August is here with its long summer days, heat and humidity. August also means the end of summer vacations. Now we start preparing for fall, with shorter days and cooler weather. But what is there to worry about if you can be soaking in the warm calm waters of the Sea of Cortez?
Labor Day offers the perfect opportunity for a beach getaway to Rocky Point. For budget travelers a road trip to Rocky Point is ideal, you only need money for gas, no plane ticket or tolls required to get here. If you live in Arizona Rocky Point is the nearest beach, which means a lot less time in the car and a lot more time enjoying the long weekend. Puerto Peñasco is also more budget friendly than say, San Diego. The ocean water here is much calmer and a whole lot warmer than the nearest US Spot. It is much easier to find rooms under $100 or to rent an entire house and bring your friends & family to share the cost. Meals you can adjust to your budget, there are lots of accommodations that include a kitchen, so you can save your money and, if you go out, you can choose a fancy restaurant or join the locals eating at the neighborhood hot dog stand, sea food tacos, hamburger spot, giant burrito stand etc. which would all be very budget friendly. Our favorite local ice cream shop called “La Michoacana” offers a plethora of handmade ice cream with flavors you have never heard of such as “Maria cookies with lemon”, mango, chewing gum, kiwi, and the more traditional favorites such as vanilla, pistachio, pecan, chocolate chip etc. Most are ice cream and a few are sherbets, but if you choose certain flavor let’s say strawberry, expect a whole lot of strawberries in it, not just pink color and strawberry flavor. One scoop is 15 pesos or about $1.25 US and can come in a cup or a cone. There are a few Michoacanas in town but our favorite one is close to the phone company right downtown.
We visited a Mexican restaurant called “La Fondita”; they have several Mexican dishes at around 80 pesos which is about 7 dollars, not bad for a sit down experience. Options include “Bistec Ranchero” (minced steak in tomatoes and onions together with rice and beans) very tasty). Stuffed chilies, Mexican combination, and even a wonderful caldo de queso or cheese soup (local food you can hardly find in restaurants). You can have a sit-down restaurant experience without spending a bunch. They are very friendly, have Wi-Fi available, and offer inside and outside seating areas. It is located on Blvd Fremont just before the Black Dog (one block after the Red Cross). We also like Cocina Express, you can have breakfast lunch and dinner, and there are several dishes under $5dlls to choose from, including “Camaron Ranchero” a soupy dish with small shrimp, served with tortillas, super tasty and local. It’s close to Pollo Lucas but going east 1 block towards town. Don’t forget to ask locals for the special of the day you might consider: Max’s Café has ½ price wings on Thursdays (wings come in many different options of sauces and boneless also), Saturdays Chateaubriand for two for $24. Bryans Bar: Mondays sliders for $1, Wednesdays 2X1 wings $7.50, Thursdays $5 pasta night, Fridays Prime Rib special $11. Dukes has $2.50 Hamburgers on Mondays. Over on Sandy Beach, the Sonoran Grill (at Sonoran Spa) has the following specials: Friday night Prime Rib for $12.50, Saturday Fajitas $10, Sunday Shrimp and Turf Kabobs for $9.50.
So start planning that Labor Day trip, and reserve a room right away because these past weekend’s we have been to full capacity. Puerto Peñasco is coming back as a great tourist destination, so the best choices will be with early planning. A last minute getaway is also possible but I recommend you book as early as possible.
Go Ahead! Load up your car with your beach gear, sunblock and a good book and come down to enjoy the great beaches and friendly atmosphere of Rocky Point. It will be a great experience for you and your family and you will have memories to last a lifetime. Be patient as the long holiday might involve a wait at the border both going into Mexico and out of Mexico, but I am confident the wait is worth it and you will have a great time and want to come back many times.
See you at the beach!