Western Grand Cayman

Picture of gtown_aerial Georgetown is the capital and by far the largest city in the Cayman Islands. This is how it looks from the air, and this is pretty much all of it. The Caymans are known as a banking center and there are in fact a large number of bank offices crammed into Georgetown. If you wander around, even away from the port area you probably would not think banking was the primary form of commerce here.
Picture of gtown_waterfront In the port area it is quite obvious that the primary industry is tourism. Georgetown shops are pretty much the same as they are in every other Caribbean port. Restaurants also follow this pattern. Away from the waterfront though you can find some good local flavor. In the case of the Caymans, this tends to be the flavor of some other island with a slight twist. Jamaican-style jerk and Trindadian-style roti shops are both popular.
Picture of stingray_fountain There are effectively two Georgetowns. There is the quiet Georgetown where people go about normal workdays and the average tourist (us) can wander into town and sit down in any restaurant for a fish stew while enjoying a peaceful vista out over the water. Then there's the chaotic Georgetown with hordes of people along the water, lines to get into restaurants and so many people snorkelling and diving off the coast that it's hard to tell there is water there. The only real difference between the two is whether or not the cruise ships are in port.
Picture of grand_view Just north of Georgetown at the far southern end of seven mile beach is the Grandview condominium complex. This happens to have been our home while we stayed in the Caymans and we highly recommend it. If you happen to decide to try and stay here, we would strongly recommend you contact any renters directly and avoid broker companies. Specifically, we'd recommend you don't ever contact VRBO directly unless you enjoy large quantities of unrelated spam.
Picture of ironshore Seven mile beach claims to be famed for beautiful white sand beaches. They're beautiful to look at, but nearly all the sand in the Caymans is mixed with not so finely ground shells and it can be painful to walk on. Worse yet is the so-called ironshore which forms a barrier around much of the island. It's actually a form of limestone and it makes for great tide pools. It also provides the bizarre look that gave the town of Hell its name. Don't try to walk on it barefoot.
Picture of rainbow The nice thing about ironshore is that it is a favorite haunt of crabs, sea urchins and rainbows.
Picture of blue_fish The waters off of seven mile beach are dotted with small reefs (and a few larger ones too). Visibility depends on the wave action and calm days tend to be fantastic.
Picture of buried_ray
Picture of urchins This picture of primarily sea urchins shows just how clear the water can be. Along with the assorted sea creatures we do have pictures of, we also saw flounder (which refused to stop for a picture), barracuda (which are always stopped for a picture but not very photogenic), sea slugs, conch and tarpon. Tarpon can be easily seen from any of a dozen restaurants along the Georgetown coast that feed them regularly to encourage a bit of specatcle.
Picture of ship_sunset

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