Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
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Seven Mile Beach (SMB) is a long crescent of coral-sand beach on the western shore of Grand Cayman island. Despite its name, the beach is only about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) long. Seven Mile Beach is known for its beauty, recently receiving the honor of "The Caribbean's Best Beach" from Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. 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. The beach is only about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) long and falls victim to annual erosion, which has reduced its size in some areas. 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.
Seven Mile Beach is public property, and it is possible to walk the full length past many hotels and villas. 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. There is The Cayman Turtle Farm that was rebuilt after a hurricane destroyed it in September 2004. Today, it is built directly adjacent to the ocean.
Gecarcinus ruricola crabs can be found on the beach at night and at sunrise.
Resorts and condominiums on the coast include the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, the Marriott Beach Resort, the Westin Grand Cayman, the family-friendly Beachcomber, and the under-construction WaterColours. At least 40% of the 60 luxury residences of the WaterColours have been sold, ranging in price from $3 million to $9 million.
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