Editor’s Note: This Week in Paradise

A huge high-five to Robert Price and his team at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens for being selected as a Best Botanical Garden in North America by US Today. Coming in at fourth place is a well-deserved coup for the gardens and our little city.  Felicidades!

As the weather turns… The humidity has become denser. The sun hotter. The oceans warmer. And my need for a pool greater! I saw one at Costco last week. Only 12,000 pesos. That’s a justifiable expense, right?

Well, instead of buying a pool this week, we went to a hit up a couple of beach clubs for snacks and cocktails. First, we thought we’d try someplace new and drove over to Ecetera Beach Club in Nuevo Vallarta. We settled into some beach chairs and put our feet up.

Service was impeccable, really excellent. The drinks a little weak but the Aguachili was fresh and tangy. The beach here is spectacular. Safe waves, long flat sandy beach. If I had little kids, I’d make this a goto spot for weekends.

Thinking we’d rather be close to home if we were to keep cocktailing, we pulled up camp and went to El Solar, which is consistently our go-to for a good reason. Great menu, great staff, great location, great tunes (played at an appropriate decibel) and well-poured drinks. You can’t go wrong at this beachfront bar/restaurant.

I hear there is a new beach club opened up at Mantamar. I haven’t been yet, but it is creating a buzz. And La Patrona in San Pancho is next on my list of decadent places to explore. Maybe next weekend.

A couple of calendar items – Restaurant Week starts next Tuesday, May 15 and runs until June 10. For a complete list of the restaurants and their contact information – visit vallartatribune.com

Pride is coming up on May 20-27, and Jim Lee (welcome back to the fold!)  has all the details in his new column Out Vallarta!

Puerto Vallarta’s centennial takes place on May 31, and there are many events going on throughout the month. The best place to look for details is on their Facebook page. The city has just announced that Pepe Aguilar, Banda Superstar Extraordinaire will be headlining the free concert on the Malecon on May 31. Expect huge crowds for this event.

Next week on Sunday, May 13 at 4:30 pm on the Malecon will be the second edition of Down Vallarta, an extreme mountain bike race that takes place through the streets of Centro. Internationally acclaimed riders will take part. It’s a fabulous spectacle. Just don’t plan on driving downtown that day or getting through Centro very quickly.

Finally, if the elastic on your favourite swimsuit is about to go, Sirena Reina, the number one pick for Reader’s Choice Bathing Suit Shop, is holding their Super Summer Sale with discounts as much as 30% off. Owner Robina Oliver stocks very high-quality suits that fit a wide range of body types.  There is a reason why they are consistently the best swimsuit shop in town. Check it out!

Plenty of info in this week’s pages and online at www.vallartatribune.com. Thank you as always for spending a part of your day with us!

Safe travels,