Tips and Guides

10 Places to Visit in La Union

This northern hotspot has a lot to offer beyond the sun, sand, and waves

Photography: Michael Angelo Chua (Main Photos)

It's not surprising why many people immediately think about La Union when discussing quick beach trips and learning how to surf. Only four to six hours from Manila, it's the perfect respite if you're on the hunt for an adventure or simply want to soak up some sun. Elyu, as many would prefer to call it, boasts of art, design, good food, and picture-perfect hotels that complement the waves it's known for. After all, you'd want to indulge in good food or take a break after hitting the beach, right? Plan your next trip and make sure you include these stops in your itinerary:

For art lovers

Culture and Art Gallery of La Union

A must-vist art hub, the gallery hopes to help revive the local art scene of the province. It carries the work of its local artists as well as some select art from Baguio and Pangasinan. With its projects and initiatives, the Culture and Art Gallery of La Union aims to be the art hub of the Ilocos region.

Culture and Art Gallery of La Union, 3/L Lupac Bldg., San Fernando, La Union | Follow them on Facebook

Bahay na Bato Open Art Gallery

A rest house-turned-gallery, Bahay na Bato features structural elements like pebbles and wood. For a fee of P20, you'd be able to see the works of local artists and wooden sculptures. 

Bahay na Bato Open Art Gallery, Brgy. Nalvo Borte, Luna, La Union | Follow them on Facebook.

Pindangan Ruins

Take a break from swimming and explore the vast area of what was once an old stone church built in 1754. Aside from documenting your visit through photos and videos, make sure you spend a few minutes just admiring the view as it takes you back in time.  The P200 entrance fee goes to the preservation of this landmark.

Pindangan Ruins, Brgy. San Vicente, San Fernando, La Union

For craft enthusiasts

Tali Ti Amianan

A social enterprise run by surfers, Tali Ti Amianan (Rope of the North) offers upcycled pieces made from beach trash and old clothes, to name a few. It provides livelihood to local women and elders of San Juan—especially during off season, while honing the creativity of each. Find the colorful handcrafted bracelets at El Union Coffee, Nani Wahini Souvenir Gift Shop, and at Coast Thru Life.

Learn more by following them on Facebook.

Krieytib Hub

A one-stop creative hub, Krieytib Hub offers souvenirs, shirts, and crafts that are one-of-a-kind. They also customize products and provide event services.

Follow them on Facebook to learn more.

For foodies

Olas Banditos

Owned by famous pro-surfer Luke Landrigan, this eye-catching roadside Mexican restaurant highlights a laid-back ambiance, colorful murals, and an overall aesthetic that matches the beach. Chill here with friends and order your favorite Mexican food. If you still have enough space for dessert, the churros is a must-try!

Olas Banditos, National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union | Follow them on Facebook.

Tagpuan sa San Juan

Offering Pinoy favorites and combos, Tagpuan sa San Juan is the best spot for late night cravings and a few drinks. A humble good food place, it's also the first establishment in San Juan, La Union to highlight the importance of sharing what you have with others. Tagpuan sa San Juan gives meals and coffee to members of the local community—paid in advance by willing customers. 

Tagpuan sa San Juan, Urbiztondo Road, San Juan, La Union | Follow them on Facebook.

Surf Shack

A Latin American restaurant, bar, and grill—Surf Shack has an open setup where guests can dine and listen to live music. Surf Shack offers a plethora of cocktails, craft beers, and fusion pizzas. If you're visiting for the first time, the signature Bang Da Bass cocktail is best paired with the Ilokano Pizza.

Surf Shack, 238 National Highway, San Juan, La Union | Follow them on Facebook.

Looking for accommodation options? Here are two lovely spaces you can consider:

Kahuna Hotel

Relish the majestic view of the calm surroundings in these Balinese-style resort. Kahuna has huts, villas, a spa, a bar, and a restaurant—everything you need for a memorable stay. The best part? Surfing lessons are available at the beach front courtesy of the La Union Surf School.

Kahuna Hotel, Café & Restaurant, National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo, San Juan La Union. To learn more about the amenities, visit the Kahuna website. You can also send an e-mail to info[at]

Vessel Hostel

This four-storey structure made primarily of repurposed container vans and upcycled wood panels is not your typical hostel. Aside from its unique structure, do check out the comfort and convenience it provides. Each bed has its own makeshift desk—in case you need to work (we hope not!), electric sockets are placed around the room, and there are also pull-out storage compartments under the beds that can be padlocked for security. It's the perfect choice if you're traveling with friends and family.

Vessel Hostel, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. For more details, follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also e-mail vesselhostel[at] for inquiries. 

Discover more about La Union and what the province has to offer in the April 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Photos of Culture and Art Gallery of La Union, Bahay na Bato Open Art Gallery, Tali Ti Amianan, Krieytib Hub, Tagpuan sa San Juan, and Surf Shack are from the Facebook pages.

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