One of the fun things about living in a paradise like Puerto Vallarta is the accessibility to activities, nightlife, restaurants and beaches. And, although I go out just about every night of the week, you should know that it does not need to cost a fortune or take forever to find great things to do.
I live downtown so I find sometimes that simply walking around can provide the greatest adventure. Window shopping and walking does not cost a thing and there are always free concerts or other musical and dance events being held in front of Los Arcos, where the Malecon, or boardwalk, begins. Locals here even use the verb “maleconeando” to mean walking on the Malecon in search of something fun to do. Even for those who live outside the main part of town, Uber now has a presence in Puerto Vallarta and taxis and buses are cheap and plentiful.
There also are free museums and art spaces. For example, check out the Museo Naval, also in front of Los Arcos, as well as OPC, the Cultural Projects Office, which is a non-profit space that shows contemporary art exhibits and has a workshop, reading room and a garden area for relaxing and other events.
As I have mentioned in a few of my earlier blogs, there are restaurants in Puerto Vallarta to fit all moods, likes and budgets. Many restaurants offer specials on certain days or at certain times of the day. Most will give a 10-15 percent discount to local residents and often add a free drink or appetizer for the table.
The beaches along the Bay of Banderas are all public and free although beachfront restaurants may request that you drink or eat if you are going to use their tables and chairs. Some beach clubs even charge a cover, which is then applied to food and drink orders. These clubs often provide towels, a pool and bathrooms in their cover charge. Remember, if you bring your own towel, blanket or chair there is no charge to use the beaches, and by Mexican law, there must be public access to the ocean every 200 meters.
When the sun goes down Puerto Vallarta starts to swing. Vallarta was famous for its discotheques and nightclubs back in the day when I was a very frequent patron and nothing has changed. Hot spots on the Malecon or north of downtown in the hotel zone usually do not get going until after midnight, which for this baby boomer, is a bit late. For earlier birds like me, there are live music venues such as El Patio de Mi Casa and Garbo piano bar for jazz and Latin rhythms. They open at 6 p.m. with music starting between 9 or 10. Nacho Daddy is another great place for excellent music. It’s open for lunch and dinner every day of the week.
The latest attraction in Vallarta has to be the live shows and theater venues. In the last 10 years, Puerto Vallarta has exploded on the scene with musical and dramatic performances featuring some big names and faces from all walks of life. The Palm, Act II, Incanto and the Boutique Theater are just a few of this relatively new genre of Vallarta nightlife that has really taken our town by storm.