Patrick and I recently spent a wonderful four nights in the little Mexican town of Sayulita, one hour drive north of Puerto Vallarta. The location came highly recommended by Jenny and a couple of other friends and we were excited about ditching the usual "resort-in-a-box" Mexico experience to spend some time in a small surf town where locals and tourists interact more. We were not disappointed! Sayulita is a quiet surf town of 4,000 people that has a large number of expatriates who live and work alongside the local Mexican population. It has a nice beach, loads of unique and beautiful shops, and abundant delicious food.
We stayed at the Petite Hotel Hafa, which came recommended by Jenny, and were enamored with the French/Moroccan theme and the gorgeous French/Spanish family that ran the place. It was definitely a great spot to stay if you're looking to soak up the atmosphere and stay out late. For me (I got sick -- ick) it was a little loud and might have have been nice to be a bit further out of town. But overall we'd highly recommend the place, especially for $75 per night! Their rooftop deck is out of this world.El Itacate Taco Bar (I think Patrick went there about six times in four days), Panino's Bakery for coffee and pastries in the morning (we loved to take them down to the beach and enjoy the view), Miro Vino for a nice atmosphere right in the main square and delicious pizza, and our absolute favorite, Il Vizietto for excellent homemade pasta! You can see some photos above of Il Vizietto, every night they hand make a selection of pastas and offer about five dishes to choose from. We went back a couple of times because we loved it so much. You can even sit on their hanging swings if you're feeling adventurous!
Shopping was one of my favorite parts of Sayulita, it's definitely worth meandering the streets and popping in to the eclectic mix of boutiques in town. Two of my favorites were Revolucion del Sueno and Rosemary.