Weekend getaways, as we all know, can be a much needed fix for a restless mind and an easy vacation. Hopping in the car to travel either locally or further is a perfect way to escape the work week without going on big trip or breaking the bank.
Here at TheItMom, we love to find cool, new spots worth sharing and highlighting ones you might not even know about. And while a weekend trip is often just a car ride away, many weekend getaways can also include a plane. Sometimes, the places you don't even consider can wind up being a quick weekend well spent.
Puerto Rico, which is just a short plane ride away, is not only closer than you may think, but it is also a totally doable weekend getaway. While the capital city of San Juan is bustling and fun, there are other places off the beaten path that can easily fill up 3 days and leave you wanting more. A trip to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, which is 30 miles east of San Juan, not only provides a different vacation, but one slightly less traveled. And yet, with big resorts, family fun, local activities and more there is no shortage of stuff to occupy your time. Here are 5 things to do on a weekend getaway to Rio Grande that will leave you happy, full, and maybe even extending your trip.
1. Stay Resort Bound. With many big resorts inhabiting Rio Grande, it can be just as fun to stay on the resort as to leave it. Water sports, family games and hotel activities fill the day and night, and the weekend will be over before you know it. My favorite weekend resort past time? Pool Bingo.
2. Go Local. No matter where you travel, one of the easiest and most successful ways to truly rock your trip is to experience everything local. Go somewhere less inhabited by tourists, and more by local people, or forgo your concierge and ask a local how to spend your day. You'll experience something more authentic and most likely, more interesting. And while resort food can be easy, most Puerto Rico destinations do not offer all-inclusive packages. Although your hotel restaurant might offer some tasty options, venturing off the grounds will provide a more affordable and more unique experience. In Rio Grande, the small neighborhood of Luquillo is a short ride away and offers a long row of vendors with both bars, clubs and restaurants. For an excellent local meal, hop into La Parilla or Congas and get ready to take some food pics.
3. Visit the El Yunque rainforest. Even on a weekend getaway, one might need a break from the relaxation of the beach or pool. A beach getaway doesn't always need bells and whistles–just simple sun and surf. And yet, you can't visit Rio Grande without venturing off the resort for at least half a day and visiting the El Yunque rainforest. The only tropical rainforest in the United States, it covers 28,000 acres and provides for all levels of adventurers. The rainforest has paved walkways, making hikeing easier, but it offers authenticity in other ways. From surrounding wildlife to twisting trails and water falls, you can easily feel one with nature. Though if integrating isn't your thing, the park is also accessible by car. But, if you really want to experience everything El Yunque has to offer, you are going to have to get out of your car and explore.
4. Check out the Bacardi Rum Distillery. Some might say a visit to Puerto Rico would not be complete without a stop at the Bacardi Rum factory. Puerto Rico produces almost 30 different types of rum, and this is the largest rum distillery in the world. Head over to the information desk at your resort to find out more info, schedule a tour and see what activities the distillery has for you. Besides touring the facilities, you can take a trolley ride, explore the grounds and of course, sample the goods.
5. See the Bioluminescent Bay. One of the biggest tourist attractions in Puerto Rico is the bioluminescent bay, and it's easy to see why. Visitors can take a guided tour during the day or kayak through it at night, exploring both the beauty and the science that makes it what it is. Although the investment might seem a bit scary to some, the payout is well worth the scare.