Last week, the U.S. government made a historic announcement about normalizing relations with Cuba—including plans to ease travel restrictions for Americans. What that means for travelers is still to be determined. So in the meantime, here’s some Cuban eye candy.
1. Malecon (above)
This waterfront stone esplanade and seawall fronts Havana Harbor and is a popular nighttime gathering spot for families, groups of friends and fishermen.
This seaside town has grown to be one of the largest resort areas in the Caribbean. And with more than 12 miles of palmy beaches dotted with reasonably priced resort hotels, it’s no wonder Canadians and Europeans flock here.
3. Hotel Nacional
This grande dame hotel was built in 1930 by the same New York architecture firm that designed the Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University. Perched on a hill overlooking Havana Harbor, the hotel has a faded grandeur (can’t you just picture people gliding around in ball gowns and tuxedos?)
4. Old Havana
This part of town is full of grand old buildings now crumbling from years of neglect, yet it is still the second most populated part of the city. A walk through Old Havana is one architectural--and vintage car--eyeful after another. Stroll around and talk to the people, like Beyoncé and Jay Z did on their trip here last year.
Paris has Café de Flore, New York has the Algonquin Hotel and Havana has El Floridita. This restaurant-bar is known as a hangout for literary types like Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos and Graham Greene. Oh, and a little cocktail called the daiquiri was invented here.