Where to Shop in Cayman: Spacie Store | Trendiest Island Looks

Where to Shop in Cayman: Spacie Store | Trendiest Island Looks

So you have an upcoming event…maybe it’s a brunch, a boat party, or even a long weekend getaway. You’re so excited until you remember…you have nothing to wear! We’ve all been there. In Cayman, this wardrobe crisis is multiplied by ten, given the shortage of cool and affordable clothing stores. We’re living in the land of endless summer–we need options! Find out where to shop in Cayman below.

Luckily for Cayman residents, the tides are changing with the opening of a new, trendy clothing store called Spacie. My first impression of their website was ‘chic essentials at a reasonable price.’  The kind of styles that make basic girls like me magically transform into Hailey Biebers without breaking the bank. Genius.

With a trip to Cuba on the horizon, and feeling bored with my wardrobe, I couldn’t waste any time taking Spacie for a spin. I describe my first-time shopping experience with them below! (Spoiler alert: it was an excellent one).

The Website

Spacie’s website is clean-cut and user-friendly, pointing you in the right direction with easy-to-find categories. Their main offering is women’s clothes but they also stock swimwear, shoes, and a bunch of super cute accessories like sunglasses. Additionally, there is a modest collection of men’s wear, but they just opened and the inventory is growing!

Once you’re on the website, create an account so you can save items and/or add them to your cart. When you’re happy with your order, the checkout process is quick and smooth, prompting you with options for pick-up or delivery, along with your payment details. You will receive a confirmation email once your order has gone through with a summary of your purchased items. It’s a professional system that allows you to feel safe and confident throughout each stage of the online shopping process.

Sizing

Spacie sizes include Small, Medium, and Large, with some XS and XL for certain items. Typically a size 4, I ordered everything in size S and found it to be a perfect fit! These are designs that compliment a wide range of body types; however, in the event that your items don’t work, Spacie allows hassle-free returns to their headquarters in George Town, crediting your Spacie store account within 48 hours. Additional sizing guidance is also available upon request via Spacie’s contact page. 

Customer Service / Pick-Up

Next-day pick-up is a saving grace in the ever-fluctuating social calendars of Cayman. Possibly the best part of this process is visiting the illustrious White House in Georgetown just behind the new Starbucks. It’s a striking building that emanates regal energy, subsequently infusing your retail therapy with the dose of confidence you deserve. Now this is where to shop in Cayman.

My service was excellent. Within ten seconds of entering the lobby, the receptionist greeted me and proffered up my bag of fabulous wardrobe additions. I didn’t really want to leave if I’m being honest. Afterward, you and your shopping bags can head to Starbucks to revel in your fresh ‘fit energy over an oat milk latte. 

*Spacie customers also have the option of delivery for a fee of $10. Click here to read about the delivery hours and additional pick-up information.

White House, Cayman

RECOMMENDED READ: What to Wear in the Cayman Islands


The Clothing

Like any sensible person, I came home, turned on some music, poured myself a glass of wine, and tried on my clothes. So much better than a cramped dressing room, right? The results were so satisfying I had no choice but to strut myself up and down the Holiday Inn beachfront like a Spacie runway model. Kendall Jenner could never. I will let the photos speak for themselves!


BRUNCH DRESS

The vibe: as the name suggests, this dress is perfect for a brunch…tropical glam meets beach casual. The dress works just as well with heels as it does with sandy bare feet.

The feel: fits like a glove, outrageously comfortable. As you can see, I situated the top straps slightly different than the model, but I’m super happy with both looks!

My favorite part: The colors, and the flattering silhouette it creates


KNIT PARTY SET IN OFF WHITE

The vibe: Free-spirited meets party elegance, this set can be worn in a variety of settings. I bought mine just in time to wear to the White Party at the Cayman Latin Dance Festival, and I can confirm it’s more than suitable for salsa dancing!

The feel: The top is adjustable, allowing you to tailor a perfect fit. After taking some time to get it just how I wanted, I felt super comfortable and well-covered at the front. The fabric is soft and the open back helps you stay cool in the Caribbean heat.

My favorite part: The neckline and open back


ADJUSTABLE OPEN BACK CROP TOP

The vibe: chic wardrobe essential with a sexy twist

The feel: similar to the knit party set, this piece is adjustable and can be tailored for your exact size. The fabric is soft and cool on the skin, a godsend on a hot day in Cayman.

My favorite part: the wrap-around strings and zig-zag of the open back


CALIFORNIA SET IN WHITE

The vibe: Santa Monica beach walk, but make it Caribbean. Ideal with an iced matcha latte in hand.

The feel: Simple white cotton ensemble with easy, breezy comfort. In regards to support, this is not an outfit I would run in; it’s better for gentle movements and/or lounging.

My favorite part: who doesn’t love a matching set? It’s classic, breathable, and oh-so-chic.


