The excitement of getting to enjoy a different culture while traveling is one of the main draws of visiting a new country and there are few places in the world where the influence of many different cultures melding together is more prominent than in the Canary Islands. This collection of sun-baked islands off the coast of Africa have played host to the people of Europe, the Americas and Africa throughout history and their lingering cultural dominances. The capital of these islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, proudly demonstrates the mixed heritage of the archipelago and allows visitors into the unique landscape with something for everyone.
As a city with such marked differences, Santa Cruz, as it is colloquially known, offers a lesson in architecture, history and art as well as stunning views of the ocean and the downtown. As far as museums go, there is no better place to start than the Museum of Man and Nature. Located downtown of the Calle Fuente Morales, this museum offers a comprehensive tour of the history of the islands, from their volcanic formation to their current state as a beach getaway. One of the other most popular museums is the Military Museum on Calle San Isidro. With the multitude of influences and conquering forces that have overtaken these isles, the prominence of various military powers have shaped the city almost as much as the ancient mariners who first made the islands their home. Even if you don’t want to spend your day in a museum, Santa Cruz has much to offer. The ancient buildings of the downtown historic district offer a peek into history. For example, Calle Castillo is one of the great shopping districts of the city, but if you drag your eyes away from the windowpanes, you’ll see the beautiful architecture that so clearly shows the European influence. Plaza de la Candelaria and Plaza de los Patos are great places to wander through and discover the modern architecture that took hold of Gaudi and defined the facades of Barcelona. For more of this Barcelona-feel, take advantage of the open-air sculpture tour that leads you not only on a walking tour of the city, but stops at various sculptures from the famous Catalan artist Joan Miro and Oscar Dominguez.
After a long day of experiencing the cultural and historic sights that the city has to offer, it is time to enjoy the immense pleasure that the restaurants in this city can offer. La Noria is the best neighborhood to experience the mixture of Spanish and African cuisines that define this small, but proud nation. Fresh seafood, mouthwatering wines and crisp vegetables make the heat retreat and allow visitors to relax in that truly Spanish way. There is a plethora of restaurants available, many of which feature house specials and live music, so long after you’ve filled up all the corners with roast duck or cazuela, you can enjoy an apertif (or two) and simply soak up the best of the city of Santa Cruz.
Written by the Marketing Department for Los Angeles car accident lawyer, Paul E. Lee