Bananas Guesthouse, Beach Bar & Grill
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Ramshackle Paradise
Just sayin'... As far as beach bars go, this town's one-street scene is all bananas. After my trip, I called one of my awesome friends from college (go Providence!) who has frequented Vieques for work (lucky her), and when I told her how shocked I was about my new beachlife discovery, she said, "I know, ramshackle paradise, right?" Seriously, there is no better phrase. This island is extremely laid-back, and the attitude is carried though by its very friendly locals. We went in the off-season (August) so I feel we didn't see the true "prime time," which was fine and gave us a super relaxing time. We didn't have to wait for service at restaurants, with taxis, or with booking adventures. Also, as we found out, businesses do close for a few weeks toward the end of the summer season, so it was good we went when we did. Fortunately, commercial developers have not destroyed the island's quaintness, and I would say much of the vernacular has been preserved. There is a newer hotel, El Blok, in construction in Esparanza, and the newer W is in its own location; but for the most part, this island is truly original (all two towns and 41 beaches). As for Bananas, the gazpacho is amazing, and frozen rum drinks with shaved nutmeg deliciously refreshing. This beach bar naturally has a stunning view overlooking the Caribbean Sea—a great place to people watch or just hang out.
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