Landmarks in the Cayman Islands

Landmarks in the Cayman Islands allow visitors to peek into the history and culture of the country

Photo credit: © Jaime Pharr | Dreamstime.com
 

The Cayman Islands attracts all types of vacationers: those who are interested in history, others who marvel at architecture, and those who would prefer to learn about island agriculture. Luckily, the islands have landmarks that will keep people of every persuasion occupied.

Museums

Cayman Islands National Museum

Assuming you like to become more aware of unfamiliar places and cultures, you might enjoy visiting a museum during your time in the Cayman Islands. To read additional information regarding each museum, try clicking on the name.

A common landmark for vacationers is National Trust House. It is found within Blossom Village, the Cayman Islands. The house is a traditional two story Caymanian home set among both dry and wetlands, and is known to have been living in during the 18th and 19th centuries. The tour gives guests an oral history of the area and the families who lived there, and there are many genuine artifacts to view that were once owned by the Watler Family who lived in the home for 77 years.

Another option is National Trust Visitor Center. It's a museum on the edge of the Cayman Islands. The Centre is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

National Gallery of the Cayman Islands: The permanent collection of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is housed on the second floor and features important pieces of Cayman artwork that has been growing since the inception of the National Gallery. Additionally, the gallery tries to host at least six rotating exhibits each year.

The table right below lists a few details regarding some museums to choose from in the Cayman Islands.

Museums In the Cayman Islands
Name Phone Location Island
Cayman Brac Museum (345) 948-2622 1.8 mi. West-Southwest of Central Cayman Brac Cayman Brac
Cayman Islands National Museum (345) 949-8368 Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Cayman Motor Museum (345) 947-7741 West Bay Grand Cayman
Little Cayman Marine Museum -- 0.5 mi. West of Central Blossom Village Little Cayman
Little Cayman Museum (345) 948-1033 0.4 mi. South West of Central Blossom Village Little Cayman
National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (345) 945-8111 1.4 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
National Trust House (345) 749-1123 0.5 mi. West of Central Blossom Village Little Cayman
National Trust Visitor Center (345) 749-1121 0.9 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman

Historical Sites

Fort George

Do you like learning some of the historical roots of countries you visit? If so, you might enjoy visiting a few of these historical sites while on vacation in the Cayman Islands.

Many travelers choose to visit Fort George. It is situated in downtown Georgetown. Although landlocked and mostly in ruins, Fort George stands as an important historical landmark that tells the tale of a Cayman Islands once protected from this very spot by the local militia. The fort was built by locals using limestone and coral, though nobody can be sure exactly when, and after many years of little to no use, it was handed over to the National Trust.

Another common landmark for vacationers is East End Lighthouse Park. It is western the Cayman Islands. Although the lighthouse has fallen much into disrepair, the National Trust of the Cayman Islands was given special permission to clean up the area surrounding the lighthouse so that tourists may enjoy a visit. Pathways, flower beds, and a 1,000 gallon water tank for irrigation were installed, and now the grounds welcome guests who can't help but exalt in the beautiful view that awaits them.

Dr. Roy's Ironshore: Once upon a time, Dr. Roy's House stood as an important landmark in the eyes of the people of the Cayman Islands -- but unfortunately it was torn down in order to build a financial center. Though many people are still distraught over the building's demise, its memory lives on across the street on an interpretative sign overlooking the "Ironshore."

Review the following table for information concerning historic sites in the area.