STONE AND SUN PENDANT

The vibe: bohemian elegance

The feel: a stainless steel, waterproof necklace, the stone and sun pendant is high quality and light on the neck

My favorite part: it goes with everything, the perfect island accessory


My Overall Impression

Spacie, in my opinion, is the place to go when you want an outfit that’s chic and on-trend, without unloading all of your money on overseas shipping. I don’t know any other store on Island that has its finger on the pulse quite like Spacie. And the process for purchasing is so slick, how can you not? Anyway, you’ve heard enough from me. Now that you know where to shop in Cayman, try it out for yourself and prepare to be amazed by how good you look wearing Spacie!

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Discover Cayman Brac: Where to Stay & What to See

Discover Cayman Brac: Where to Stay & What to See

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

Featherstone, Cayman Brac
View from the Owner’s Apartment

The Location

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.

Sunset from Featherstone’s private beach

The Cottages

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.

One of the many hammocks at Featherstone

The Amenities

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.

Private dock at Featherstone

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:

Bubble House Cayman Brac
The Bubble House (on the way to the Great Cave)

Star Island

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.

Star Island, Cayman Brac

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La Esperanza

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.

La Esperanza
La Esperanza during the light of day

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!

Foots Museum
Foots Museum, Cayman Brac
Foots Museum
Foots Museum (exterior)

The Bluff

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 Bluff, Cayman Brac
The Bluff

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.

Climbing up to the Great Cave

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NIGHT LIFE: Where to Go Out in Grand Cayman (A Working List)

NIGHT LIFE: Where to Go Out in Grand Cayman (A Working List)

The land of eternal celebration, Grand Cayman has no shortage of drinking holes. The question remains, which of these are worth patronizing? It depends. Do you want to sip Negronis alongside artsy blue checks? *Attempt* to whine on a locally dominated dance floor? Or do you want to be shoulder to shoulder with a sea of expats belting out ‘Sweet Caroline’ into the wee hours of the morning?

You can have all of that, and more. All in the span of a few hours, really. For the most part, the nights to go out in Cayman are Friday and Saturday, with the exception of the Wharf on Tuesday nights. Keep reading to find out where to go out in Cayman!

***This is a working list that will be updated in accordance with my own experience. I will continue drinking and dancing my way through Cayman…purely for research purposes. Obviously. 😉 Have any recommendations? Send them my way!

Sand Bar

The vibe at Sand Bar is very event-driven. They are known to have DJs on Friday nights, though the music is overwhelmingly house and electronic. Even I (who would rather bang my head to total silence than listen to EDM) have had a great time at Sand Bar on Friday nights. The prime oceanfront location and young, chill atmosphere are its saving grace. The DJ and dance floor are set up on the lower level, directly on the water. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook to hear about their upcoming events.

go out in cayman
Photo: Sand Bar

Cuba Libre

On Saturday nights, Cuba Libre hosts a salsa party with free entry from 9-12 pm. Fuego Latino hosts the event and provides a short lesson at the beginning for anyone interested in learning the steps and even a few turns. Then, DJ Fuego begins and plays a wide variety of salsa, bachata, merengue, and, if we’re lucky, reguetón. The vibe on Saturdays is consistently good and is best enjoyed with a mojito in hand. Obviously. The dance floor showcases all levels of salseros, from beginners to advanced, to those who can only dance with alcohol in their systems. Then, of course, there are those lurking in the wings who don’t dance at all. Don’t be one of them.

The Wharf

We don’t have to wait for the weekend to go out in Cayman. Tuesday nights are where it’s at at the Wharf, an oceanside bar and restaurant where you can dance beneath the stars. Every Tuesday they host ‘Salsa at the Wharf,’ from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am. Similar to Cuba Libre, there is short lesson at the beginning where you can learn some basic steps and turns, then the dance floor starts to fill up as the night goes on. Additionally, on the last Friday of every month, The Wharf hosts ‘Boogie Nights,’ a disco-themed dance party from 9 pm to 1:30 am.

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Paradise Pizza’s Mambo Italiano

Saturday night’s only, Paradise Pizza hosts a very niche event that has garnered a great deal of attention from locals and visitors alike. Rub elbows with the high falutin Palm Heights crowd and prepare for a possible celeb sighting. Dinner service starts at 7:00 pm and features a 4-course meal for 29 CI. Sounds like a great deal until you order a few Negronis and a round of shots and BOOM, $100 gone. But it IS outrageously fun. After most the food has been served they start karaoke which always kicks off with a Frank Sinatra solo by the larger-than-life head chef, Jake. The party goes until about 11 pm or until yours ears start to bleed.

**Definitely need to make a reservation — at least a week in advance

Back Room

Dark and intimate, this cigar bar will leave you reeking of ash tray. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. If there’s no space at the bar, you can drift toward the namesake ‘Back Room,’ lined with plush couches ideal for chilling with a group of friends. It can draw a good crowd on Fridays and Saturdays. And although it’s typically a low key vibe, I seem to recall dancing there on one particularly wild night. Aside from the cigars, they are also known for making a mean espresso martini that will keep you going late, or at least late for Cayman standards.

