Saturday March 8, 2014
I recently had a reader write in asking about San Juan as a Spring Break destination... and when you think about it, the island has everything you need for Spring Break: it's easy to get to from colleges all over the east coast; it's got beaches, nightlife and beautiful people.
But in truth, this isn't a huge destination for college kids looking to escape the cold and let loose a bit. You won't find throngs of students partying on the beach with DJs, wet tshirt contests and general hedonistic revelry. You will find plenty of idyllic spots in the sun, all the rum you can drink (and remember, the legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18), and clubs that don't close until the wee hours of the dawn.
If you're looking for the Cancún or Miami Beach experience, Puerto Rico isn't the best place to be (except perhaps the Señor Frogs in Old San Juan). But if you want to escape to a warm Caribbean island with plenty to see and do, this is the place for you.
Saturday March 1, 2014
There's music in the air this month in Puerto Rico. The Casals Festival is in full swing, with premier classical artists and performers delighting audiences at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center in Santurce. The Heineken Jazz Festival is just around the corner, bringing world-class jazz acts to the capital. And three live acts bring local music (at the Taste of Rum Festival), Top 40 Rock bands (Paramore at the Coliseo) and electronica (courtesy of Coors Light Soundfields) to San Juan.
If you prefer sport to music, you can catch world-class golfers at the Puerto Rico Open or surfers taking to the waves at the 25th Corona Pro Circuit in Rincón. And speaking of world-class, who wouldn't want to see Jerry Seinfeld live? He'll be in town this month at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan.
All that and more takes place this month in a very busy and entertaining calendar of events.
Friday February 28, 2014
Puerto Rico gets a long list of celebrities visiting the island every year, whether in town for a movie or just to get away from it all. Johnny Depp has been a frequent visitor, thanks to The Rum Diary and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And the latest "celebrities" to make some news on the island are the "Real Housewives" of Beverley Hills, who were on the the island just a few days ago.
Joyce (Miss Puerto Rico, TWO TIMES, okay!) orchestrated the trip, but the whole crew came with. They chose to stay at Las Casitas at the El Conquistador Resort, and Joyce in particular seemed to appreciate the continuous serenade of the coqui tree frog, the food and the beaches.
There are many hotels where celeb-watching can be a rewarding pastime. I saw one of my favorite actors, John Malkovich, at the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan; New York Knick Carmelo Anthony has been known to frequent the St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort, and I ran in to Baseball player Carlos Beltrán at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino... and I've seen my share of stars on Culebra and Vieques Islands.
So whether it's a housewife, a sports star or one of the most revered actors of his generation, Puerto Rico is host to many celebrities throughout the year.
Who have you seen on the island?
Wednesday February 26, 2014
March 2014 kicks off in grand style with the Taste of Rum Festival. One of the biggest food and drink events on the island, Taste of Rum is the official rum festival of Puerto Rico, and takes place on March 1 along the Paseo de la Princesa Boulevard that stretches from the docks to to the Raíces Fountain at the foot of the old city.
Beyond the island's favorite spirit, you can enjoy local food from restaurants like Perrurican and Soleil Beach Club and enjoy live music, this year featuring a tribute to The Police and Marc Anthony. Tickets are $45 for the rest of the month or $60 on the day of the event.