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Tagaytay City: More Than a Million Dollar View
When it comes to outstanding scenery and plenty of opportunities to appreciate nature, Tagaytay City is a bit of a show-off. Boasting captivating views of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano Island, you’re just a hotel room away from sitting on a patio and enjoying the unforgettable sunsets that Tagaytay City is known for. At a little over an hour away from Manila, the higher altitude and cooler climate is reason alone to visit, but the abundant orchards, wildflower-lined roads, and recreational opportunities like horseback riding, camping and golf will have you wanting to stay for awhile. Combine this with some of the friendliest people around, plus a reputation for being a spiritual retreat, and it’s easy to see why Tagaytay City should be a strong contender for a visit during your Philippines vacation.
Let the Fun Begin in Tagaytay City
If you can tear yourself away from the truly magnificent views of Taal Lake, Tagaytay City has a lot to keep you busy. A good place to start is Museo Orlina. Displaying the works of famous glass sculptor Ramon Orlina, you’ll see glass in a whole new light after spending some time here. The museum goes far beyond conventional thinking of glass objects, and visitors are treated to an intriguing selection of art, with each exhibit more fascinating than the next. Make sure that you take some time for reflection on the roof deck when you are finished admiring the gallery.
For a change of pace, the top-rated Sky Ranch is waiting to bring out the kid in you. The amusement park has the highest Ferris wheel in the country, and a gondola ride with some show-stopping views. The usual assortment of carousels, bumper cars and roller coasters can be found here, and it’s a good place to blow off some steam with the younger crowd. As with anywhere in Tagaytay City, weekends are best avoided if at all possible.
When the day is winding down, it’s time to consider where to eat. Tagaytay City has an increasingly cosmopolitan dining scene, so make sure that you research the best spots for your hard earned money. Many restaurants have lake views, and it doesn’t get any better than watching the twinkling lights from the fishing boats as you feast on local favourites like the tiny tawilis fish, found only in Taal Lake. If you’d also like to wake up to an incredible view, a splurge at the Taal Vista Hotel might be worth it. Built in 1939, it has the best views in Tagaytay City.
Add These Destinations to Your Top Attractions List
The Puzzle Mansion, located just outside of town, is an under-the-radar spot that tends to surprise visitors. After all, it holds the Guinness World Record for the largest puzzle collection in the world, and also has one of the biggest jigsaw puzzles around, clocking in at 18,000 pieces. There are 3D puzzles, religious puzzles, and every kind of puzzle imaginable after 28 years of puzzle collecting, thanks to Gina Gil Lacuna, the founder. Even if you don’t particularly like puzzles, it would be hard not to admire her dedication to gathering so many in one place. Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria is another location on the map that might seem unassuming, but is actually a worthwhile stop while in Tagaytay City. If you’ve been in the Philippines for awhile, this shrine might seem like just another temple, but its imposing 50-foot height indicates that this isn’t your average place of worship, and religious or not, it’s a great place for contemplation, or to learn more about the Filipino culture.
The Best Things in Life Are Free
While a lot of sights in Tagaytay City have reasonable entrance fees, we all know that vacations can add up. One way to offset the cost of traveling is to pick a category to splurge on, while keeping other expenses more modest. For example, fine dining lovers might not be willing to forego the best of the best, but there might be some flexibility when it comes to accommodation. Luckily, Tagaytay City has a wide variety of lodging to choose from, and is known for a great selection of affordable inns and bed and breakfasts. And while hotel rates aren’t as rock bottom as in Thailand or Malaysia, there are still plenty of less expensive hotels, allowing you to spend your money elsewhere.
Of course, another way to stretch your vacation budget is to seek out experiences that are free. Tagaytay City has plenty of those to go around, and one of the best is a visit to the People’s Park in the Sky. You’re guaranteed even more memorable views at this abandoned mansion, known as the Palace in the Sky on the summit of Mount Gonzalez. Jeepneys will bring you to the highest point, but if you want to keep it free, you’ll have to use your legs. Another place where you don’t have to spend anything to have a good time is Picnic Grove. It’s a pleasant spot to – you guessed it, have a picnic, but there are also other free activities to partake in like enjoying the 500-metre nature trail and the hanging bridge.