island, you will find the popular reefs known as Paradise and Aquarium.
Seven Mile Beach is also the site of the island's best resorts and restaurants. Even if you aren't staying on Seven Mile Beach, many of the resorts have facilities that are open to the public. As many of the resorts open directly onto the beach, you will find several bars and snack stands equipped with peaceful lounge seating. Throughout this area you will find several world-class restaurants, serving everything from rustic Italian fare to fresh seafood with a Caribbean twist. The resorts also make it easy to rent water sport equipment without leaving the beach. Most importantly, all these activities (and, of course, the beach itself) are open to the public, whether or not you are lucky enough to spend your nights here.
At the southern end of Seven Mile Beach is one of Grand Cayman's favorite family attractions ? The Butterfly Farm. Inside the farm's tropical gardens, you can view the life stages of butterflies amongst exotic flowers and peaceful ponds. Many early morning visitors are granted the pleasure of seeing new butterflies emerge from their cocoons to take their first flight. On guided tours of the facility, specialists will allow you to handle both caterpillars and butterflies. As butterflies are attracted to bright colors and perfumes, those who want some personal attention from the fluttering creatures should dress to impress. Open daily at 9 AM, The Butterfly Farm also allows visitors to return throughout their vacation with one paid entry. If you don't see a butterfly emerge from its shell the first time around, you can stop by and snap more photos any time you like.
Most of Grand Cayman's other premier sightseeing opportunities are located within a few miles of Seven Mile Beach. To the south of the beach is the island's capital city, Georgetown. This historic capital features plenty of great boutiques, art galleries and shopping areas set amongst a stunning array of colonial architecture. Georgetown also has several great dining and nightlife options.
North of Seven Mile Beach, you will find popular attractions such as Hell and The Cayman Island Turtle Farm in the small town of West Bay. Known for its devilish black coral formations, Hell is a favorite of witty travelers hoping to send friends and family correspondence from the underworld. On the other hand, The Cayman Island Turtle Farm is a great family destination where children can interact with these endangered creatures. Besides its conservation efforts, The Cayman Island Turtle Farm also calls to mind the colonial history of the island. Upon arrival, Christopher Columbus named the islands "Las Tortugas" (The Turtles) in honor of the multitude of sea turtles along the coast.
Whether you want to relax in the sand, find adventure in the water or experience world class dining and attractions, a stroll down Seven Mile Beach will put you in the heart of the action.
Justin Burch writes articles about travel in Grand Cayman [http://marriott.com/hotels/travel/gcmgc-grand-cayman-marriott-beach-resort/] for the Marriott Resorts.