Our first in a series about wanderlust-worthy, slightly off-the-grid vacation hotspots, with local picks (and gorgeous pics) from our intrepid Nordstrom crew.
GLOBETROTTER: Toby Milner, Creative Director
WHY THERE? I’ve gone about seven times since 2002—I love Sayulita because it’s an authentic Mexican surf town with a mix of international people. It’s really safe—you can walk everywhere and don’t need to rent a car. Also, NO BUGS.
WHERE DID YOU STAY? Casa O’Te Miti, which is owned by friends of mine. It’s an amazing place—so remote you have to walk through the jungle to get there, but still within walking distance of town. It’s luxurious but in a laid-back way. It’s known as ‘The House with the Dogs’ because my friends own five huge mastiffs (who help out with security).
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS: Mariscos Purillo’s has the best fish tacos. And Naty’s Cocina in the town square—it’s where all the locals eat.
DON’T-MISS ACTIVITIES: Surfing and whale watching are big, but I love just walking on the beaches. One of my favorites is Playa de Los Muertos (‘Beach of the Dead’)—you go through an old cemetery in the jungle to get there. I also love hanging out in the town square: it’s the center of activity, with a mix of restaurants, bars and hip boutiques. It’s always hopping.
BEST FIND: On my last trip, I picked up an amazing beaded deer from a store that supports craftwork by families who live in the nearby mountains. There’s a lot of cool, unusual art to see and get there.
IF YOU COULD LIVE THERE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A LIVING? I’d teach art at Costa Verde International, an elementary school founded by my friends who own Casa O’Te Miti. It’s a fully green school with a focus on ecology—a truly inspiring environment for local and international kids.
PACKING TIPS: It’s super casual there—you need less than you think. I almost never check a bag; all you need are a couple of swimsuits, tees, shorts, sneakers for walking around—and I always bring my Birks and a sun hat.
FAVORITE MEMORY: Watching the sun set on the beach with my partner, Jim.
Sayulita (pop. 4,000) is located 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta on the Riviera Nayarit, a 200-mile stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coastline.