Carib Café

Located in Georgetown, not far from the waterfront, Carib Café is a conundrum of a place. The music is LOUD and prime for dancing; however, very few are actually dancing. We’ve never let that minor detail prevent us from taking to the dance floor, and you shouldn’t either. Just know, everyone will be staring at you…The. Entire. Time. The bar is inside but the real vibe is on the outdoor patio, decorated with bright, painted murals and hanging shade sails. The best nights to go are Thursday for Latin music or Friday for their regular DJ who plays a rather sporadic mix of soca, reggae, Afro beats, and when we’re really lucky, reguetón. Definitely one to work up to if you like to go out in Cayman.

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Mango Tree

A much more spacious, less judgmental version of Carib Café. Mango Tree is a bar and restaurant during the day, but on Fridays it transforms into a night life venue for locals and unhinged expats alike. Its location is somewhat unexpected — right next to the airport, but the atmosphere is great. Huge bar, many tables and TVs, and even a stripper pole — *wink.* While you still will not find a sea of party-goers taking to the dance floor, there is at least more participation than in Carib Café. And overall, less dirty looks. The times I have been the music has always been very danceable and the service super quick!

The Bird

This is where you will inevitably end your night, reluctantly singing along to some stupid party anthem while being steam-rolled by a sea of drunk bodies. The Bird is essentially for those not ready to go home yet, desperately clinging to the last hour before bar-close. If you go around 1 am, you will invariably find all the expat rugby and Gaelic players in wavering stages of inebriation, but what you won’t find is someone to take your drink order. Last time I just walked in with my own Truly and tried to stay out of the way. The party overflows onto the sidewalk and parking lot, where you can enjoy a chorus of revving Honda Accord engines and other late night debauchery.

go out in cayman
Photo: The Bird

That’s it for now! Stay tuned as I continue to explore the world of Cayman night life. I know there is a lot of ground left to cover.

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The Diner

The Diner is a hidden gem tucked away in West Bay. (Between Heritage Kitchen and Alfresco). This cozy family restaurant showcases local ingredients with hearty comfort food plates; good for the soul and easy on the wallet. You’ll come for the menu options but stay for the warm hospitality and welcoming environment. I recommend: The omelette (personalized toppings…try it with local callaloo!)

Coconut Joe’s

Located on West Bay Road, opposite the Hampton Inn, Coconut’s Joe’s is known for their affordable, All-American breakfast. (Also their coconuts)! Though directly off the busy road, the restaurant feels tucked away, shaded by palm trees and umbrellas. It’s a rustic meets tropical breakfast oasis. One that is sure to satisfy your morning cravings. I recommend: Coconut French toast and coconut water (served out of the coconut) …what can I say, I like coconut!

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Cayman Cabana

The most scenic breakfast spot on island, Cayman Cabana offers authentic Caribbean dishes right on Georgetown’s waterfront. The restaurant proudly supports Cayman’s local farmers and fisherman and their menu reflects that collaboration. I recommend the saltfish & ackee for a true island breakfast!

Bluestone Lane

Bluestone Lane boasts a beautifully designed café space a block away from Georgetown waterfront. Their Australian-inspired menu features healthy favorites such as a the Avocado Smash, Good Grains Granola, and Buddha Bowl.  It has an attractive city vibe and arguably, some of the most expertly crafted coffee drinks on island. I recommend: Breakfast Bowl – Tossed baby kale, heirloom tomatoes, feta, avocado, farro & a poached egg paired with a Flat White Coffee

Southwest Collective

So you want to eat breakfast from the comfort of AC, but also enjoy an ocean view? Say no more. Located on the second floor of Harbour Place in GT waterfront, Southwest Collective overlooks the port, offering expansive views of the Caribbean Sea. Not only is the atmosphere great, but the matcha smoothies are even better.

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Bread and Chocolate

Located in Georgetown center, Bread & Chocolate is a quirky little hole-in-the-wall bistro serving all day vegan breakfast as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches. Nestle into a cozy table or at the bistro bar and dig into a their namesake French toast stuffed with hazelnut butter and bananas. Portions are generous and the food is delicious! I recommend: Breakfast Plate – tofu scramble, hickory smoked tempeh, tomato, and house-made garlic aioli on a fresh baked sesame seed bun. Served with home fries and fresh fruit

Island Naturals

Island Naturals makes a mean vegan chorizo. I would eat it every meal for the rest of my life. That being said, I highly recommend ordering the hearty breakfast wrap. It’s loaded with chorizo, potato, onion, tomato, jalapeño, spinach, and cashew cheese. Prepare for your mind to be blown. Additionally, they have great smoothies and açaí bowls, making them a well-rounded spot for a healthy morning meal.

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Road Trip in Style: Renting a Moke in Grand Cayman

Road Trip in Style: Renting a Moke in Grand Cayman

Those who live in Cayman, or visit frequently, know the island has finite activity options. Everything seems to revolve around the ocean or alcohol. (Or both simultaneously). Which makes sense because I mean, duh, this is is the Caribbean. Cruising around the island in a Moke though, is an adventure that allows you to appreciate the often overlooked beauty of the less populated, less developed parts of Grand Cayman. Keep reading to find out how to rent a Moke and hear my tips on WHERE to drive this impossibly cool island car!!

