Many travelers imagine Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, as an overcrowded Mexican beach town, overrun with tourists — which it can be in certain areas and at peak season — but there’s so much more to the stunning city than that.
The historic city expands well beyond the boardwalk and Señor Frog’s and runs along centuries-old cobblestone streets, weaving around architectural beauties covered in pastel paint, boasting an authentic locals-only feel with old-world charm.
Such a place exists on the historic side of town. Feel like a local and explore the city on a slower pace in Versalles, a historic locale and unsuspecting neighborhood. North of La Vena and east of the beach, this part of town’s blossoming foodie culture is perfect for families looking for an authentic Mexican dining experience, but with the ease of (a lot) of English-speaking locals and walkable attractions.
For something trendy and off-the-beaten path, but with all the regional favorites, try Abulón, Antojería del Mar. With fresh seafood, incredible guacamole and some of the biggest (and best) margaritas in town, this stop is a must for fresh, local cuisine. Enjoy the open-air atmosphere and the kids can climb on the play equipment under a banana tree — all far away from the pounding house music and club scene by the boardwalk.
Walk around town enjoying the low-key splendor of the rainbow-painted buildings and shops lining the quiet streets — a rare find in this town. This corner of the city is a true find for those looking to escape the crowded beach bars and restaurants and get away from downtown for some local cuisine. Enjoy the best of both worlds, as this town is expansive.
Get a lay of the land with the experts of Puerto Vallarta Food Tour’s new culinary tour and immersive exploration through this up-and-coming side of town. It’s truly the best way to see the city like a local.
Enjoy the beach and the less-hyped section of town on a family vacation with a little geographical shift.
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