Ocean Park Neighborhood in San Juan

Scenic View Of Beach By Buildings Against Cloudy Sky

Douglas Cunningham  / Getty Images

Ocean Park, along with its tiny neighbor to the east, Punta Las Marías, is one of my favorite spots in San Juan. Wedged between Condado in the west and Isla Verde in the east, this little residential pocket is home to a charming collection of guesthouses and inns, a great beach, and fun, casual places to eat and hang out. It's a little bit of the laid-back California vibe in Puerto Rico. It's also a very popular destination for gay travelers to the island.

Where to Stay

Forget posh hotels: in Ocean Park, you have a choice of welcoming boutique inns and excellent private rentals.

  • Numero Uno Guest House is the quintessential Ocean Park hotel; intimate, cozy, and right on the beach. It also has a fantastic restaurant.
  • Hostería del Mar is another popular beachfront choice with a great restaurant.
  • Tres Palmas Inn is a basic, budget option that's recently been renovated.
  • El Prado Rentals offers something different - private rentals ranging from furnished one-bedroom apartments to beautiful villas. It's one of San Juan's lodging bargains.

Where to Eat

  • Pamela's at the Numero Uno Guest House is a beachfront bistro serving inventive local cuisine along with an excellent wine list.
  • If you want to get your steak on, head to Che's, Puerto Rico's most popular Argentinian restaurant.
  • Order dishes to go or dine in at Kasalta, a favorite local panadería.
  • Come to Pinky's for out-of-this-world smoothies and hearty, healthy breakfasts.

What to See and Do

Ocean Park differs from the rest of San Juan in that it has no monuments, casinos or museums. Everything centers on being outside and enjoying the neighborhood's best natural resources.

  • Resource #1 is, of course, the beach. Ocean Park Beach and Punta Las Marías are very popular with locals and discerning tourists who don't care for the spectacle of Isla Verde and Condado. The latter is San Juan's most popular surf spot, and on the weekends you'll find it mobbed with surfers, windsurfers, and kiteboarders.
  • Resource #2 is the park that gives Ocean Park its name but, to be honest, it's not worth going out of your way.

Where to Shop

Similar to its cultural offerings, Ocean Park is a bit meager on the shopping front. Still, there are a few places worth mentioning: 

  • Velauno is your one-stop-shop for all things surf-related. You can even learn surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding here, at one of the Caribbean's best outfits.
  • Sassy Girl on Santa Cecilia Avenue is true to its name, stocking handbags, accessories, lingerie, and bathing suits designed for a more youthful crowd.
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