Historic Sites In the Cayman Islands
Name Phone Location Island
Bodden Town Guardhouse Park -- Bodden Town, Western part of the Cayman Islands Grand Cayman
Captain Charlie Kirkconnell's House -- 0.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Cayman Brac Cayman Brac
Dr. Roy's Ironshore (345) 749-1135 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
East End Lighthouse Park (345) 749-1121 0.6 mi. East of Central East End Grand Cayman
Fort George (345) 749-1121 Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Heritage House (345) 948-0563 0.6 mi. Northeast of Central Creek Cayman Brac
Lighthouse Steps -- 1.4 mi. East of Central Spot Bay Cayman Brac
Mission House (345) 749-1121 8.3 mi. East of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman
Mule Enclosures -- 1.8 mi. West of Central Blossom Village Little Cayman
Old Savannah Schoolhouse (345) 749-1121 5.2 mi. East of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman
Pedro St. James National Historic Site (345) 947-3329 5.8 mi. East of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman
Rebecca's Cave -- 0.9 mi. East of Central West End Cayman Brac
Spellman Mclaughlin Home (345) 949-0121 0.1 mi. North of Central Creek Cayman Brac
Watler Cemetery (345) 749-1121 3.0 mi. East-Southeast of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman

Miscellaneous Landmarks

Travelers may explore some other interesting local landmarks in the Cayman Islands.

If the more functional aspects of maritime life intrigue you, you might want to see Cayman Brac Lighthouse. Cayman Brac Lighthouse isn't the most elaborate of its kind, but it is definitely worth a visit for the views and photo opportunities alone.

If you want to learn more about the beer-making process, another destination you might want to visit is Cayman Islands Brewery. Tours of the Cayman Islands Brewery are conducted by the brewing staff, and take guests through the whole production process from brewing to bottling. The tour lets out into the gift shop, where guests can purchase a brew to take home.

The chart right below provides you with more details concerning other kinds of sites of interest to travelers.

Miscellaneous Landmarks In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Location Island
Cayman Brac Lighthouse Lighthouse 1.7 mi. East of Central Spot Bay Cayman Brac
Cayman Islands Brewery Brewery 2.9 mi. East of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman

Of course, The Cayman Islands is home to other attractions. To get more information on other attractions for the Cayman Islands, navigate to this page.

Historic Homes & Buildings

Back in 1780 when only 400 people lived on the entire island of Grand Cayman, and in thatched houses, no less, a home was built using slave labor, called Pedro St. James. Later, on December 5, 1831, the house served as the site of the election of the island's first legislature election. Though a fire damaged the property in 1970, it was restored to its original greatness and now stands as a popular tourist attraction. Not only can visitors tour the house, making note of the magnificent view and mahogany floors as guides dressed in period costumes provide you with details about life in the house, but there is also a theater, gift shop, and cafe on site. The Pedro St. James National Historic Site is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and costs CI$10 for adults over the age of 12.

Meanwhile, on Cayman Brac, the Spellman Mclaughlin Home stands as the only remaining piece of architecture from the Bracker era. Between 1926 and 1930, Captain Spellman McLaughlin built his home by hand from timber he brought home with him from Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. In fitting with the custom of the time, the kitchen was the center of the home, and all other rooms surrounded it. Brunzil Rivers, the youngest daughter of Captain Spellman McLaughlin inhabits the home to this day, and happily gives tours on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., as well as on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., free of charge.

National Trust Heritage Properties

If you visit the National Trust Visitor Center on Grand Cayman, you can pick up a map that details all of the important natural and historical sites in the Cayman Islands. These sites include:

Cayman Islands' National Trust Heritage Properties
Property Significance
Bodden Town Guardhouse Park  Cayman Island's first capital and historical military post
Dr. Roy's Ironshore  Provides a great view of George Town Harbour
East End Lighthouse Park  Cayman Island's first lighthouse
Fort George  18th century military fort
Old Savannah Schoolhouse  First one-room schoolhouse in the Cayman Islands
Watler Cemetery
 Traditional island cemetery featuring house-shaped gravestones
Mission House  Replica of one of the oldest buildings in the Cayman Islands

For a list of the natural National Trust properties, visit our guide to Nature in the Cayman Islands.

Touring the island is just another way to enhance your vacation in the Cayman Islands. Between brewery tours and historic homes, nothing is off limits to visitors who want to learn everything they can about life on the islands.

 

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