Travel 5 months ago by Liz Adams

Our Trip to Grand Cayman

A few weeks ago we took the kids to Grand Cayman for spring break! I actually grew up going to Grand Cayman for 11 years, our last year being 2003 right before Hurricane Hugo hit the island. I was so excited to take my kids back, with so many wonderful memories that I experienced with my own family.

Before I give details on our trip, I have to give a shoutout to Kendall because we basically copied her trip (which you can read about here). Kendall is an amazing mom to two little boys so I knew if she gave certain places her stamp of approval, they would be good for us, too.

Let me start with Covid protocols because I had a lot of questions about the requirements for traveling internationally. We had to register through the Cayman Islands Travel website and show verifications of vaccinations. We then had to schedule a zoom covid test that verified we were negative before traveling. All of these documents/email verifications were presented while going through customs. Then on the return, we had to go to the Marriott next door and take covid tests before entering back into the US. It honestly was a very well-oiled machine and went over without a hitch. I feel like when you read about travel requirements around Covid they feel a little daunting but honestly weren’t bad at all.

shop: bikini top and bottoms, George’s rashguard, Charlie’s swimsuit

shop: kids shark snorkel mask

We stayed at South Bay Beach Club right on Seven Mile Beach. We rented a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with a full kitchen, family room and huge balcony looking over the ocean. Our kids are early risers and right now, hotel rooms don’t really cut it for our family. Dave and I knew we wanted room to spread out, cook meals at home and be able to enjoy the sunshine while taking turns in the room for George’s nap. Our trip completely revolved around our kids and having the space to wind down after a long day was really nice. We already can’t wait to go back! I will say that there is no bar or restaurant at the South Bay Beach Club but the Marriott is right next store with a great coffee shop and lunch/dinner restaurant which we visited many days.

We rented a car at the airport because we knew we wanted to venture out to restaurants around the island. So we packed car seats and it was just nice to have our own set up. The hotel was a quick 8 minute drive from the airport so very easy. Car seats definitely are an extra element but we checked them with our luggage so didn’t really notice them for travel. We almost always rent a car so we don’t have to rely on taxis/ubers but taxis are very available on the island!

Seven Mile Beach has the softest sand, gorgeous turquoise waters, and a long stretch to walk to other resorts for meals. It is very family-friendly and the island as a whole has a ton of options for restaurants that are great for little kids. Right across the street from our hotel is a little island spot called Coconut Joe’s which we went to maybe 4 times between lunch and dinner. You can sit outside, the food was fresh and delicious and everyone was so wonderful towards our very active children. A few other restaurants we loved:

Casanova – this was probably our nicest dinner and a place I went with my family every time we visited! The most delicious Italian food and their staff are so incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Coccoloba – this is part of the Kimpton resort which is a pretty incredible place! If you’re looking for more of a hotel experience, Dave and I both agreed that this would be an awesome resort once our kids are a little older. The food was incredible and the vibe was every better. Right on the beach with live music and delicious tacos and margs! Fun for the whole family.

Sunshine Grill – recommended by so many of you! So great for families and the food and vibe was wonderful. We said next time we would bring our kids in bathing suits so they could swim until our food was ready. Highly recommend!

Calypso Grill – another special place that I would visit with my family. Pretty sure this is a favorite across the board for Cayman visitors. So good and right on the water!

We really didn’t have much planned aside from spending our days in the sunshine between the beach and the pool. We did book a 4-hour boat one day through Sail with Friends – by far our favorite day of the trip! I was honestly nervous to bring all three kids on a boat for 4 hours but they did SO GREAT. Captain Pat, Alice and Oz were so wonderful with our boys and it was so nice to have a boat to ourselves and amazing guides who really dedicated their time to having our kids see everything. We went to Stingray City (where we actually saw a big reef shark swimming around the stingrays!), Starfish Point and snorkeling along the reefs. It was just one of those days that you know your kids will remember forever, it felt really special to do that together.

This was our first trip as a family of five and as exhausting as it was to travel with our boys with zero breaks from parenting, it was also so magical to set low expectations on the days and just enjoy the time together. A reminder that the effort is always worth it for the experience! You can see the IG REEL I made of our trip here.

If you have any additional questions about our travels, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer!

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    1. You can! We forgot to, ha, so Dave ran to the grocery store right when we got there which was beautiful and had everything we would ever need!

  1. Looks like an amazing trip! Did you rent a car or taxis? If you did taxis .. what did you do for car seats? Oh, the logistics of traveling with kids!

  2. Thanks for all of the details!! Would you recommend condo or hotel for new parents with 1.5 year old? Xx

  3. So thinking about this trip for summer but we have an 11 and 15 yr old so do you think there are enough activities to keep them busy? Would you recommend staying at a resort with more ‘stuff’ or ‘activities’ for those ages?

    1. At the Marriott next store you could rent paddle boards, go out on banana boats or jet skis! But I do think the Kimpton looked great for families with older kids 🙂 Lots of fun stuff happening over there!

  4. Love all these tips! How was getting around the island and to/from the airport? Did you feel like you needed a car? I have three also (similar ages) and wondering how transpo would work logistically.

    1. We did rent a car only because we knew we wanted to venture out to restaurants! So we brought car seats but the hotel we stayed at was only a 7-10 minute drive to the airport!

  5. Curious if there was a lot of beach in front of the condo? We stay at plantation village and have been warned about the erosion. But your pictures look like there is much more beach than in years past?

  6. I love Gran Cayman. We’ve been there 9 times. It’s amazing! A few more must go to restaurants. 1. Regazzi’s. best Italian I have ever had! 2. Waterfront Grill in Cayman bay for breakfast.. yummy and the view 3. The gelato place ( can’t think of name) in Caymana Bay ( that alone makes me want to pack my bags and move there) 4. Vivo yummy vegetarian and vegan food and last time we were there Martha Stewart was arriving with a big party as we were leaving! Oh I miss Grand Cayman!

  7. Lovely trip report! Can you venture out around the island? I prefer to eat at local spots and support them vs hotels? Not sure what’s walkable or close or safe, thanks!!