Rincon, PR - Almost California Dreaming
Photo - El Faro Punta Higueras, Rincon, Puerto Rico
Rincon, the locals refer to it as Gringo Land, as there are gringos everywhere. No wonder, the surrounding area is beautiful and as you will see, the surf always seems to be up...dude. There is a real SoCal feel and buzz here.The town is small, but there are plenty of dining options to be had, most above average from what we experienced so far during our visit. If you're a craft beer lover, check out the Rincon Brewing Company. Typically there are 5-7 craft beers on tap and many additional choices available via can or bottle. Ocean Lab of Puerto Rico, one my favorite local Puerto Rican microbrewers, make a very drinkable IPA, served everywhere on the island, including here. They also serve up decent eats to pair with your brew. The Roots Restaurant was also a "go to" for us. Repurposed building, converted into a small oasis of goodness with a full bar. The menu is eclectic, if not wonderfully schizophrenic. From sushi to churrasco, there is something for everyone. There are even great vegetarian options as well.
Photo - Downtown, Rincon, Puerto Rico
Dodging between the young surfers, the locals and older ex pat lifers, life in Rincon seems to be a pretty down to earth experience. There are several beaches nearby, Domes Beach is a smaller beach with great views and ample surfing. Guarding the beach from above, is the Faro Punta Higüeras (the lighthouse), a great place to gather for epic sunsets. Also in town is the Balneario Rincon, I like to think of this as a city beach, it's walkable from town. It's flat, wide and filled with local flavor, we loved that. The town of Rincon is complete with a square that hosts weekly craft shows, complete with live music. Rincon feels festive, well because it is. There is life here, it's laid back, easy going, a breathe easy sort of life. Rincon is an open arms nook on the island's northwest corner. In our search and destroy mission, we traveled Route 413 (it's famous) and discovered, much like Columbus (small joke), beautiful beaches, like Sandy Beach West. MIght be one of the best beaches in the area IMO. Blood pressure is immediately lowered here, you breathe deeper, you take your time. Rincon calls for that, might even demand it. While on Route 413, check out the Beach House. You can dine here, you can stay here. The views from on high at the Beach House are without equal (the town Rincon lies below) and the food is equally as good. Take your time to eat, drink and be merry as Route 413 is an epic drive.
Photo - Route 413, Rincon, Puerto Rico
One last aside, if you are feeling adventurous, travel Route 414 in Rincon from either direction from 115 (414 travels SW to NW) and see Rincon from on high. While the travel up Route 414 might give way to some trepidation (feels fairly desolate and desperate), the views once you summit, are without equal. On Sundays, the Suzuki Samurai Car Club gathers near the summit, it's a spectacle of sight, sound, car culture, and locals having a great time.
Photo - Sandy Beach West, Rincon, Puerto Rico