How to Rent

It is my understanding that there are multiple car rental companies offering Mokes, but the one that I went with was Hertz. You can find the contact information for Moke rental on their website. Ali was incredibly laid back and helpful, which made reserving the vehicle super easy. I reserved about a month in advance to be safe as there are only so many Mokes on island!

The price is around USD $200/day (or CI $170), which is obviously much more than a standard car, but entirely worth it! The Moke seats 4 people, so if the price is a bit steep for you, try splitting it with your passengers. Contact Hertz directly to confirm pricing as well as insurance rates/options.

Get to Know the Car

Rest assured, it drives automatic. That was my first question. No one would have been safe had I tried to drive manual 🙂

It has a pretty decent sound system with a radio and what appeared to be an aux cord jack.

There is a canvas cover which can be easily removed and stored in a small cabinet. You can also put it back on with no problem.

There is basically no room to put anything, so pack light!

It’s NOT the most comfortable vehicle I’ve driven, but I suppose that comes with the territory.

Still unclear if it is pronounced ‘mok’ or ‘mokey.’ Remains a mystery.

I did not get to choose my color, but then again, I didn’t ask. I have seen black, green, yellow, and orange on island!

Where to Go: The East End Tour

Stop 1: Pedro St. James

An overlooked, hidden gem with deep-blue vistas and historical charm, this stop has a lot to offer. Our group kicked off the tour with a few cocktails which we enjoyed on the grassy area overlooking the sea.

If feeling adventurous, Pedro St. James is also known for its Natural Topaz Swimming Pool. It fills when the sea is rough and the waves reach over the rocks. Be warned though, the trek to this pristine oasis is not for the feint of heart (nor for the flip-flop clad wanderer). You must cross a wide expanse of iron-shore, so come prepared with good shoes! Also come prepared to be disappointed if the pool is empty… 🙁

Photo Credit: Brandyn Murray

Stop 2: Czech Inn

A quirky and unexpected roadside shack with a LOT of character. Definitely worth a visit to gander at their eclectic collection of keepsakes and to enjoy a delicious meal. The prices are reasonable and the owner is very friendly! They are apparently known for their Schnitzel and ribs (don’t ask me, I’m pescatarian). You can also just come here for a drink, so long as you have a DD!! 😉

czech inn cayman
Photo Credit: Czech Inn

Stop 3: Blow Holes

Another roadside pit stop that will really blow your mind! Just kidding, the blow holes themselves aren’t particularly awe-inducing but the view is incredible and it makes for a nice (perfectly timed) photo op! Beware, there is not great signage. As you’re driving, the view will start to open up, free from trees and buildings. You will see a rocky roadside barrier wall lovingly called “Lover’s Wall,” and soon after that will be the Blow Holes!

blowholes

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Stop 4: Tukka

Just a stone’s throw from the expansive Caribbean Sea, with a view overlooking the Wreck of the Ten Sails, Tukka is the perfect East End lunch spot. The menu presents a fresh and delightful collaboration of Caribbean meets Aussie cuisine. I highly recommend the lion fish tacos and seafood platter, but then again, basically everything there is good!

tukka east end

Stop 5: Kaibo

Though a bit obvious, and possibly overrun by tourists, Kaibo is a must-see. This was our last stop on the tour before we headed back to Georgetown. It will charm you with its tiki bar meets European beach chic aesthetic. Sink your toes into the sand on their beach picnic tables and watch the boats coast into the dock. I recommend their wood-fire pizzas and of course, their MUDSLIDES! (The nonofficial drink of the Cayman Islands).

Kaibo
Photo Credit: Cayman Good Taste

BONUS:

Heritage Kitchen Sea Wall

I’m throwing you for a bit of a loop as Heritage Kitchen is on the complete opposite side of the island. However, if you need to return your Moke and are headed that direction anyway, I recommend driving out to West Bay and parking in front of Heritage Kitchen along the sea wall. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunset FROM the Moke, if you so please.

heritage kitchen sea wall

Happy Moking!!

Top 3 Cayman Yoga Studios + My Class Recommendations

Top 3 Cayman Yoga Studios + My Class Recommendations

Here in Cayman, it’s all about balance. That means brunching on Sunday but still hitting the mat on Monday. Whether you’re a dedicated yogi or a downward dog dabbler, yoga is undoubtedly a great way to shake the manic Monday feeling and bring equilibrium into your week. While I myself fall into the latter category of dabbler, I’ve Chaturanga-ed my way through each of the featured studios and have formed opinions on all 3. (Hint: they each have their pros and cons). Read on to discover the Top 3 Cayman Yoga Studios and the classes I would recommend for each of them.

For chill beats and aromatherapy: Cayman Yoga Club

What’s to love? Clean white walls, modern design, and welcoming energy. Many of the teachers at CYC provide personalized, hands-on adjustments for their students in order to prevent injury and improve alignment. Their vinyasa classes flow beautifully to carefully-curated playlists, allowing you to slip deep into the movements. My favorite part of the classes, hands-down, is shavasana. Not just because I get to lie on the ground in corpse pose, but also because the teachers come around with cool, lavender-soaked towels, lightly pressing them over your eyelids. It doesn’t stop there; they also give heavenly mini massages to your temples and the back of your neck. You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.

