THE SAN JUAN METRO AREA IS A COLLECTION OF NEIGHBORHOODS, EACH WITH A PARTICULAR HISTORY AND VIBE. EXPLORE THEM AND YOU’LL ALWAYS DISCOVER SOME HIDDEN GEMS.
Things to Explore
The San Juan Metro Area began centuries ago in what is now called Old San Juan and has ex- tended to Carolina to the east and Bayamón to the west; then south to Guaynabo and Río Pie- dras. Food options abound from fast food chains to local bakeries serving sandwiches on “Pan de Agua” (French bread), Puerto Rican cuisine, Asian, European and more. There’s a growing Food Truck movement with many parks in San- turce, Guaynabo and Bayamón. Fine dining at up- scale restaurants with extensive wine cellars can also be found. Puerto Ricans are very social, with plenty of outdoor nighttime gathering sites such
as La Placita in Santurce and Old San Juan. Clubs can be found in the hotels in Isla Verde and oth- er locations. Shopping is another sport in Puerto Rico with two major malls; Plaza las Américas, the largest mall in the Caribbean in Hato Rey and the Mall of San Juan, full of upscale boutiques. Right next to the Convention Center, the largest in the Caribbean, you’ll ﬁnd Distrito T-Mobile, a brand new, multi-use entertainment center with the- aters for movies and concerts, restaurants, huge projection screens and even an indoor zipline for the adventurous. Old San Juan is a day trip in itself with hundreds of small shops, restaurants, bars and clubs in a Spanish colonial environment.
Unique San Juan Neighborhoods
Condado and Isla Verde are the major beach front hotel districts. Two public beaches – Escambrón, located at the west of Condado, and Balneario de Carolina, close to the airport – are Blue Flag Beaches. Isla Verde beach is a condominium and hotel lined beach perfect for walking or hanging out. Ocean Park Beach is the place to be seen and even to practice or learn kite surfing. It’s also close to Loíza Street, home to specialized restaurants and bars. Ventana al Mar on Ashford Avenue, Condado is a lovely oceanfront park and popular gathering spot. If you’re into stand up paddleboarding go to the Laguna del Condado to rent a board. In San Juan Marina you’ll find deep sea fishing and sunset sailing tours. Santurce has a local hipster area around Calle Cerra, with amazing murals on many of the buildings and chic, quirky restaurants. At the farthest western end of Ponce de León Avenue, you’ll find a nice mix of restaurants.