George Town, the charming capital of the Cayman Islands, is definitely worth exploring on your visit to Cayman. It’s easy to overlook some of its hidden gems behind the standard underwhelming tourist fare if you don’t look closely enough. That’s where we come in! Come with us on a jaunt to discover some of our favorite local spots.
Our tiny Capital packs a big punch and offers a blend of local culture, history, and unique shopping experiences all within an easily walkable half-mile radius. This makes it a great place for a quick dip into aspects of Cayman life you won’t find at your resort or condo pool, and it’s small enough that you can do it without sacrificing too much of your beach time!
While the sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters are undoubtedly the main draw for most travelers to the islands, if you’re looking for a change of scenery, spend half a day in George Town and you can even get to meet some of our more colorful locals like the dancing traffic cop, some of our local pirates (yes, really), or just getting in on the jokes with local fishermen at the fish market as they clean their daily catch.
Allow us to introduce you to some must-visit local businesses in George Town that offer an insight into the island's rich heritage, a taste of local flavor, and a chance to indulge in some bargainous retail therapy. There’s something for everyone! Let’s dive right in!
With a name that says it all, Goodness specializes in providing an array of delightful crafts designed to brighten your day. From heartwarming gifts to handcrafted treasures, Goodness is a go-to destination for spreading positivity and good vibes in Georgetown. It's the perfect place to find that special something.
Cayman Craft Market
For a dose of local culture and artisanal crafts, head to the Cayman Craft Market. There, you'll find an array of handmade goods, from jewelry and clothing to woodwork and paintings. It's the perfect place to pick up unique local treasures or gifts for loved ones and support the local makers directly.
Artifacts is a treasure trove of Caribbean art and antiques, with a history dating since 1971. Browse through a diverse range of 200-year-old coins, antiques jewelry, and vintage maps. It’s a store you won’t find anywhere else, selling one-of-a-kind pieces with lots of great history. It is a great place to find unique gifts and one-of-a-kind collectibles at surprisingly reasonable prices to take back home with you.
A local institution for the island’s artists and artisans for over 30 years. It is a gallery that represents local artists and it is a go-to place to shop for Cayman-inspired art, jewelry, and gifts. It’s Island whimsy at its glorious best, festooned floor to ceiling in island-themed knick-knacks that you didn’t even know you needed. It’s an annual stop for many repeat Cayman Island visitors.
Diving and Snorkeling
George Town itself offers some of the world's best diving opportunities. Rent snorkeling gear or join a guided tour to explore the colorful coral reefs, swim alongside tropical fish, and get up close to the vibrant marine life that thrives just off the shores of the capital. It's an unforgettable experience that allows you to connect with the natural beauty of the Caribbean.
Gelato and Co.
Indulge your sweet tooth at Gelato and Co, where you can savor fresh gelato and sorbets in a variety of flavors from those made with local fruits like guava, soursop, and mango to more standard Italian classics such as pistachio and stracciatella. Try it and tell us if you think we exaggerate when we say it has some of the best ice cream we’ve ever tasted, anywhere in the world.
3 Girls and a Kiln
If you're into arts and fun crafts, 3 Girls and a Kiln is a must-visit spot. The creative studio offers a wide range of pottery classes, workshops, and handcrafted ceramics to anyone who looks for a little bit of island creativity. They also carry affordable pieces from some of the island’s best artisans in their super cute and well-stocked store. Check out their website for a detailed schedule for their upcoming workshops and classes.
The National Cayman Islands Museum
Delve into the history and heritage of the Cayman Islands at the National Cayman Islands Museum. It’s a small but endlessly fascinating museum packed full of facts about the Cayman Islands that you could never have guessed. Explore engaging exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that trace the island's past from its seafaring beginnings to modern times. Visit their website to learn more about current exhibitions.
Casanova restaurant boasts a rich history of over 25 years dedicated to crafting exquisite Italian dishes on the Islands and is an old-school favorite of locals and travelers alike. With a fun team primarily composed of Italian waitstaff, you can expect nothing short of exceptional service. The upper deck provides a breathtaking view of the legendary Cayman sunsets, in fact, it’s one of the best spots to watch the sunsets on the islands. We recommended making reservations in advance, as they are consistently busy.
