Tagaytay in Cavite is probably the most popular choice for a quick weekend or day trip for those coming from Metro Manila. People come here for the cooler climate, refreshing sights and the various restaurants that offer an easy escape for locals. Other towns in Cavite also offer historic spots and resorts ideal for sports and recreational activities. Here’s a look at some family-friendly activities you can do in and near Tagaytay City.
1. Go Sightseeing
The most popular tourist destinations in Tagatay are Taal Lake, Picnic Grove, People’s Park in the Sky, Paradizoo and Cliffhouse. Picnic Grove is an ideal place for picnics, family bonding, and picture taking with the view of Taal Volcano.
2. Go on a Food Trip
Another great thing to do in Tagaytay is go on a food trip! There are lots of great restaurants to eat in Tagaytay, including Sonya’s Garden, Antonio’s, Bag of Beans, Josephine’s Restaurant, Leslie’s, and Marcia Adams. However, no trip to Tagaytay would be complete without having bulalo.
Another Tagaytay favorite is Mushroom Burger, a homegrown fastfood chain that uses mushrooms as the main ingredient for their burgers and fries. While there are branches of this joint in the Metro, visitors still flock to the Tagaytay branch, which has been around for over 30 years.
One of the best places I’ve eaten in Tagaytay recently is Taza Fresh Table in Taal Vista Hotel, which showcases the local produce, meats, and seafood of the surrounding area.
For more suggestions of where to eat in Tagaytay, check out my Food Trip: Tagaytay.
3. Try out the rides at Sky Ranch
If you’re traveling with kids, Sky Ranch is a good place to visit. This leisure park offers activities like horseback riding and a mini-amusement theme park.
The main attraction is the Sky Eye, currently the tallest Ferris Wheel in the country, at 63-meters high, with 32 air-conditioned gondolas. There are lots of rides for kids and the inevitable zipline, where you can zip down with a scenic view.
- Sky Ranch. Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay City
- Entrance fee: P50 (weekdays), P80 (weekends and holidays), each ride has its own ticket (average ticket per ride is P50 each)
- Opening hours: Sky Ranch is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm.
- Contact info: (02) 8570100 LOC 1450
- Facebook: Sky Ranch Tagaytay
4. Relax at Sonya’s Garden
Sonya’s Garden has long been a family favorite. This picturesque bed and breakfast, and restaurant is where you can enjoy healthy meals in a lush garden setting.
There are lots of romantic spots and benches set amidst hanging vines and tree branches ideal for photo ops as well as lots of Instagram-worthy details like flowers in bowls of water, mosaic tiles and rare plants. The romantic setting has made Sonya’s Garden a very popular honeymoon and destination wedding venue.
While it may no longer be the elusive “secret garden” it once was years ago, it’s always pleasant to stop by here when you’re in the area. Walk around the landscaped brick walkways, get a massage at Sonya’s spa, or stop by the panaderia for freshly made bread.
New additions include a country store that sells organic produce, a furniture store that sells antiques and shabby-chic items, and a souvenir shop that sells eco-friendly and handcrafted products.
- Sonya’s Garden. Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite (near the vicinity of Tagaytay City)
- Contact info: +63-9175329097, +63-9175335140, +63-9175231080
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Operating hours: Sonya’s Garden is open for breakfast from 8-9:30 am. Set menus are served for lunch and dinner.
- Website: www.sonyasgarden.com
5. Go on a staycation
While Tagaytay City is relatively near Metro Manila, it’s still far enough for a weekend getaway. To maximize your trip, it’s best to stay a night or two so you have more time to go around. There are many options where to stay in Tagaytay whether you’re looking for a high-end luxury staycation, small inns or guesthouses and AirBnbs.
Taal Vista Hotel is one of the most well-known hotels in the city, offering a panoramic view of Taal Lake.
Microtel Eagle Ridge in Cavite is a good option for families and groups who want a private sanctuary with a countryside feel to unwind.
The Plant Bistro is a cozy AirBnB hidden in the city outskirts ideal for couples.
For backpackers, there are simple inns and lodging houses like D Zone Backpacker’s Inn, Tagaytay.
