“My mom was born in Cuba in 1957 and her family had a very painful departure during the height of the revolution,” says stylist Lex Weinstein. “She has never returned and it’s been my lifelong dream to visit since hearing her stories from the time I was a baby.”
So when Surfer magazine extended an invitation for Lex to join a crew of surfers and creatives—Cyrus Sutton, Jared Mell, Otto Flores, Dylan Gordon, Max Klinger, and Alex Kilauano—in Havana, it felt like her family’s Cuban history was an open book waiting for her to add her own prose.
Lex joined the group as the only woman on the trip, a coastal adventure through surf towns like Holgin, Baracoa, and Santiago on the search for waves. We outfitted the crew in new spring styles from Teva and asked Lex to report back on her adventure in her mother’s homeland.
“I enjoy being pushed to go out in conditions which I normally might hesitate to surf, while encouraging the guys to dress snazzy and go out dancing in the city,” says Lex. “I feel like I have six new big brothers who looked out for me and gave me props for enduring what was a pretty full-on surf trip.”
Pictured: Women’s Universal Slide in White
Lex’s Top Five Places to Experience in Cuba
Make sure you take the time to walk through the streets of this stunning city. The buildings are beautifully dilapidated and are woven between theaters and art galleries with the dancing-inducing live music and vibrant aromas of Cuban food around every corner.
This gorgeous seawall stretches 8 kilometers from Old Havana to the charismatic neighborhood of Vedado and is a gorgeous place to watch the sun set. From the statues of historical figures, poets and authors to the architecture of the Spanish-style forts there is so much to take in.
My favorite place to eat in all of the Havana, this restaurant prides itself in boutique cocktails and progressive culinary techniques that won’t break your budget. The taste of passion-fruit gin cocktails and black beans with squid ink still linger in my taste buds as we speak—yum! Make sure to stop in and make a reservation beforehand, a good tip for most restaurants in the city.
If you decide to venture outside of Havana, catch a domestic flight to the tiny town of Baracoa. There’s beautiful beaches with surf, quaint city charm and a fun night life. With an array of culinary options, like brick-oven pizza and guys selling fresh coconuts on the beach, it’s a town sure to please.
I highly recommend staying at a “casa particular,” which is basically a room in the home of a traditional Cuban family. Similar to Airbnb, families rent their rooms starting at $25 a night and it’s the best way to connect with the locals and enjoy a truly authentic Cuban experience. In Miramar, Havana, I highly recommend Margot’s Place (Calle 72, No. 910, e/9 7 11 Playa Habana, Cuba, Tel. (53) 7 203 7567). Margot will be your stand-in abuela (grandmother) for your trip and her daughter, Inés, is warm and hospitable. Practice your Spanish because they don’t speak much English, although the group seemed to get by just fine.
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