Georgetown is known for its duty-free shopping, especially when it comes to jewelry. Many stores offer substantial discounts, with savings of up to 70% on luxury items. Treat yourself or find that special piece to commemorate your trip. You can also discover the shops of renowned luxury brands like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Breitling, and Rolex.
It’s a small gallery showcasing the artwork of Avril Ward and some other hand-crafted gifts from local Caymanian artists and artisans. It is also the home of the ‘Cayman Coral Collection’ - a range of unique items and souvenirs that have been hand-printed using local beach coral.
For a taste of Australian-inspired cuisine and coffee, visit Bluestone Lane. This cozy café offers an array of delicious brunch options, coffee, and fresh, healthy dishes to recharge and refresh. It’s a favorite lunchtime stop for local professionals who work in the area and they do great coffee.
This creative sanctuary celebrates the vibrant world of the local artistry. Offering a range of stunning artworks and engaging workshops, Art Nest is a destination where art enthusiasts and aspiring creators can immerse themselves in a world of imagination and inspiration. It's the place where Caymanian art comes to life. Check out their website to book a wholesome art class with Art Next.
The Sunset House is a legendary waterfront bar and restaurant where large groups of locals often meet for sundowners at sunset. It’s a great stop to get into the vibe of the friendly local spirit, especially from Friday to Sunday around 6 p.m. when it gets super buzzy. There’s also a great dive outfit operating from here where you can rent the equipment to do easy shore dives to visit the nearby reefs and the famous Cayman mermaid statue.
Bread and Chocolate
Vegans and food enthusiasts alike will love Bread and Chocolate - the first completely vegan restaurant in the Cayman Islands specializing in plant-based delights. From mouthwatering desserts to savory dishes, you won't miss out on flavor here. Check out their Instagram page to see the delicious menu they prepare each day. Note: Their vegan brownies are to die for!
Grand Old House
Set within the elegant portals of a former plantation house, you can savor a delightful selection of fresh, locally inspired, and international cuisine either within the house itself or out on the vast wooden deck overhanging the water. This is another great stop for sunset drinks or a romantic dinner for two with relaxing views and sounds of the Caribbean Sea.
Guy Harvey's Gallery & Shop
For fans of marine life and art, Guy Harvey's Gallery & Shop is a must-visit. There, you can explore the works of renowned marine artist Guy Harvey and shop for unique marine-themed gifts and apparel. If you’re lucky, you might spot Mr Harvey himself at work at his studio on the top floor.
The Fish Market
For a taste of the freshest seafood, head to the local fish market. Watch as fishermen bring in their catch of the day and choose from a variety of fish, lobster, and conch to enjoy a delicious meal. The guys are always willing to stop for a chat and share tall-ish tales of their fishing exploits.
For history buffs and casual explorers alike, a visit to Georgetown isn't complete without a stop at Heroes Square. The square boasts an array of sculptures, dates, and histories of notable Caymanian citizens in history. It’s bordered by the George Town Library dating from the 1940s, the Courts, and the Legislative Assembly. The best part? It's absolutely free!
Atlantis Submarine to the Wall
If you are looking for a unique underwater adventure without getting wet, consider taking a ride on the Atlantis Submarine. This wonderful experience will take you to the Cayman Wall, a breathtaking underwater drop-off into one of the deepest parts of the world’s oceans. The submarine descends gradually into the abyss and you can witness the incredible marine ecosystem from the comfort of the submarine.
So is it worth visiting? We think so! Georgetown caters to a wide range of interests and tastes. Yes, these days it’s now more of a duty-free tourist hotspot but it continues to be a major historical center of the island. Hidden behind the tourist-trap souvenir and jewelry shops you’ll find everything from local art and culture to elevated culinary experiences and marine adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy on a visit to this vibrant Caribbean town. So grab your sense of curiosity, and your appetite for adventure, and go out to explore some of the best local businesses in Georgetown. We might see you while we’re out and about!
If you happen to visit during the low season, please ensure that you check the operating status of the places you intend to visit, as some businesses may not be in operation during this time.
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