13. Learn self-defense
Krav Maga operates on a David and Goliath principle: a street-ready fighting system that anyone can learn to effectively defend against potential attacks. It takes your natural instincts and makes them more efficient and effective, designed to be easy to deploy regardless of your size or natural ability. Translating as ‘unarmed combat,’ it was used by the Israeli army before being redeveloped for civilian use in the 1960s. In addition to giving you potentially life-saving knowledge, the classes are also a fun way to keep fit and build confidence. Classes are run by Cayman Martial Arts Academy, twice weekly. Drop in fee $25 or membership starting from $125.
14. Mix cocktails like a pro
A cocktail on the beach is one of Cayman’s greatest pleasures, but why not learn to concoct some classic drinks yourself? Wineschool3 offers three tiers of hands-on group workshops – Bronze, Silver or Gold – depending on what tipples you’re interested in. Muddle a Mojito, shake up the ultimate Margarita or build a sophisticated Champagne cocktail, working at individual shaking stations and instructed by a Master Cocktail Mixologist. After two hours you’ll have created three tried-and-tested recipes. All classes include an assortment of tapas, welcome drink and Mixology Certification for each guest. From $65.
15. Take a camera underwater
Regarded as one of the world’s best scuba diving locations, there are few places better to learn underwater photography than the Cayman Islands. Learn to capture close-ups of reefs, wrecks and their colorful residents with an experienced local tutor such as Cathy Church or Deep Blue Images. Beginners’ courses typically include classroom teaching time, followed by a leisurely shore dive and image critique. For more advanced snappers, sessions can move on to creative lighting effects, improving composition or even a specialist PADI qualification.
16. Breakfast on the beach at Kaibo Espresso
For a leisurely weekend brekkie, it’s well worth the trip to this beautiful spot. Not only do its coffees taste delicious, this is also ‘caffeine with a conscience’ as the beans are sourced from a Fair Trade family farm in Colombia. As for the food menu, there are freshly baked pastries, muffins baked with local bananas, superfood cereal and paninis with various fillings. We also rate the stylish interior, kitted out in red and white tiling. Those of us not lucky enough to have our own boats can hop on the ferry at Camana Bay and reach Kaibo in 20 minutes. Open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.
17. Dine at the chef’s table
Treat yourself to a front row seat at one of Cayman’s most cutting-edge culinary experiences. A restaurant-within-a-restaurant at the Kimpton Seafire Resort, the Chef’s Table encircles an open kitchen where chefs whip up creative tapas-style dishes. It accommodates just 10 diners per evening. Matching the theatrical setting, the tasting menu is full of unusual flavors – think: langoustine with leek, smoked eel with cacao and foie gras, or blue cheese meringue – and each course is paired with a cocktail or wine. The seven-course meal is $98 (plus $85 with beverage pairing).
18. Find your Zen
In today’s always-on digital culture, even island dwellers can feel frazzled and in need of some chill out time. Meditation has become increasingly mainstream in the West as a way to seek this balance, and scientific studies have shown it may help reduce everything from heart disease to dementia, along with curbing addictions, anxiety and insomnia. Give one of the Tuesday classes at Bodyworks a try and see if you feel the benefits. Alternatively, download an app like Calm or Headspace that allows you to start a guided meditation whenever and wherever suits you. Bodyworks’ 10-class card is $140 (valid for three months from purchase), one-month unlimited membership is $99, or drop-in $16 per class.
19. Join a book club
Books and wine – sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Organized by local blogger and brand consultant Sophie Prior, Lustic Life Book Club invites readers to join monthly discussions at West Indies Wine Company on the second Thursday of every month, focusing on a different title each month. The reading list revolves around inspiring personal growth, with subjects ranging mindset, wellness and entrepreneurship. Titles so far have included Gary Keller’s “The One Thing” and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. Attendees need to pre-register by emailing [email protected]
20. Swim in bioluminescence
Are you ready for one of nature’s most entrancing sights? Likened to being in a ‘cosmic snow globe,’ the phenomenon of bioluminescence comes from trillions of micro-organisms called dinoflagellates that emit a flash of light when disturbed (just like fireflies, only in the water). It’s a 20-minute boat ride to the bio bay in Cayman Kai with a tour operator like Sweet Spot Watersports, Crystal Charters and Sea Elements. Then you’ll climb into the shallows with a snorkel and mask, to see what looks like glowing blue ‘glitter’ shooting from your hands and legs as you swim.
21. Bask on Barker’s beach
Barkers National Park in West Bay is an ideal spot to go for a peaceful stroll. This undeveloped stretch of paradise is not a swimming spot, but it offers a decidedly different experience from Seven Mile Beach. There are no amenities, just a long rustic beach bordered by mangroves and greenery. Often isolated during the weekdays, it’s a great place to enjoy some quiet downtime. Popular activities here include horseback riding along the beach and kitesurfing – sign up for lessons with Kitesurf Cayman.
22. Sculpture park
If you’re in North Side, a quick and entertaining stop is Davinoff’s Concrete Sculpture Park. It features larger-than-life sculptures of sea and land creatures. Take some fun selfies posing with such sculptures as Ivana the Blue Iguana, Finley the Mahi-Mahi and Clawdette the land crab. The sculptures are the creation of David Quasius, a Wisconsin native who regularly vacations in Grand Cayman. The park can be found when traveling from Old Man Bay toward East End on Old Robin Road.
23. Pick up an instrument
How many of us bemoan the fact that we didn’t learn to play the piano, guitar, drums, tuba … any musical instrument when we were younger? The Cayman Music School in Camana Bay is a treasure trove of instruments and teachers where you can finally fulfill your dream of playing, if you stick with the lessons. You may not end up in concert at Carnegie Hall, but you’ll certainly be able to handle a tune or three.
24. Take a spin in East End
For a free-wheelin’ day, take a guided bicycle tour through the sleepy district of East End through ECO-Rides Cayman. It’s a chance to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of this peaceful area and learn about its fascinating history. There are several attractions including Lovers Wall, The Lighthouse, Wreck of the Ten Sail, Cayman Crystal Cave, Grapetree Cove, the Blowholes and Colliers Wilderness Reserve. ECO-Rides currently offers five different tours, ranging from 2 to 4½ hours. You can also rent a bike by request.
25. Happy hour at Cayman’s castle
Drink in the view at one of the island’s most scenic happy hour spots. Every Friday, Sea Sessions takes place at The Outpost bar at historic Pedro St. James in Savannah, known as Cayman’s castle. Starting at 5 p.m., the evening includes a local BBQ offering jerk chicken and pork, music and great happy hour specials. The Outpost is run by Cayman Spirits Co., which handcrafts a variety of spirits including Seven Fathoms Rum. Sit and sip cliff-side on the manicured grounds by the 18th century Caribbean great house. It’s dog-friendly, so bring along your four-legged friends, too.