Being a teacher with summers off (and no children of my own) means ample time to explore interests and hobbies. (So many people just rolled their eyes at me). It also means ample time and opportunity to spend more money than a teacher salary really allows for. Especially in Grand Cayman. Land of the $10 bell peppers. That being said, I have to be mindful of my spending habits and creative in my daily activities. Luckily, this hasn’t been too terribly difficult living on an island in the Caribbean. In this edition of Island Diaries by Kate I will share with you 9 free (or nearly free) activities to be enjoyed in Grand Cayman! (This list is absolutely not exhaustive). Please note you are about to see a common theme of beach-related activities. I wonder why…
- Enjoy “Poor Man’s Happy Hour”
There are definitely some occasions in which you want to go to a beautiful ocean-front restaurant and spend $10 on a glass of wine. But don’t forget, for that same price you can buy an entire bottle and sit your butt down in the sand for hours of enjoyment. Take a towel, a couple glasses, and pick any spot on Seven Mile Beach. All set!
- Go on a beach walk
Not much to explain with this one! Take off your flip-flops, put on your sunscreen, and get to it! I myself like to bring along some coffee. Splurge at one of the many Cayman coffee shops like Jessie’s Juice or Paperman’s, or just bring some good old Folgers in your travel mug.
Price: FREE or the price of your coffee 🙂
- Take a beach nap
Very similar to Beach Walk (see above) but for this one instead of walking you just take a nap on your towel! Any questions?
- Treat yourself to a sauna session or hot yoga
Right now in Grand Cayman, it is 90 degrees almost everyday. With humidity, the real feel is around 100 or more. That being said, the second you step outside you are sweating. For this reason, any space you occupy can seamlessly become your own personal sauna. If you so choose, you could even do some yoga poses…say in front of the ocean or by the pool, and you find yourself in the middle of your own free hot yoga class. People pay the big bucks for that you guys. Take advantage. Sweat it out!!
- Take part in anthropological observation (AKA people watching w/ the occasional eavesdrop)
This is a fan-favorite worldwide. All you have to do is post up somewhere (on the beach or at a coffee shop), and watch the people go by. I will say, however, that people watching in Grand Cayman is a little boring and normal compared to, say, the Wisconsin Dells with its concentration of Illinois tourists in a constant state of discontent and family dysfunction.
- Have an impromptu photo shoot
If you do choose to people-watch in Grand Cayman, you will more likely than not see Bryan and I somewhere on the beach or around town taking an obscene amount of photos. Walk toward me. Smile! Look that way. Okay, now jump! Oh CUTE. Take off your sunglasses. NICE. Great way to pass the time and you may just end up with one winning photo out of the 100 that you took!!
Price: FREE (with your mobile device) WARNING: may come at the price of judgement from others but haters gonna hate.
- Treat your apartment amenities like a royal palace
Obviously, this one does not apply to the general population. But come visit and you can enjoy all that our new apartment complex has to offer! Choose from the following activities: swimming or relaxing by the pool, playing tennis, drinking coffee or reading by the canal, working out at the gym, botanical garden tour (walk around the facility and look at flowers…use your imagination), pet the neighbors dogs, and try to befriend the neighbor’s cats (good luck, they play hard to get).
Price: Not cheap for me but FREE for you if you come visit!
- Become a dog owner for the day (or just an hour)
The Humane Society in Grand Cayman is so different from those I have visited in the Midwest. One day I went there to see if I could hang out with the cats and 5 minutes after arriving I was alone with a pitbull named Gloria. We went for a walk. We had fun. I liked it so much that I came back the following week and took another dog out for a drive and a walk (smaller this time because Gloria would not have fit in the Fiat 500) This one was named Mika. At the Humane Society in Cayman they let you take the dogs to the beach or anywhere you want really as long as you bring them back at the end of the day. Helping dogs + exercise = an afternoon well spent! Before or after picking up your dog, you can visit the upstairs Book Loft that has a great selection of used books for dirt cheap!
Price: FREE, but warning — you may become attached!! ($2-4 for a book)
- Join Wednesday Night Running Club
Many people just stopped reading because they despise running. And the rest of you who do run are probably thinking you prefer to do it alone. But let me tell you, in this Caribbean heat, running with a group has been my saving grace. And it has been a great way to meet people from all over the world who love to run! WNRC meets at the World Gym (yep, you guessed it — every Wednesday) and the run takes off at 6 pm. Most people run 5k, some run a bit longer.
Price: FREE (but T-shirt was 25 CI) Note: $1 CI = $1.2 USD
Well, my friends. There you have it! 9 amazing activities you can do for free in Grand Cayman. Don’t write off this island as an excessively luxurious dot in the Caribbean. There is no doubt you could blow a lot of money here, and I am not saying that I don’t splurge from time to time, but most often the best parts of our day and the best parts of our life are born out of simplicity and are totally priceless. This has been true for me this summer in Grand Cayman! I hope you are all enjoying your summer and its priceless moments wherever you may be!