13. Coconut cravings
There’s nothing quite so refreshing as water from a freshly picked coconut. You can be the envy of all your friends and family overseas, which is really what living in the Caribbean should be all about. Scavengers may wish to find their own, or otherwise hail down one of the friendly coconut men in town; they have carts full of freshly felled drupes and a mobile chopping board. Aside from their water, locally produced coconut by-products, such as coconut oil, can be purchased at Cayman’s markets.
14. Gone fishing
Head out to the open seas this summer and take a fishing trip around any of the three islands. Charters can be arranged through companies such as Fish Tales and Oh Boy Charters with reef fishing, deep sea fishing, shore fishing, kayak and flats skiff fishing available from various outfits. Tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, tarpon, permit and jack can all be caught here, as well as other species, including the greatest offshore prize – the marlin. Make sure to read up on marine park zones, fishing seasons and local laws.
15. Jet off on a summer escape
We’ve despaired at some of the shoddy service and measly offerings aboard certain airlines of late. Not so with Cayman Airways, though, which continues to go above and beyond: A generous baggage allowance (two suitcases each) and complimentary rum punch come as standard on every flight. With a variety of Caribbean and U.S. destinations in its network, we can’t wait to tick some more destinations off our bucket list. How about salsa dancing in Havana, jungle trekking in Honduras and watching a game in Chicago, for starters?
16. Take a painting course
Have you heard about Art Nest? The studio in Pasadora Place runs a packed program of creative weekly events, from Wheel & Wine Wednesdays ceramics workshops to Canvas & Cocktails, where you can practice painting in a social, judgment-free setting. Priced at $45 per person, the 2.5-hour BYOB sessions include step-by-step instructions, snacks and art materials. Sign up for one of the open calendar sessions or round up a group of 10 or more friends to book a private art masterclass.
17. Snap up a designer bargain
Spruce up your summer wardrobe with a trip to Carey’s Karma Closet in Buckingham Square – a treasure trove of consignment designer goods at 40-70 percent off retail pricing. Recent finds have included a pair of studded Christina Louboutin stiletto heels, a shimmery gold Ralph Lauren dress and iconic Chanel handbag. Gucci, Prada and Alice + Olivia are other labels that frequently crop up. Many items are new with the tags still in, and all are less than two years old except for the occasional vintage treasure. It’s a challenge to leave empty handed!
18. Visit the National Gallery
A gorgeous sculpture garden, permanent collection of important international artworks and changing program of exhibitions make the Cayman Islands National Gallery a joy to visit at any time. This summer’s special attraction is “Mediating Self: Identity and the Body,” exploring how the human form is used in art to discuss on self-perception, relationships and cultural habits. Running through September, visitors can get involved with interactive features like a “selfie station” as well as feasting their eyes on paintings, installations and sculptures.
See www.nationalgallery.org.ky for more details.
19. Savor a BBQ Under the Stars
Thursday nights at Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman mean one thing: Barbecue. Taking place on the oceanside deck at the Blue Iguana Grill, come rain or shine, the centerpiece is a huge wood-burning open grill. Load up your plates at the buffet table and wash it down with a rum punch, Dark and Stormy or mojito for just $4.95 a cocktail.
If you’d like to hang out at the resort longer, you could even extend to a staycation at the resort and take advantage of a bargainous summer deal.
To get the latest rates, contact Holiday Inn on 949-3100 or check out its website.
20. Say “Om”
Even if we do live on a tropical island, stress can still get to us, whether it’s work or personal issues or just the strains of modern life. Meditation is winning a huge global following as a way to unwind and de-clutter our minds from these anxieties. Studies also suggest the ancient practice can aid a range of health complaints from insomnia to high blood pressure. There are lots of meditation apps out there – Headspace has 8.5 million users – enabling you to learn the basics at home, but there’s something to be said for trying a physical class: Head to a 45-minute Yoga Nidra session at Bliss or Bodyworks’ free Thursday evening meditation.
21. Explore a traditional Caymanian home
Curious about how Caymanians lived 100 years ago? A trip to The Mission House in Bodden Town transports you back in time. It’s an example of a two-story 19th-century dwelling and garden that through the ages functioned as a shelter for Presbyterian missionaries, a school and a private home. The whole structure had to be rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but the National Trust for the Cayman Islands ensured its original form was restored, and this year introduced audio guides to bring the site’s storied past to life.
Learn more at www.nationaltrust.org.ky.
22. Unleash your inner raver
It’s nothing but natural highs at this weekly dance fitness class. Rave Aerobics is all about easy-to-follow routines set to uplifting house music. Different moves are designed to hone your abs, legs and arms in turn, while the energetic pace gives an overall cardio workout. The club lights and glow sticks definitely inject the “rave” element, as does the 10-minute free-style dance-off that happens at the end of each session. Follow the pumping music into The Gym on Sleepy Hollow Drive any Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
See www.flo-motionent.com/rave-aerobics for more information.
23. Eat iguana
“Eat ‘em, to beat ‘em” – that’s the mantra some Cayman restaurants are adopting to control the invasive green iguana species (experts predict there will be two million of them on the island within three years). Local business Spinion Ltd. processes the pesky lizards for sale to restaurants, and you’ll find them on the menu at Tukka in East End. Order the back legs cooked curry style, a fried “lollypop” made from the front legs, and the tail meat as fritters with sesame seeds.
Check out the menu at www.tukka.ky.
24. Cocktails at the Catboat Bar
Since its major refurb last year, the Westin stands as one of the most stylish spots in Cayman. There’s the palm-dotted pool area complete with swim-up bar and Seven Mile’s widest stretch of beach, while the sleek Catboat lobby bar serves up delectable signature cocktails. It really lights up in the evenings, with the rhythms of live bossa and acoustic music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour at the Pool Bar is also an atmospheric affair where you can let your hair down to the sound of steel drums, Spanish guitar or a DJ’s party tracks.
25. Kitesurf at Barkers Beach
Grand Cayman boasts some of the best kiteboarding conditions in the world: Sheltered bays with lots of room to cruise in, steady trade winds and flat, warm waters. And Barkers, the secluded stretch of coast at the tip of West Bay, is a particular hotspot for the sport. If you want to emulate the cool types skirting across the sea’s surface, book in for private instruction from Kitesurf Cayman. A waist-deep teaching area makes it perfect for first-timers and the IKO Certified instructors give you direction via a handy radio helmet.
Surf the web at www.kitesurfcayman.com.