Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
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Seven Mile Beach (SMB) is a long crescent of coral-sand beach on the western end of Grand Cayman island. Seven Mile Beach is known for its beauty, recently receiving the honor of "The Caribbean's Best Beach" from Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. It is public property (as are all beaches in the Cayman Islands) and one is able to walk the full length of the beach, regardless of where you are staying SMB is the most popular and most developed area of Grand Cayman and is home to the majority of the island's luxury resorts and hotels. Despite the name, a generous measurement puts the actual length at just a bit over 5 miles (8.0 km) long. A realistic length for the uninterrupted sandy beach is about 4.5 miles. The beach falls victim to annual erosion, which has reduced its size in some areas, and may have reduced it's length at the ends. Like the rest of Grand Cayman, the development around SMB was severely damaged in Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 but many condominiums & hotels are now running at full capacity.
There are restaurants open to the public at most of the resorts, and several public beach bars. Some small reefs are located just off shore which offer good snorkelling, most notably by the Marriott hotel (an artificial reef), Government House (the Governor's residence), and just north of Seven Mile Public beach. There are few restrictions on use of the beach. Open grilling is allowed, and pets are free to roam the beach off leash. Loud music and public nudity are, however, strictly prohibited.
Directly to the south of Seven Mile Beach is George Town, the capital city of the Cayman Islands, while to the north is the district of West Bay, which features a turtle farm and the limestone formations of Hell. Beautiful turtle shell-based items are sold in many locations, however they are illegal in the US and many other Western countries.
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