Top 10 Things to do in Carolina, Puerto Rico

September 18, 2017 Etsuko Causey

Once an important center for sugar production, Puerto Rico's fourth largest city's current fortunes come from its factories. Intriguing nicknames for the city of nearly 200,000 include The Land of Giants and Arm Hackers Town. Situated on the island's north shore, this Atlantic city is considered part of the metropolitan San Juan area. Popular attractions include Carolina Beach, Casa Escute art gallery, Caribbean Raceway Park and Isla Verde Mall. To make the most of your visit, consider renting a car.
Restaurants in Carolina

1. 15 Knots Kiteboarding School

4851 Ave Isla Verde, Carolina 00979-5454, Puerto Rico +1 787-215-5667
Excellent
95%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 135 reviews

15 Knots Kiteboarding School

15 Knots Kiteboarding School is a specialized Kiteboarding School, Shop & Rental center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our main goal is to provide you with an unforgettable experience. By demystifing the sport and simplifying the learning process our friendly and experienced staff will take you to discover your potential. Choose between our famous Discovery Course or a tandem ride with a veteran instructor. We are located in the beautiful spot of the Beach House hotel also known as La Plage by the locals. It features a really cool laid back atmosphere for anyone who wants to chill out beach side while checking the Kite Surfing action. For visitors it offers a full bar with cocktails like Mojito's and Piña Coladas and beers, a restaurant and a ton of beach chairs and beach beds. For Kite Surfers we offer free air compressor to pump your kite, free lockers to store your belongings and highly experience and trained 15 Knots instructors to assist you and provide tips to improve your performance on the water. There is always contemporary music playing with local DJ's. On weekends, this is the spot to be. Come check it out.

Reviewed By jasonsG5606SB

My son (17) and I (47) have never kiteboarded. We loved it! Juan at 15 Knots made it very easy to schedule with only 2 hours notice, and Freddy was simply a superb teacher. Both my son and I were successfully kiteboarding after 2 hours. We can't wait to do it again!

2. Hacienda Campo Rico

Avenida Campo Rico (East), Carolina, PR, Carolina 00985, Puerto Rico +1 787-523-2001
Excellent
81%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 263 reviews

Hacienda Campo Rico

Reviewed By Laura E

We loved our Royal Caribbean excursion to ride the distinctive Paso Fino horses at Campo Rico! Great service from beginning to end - smooth transport, very nice young ladies running the horses. Alexandra and Carmen were the best! They clearly knew the personalities of the horses and gave us great tips how to keep them on track. This reviewer is NOT a rider, so the gentle instruction and equally gentle horse (Mercedes) were much appreciated! Ride was pleasant and Alexandra spent time coaching us on our riding and pointing out local wildlife. Would have loved it if this ranch went more up into the Mountains, but that's ok. I probably would have fallen off my horse going up any sort of hill!

3. Carolina Beach

Carolina, Puerto Rico
Excellent
55%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 285 reviews

Carolina Beach

Balneario Carolina is long stretch of white sand just east of the Isla Verde area in San Juan. It has a parking lot, restrooms, and showers. There's a kiddie water park at the eastern end of the beach.

Reviewed By K A - Midlothian, Virginia

My wife and I found ourselves stranded in Puerto Rico after returning from a week long Caribbean cruise (courtesy of hurricane Irma). No flights out of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and no flights into Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Given the devastation Irma left behind, we considered ourselves very fortunate to have found lodging in Old San Juan with electricity and running water.
The realization that we were completely helpless in deciding when we would be able to get home quickly set in. Businesses in the immediate vicinity of our hotel did not have electricity, stranded tourists, locals, and a strong police presence along with evidence Irma had come through was the environment we found ourselves in.
The weather improved as the days waiting to catch a flight home dragged on and a sense of bizarre normalcy seemed to set in. By this point my wife and I had explored the historical sites of Old San Juan and found ourselves trying to fill our time with some sort of activity to stave off the ensuing boredom, cabin fever, and the stress of waiting for a flight off the island.
Visiting the Concierge we asked about possible excursions. We were told that due to the sporadic availability of electricity or the complete lack thereof in most locations around the island, options were extremely limited but that there was a possible location on La Isla Verde, a small private beach spot a short distance away from our location called “Vivo Beach Club”. After verifying it had power and was open for business we paid the individual day pass fee, got our tickets and took a short 20 minute cab drive.
The drive from the hotel to the club revealed the devastation Irma had dealt to San Juan. Downed trees, power lines, and debris were visible everywhere. As we were approaching the club, our driver explained that the club was privately owned and was guarded and that locals were excluded from entering or enjoying the amenities the property offered. Upon entering the grounds we were astonished that the property seemed like an ‘Oasis’, well landscaped, clean, neat, fantastic ocean views, and a very large pristine curled snake swimming pool, complete with submersible lounge chairs and mini coves with tables for drinks.
The only signs Irma had recently ravaged the area was the beach in front of the property was littered with debris and it was apparent there had been significant beach erosion. It was obvious a valiant attempt had been made to clean the beach directly in front of the club and return a sense of normalcy however the evidence to the contrary could not be ignored.

We later found out this was a cruise excursion destination but as a result of cruise ships cancelling the San Juan port of call and no flights in, we had the place almost completely to ourselves. Our stay was bitter sweet as we were constantly thinking of the hardships unfolding outside the closed guarded gates and the sense of peace we felt enjoying the decadent moment. The drinks were a bit overpriced as was the selection of ‘finger food’, however the service was fantastic and the atmosphere surreal.
Our only regret is that we discovered this gem under the cloud of Irma.
Note: Be aware of the sales pitch.