6. Visit the Puzzle Mansion
The Puzzle Mansion is the home of the world’s largest collection of jigsaw puzzles. Tagaytay local and jigsaw puzzle aficionado Gina Lacuna converted her family resthouse to a gallery/museum and bed & breakfast after being awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records last November 2012. The mansion houses her extensive and ever-growing collection of solved puzzles (1,028 when she got the record, but much more now).
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill jigsaw puzzles either. There are puzzles with tiny and irregularly shaped pieces, 2D and 3D puzzles, puzzles made of wood, those that take the shape of balls or vases when solved, and even puzzles of famous landmarks around the world. There’s also a framed piece of the largest commercial puzzle in the world (17 feet tall x 6 feet wide) which Lacuna recently solved, composed of over 32,000 pieces!!! Visiting the Puzzle Mansion place may just inspire you to buy your own jigsaw puzzles (there are lots to choose from their souvenir shop) to take home and solve with the kids.
- Puzzle Mansion, Purok 4 Cuadra, St. Barangay Asisan, Tagaytay City
- Entrance fee: P100 per person
- Contact info: +632-425-5195, +632-661-0019, +63905-225-0229
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/PuzzleMansion
7. Visit Churches and Museums
There are a few interesting churches and museums in and near Tagaytay. For art enthusiasts, Museo Orlina features the artistry of internationally acclaimed pioneer of glass sculpture in the country, Ramon Orlina. If you’re a history buff, you might want to check out the Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes Jr. Museum or GBR Museum in General Trias, about 30 minutes away from Tagaytay. The well-curated museum contains photographic exhibits that offer a glimpse back at 19th and 20th century Philippines. The collection which spreads over five galleries, shows photos, antique books, and memorabilia of the country’s glorious past.
It was interesting to see how the streets of Old Manila and landmarks around the country used to look like. According to museum curator Ramon Caparas of the GBR Foundation Inc., since the museum houses rare and historic items, photography is not allowed in most of the historical galleries to prevent reproduction of photos.
Photography is allowed near the museum entrance, lobby area, hallways and some of the galleries that I found particularly interesting – the World Aviation History Exhibit, which “traces the evolution of air and space transportation from the Wright Brothers ‘Flying Machine’ to commercial and combat aircrafts, to NASA’s Lunar Roving Vehicle.” The exhibit contains 47 colored in-flight aircraft paintings executed by Stan Stokes, an artist from the USA who did similar paintings for the Smithsonian Institute. Aviation geeks will definitely love this. Having been to many small, not-so well maintained museums in several provinces, it’s great to know that we have quality museums like this in the country.
- GBR Museum. Gateway Business Park, Brg. Javalera, Gen. Trias, Cavite
- Entrance fee: P100 for adults, P70 for children and P80 for senior citizens. Foreigners: P250 (adult), P200 (children).
- Museum hours: Tuesday-Sundays, Holidays: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
- Contact info: Tel. nos: (046) 433-0313, 433-0021, Fax. no: (046) 433-0129, Cell: 0933-1640310
- Website: www.gbrmuseum.com.ph
8. Cool down at the country club
If you’re staying in Microtel, Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club has several sports and leisure facilities, including a resort-style swimming pool, complete with water slide, bridge walkways and even sand simulating the beach. Since nearby beaches and more accessible pools in the metro will probably be really crowded this summer, this offers a good, exclusive spot away from the crowds.
- Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club, Cavite
- Rates for swimming pool: P100/person for guests (non-members), towel rental: P20/piece
They have a swimming pool, driving range for golf and bowling alley here. You can also bike around.
9. Hike to Taal Lake
For the adventurous types, the best activity would be the boat ride tour to Taal Lake and do the Taal Crater Lake Trekking adventure. Taal Volcano is known as the world’s smallest active volcano.
10. Buy Pasalubong
Before heading home, don’t forget to buy psalubong items. Favorite souvenirs from Tagaytay include Buko pie, Fruit Tarts, Banana Cake, Raisin Bread, Coffee Beans, Gourmet Tuyo, Tawilis products and Native Desserts.