Peñasco “Discovered”

Apr 1, 2020 by The Old Gringo

I had planned on writing a piece about the aftermath of Spring Break 2020 (capitalization intended), but veered off course when I started doing a little research and found that there is more going on in Puerto Peñasco than the annual pilgrimage of college students, and some high schoolers, descending on our town to party, party, party…

Reading through the Rocky Point Times, and visiting a couple of websites like Rockypoint360.com or Puerto Peñasco Friends on Facebook, one comes away with the feeling that our little slice of heaven has been “discovered” not only as a desirable vacation destination, but as a great place to live or retire to. I’ve lost count of the number of people who post on social media that they have just moved to our town or are planning to in the near future.

This has both good and bad aspects to it. First, for many years, a lot of gringos have found Puerto Peñasco an enchanting and desirous locale in which to live. A quick look at Sandy Beach, and now along the Playa Encanto to Mayan Palace estuaries, will attest to that.

Many people who come to spend time here do not realize that all of the condos and hotels have arisen in only the past 15 or 20 years, and most of them since 2008. The “old timers” that remember when the Reef was the only building after Playa Bonita for a few miles, or taking the road out to JJ’s Cantina in Cholla Bay for an evening of fun, point to all the new developments and shake their collective heads in dismay. After all, “their” Peñasco was changing, and to their eyes, not for the better.

But that’s the way of things, isn’t it? Things change, sometimes for the better, other times for the worse. Just like Phoenix of the 1960’s is not the Phoenix of the 2020’s, so Puerto Peñasco of the 2020’s will never be like the Peñasco of the 1960’s, 70’s, or 80’s.

Accepting the fact that our town has been uncovered as “the” place to be for a lot of folks, we locals should consider it a blessing…for now. New restaurants and attractions are popping up everywhere to take advantage of our new found celebrity, and that’s terrific, but those of us in the know could tell you that there are many good places to indulge your appetite already in town, as well as any number of diversions of the educational and sporting kind.

So, for those of you who are new to town and want to have a really easy day with a little shopping, sightseeing and good places to indulge your palette follow me:

Start off with a sumptuous breakfast that is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisine at one of my all-time favorite restaurants: La Curva. Located on Blvd. Eusebio Kino, s/n Centro (638-383-3470). They are open at 7:45 a.m. and serve not only a great breakfast, but lunch, dinner and late-night munchies. In fact, I’ve tried just about everything on the menu and have not had a bad meal in over 30 years.

After breakfast, you’re going to want to walk off the calories, so head down to the Malecon (Spanish for ‘pier’) and do some curio shopping or just walk along and take in the sea breeze and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez.

By the time you are thinking about lunch, you’ll be right around the corner from another favorite restaurant; La Cocina de Regina. Regina’s is on 20 de Noviembre, opposite Ulloa Colonial and diagonally opposite Hotel La Roca. You can look at the menu online as well. The ambiance, and food, is charming and very Mexican. Famed artist Frida Kahlo shows prominently in the art and décor, but the food is the star. Have a leisurely lunch, a margarita or two and you’ll feels the kinks come out.

By this time, it might be “nap thirty”, and who could blame you?  We call that “siesta” here and after walking and lunch, it seems to fit very well.

Now, I know that there are many great restaurants in Peñasco, but since this is my story, I’ll share a favorite with you; Dinner at Chef Mickey’s is a personal guilty pleasure.  Chef Mickey’s (Blvd. Fremont, east of Benito Juarez, (638) 388-9500) is a bit hard to find, but trust me, it’s worth it. The cuisine is superb and the attention to detail in preparation and presentation is second to none. The restaurant is spartan, so bring your own ambiance, along with friends. Prices are not super spendy, but their credit card machine is usually down, so cash is preferred.

So, after your scrumptious dinner, a night cap at La Casa del Capitan (if you can’t find it, ask anyone) to take in the lights and evening sights is in order.

There you have it. Just one easy, family friendly, day in Peñasco. Of course, exploring my town has many such delights, and that’s the fun of it. I could list many other favorite restaurants and attractions, but I’m already pushing the column space! Enjoy!

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