Vacation Home Face-Off: Old San Juan vs. New San Juan

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If you don’t deal with ice or snow that well, there’s a beach in Puerto Rico waiting for you.

Several airlines–Continental, American Airlines and US Airways–are dangling cheap flights to San Juan, with some going for as little as $119 each way. Depending on where you live, the airfare may be more affordable than a flight to the West Coast.

If you can swing February or March, when temps hang in the low 80s, we pinpointed two vacation rentals for your winter break.

This San Juan rental is just two blocks from Ocean Park beach. Completely rehabbed in January 2008, the house suits families and groups needing the room to cook their own meals, eat at their own dining table and spread out–there’s even another unit at the rear with one bedroom and an attached restroom. The look is clean and minimalist, from the granite countertops to the marble rain shower to the red leather couches in the living room.

Say you’re looking for more authentic character, a piece of Old San Juan.

This second-floor vacation home is made for the traveler who wants to live the life of a San Juanero. Located in the lively shopping/gallery district, the apartment is close to Cristo Chapel, Pigeon Park, the Governors Mansion, and Plaza de Armas. One former renter said, “It would be very hard to find a better apartment in San Juan, on so many levels: location, privacy, security and comfort.”

He mentioned eating at no fewer than 10 great restaurants within five minutes of the flat, which is key when you don’t want to rent a car (which the owner discourage anyway due to the lack of parking in the area).

While friends at home are fighting with their ice picks, you’ll be drinking rum cocktails and snapping photos of the Paseo, a mile-long pathway flanked by the sandstone walls surrounding the city.

Sucks for them, but good for you.

Posted in Beach vacations, Family vacation spots, Romantic getaways

About Valerie

Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.

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