San Juan, Puerto Rico: The Perfect Winter Escape
San Juan, Puerto Rico is #1 on the New York Times Top 52 Places to Go in 2019. Now, I confess it wasn't #1 on my travel bucket list, but Puerto Rico really exceeded all of my expectations. It's the perfect destination to escape the cold winter weather in search of some sun! And an even better place to celebrate my bestie’s 30th birthday. The turquoise water, the sand between our toes and coquito in hand. The warmth of the island was experienced from all sides, from the people and their kindness to the warm Atlantic Ocean.
A delightful 80 degree day greeted us our first full day. And not too humid either! We stayed in Isla Verde - a 5 minute drive from the airport, 5 minute walk from the beach, and 2 minute walk from the store. Talk about ease of access!
Naturally, the first thing we did was jump in the water. It was hard to believe that across the USA, people were suffering from frigid temperatures while we were working on a tan. Once we got hungry, which always seems to come quickly on vacation, my natural inclination is to find a rooftop view. I wanted a birds eye view of the beach and the rest of the island. Luckily, Mist Rooftop Bar & Kitchen was just down the way. We were seated at the most perfect corner booth to lounge, chat and enjoy the view. I definitely recommend having at least a drink at the top if you’re nearby.
But the spot that really stole our hearts in terms of cuisine was El Alambique Beachfront Bar and Grill. We treated ourselves to a feast of ceviche, empanadas and best of all, mussels in a white wine sauce. I’m telling you, this spot was delicious!
We were lucky enough to travel to San Juan the same weekend San Sebastián Festival was happening. They blocked off all of the streets of Old San Juan and let the party ensue! As we wandered, we caught the magical sunset on a balcony; stumbled upon an old man rolling cigars; ran into groups of friends sitting in folding chairs chatting in middle of the street; and finally - found the main lively street to dance down. As the night went on, more and more people spilled into the streets to celebrate. The energy was contagious! We bounced from bar to bar and at one point even found ourselves at a music festival.
Puerto Rico was listed as number one for a reason.