4. Museo del Nino

Ave Sanchez Vilella, Carolina, Puerto Rico +1 787-257-0261
Excellent
76%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 139 reviews

Museo del Nino

Children's museum filled with interactive, hands-on, passive-learning activities. Complete with a volcano that "erupts" every once in a while, and a real jet that is open for "behind the scenes" tours.

Reviewed By Sander L - Curacao

We, ok, our kids of 1,5 and 3,5 had the best day of the vacation here. In 5 hours the kids enjoyed themselves playing fireman, policeman, fishingman, construnction builders, in the playground, riding the pony. It was great.
One advise: Wednesday in the mornig was very crowded with schoolclasses, so we had to 'fight' for the attractions. Around 1300, they all dissappeard and it became a quit place to play again...

5. Pine Grove Beach

Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Excellent
53%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 287 reviews

Pine Grove Beach

Reviewed By Ready2rock

Street parking is how you park here. Watch out don't park on yellow curb anywhere. After circling the streets a few times we found parking on two separate days. Not impossible! Just keep looking! As far as the waves, they are pretty calm. There is a breaker and that helps, but do keep an eye out. We stayed on condado beach but after seeing how crazy those waves were we decided to drive here twice. The first time was on a Sunday and the beach was pretty packed and there was a stand selling food, you can rent chairs and umbrella. Today we came back and it was much better! Not as crowded. This isn't a beach that has any shells, probably because of breakers. The sand is incredibly soft. The water pretty clear. Pack a lunch bring a towel, this isn't south beach but it's doable.

6. The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton San Juan

6691 Ave of the Governors, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Excellent
31%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
7%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 248 reviews

The Casino at The Ritz-Carlton San Juan

Reviewed By Nicole W - Charleston, South Carolina, United States

We spent a couple of nights at the casino while staying at the hotel, it was nice, but limited on tables and length of time tables would stay open. Everyone seemed to gravitate towards the roulette table so it was sometimes hard to play unless you were one of the first to sit down. The same story for the craps table which didn't stay open very long. The machines were fun and there were a lot of options, but I didn't see any large payouts on any of the nights we spent there. Drink service while gambling was hit or miss, I don't think the servers would approach you to ask if you wanted anything, but would respond 90% of the time if they were called over which was surprising as all other staff members at the Ritz were so attentive to the guests every need. Saturday night was fun as they had karaoke and quite a large crowd of people, we also got to go up to the secret prohibition style bar you have to be escorted up to that same night. That bar was an experience in itself, we were the only ones up there, but service was top notch and the drinks and snacks inventive and delicious!

7. Oasis Casino at Embassy Suites San Juan

8000 Tartak Street, Isla Verde, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico +1 787-791-0505
Excellent
36%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
31%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 123 reviews

Oasis Casino at Embassy Suites San Juan

Reviewed By JimmyDinesOut - Reading PA

The casino is very small, drinks are expensive and weak at the bar. Hard to get a free drink on the floor. But the slots let us play without losing too much. Casino as the Ritz is a little more upscale.

8. Plaza Carolina

Avenida Jesus M. Fragoso, Carolina, Puerto Rico +1 787-768-0514
Excellent
52%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 28 reviews

Plaza Carolina

Reviewed By pinacolada2017

This mall is quite fine, good variety of stores, nice food court, and good deals. It's not that big so you can definitely walk it all. There used to be a cinema, but I think not anymore.

9. Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church

Cll Marg Baldorioty, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico
Excellent
90%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 10 reviews

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church

Reviewed By MsSylviaM - Oklahoma City, OK

This is a very friendly and welcoming catholic church near the hotels in Isla Verde, It is approximately a 5 minute taxi ride from most of the hotels in this area. Please note that the hotel staff and taxi drivers know this church as La Piedad. It is also the name on the church itself.
On Masstimes.org, the name of the church is listed as Our Lady of Piety. Ask to be taken to La Piedad and the local people will know what you are asking.
Mass times are: Saturday - 6:00
Sunday - 9:00, 10:15 (English), 12:00 and 7:00
We attended the Spanish language Masses and even though we don't speak Spanish, we still felt very comfortable.

10. Isla Verde Tennis Club

Isla verde mal mar sur | Call Ama and Rodrigez Madetrainen street, Carolina 00979, Puerto Rico +1 787-727-6490
Excellent
73%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 21 reviews

Isla Verde Tennis Club

The Isla verde tennis club founded some 40 years ago serves the community of Isla Verde,adjacent towns, and local hotels. The club has four hard courts, all lighted for night play. A hitting wall,a fully stocked tennis pro- shop,tringing services and fully trained tennis PTR professionals. Also available are the player matching program and ball machine.

Reviewed By krob001 - Leesburg, Virginia

We stopped by The Isla Verde Tennis Club on a San Juan Cruise stop and we really enjoyed the tennis and hospitality. We cruise a lot and look for Tennis stops to get extra exercise and would definitely add S Isla Verde and Kamil to our list of go to stops. The club is a local club with 4 courts about 10 minute cab ride from old town and the cruise port. They were very welcoming of visitors and made us wish we had looked into this on earlier visits. We primarily worked with the director Kamil Assad because the day we booked was a local holiday, but we peaked in the week before and there were good turnout for the clinics. The prices were very reasonable and the instruction and attention was great. I would recommend tennis fans on a stay or stop to San Juan take advantage. The courts were well maintained and lit, and they have a very good hitting wall. Everyone we met clearly had a passion for the club and tennis, and it showed with how accommodating they were to travelling tennis players.

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