Admit it or not, sometimes even a few weeks of rest during the holiday season isn’t enough to keep our energy up for the entire year. Which is why sometimes long weekends and much-needed road trips are a fun idea. Staycations may be a common options, but most days what many prefer would be a quiet space away from the buzzing noise of city life. For those looking for a bit of serenity and a new scenery, here are a few provinces that are worth the road trip:
1. Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Only about an hour to an hour and a half away from Manila, Sta. Rosa is a budding commercial zone. Enchanted Kingdom used to be the prime tourist attraction but now retail spaces like Nuvali are drawing in more people from Manila. The area is complete with local and international shops. Spaces to bike, wake-boarding spaces, the latest restaurants and even light shows during certain seasons. With convenient transport services like the Premium Point-to-point buses, getting there is much more convenient.
2. Antipolo, Rizal
Just an hour away from the city, Antipolo is a hodgepodge of different sceneries and activities. It’s got a little something for just about every road tripper. One of the best-known spots in Antipolo would most like be the Pinto Art Museum—for just P200, one can immerse himself in different art pieces and the museum’s architectural details. Just about every corner of the space is also Instagram-worthy, which is why it’s popular among millennials.
For the nature and adventure enthusiasts however, Antipolo also boasts of Chase Waterfalls which can be found in Hinulugang Taktak. It’s completely free and is great place to beat the heat during the summer season. For a bit of spook and awe, Inday Nelly’s Mystical Cave has been a popular choice. Complete with guided tours, the alluring cave draws in the curious. Meanwhile ATV rides are also a hit among many activity seekers. For roughly P3,000-5,000, one can race through the forest or rocky paths for a the thrill of the adventure.
3. Baler, Aurora
When the sun’s out and surf’s up, one of the first places any local would think of is Baler. Aurora’s pride possession, this tourist spot is a breath of fresh air. Its most popular spot would probably by Sabang beach. For P500/hour, a licensed surfing instructor can teach you the ropes of surfing. But for those who want more action than above the waters, visitors can snorkel at Dicasalarin Bay. It’s a great area to witness untouched corals and colorful marine life.
If you want to visit the town proper, there are a few establishments that are only a few feet away. The Doña Aurora House is often crowded with visitors for how great the state of the home is despite the old age. It is also the home of former President Manuel L. Quezon. Not far from this heritage site is the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish, which has been standing since the 18th century.
4. San Fernando, La Union
Another option for those up for some sand and sea would be La Union. There are a lot of beach-related activities that can motivate any beach bum to work through the week. Aside from surfing lessons you can take, there is also a beach-side library take encourages you to kick off your flipflops, lay on a hammock and read away the day. Grab a bowl of some of the place’s infamous smoothie bowls, it’s also a great excuse for the perfect food flatlay.
Stepping away from some Vitamin sea will bring you to the Taoist Ma-Cho Temple. It’s a unique sight especially in the Philippines, and because it’s a bit of climb, you’re awarded with a stunning view too. The miraculous Apo Caridad Parish is never left empty. Many bypassers and visitors add this to their itinerary whenever driving up to La Union.
5. Bolinao, Pangasinan
While the other may be a more common destination, Balinao is often overlooked but actually serves a lot of varied fun activities. Roughly a five and a half to six hour drive away from Manila, the place is rich in luscious beaches. Patar White Beach, a quiet and soothing place is top choice for most road trippers but is never too crowded to ooze away any stress.
If you’re looking for serene photoshoot locations, the Cape Bolinao lighthouse exudes a certain charm that gives the place that much more character. Bolinao also has a few waterfalls for a bit of swimming and possible cliff diving. But some of its most visited locations would be resorts, including a talked-about Greek-inspired resort that will make any visitor want to extend their stay.
Hoping on a plane and jetting to a new place can be a thrill. But sometimes the bond and memories made through road trips are priceless. The trip itself may be rewarding, but if a great destinations can be just as exuberant, than the entire trip is definitely one for the books. Before skimming through 2019, make sure to add these local hotspots in your radar.