What’s NOT to love: The schedule is a bit sparse and there is not much variety in the class offerings. (Only vinyasa and slow flow).

The class to try: Vinyasa with Imani

Intro special: $59 for first 30 days, unlimited

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For flowy, haute fitness vibes: Bliss Yoga

What’s to love? The apotheosis of Cayman yoga, Bliss offers a wide variety of buzz-worthy classes like Hot 26+2, Core, and Power. I always leave the studio feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and well, tired AF (in the best way possible). The classes are challenging yet beginner-accessible, a dynamic which has attracted a community of loyal island yogis. Although pricey (like the rest of Cayman), their retail shop features coveted brands like Lululemon and Manduka.

What’s NOT to love: Because of their popularity, Bliss classes tend to fill up, making the studio space feel tight and cramped. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like having other people’s feet in my face.

The class to try: Hot 26+2 with Manuella

Intro special: FREE for 7 days (limit 1 class per day) or $99 for 30 days (limit 1 class per day)

Recommended Read: An Inside Look Into Janine Martins’ Morning Routine

For Pitta energy and witchy retail: One Heart Yoga & Apothecary

What’s to love? One Heart is different from any yoga studio I’ve been to. Dark exposed ceilings and eye-popping pink lotuses create a chicly enigmatic space sure to inspire your practice. Most noteworthy is their 800 square foot, sound-proof studio fittingly named ‘Pitta,’ after the fiery Ayurvedic dosha. One Heart’s sweatiest and highest energy classes take place in this room, some heated by infrared panels so you’ll feel that sweet, sweet burn from the inside out. Need a pep talk before Mark makes you hold your third Wheel Pose of the class? Check out the west wall full of quotes from famous rappers like Tupac and Biggie. Yoga aside, their showers are amazing and their apothecary shop is full of alluring elixirs, teas, and ceremonial incense.

What’s NOT to love: Though purely anecdotal, I once attended a class at One Heart with a playlist that featured a song by Fetty Wap. I was instantly transported to my college party days which was not the vibe I was after. And no, it was not the hot trap class, it was unheated slow flow.

The class to try: Baptiste Power Yoga with Mark

Intro special: FREE for 7 days (limit 1 class per day) or $100 for 30 days (limit 1 class per day)

[BONUS] For the adventurous yogi: SUP Yoga, Vitamin Sea

What’s to love? Paddle board yoga on the iconic Seven Mile Beach will make you feel like a fierce island goddess, surrounded by stunning turquoise waters and inspiring women. Kiristen Cousins, Cayman’s SUP Queen is a breath of fresh air, creating a safe and welcoming environment which allows you to laugh at wobbles and falls while continuing to challenge yourself. This class encourages you to feed off group energy, gathering motivation from fellow yogis and Kiristen herself. You may even make a forever friend at the class…I did!

What’s NOT to love: If you are someone who gets sea sick you may need to take a non-drowsy dramamine or some form of ginger prior to class. While the Seven Mile venue is known to be very calm, you will still feel a gentle but constant rocking that could upset your equilibrium while balancing on the board.

The class to try: Paddleboard Yoga (if you have a membership with Bliss, you can book through them as well)

11 Trendy New Places in Grand Cayman, November 2021

11 Trendy New Places in Grand Cayman, November 2021

November 20th represents the light at the end of the tunnel for Cayman residents and visitors alike. A lot has happened during the nearly 2-year border-closure. While we feel for the struggles of existing businesses, we also celebrate the beginnings of some very promising new places. If you’re visiting the island for the first time since lockdown, there are many fresh spots to explore! Read on to discover 11 trendy new places in Grand Cayman.

1. Next Door

A hot new locale with speakeasy vibes, Next Door allows you to step away from the beach scene and into city life. (Even if just for one drink). Located ‘next door’ to its owner’s existing Camana Bay restaurant Agua, this ambient lounge serves up artfully-crafted cocktails in an undeniably classy setting. Stop in during their jazz nights, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 pm to 11 pm.

2. Ms. Piper’s

New on the island scene, Ms. Piper’s has made quite the splash thanks to their feminine vagabond aesthetic and cleverly curated menu. Soft pink tones and silver thatch details set the scene for an easy and breezy tropical oasis in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. Sip a Frappé Negroni poolside beneath a striped umbrella or nibble on croquetas and buñuelos in one of the ‘cottages’ many intimate nooks. You will fall in love with the iconic character that is Ms. Piper as she tells her life story through culinary creations and fearless female-inspired cocktails.

RECOMMENDED READ: NORTH SIDE, GRAND CAYMAN: PERFECT AFTERNOON ITINERARY

3. Paradise Pizza

Having opened during the dog days of lockdown, Paradise Pizza has been a saving grace to ‘za fanatics island-wide amidst border-closure. Their highly acclaimed Neapolitan-style pizzas like the Mr. White and Cayman Veg have enchanted our taste-buds to the point of no return. Most famously, Paradise has become the Saturday night spot, hosting a family-style event lovingly named Mambo Italiano: a 4 course pasta and pizza meal with a healthy side of karaoke.

