Tagaytay City is such a breath of fresh air and is a haven for nature lovers wishing to just relax, take refuge, and take a breath of the cool and crisp mountainous air backed by a spectacular view of Taal volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano situated in a lake.
Situated just about 2 hours drive south of Manila, this touristy city is a haven for Metro Manila residents who would regularly flock the area to relax and take a break after a long workweek, and also to indulge in sumptuous feasts in one of the many restaurants offering specialty cuisine and comfort food to travelers seeking calm and serenity.
There are lots of accommodations available to tourists and travelers, but given its close proximity to Metro Manila, most would just opt for a day trip. I’ve recently gone on a day trip to Tagaytay City (right after New Year) with some of my friends, and the whole trip, coming from a person who lives in the metro, is so refreshing.
Stop 1: Take a quick break at one of the gas stations along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
A road trip that requires passing through the SLEX or NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) isn’t complete without taking a stop at one of the fully equipped gas stations along these routes. When I say fully equipped, I mean fully stacked with food supplies and numerous food options. Gas stations along these long routes are a different animal than those we’d regularly see in the metro. Here, gas stations are spacious and satisfying – much like an oasis in the midst of a vast desert.
Stop 2: Go wakeboarding and Koi fish feeding at Nuvali park in Santa Rosa, Laguna
Along the way to Tagaytay is Nuvali park where one could do various activities, including wakeboarding (read about my blog post on wakeboarding at Republic Wakepark in Nuvali) and Koi fish feeding. If you want to go on a feeding frenzy with the fish, pellets are available at about PHP If you embarked on your road trip really early in the morning you could squeeze both in your itinerary.
Stop 3: Lunch with a breathtaking view of Taal volcano at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay
One of my friends suggested that we had lunch at Bag of Beans, a quaint cafe & restaurant right along Aguinaldo Highway (contact number (046)4134356). You’ll immediately feel your senses loosening up once inside given its relaxing ambiance and the smell of freshly brewed kapeng Barako (Barako coffee), especially when looking at the remarkable view down the mountains into Taal lake. I particularly liked how homey this place felt – like visiting an old family friend in the province. The food was excellent and the selection of comfort food (especially their cheesecake) perfectly matches the airy and homey ambiance of this restaurant.
Stop 4: Have coffee and enjoy a better view of Taal Volcano and Lake at Leslie’s Restaurant
I must admit Bag of Beans has a great view from its balcony, but there’s no doubt Leslie’s restaurant has a better, clearer, and awesome-er view. Also situated along Aguinaldo Highway (contact nos. (046)4130488 and 4131065), Leslie’s restaurant has always been a favorite amongst visitors, particularly because of its glorious (and one of the best) view of the natural wonder, and also because of its famous Bulalo (hot beef shank and marrow soup) that’s a perfect pairing with the crisp air of Tagaytay.
Stop 5: Fruit frenzy along Tagaytay roads!
Along with its mouthwatering cuisine, fresh and crisp air, and amazing views comes another Tagaytay specialty: its roadside stands selling local delicacies and specialties along the highways. Tagaytay has lots of farms and plantations, including vast pineapple farms, hence its not uncommon to find dozens of stalls selling the freshest picks along its narrow roads. Stands selling flowers, buko pies, and various local sweets also line the highway, so expect to return home with a lot of goodies on hand.
Happy road trip,
What Tagaytay spot is your favorite? Feel free to Share Your Story, comment, share your tips, or ask a question. Please also like me on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you!