There is nowhere quite like Cayman Brac. It has a beautiful kind of quirkiness that manifests itself in the radical kindness of the locals and the peculiarity of the island’s “attractions.” These traits are juxtaposed against a gorgeous Caribbean backdrop, leaving you wondering if Brac is even a real place. Maybe I dreamt it all? Find out where to stay and what to see below in Discovering Cayman Brac.
Where to Stay in Cayman Brac
Featherstone is located in the eastern part of the island off Tibbet’s Turn. Winding down Surfer’s Lane, you will happen on Beach Drive, a rustic gravel lane flanked by beach bungalows and sea grape trees. The property is tucked away at the end of the access, its own tropical oasis. Quiet calm, and zen energy permeate the space, leaving guests feeling ‘off-the-beaten-path.’ Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a delightful breeze and the everpresent lull of lapping ocean waves.
Featherstone features three seperate rental units: the Cottage, Owner’s Apartment, and Guest Apartment. These Caribbean-style cottages open up into a private beach spanning 1.5 acres, complete with a dock and several hammock-adorned beach cabanas. The beachfront building contains the Owner’s Apartment on top and the Guest Apartment on the bottom, both sea-facing. Behind the main building is the two-story Cottage. Though set back, you can still catch a glimpse of the sea from the balcony. It is possible to rent all three properties (The Estate) for a larger group or private event.
We stayed in the Owner’s Apartment which sleeps 7 and features a full kitchen, dining table, and master suite. The suite’s bathroom boasts a double vanity, stone walk-in shower, and corner bath. The bedroom is equally plush, starring a Japanese-style bed with bamboo sheets, offering tantalizing views of the Caribbean Sea. Japanese accents are visible throughout the whole of the unit, contributing to the unique feng shui of Featherstone.
Outside the master suite, sleeping arrangments include a pull-out couch in the living room as well as a a bunk-bed and a futon in the detached unit off the porch. This area also features a half bath, making the Owner’s Apartment a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom unit. Cooking supplies, bedding, beach/bath towels, and wifi are all included.
The best part of this unit is the wrap-around porch, the perfect space for morning coffee, afternoon lunches, sunset bubbles, or even a dip in the private jacuzzi.
The units are lovely, but the private beach and amenities are the bread and butter of Featherstone. The list of possible activities is long, ranging from lazy to active. Starting from the beach-bum end of things, guests can enjoy the hammocks, cabanas and lounge chairs spread throughout the sandy beachfront. Once the Caribbean heat kicks in, guests can put on their watershoes and head for the waves, enjoying a quick dip or a snorkel session. The owner has water accessories available upon request, as well as a game room full of books, board games, and sport gear.
For the more active islanders, there is a kayak ready to go on the beach, as well as a ping-pong table, and volleyball net upon request. With so many amenities, you may find it difficult to leave the property. But if you do, there are two bikes available for guests and a mini market just a few minutes down the road. And from there, the real adventure begins.
What to See in Cayman Brac
What is there to see in Cayman Brac? Some would argue, “nothing” but I for one, say everything. Brac (population 1,800) is not hung up on island aesthetic, and it does not promote a Caribbean resort-style energy. What it deliberately lacks in tropical “glam,” it more than makes up for in ‘Cayman Kind’ and eccentric character. The best thing to do is rent a car and drive. Marvel at anything and everything. The island is known for its iconic bluff as well as its caves, which are obvious musts, but don’t stop there.
Cruising down the quiet roads of Brac, you will find conch-lined pathways, painted palm trees, and Caribbean houses in hues of paradisiacal pink and sea foam green. You’ll pass seaside churches, skull caves, stairs to nowhere, and mini Caymanian homes (think doll houses). Whilst out and about, you are guaranteed to encounter the notoriously friendly locals, always happy to chat and point you in the right direction. While exploring a roadside cave, a woman and her two children pulled over in their car just to say ‘Good Afternoon’ and ask how our trip was going. It’s a warmth that is felt from the moment you step foot on the island.
Keep reading to discover some must-see places on your aimless excursion through Brac:
Star Island is one of Brac’s most popular restaurants, serving fresh local fish and Caribbean sides like plantain and cassava. We went for dinner and found an empty restaurant, though locals stopped in periodically for pick-up orders. I ordered grilled snapper with rice and beans and fried plantain. The delicious, fresh flavors made up for the lack of ambience in the restaurant. Star Island was no exception to the quirky character of Brac. With fluorescent green and yellow curtains and a menu that includes dolphin, it’s sure to be a memorable visit.
RECOMMENDED READ: A Very Last Minute Cayman Brac Itinerary
If you’re looking for a “party,” this is inevitably where you will find it. At least, that is what the cashier at Blackbeard’s told us. La Esperanza is a seaside drinking hole where the waves can almost be heard over the blaring soca beats. There is also a small grocer and jerk stand open during the day. On Friday and Saturday nights it’s the liveliest bar on island–loud music, friendly locals, and domino games. The challenge is to keep up with the amount of drinks being bought for you.
Brac Reef Resort
A very different vibe from La Esperanza, Brac Reef Resort is closer to what you may find on Seven Mile Beach–pricey drinks, pristine poolside views (only for hotel guests), and a menu that is far from local. I only recommend it for its delicious margaritas and gorgeous views. We went during the day for a quick pick-me-up and dip in the ocean.
Foot’s Museum (Casa del Diablo)
You read that right. On your way to the Great Cave, you will pass a driveway lined with statues, some demonic in nature, and one with flippered legs sticking out of a toilet. There’s no way you can see something like that and not stop. So we did. I have heard rumors about this house but do not know the full story. Basically, it’s an artist’s house, (Ron “Foots” Kynes) directly on the water, that serves as an art gallery for the odd Brac tourist. The kind of art you will find there ranges from a fishing boat full or Red Stripe bottles to fake missiles, all the way to Led Zeppelin tributes. We did not see the artist, but the property is open sans no-trespassing signs. Enter if you dare!
The bluff does not require a lot of explanation. It’s a stunning, dangerous view. Don’t get too close to the edge, obviously. You will also hear people talk about the lighthouse at the top of the bluff. There is indeed some kind of light structure, but if you’re picturing a picturesque, Cape Code kind of lighthouse, then prepare to be disappointed. The terrain is odd and apocolyptic, further contributing to Brac’s “am I dreaming” sensation.
The Great Cave
There is nothing super “great” about this cave, but it’s fun to climb the makeshift ladders to the top, and explore the rocky shore at the bottom. From this coastal vantage point, you can see the bluff from the bottom and check out other small caves along the water.
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