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#NorthEscapade: Top Things to Do, See, and Eat in Baguio

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Known as the “City of Pines”, Baguio is still one of the most popular travel destinations in the country - thanks to its cool weather and accessibility, not to mention the beautiful places and must-try restaurants it has to offer. 

From your favorite strawberry taho to your local craft beer, there are a lot of things to try, new places to visit, and new attractions to see in Baguio

Things to do in Baguio

Stop to see the giant lion's head

Conceptualized in 1971 and unveiled to the public the following year, the lion’s head was a project of the Baguio Lions Club. An Ifugao wood carver named Reynaldo Lopez Nanyac was commissioned to make what was once a limestone boulder into the 40-feet icon it is today. 

Go strawberry picking

Baguio City is also known for strawberries. Thanks to its cool climate, strawberries grow easily here. That is why strawberry picking is one of the most popular activities to try in Baguio. 

When you are in Baguio, you can check out the strawberry farm that’s located in La Trinidad, Benguet, which is around 15 minutes away from the town center. It is best to visit the place from November until May, and enjoy picking as many strawberries as you want and pay based on weight.

La Trinidad made its mark in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 for baking the world's largest strawberry cake as part of their Strawberry Festival celebration. 

Zipline at Camp John Hay

Camp John Hay was a US Armed Forces military base that was handed back to the Philippine government in 1991. It is known these days as a ground featuring outdoor activities including a seated cable ride, motorized zip lines, and a free-fall vertical 60ft zip line. 

When you visit Camp John Hay, you can also visit the historical Bell House, the Cemetery of Negativism, the Secret Garden, and the Amphitheater.

Travel back in time to the US occupation at Bell House. Check out the tombstones with exaggerated “causes of death” at the Cemetery of Negativism, and fall in love with flowers and lush greenery at The Secret Garden and amphitheater which are just a short trek from the Bell House.

Read a book at Mt. Cloud Bookshop

Tucked in a little corner of Casa Vallejo Hotel, Mt. Cloud is a bookshop that features many titles by local authors. In Mt. Cloud, you are allowed to read a book or skim through the pages, or even sit in one of their chairs and finish a few chapters.

Visit the BenCab Museum

BenCab Museum is one of the most visited places in Baguio. It is a four-level private museum which is owned by one of the masters of Filipino contemporary art, Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (also known as BenCab). 

BenCab houses all his paintings, sculptures and installations. Aside from the exhibitions, there are also EcoTrails available where one can take a guided walk through the expansive farm and garden area. BenCab is located in Tadiangan, which is just 15 minutes from the city center.

Go shopping at ukay-ukay stores

Baguio is a dream place for the thrift shoppers and vintage lovers with its ukay-ukay stalls. You can find branded and stylish second hand clothes that are sold at cheap prices. These ukay-ukay stalls are in almost every part of Baguio City but the best spot is the one along Harrison Road, where you can also enjoy different street food that will keep you fueled for more and longer shopping.

Unwind at Burnham Park

Burnham Park used to be one of the central features of Baguio. Now a designated heritage site, the 33-hectare (81 acres) space that features a man-made lake with rowing boats for hire, a children’s space to play and have fun, a skating rink, a rose garden and an orchidarium is one of the go-to places for locals and tourists alike. You can simply roam around the park’s paved walkways or rent a bike to take it all in.

Watch the sunrise at Mines View Park

One of the most-visited spots in Baguio is the Mines View Park due to its panoramic views that will make you appreciate Baguio even more. Located on a ledge 4km (2mi) from downtown, it’s worth the effort of coming here for a sunrise. You can also rent Cordillera-region indigenous clothing on-site, headdresses and other accessories for a unique spiritual and cultural experience.

Try the local beer at Baguio Craft Brewery

You can enjoy the best craft beer in Baguio Craft Brewery, Craft beers are poured from 18 rotating taps with the signature brew being a strawberry beer. It also serves some bar snacks that use fresh ingredients sourced in the Cordillera Region. 

Stroll around Baguio Botanical Garden

The Baguio Botanical Garden, with its towering pine trees, tropical greenhouses and water features, is considered a peaceful sanctuary by many. Ready yourself to climb the stone steps that will lead you to the garden’s art gallery, stalls selling handicrafts, and huts that represent the region’s Igorot culture.

Places to Visit in Baguio

Valley of Colors

If you are looking for the perfect backdrop then head to the Valley of Colors where you’ll see a lot of colorful houses erected on the hill of Barangay Balili. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Baguio that has become so famous on social media for its vibrancy. 

Tam-awan Village

If you want to learn more about drawing, oil painting, watercolor, and wood carving, then, head over to Tam-awan Village. 

The village is designed to look and feel like a traditional Cordilleran village. You can choose to spend the night in one of the huts for a fee.

Laperal House

Laperal House is a Victorian-style house which is actually a museum. It features bamboo carving and other wood-based artworks. However, what’s more interesting about Laperal House is the rumor that it is haunted. Some people say that if you walk past it at night, you might see images of its former residents.