11 trendy new places

4. Tomfoodery

Fresh on the Camana Bay restaurant scene, Tom Foodery is a vibrant fast-casual eatery. It delights the eyes with tropical murals, ocean-inspired art, and the gorgeous Tomfoodtree. (Made by 3 Girls and a Kiln using recycled materials). Their menu exudes creative Caribbean flair with innovative takes on island favorites. Try the Fried Fish-wich with escovitch and scotch bonnet aioli or the Breadfruit Salad with arugula, tomato, and avocado.

RECOMMENDED READ: 5 REASONS WHY WEST BAY SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR

5. Cuba Libre

Salsa dance the night away with a mojito in hand (or the namesake Cuba Libre). Our Caribbean neighbor doesn’t feel so far away with this exciting new venue located in West Shore Plaza. Stop in for a traditional Cuban meal featuring classics such as tostones rellenos and ropa vieja. Don’t forget to snap a picture of the gorgeous classic Cuban car that greets you upon entry. You will be instantly transported to La Habana Vieja!

6. The Diner

A new take on an island staple, The Diner is a hidden gem tucked away in West Bay. (Between Heritage Kitchen and Alfresco). This cozy family restaurant showcases local ingredients with hearty comfort food plates; good for the soul and easy on the wallet. You’ll come for the menu options but stay for the warm hospitality and welcoming environment.

7. Arepa 345

Decidedly the most unique and personalized new spot on the culinary scene, Arepa 345 is an homage to Venezuelan home-cooking. Chef John lovingly showcases the most popular arepas from Venezuela including Reina Pepiada, Pelúa, Dominó, and Perico. These delicious creations are prepared with flair and TLC out of a stylish black food truck on Lime Tree Avenue. (Across from Cost U Less).

RECOMMENDED READ: 7 BEST HEALTHY RESTAURANTS IN GRAND CAYMAN

8. Seven Mile Greens

Seven Mile Burger’s earthy sister is Seven Mile Greens, perfect for those seeking healthy options in a pinch. Located in Governor’s Square, this fast-casual greens spot offers convenient and clean meals on-the-go. Build your own salad or order one of their deliciously-curated menu options. The generous portion sizes will leave you feeling satisfied and energized for island activities!

9. Driftwood Bar and Grill

Previously the Blue Iguana Grill, the Holiday Inn’s waterfront restaurant has undergone a major face lift and is ready to welcome visitors and locals alike as Driftwood Bar and Grill. Chill at the bar, catching a game on the big screen or lounge poolside with views of the calm and glittering North Sound. This casual island eatery will make you feel right at home with its friendly staff and relaxing atmosphere.

10. Tukka West Bay

This East End favorite has now opened up as second location in West Bay! Australian flavors with a Caribbean twist AND ocean views…what more could you ask for? Their daily catch is supplied by Cayman’s local fishermen and often features Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Snapper, and Lionfish. Enjoy these fresh “Aussi meets Cayman” dishes from their shaded terrace overlooking the Caribbean sea. 

11. Union Grill & Bar

The newest addition to Camana Bay dining and drinking is Union Grill and Bar. This elegant waterfront corner is a one-stop shop for mouth-watering dishes and artisan libations. Feast on the juiciest of steaks and freshest of seafood in the plush comfort of the dining room or settle at the bar with an Island Spice martini.

Whether you are a resident or visitor, I hope these 11 trendy new places have inspired your upcoming island plans. Cayman awaits!

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 Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a Wisconsin native who traded her snow boots for flip-flops in May of 2020 when I packed my whole life into two suitcases and moved to the Cayman Islands with my partner, Bryan.  I created Island Diaries as a way to document my island adventures and share about the Cayman lifestyle. A Midwest girl at heart, I bring a fresh perspective to Caribbean life, serving as a guide for locals and tourists alike on all things Cayman Islands. Whether you are local to Cayman, planning to visit, or just curious about island life, I invite you to explore Island Diaries and let this site guide you on your next island adventure!

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5 Reasons Why West Bay Should Be On Your Radar

5 Reasons Why West Bay Should Be On Your Radar

If you’re an expat or visitor to Grand Cayman, it’s possible you have only seen the island through Seven-Mile-tinted glasses. This means living out 90% of your Cayman experience inside a 5 to 10 mile radius. What if I told you there was so much more to this island than its small parcel of Caribbean luxury? No, I’m not talking about venturing out to Rum Point or Morritt’s…not that those places aren’t great. In this post today I am talking about heading “out West.” Whether you are looking to buy property, move to a new neighborhood, or find some new island activities, this article is for YOU! Keep reading to discover out the 5 reasons West Bay should be on your Cayman radar.

1. West Bay is blowing up!

It’s no secret that West Bay is developing rapidly. Cayman residents and visitors alike can look forward to many new properties and businesses in this area. This expansion will generate intrigue with the creation of two new dive shops, a rooftop restaurant, and an Ibiza-style full service café. Additional new attractions in West Bay will include the state-of-the-art Aster Cayman Medcity hospital and the outdoor shopping area of West Village which will also feature a grocery store and gas station.

