• Weekend Getaway:  San Juan, Puerto Rico

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    With summer vacation just around the corner {or perhaps a lingering spring break trip}, a quick and easy getaway to make without breaking the bank is a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. With miles of golden-sand beaches, food tours, and the charming city center of Old San Juan, a trip to the Island of Enchantment is a prime option for any vacation. Read on to learn all about a weekend getaway in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    san juan pr getaway

    Before Booking Your Trip

    Puerto Rico is called the Island of Enchantment for a reason. With regular flights out of Newark and JFK {a roughly three to four-hour flight time, depending on tail winds}, a getaway to PR is feasible for any NJ/NYC local. Now, on to the fun bits – what to expect when you land.

    All within San Juan {or driving’s distance} visitors from a cascading rainforest {El Yunque} to the bustling nightlife of Old San Juan, there’s something that appeals to every type of vacationer. Of course, for those seeking a more leisurely vacation {like one that involves less gallivanting and more sunbathing}, San Juan is home to a number of beach resorts that cater to every guests’ sun-soaking and poolside needs.

    See More: {Long} Weekend Getaway Idea: Paris, France

    Where to Stay 

    El San Juan {6063 Isla Verde Avenue}

    el san juan hotel

    {Photo credit: Julian Milone}

    For a decadently designed hotel that’s always got something going on, the El San Juan hotel is a great option. The newly redone lobby re-opened officially last year, featuring a specialty wine bar, a cocktail bar, a live salsa band, and gorgeous hand-carved wooden ceilings. The best part is {beyond its gorgeous interior + beach resort nature}, that the El San Juan is home to a night club, Club Brava, which stays open until 5:00AM on weekends for any late-night partiers {and reduces stumbling home time for those staying in the hotel}.

    La Concha Resort {1077 Ashford Avenue}

    Guests staying at La Concha Resort are staying in a “shell” {la concha translated means shell}. Located on the Condado strip {a section of San Juan that is constantly bustling with restaurants + bars}, La Concha is a resort property with, of course, beachfront views, an in-house club called Fifty Eight, a fitness center {for those who can’t miss a workout}, and more.

    More Lodging

    Beyond the above, San Juan caters to tourists, with a variety of beach resorts and hotels. Marriott and Hilton both have properties a number of properties in the city, and there’s a growing list of boutique hotels to stay in as well.

    What to Do

    There’s no shortage of activities to satisfy every member of a vacation gang. Whether it’s a food tour, day trip {because, it’s a MUST to take advantage of the gorgeous tropical weather}, or shopping adventure, San Juan has it all.

    Explore Old San Juan

    el moro san juan

    ^El Morro {a historic fort} can be found in Old San Juan

    Old San Juan {Viejo San Juan} is the historic district of the city. Beyond its history, Old San Juan is filled with vibrantly colored homes + shops to explore {and perfect for a photo op}, has plenty of under the radar restaurants worth a try, and more. A stroll around the city is perfect for those seeking a break from the beach.

    Hop on a Catamaran Tour

    For the adventurous, opt for a catamaran tour. Prepare for an all-day adventure with this one, as boat goers will be taken on a snorkeling trip to discover what gorgeous creatures and wildlife live beneath the surface {all while soaking up the sunshine from the boat’s deck}. A great local tour group is Castillo Tours, which offers a range of sail and snorkel tours every week.

    Visit Paseo Caribe {15 Avenue Luis Muñoz Rivera}

    Finally, for those in need of a more leisure-filled activity, pay a visit to Paseo Caribe. Filled with shops, restaurants, and live music the weekends, a visit to this one-stop-shop locale is great for a relaxing day + escape from the sun {if needed}.

    Flavors of San Juan Food Tour

    old san juan alley

    ^ One of the many colorful buildings you’ll stumble across on your walking tour

    For the foodies out there, give the Flavors of San Juan food tour a go. Taking guests on a walking tour of Old San Juan, food lovers will indulge in Puerto Rican classic dishes {like alcapurrias}, make their own mofongo {a traditional dish made with fried plantains}, and more all while learning about the history of the city from the tour guide. Get more information and book your tour here.

    Where to Eat

    A trip without delicious food is a trip not enjoyed to the fullest. Being deemed the Island of Enchantment, the food in San Juan is just as enchanting as its culture and history. A visit to the capital would be incomplete without checking out some of the delicious restaurants that call the city home.

    Read More: Weekend Getaway Idea: New Orleans, Louisiana

    Caficultura {401 San Francisco Street}

    caficultura san juan

    A great brunch option is Caficultura in Old San Juan. The menu boasts delicious sandwiches and coffee options, as well as a choice of bottomless flavored mimosas {we are fans of the passion fruit option, trust us on this one}.

    Punto De Vista {307 Calle de Fortaleza}

    A Team HG favorite is Puerta de Vista in Old San Juan. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Hotel Milano and offers sweeping views of the city and the chance to catch a gorgeous Caribbean sunset on clear evenings.

    The menu items here are as delicious as the views are gorgeous. Try the ropa vieja {marinated beef} with a side of rice and beans {we’re big fans of rice and beans here at Team HG}, or opt for the savory + satisfying fish tacos. No matter what diners order, they’ll be leaving full and happy.

    Beyond Old San Juan

    For a heartier dinner, Old San Juan and beyond are filled with an array of options. El Market at the El San Juan Hotel {6063 Isla Verde Avenue} is home to delicious beef empanadas and an exquisite menu of decadent options, while for a delicious traditional dish {like mofongo}, head to Bebo’s Café {1600 Calle Loíza}. The menu here is riddled with traditional dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    And if you’re missing the fine Italian cuisine of Hudson County, fear not — head to Serafina {1077 Ashford Avenue}. Located right next to the La Concha Resort, this Italian restaurant {with another location in NYC} boasts tasty classics like burrata mixed in with modern Italian dishes such as spaghetti all’aragosta, papparadelle alla putanesca, and more.

    old san juan getaway

    Regardless if you’re headed to San Juan for work or play, it’s a prime spring {or any time of year} getaway for a quick Caribbean fix.

    Have you visited San Juan? Have any local hotspots to share? Let us know in the comments! 


    Written by:

    Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.