The Mansion

The Mansion has been known as a venue for conferences and other events. One of the most popular events held in The Mansion is the Baguio Conference of 1950 that was convened by then President Elpidio Quirino. When it’s not being used to host political leaders and international delegates, it is open for the public to see and enjoy.

Diplomat Hotel

Originally built as a retreat house for the friars, Diplomat Hotel is an abandoned building that has been known to be a favorite spot for ghost hunting or paranormal exploration because of its history. 

The Diplomat Hotel has two floors and a roof deck that offers a picturesque view of the city where guests can appreciate the beauty of Baguio City while enjoying a spine-tingling experience.

Baguio Cathedral 

Baguio Cathedral, also known as Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, is a popular place to visit in Baguio city. The church stands atop Mount Mary Hill, or what the Ibalois call “Kampo” and can be reached by climbing a staircase with 104 steps.

The church also served as an evacuation center during World War II, which made it one of the historical places in Baguio.

Restaurants to Try in Baguio

Pizza Volante

If you’re a pizza and pasta lover, then you really have to visit Pizza Volante and get your pizza and pasta fix in a cozy, casual setting. 

You can visit this place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a nightcap and whatever time you end up there, you'll definitely want to save a little room for dessert and try their decadent choco-vanilla Affair. Pizza Volante has three branches with the biggest and most convenient one is at Session Road.

Farmer's Daughter

Farmer's Daughter offers authentic Cordillera dishes that you may not have heard of before. When you visit the place, make sure to try their pinikpikan and if you are the adventurous-type, you have to try their Ibaloi pig blood sausage (pinuneg) as well.

Café Yagam

Enjoy a warm and cozy evening with great food and drinks. This residence-turned-restaurant offers a homey vibe with delicious comfort food like sandwiches and finger food plus traditional Cordilleran dishes. 

Good Shepherd Place

Good Shepherd offers all kinds of sweet and savory treats aside from their famous ube jam, strawberry jam, and peanut brittle. You also have to try their toasted peanuts or take home a jar of guava jam to enjoy with crackers, toast, or pandesal for breakfast. 

Cafe by the Ruins Dua

The original Cafe by the Ruins tragically burned down in 2017, but the second branch (called "Dua" since it is Ilocano for "Two") offers the same vibe. When you visit the place, make sure not to miss a plate of their Baguio Bagnet or sample their famous bread and coffee. 

Aside from its sumptuous food, the cafe is also home to many art pieces, including the mural on the building's facade.

Choco-Late de Batirol

Aside from being famous for its hot and cold batirols, Choco-Late de Batirol also serves sumptuous and affordable food. If you plan to visit them in the evening, make sure to bring a jacket since their indoor seating is not covered by concrete walls.

Arca’s Yard

Arca;s Yard is just a 15-minute ride away from the city center. It is a rustic, three-story, artist-owned cafe that features a mini-library, museum, and a bed-and-breakfast. 

Considered as one of the most Instagrammable cafes, Arca’s Yard is a must-visit spot in Baguio especially if you’re looking for a place where you can appreciate Cordilleran art and culture and tranquility while enjoying the cool climate of Baguio. When you visit the place, make sure to try their best-selling Cacao Hot Choco and Arca’s Cloud Tea!

Good Taste

If you’re up for sumptuous yet affordable food, then you’ll never go wrong with Good Taste. It's a budget-friendly, 24/7 restaurant that serves delicious Chinese and Western dishes. This is a simple place that offers lots of hearty meals. On your visit, don’t forget to try their best-selling Buttered Chicken!

Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna

Popular for both tourists and locals alike, Lemon and Olives offers Greek food with their signature appetizers such as saganaki and fried Greek cheese served with a slice of lemon. 

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to eat something heavy, you can’t go wrong with a souvlaki plate. Drizzle your souvlaki with the sauce, but don’t get too carried away! Especially with the extra-hot chili dip.

Aside from sightseeing and food trips, people also go to Baguio to look for properties that they can invest in either for their own use because of the cool climate and safety and security of the city. 

Vista Residences is the condominium arm of the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc., which offers ready for occupancy and pre-selling condominium projects in Manila, Quezon City, and Baguio that are strategically located within inner-city areas, in close proximity to premium universities and developed business districts. 

Offering a stunning view and surrounded by a dense pine forest is one of Vista Residences’ condominium projects in Baguio City - Vista Pinehill that has a collection of studio and 1-bedroom apartments, perfectly sized for students or families who want to live in the Summer Capital. 

The 12-storey vertical village will be an exquisite hideaway tucked into a meandering mountainside and offering a breathtaking panorama of green pine forests that fall away into valleys and charming communities.  

Living in Vista Residences enables you to enjoy convenience, where everything is pretty much within walking distance or a few minutes away from the property; comfort because the project features and amenities are designed to deliver comfort at all times, which makes condo living a worthy investment; security that is 24/7 and CCTV monitoring, which makes the residents safe and secure within the property. 

In line with Vista Residences’ thrust to offer convenience among its residents, it also features an AllDay Convenience Store and Coffee Project in all its projects. 

Vista Residences is part of Vista Land’s roster of vertical housing brands that cater to millennials and young professionals. The other vertical brands include Camella Manors, COHO, and Crown Asia. 

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.