Locals and visitors can keep an especially close eye on the North West Point Rd area which is being filled by multi-million dollar condos & homes. Cayman real estate agents are calling West Bay the perfect up and coming area for a rental investment. It will be ideal for divers and tourists visiting the island who’d prefer an Airbnb to avoid high hotel prices. For more insider tips and property listings in the West Bay area, contact Luxury Real Estate Advisor, Nikki Thomas, of Engel and Völkers. 

RECOMMENDED READ: 7 BEST RUNNING ROUTES IN GRAND CAYMAN

2. West Bay is home to many unique restaurants

Tukka, West Bay

You may have stopped for lunch at Tukka while out on an East End jaunt. Australian flavors with a Caribbean twist AND ocean views…what more could you ask for? But unless you live in East End, most likely you are not going to drive to Tukka East every week for a meal. That’s why #2 is so exciting… there is also a Tukka in West Bay! And it’s calling your name. Their daily catch is supplied by Cayman’s local fishermen and often features Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, Snapper, Lionfish, and spiny Lobster. Enjoy these fresh “Aussi meets Cayman” dishes from their shaded terrace overlooking the Caribbean sea. 

Some other restaurants to try in West Bay include Vivo, Calypso Grill, Cracked Conch, Pappagallo, and Heritage Kitchen.

Tukka West Bay Cayman
Tukka West Bay
tukka west bay cayman
Tukka West Bay – Tacos
tukka west bay
Tukka West Bay, Bobo’s Bar

3. West Bay has lovely beaches

We all know and love Seven Mile Beach, but Cayman has many other beaches that are worth a visit. Barkers Beach in West Bay is one of them! This wouldn’t be my first choice beach for a swim, but it’s a wonderful place for a beach walk or an unforgettable island adventure! For example, Barkers is Cayman’s kite-surfing mecca during the months of November through April. It’s also the island’s top destination for horseback riding (on the white sands AND in the water!) If all of this sounds a bit too action-packed for your liking, a simple reading session on the beach will do just fine!

Another beach option in West Bay is of course, West Bay Public Beach. This secluded spot is close to many eateries including Heritage Kitchen (more details in #5 of this list!). It also features bathrooms, changing facilities, and an easily accessible boat ramp.

barkers beach grand cayman
Barker’s Beach, West Bay, Grand Cayman
barker's beach west bay

4. West Bay is hiding an absolute gem of a walking route

Perhaps walking routes don’t excite you in the same way they excite me, but I think we can all benefit from peaceful places in nature. Boggy Sands Road is exactly this kind of place. It is the perfect little route for a leisurely morning or afternoon stroll. Park along the sea wall at Heritage Kitchen and meander down the residential street as far as it will take you. (Walk slowly, it is not a very long journey). You will come across beautiful palms, traditional Caymanian homes, a picturesque beach access, and maybe even a couple Cayman parrots!

Once you’ve finished the short walk, you can go for your swim or sip your coffee while reading a book on the sea wall. If you’ve worked up an appetite, you could also treat yourself to some local fare at Heritage Kitchen. Fresh fish fry, fritters and fish tea are some of their most popular dishes. 

Boggy Sands Road
Boggy Sands Road
Boggy Sands Road
Boggy Sands Road
West Bay, Grand Cayman
Boggy Sands Beach Access

5. West Bay is teeming with Caribbean island charm

The same Boggy Sand vibe described above is prevalent throughout much of West Bay. There is a rustic island essence to this side of Grand Cayman that cannot be experienced inside the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach. Its winding, residential roads are lined with Caribbean-style homes and native greenery. West Bay is also home to many jerk stands that are consistently packed with loyal customers. There are many secluded beach accesses that are perfect for exploring and finding yourself in nature. In this part of this island it is truly about slowing down and stopping to smell the flowers (maybe even literally!) 

West Bay, Grand Cayman
West Bay, Grand Cayman
West Bay, Grand Cayman

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There you have it — 5 great reasons why West Bay should be on your radar either as an area to visit or a place to live! I personally hope that the growth in this area of the island will help to bring new energy and fresh feeling to West Bay while maintaining its quintessential Caribbean charm. May the development in this area attracts conscious visitors and residents who will honor the originality and local spirit of this beautiful side of the island. 

Thanks for reading! 

MEET KATE

 Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a Wisconsin native who traded her snow boots for flip-flops in May of 2020 when I packed my whole life into two suitcases and moved to the Cayman Islands with my partner, Bryan.  I created Island Diaries as a way to document my island adventures and share about the Cayman lifestyle. A Midwest girl at heart, I bring a fresh perspective to Caribbean life, serving as a guide for locals and tourists alike on all things Cayman Islands. Whether you are local to Cayman, planning to visit, or just curious about island life, I invite you to explore Island Diaries and let this site guide you on your next island adventure!

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10 Reasons to Visit the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

10 Reasons to Visit the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

Nestled away in a peaceful and verdant corner of Georgetown is the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. This inclusive gathering space is most commonly known for its Cayman-based art exhibitions, but their offerings do not stop there! 

