Much of the Brac’s coastline is ironshore, though there are several pretty sand beaches, mostly along the southwest coast (where swimmers will also find extensive beds of turtle grass, which creates less than ideal conditions for snorkeling). In addition to the hotel beaches, where everyone is welcome, there is a public beach with good access to the reef; it’s well marked on tourist maps. The north-coast beaches, predominantly rocky ironshore, offer excellent snorkeling.
Buccaneer’s Beach.…Just north of the airport, the rocky stretch is somewhat rough, but the snorkeling is sublime; you’ll recognize the area when you see the 1860 windlass (winch) of the SS Kersearge in the ironshore. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling. | Georgiana Dr., just before North Side Rd. E | West End, Cayman Brac.
Pollard Bay.…The beach by Cayman Breakers is fairly wide for this eastern stretch of the island. You can start clambering east underneath the imposing Bluff, past the end of the paved road, to find strikingly beautiful deserted stretches accessible only on foot, but the water here starts churning like a washing machine. It becomes progressively rockier, littered with driftwood; you might stumble upon locals searching for whelks here. There are also new steps by the Breakers leading to shore dive sites. Flocks of seabirds darken the sun for seconds at a time, while blowholes spout as if answering migrant humpback whales. Don’t go beyond the gargantuan rock called First Cay—the sudden swells can be hazardous—unless you’re a serious rock climber. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; walking. | South Side Rd. E | East End, Grand Cayman.
Public Beach.…Roughly 2 miles (3 km) east of the Brac Reef and Carib Sands/Brac Caribbean resorts, just past the wetlands (the unsightly gate is visible from the road; if you hit the Bat Cave you’ve passed it), lie a series of strands culminating in this relatively deserted beach (despite its name). The surf is calm and the crystalline water fairly protected for swimming. There are picnic tables and showers in uncertain condition. Snorkeling is quite good. Amenities: showers. Best for: snorkeling. | South Side Rd. W | South Side, Cayman Brac.
Sea Feather Bay.…The central section of the south coast features several lengthy ribbons of soft ecru sand, only occasionally maintained, with little shade aside from the occasional coconut palm, no facilities, and blissful privacy (aside from the occasional villa). Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; swimming; walking. | South Side Rd. just west of Ashton Reid Dr., Sea Feather Bay | South Side, Cayman Brac.