San Juan might technically be part of the United States, but it feels world's apart. From the colorful culture to the flavorful food, this place is memorable to the max.
Getting there is easier than you think. In fact, distance-wise, it's a pretty sweet deal. Flights from NYC are a mere 4-hour plane ride, making this the perfect weekend getaway spot. Plus, since Puerto Rico is a US Territory, there's no immigration.
For my week of fun in the sun, I stayed at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Casino on Condado Beach. It proved to be the perfect "home away from home," with a friendly, welcoming vibe and plenty of flavorful drinks to quench my thirst.
While it's easy to lump all Marriott's into the same group, it's San Juan hotel does incorporate the local culture whenever possible, especially in their famous Dragonberry mojitos and nightly salsa dance parties (a major hotspot for locals). We even met a man who had been coming here to dance for decades.
The property has pretty much anything you might need—gym, spa, two pools, on-site restaurants/bars and plenty of lounge space. Best of all, it's literally right on the beach, which not only makes for an amazing view, but easy access to the waves whenever you so please.
That said, I still recommend leaving the resort, as there is so much to see and do outside of the hotel. Old San Juan, with it's charming blue cobbled streets, lively bars and quaint souvenir shops, is only a 15-20 minute taxi ride away.
On the flip side, you can hop in a cab to explore other nearby beaches. I took a surf class with class with WoW Surf School on Playa Isla Verde and then spent an hour or two chilling in the shade.