I first visited NGCI for a free yoga class led by Janine Martins and was amazed to learn of their wide variety of community events and emphasis on wellness education. Whether you’re a long time supporter of the National Gallery or someone who has only thought about visiting, this post will open your eyes to the diverse opportunities they offer. Read the list of 10 reasons to visit the National Gallery below and see which experiences interest you most! 

#1 CULTIVATE WELLBEING WITH FREE WELLNESS CLASSES

NGCI has launched a new Art & Wellness program offering yoga, meditation, and nutrition classes for adults. And the best part is, they’re totally free! These opportunities cater to all levels of experience in a welcoming, community-based environment. I myself have practiced yoga with Janine and meditation with Jeri Bovell. I really enjoyed meeting new people and gaining a deeper understanding in these areas. Looking for something more independent? NGCI also promotes self-guided art drop-ins for teenagers and garden walks for all ages. Plan your next wellness experience at NGCI here!

National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
Yoga with Janine Martins at the National Gallery

#2 FIND YOUR ZEN WITH MINDFULNESS MONDAYS

Start the week off feeling peaceful and centered. The Gallery opens at 9 am for “Mindfulness Mondays.” This is a quiet hour in which guests can take a seat in a fold-out chair and intentionally meditate on one or two works of art.  The Gallery  provides sketching materials at the reception desk along with mindfulness prompts. As someone who has only ever taken cursory glances at artwork, I believe this is a great way to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the artist’s creation while also bolstering your mindfulness habit. 

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#3 DEEP DIVE INTO CAYMAN’S CULTURE THROUGH THE NATIONAL COLLECTION

Living as an expat on this island, I sometimes feel far removed from Cayman culture. I believe NGCI is one amazing community resource that can help bridge this gap. Located on the top floor of the Gallery is the National Collection which showcases artwork in a variety of styles by Cayman-based artists. Contemplating the artwork and the accompanying stories can assist in fostering an appreciation for the island’s unique history and way of life. The current National Collection show is Saltwater in their Veins. It presents an exploration of Cayman’s maritime culture and contemporary relationship to the sea. Learn more about the Collection here.

Top Left Artist: Charles Long

#4 CREATE A FUN & UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

If you’re looking for something fresh and educational for the whole family, look no further than the National Gallery. They offer a wide range of events including monthly free Family Fun Days and private art parties.  Click here if you want to learn more about these unique experiences.

#5 BASK IN GOOD VIBES AT THE ART CAFÉ

Don’t you wish you could get coffee at a reasonable price on this island? The solution is simple… The Art Café! It’s the kind of outdoor space that immediately fills you with a sense of peace and tranquility. With bistro-style seating and lush garden views, this is the perfect place to convene before or after a gallery tour. Bring your own lunch, or enjoy a coffee and snack for a small donation to the honesty jar. This is one of my favorite aspects of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands!

#6 NOURISH YOUR SOUL WITH A WALKING MEDITATION

If a seated meditation class is not your cup of tea, the National Gallery also offers the unique experience of walking meditation. The Siebens labyrinth (pictured bottom left) is a sacred geometric path that helps calm and focus the mind. It is located in the outdoor lawn area behind the Gallery.  To practice this meditative technique, you begin by following a single, non-branching route that leads to the center and out again. Use the labyrinth as a self-guided walking tour. It’s open to the public throughout the day.

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#7 FEEL THE ART COME ALIVE BY ATTENDING AN EXHIBITION PROGRAM EVENT

The National Gallery does an awesome job of organizing programs and events to help you engage with and understand the artwork. For example, you can discuss the art with the artists themselves at a series of artist talks, enjoy adult and kids’ workshops or take part in virtual Business of Art sessions. It’s a great way to connect with the community and expand your worldview. Learn more about these opportunities here

Top Left Artist: Nasaria Suckoo Chollette Top Right Artist: Al Ebanks

#8 SERVE THE CAYMAN COMMUNITY BY VOLUNTEERING AT THE GALLERY

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and connect with our island community. Sign up to support the Gallery’s vision through their volunteer program. You can do this by assisting with events, offering reception coverage and a whole host of other avenues! Click here to learn more.

#9 SHOP FOR UNIQUE TREASURES AT THE GIFT SHOP

In need of some original gift ideas?  NGCI offers a stylish corner of retail featuring art-inspired and locally made jewelry. But wait, there’s more! You can also find books, home decor items and childrens’ toys. Be sure to take a look around their beautifully curated shelves before or after your tour around the Gallery. 

#10 EXPERIENCE ART FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME

Can’t get to the Gallery in person? Check out their website for a world of online offerings. There are 360-degree virtual exhibition tours, video interviews with artists, teaching resources and virtual workshops. Get started by checking out the virtual tours or Gallery blog!

There you have it — 10 Reason to the Visit the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands! Amazing, isn’t it? NGCI is definitely the place to go for inspiration and rejuvenation in Grand Cayman. It is an inclusive gathering space that allows you to connect with yourself and with the island community. Their diverse offering of wellness experiences and educational opportunities is quite impressive. Whether you’re viewing the artwork, attending a yoga class, or just sipping a coffee in solitude, I truly believe there is something for everyone at the Gallery. Click here to learn more!