Having never been to Puerto Vallarta before, we weren't sure what to expect. We had heard that a hurricane had "destroyed" the malecon the year before and many of the businesses and resorts along the beach were not repaired yet. We had come to see the whales, and having done that, we wanted to see the downtown area. We were pleased to discover that downtown Puerto Vallarta is quite different from other towns we have visited in Mexico. With its cobblestone streets, it is like Mexico of olden days, yet it also has many signs of modern day, too. They have a Hooters, a Hard Rock Cafe, McDonalds, and Baskin Robbins, to name a few, mixed in with many wonderful Mexican restaurants, some with spectacular views. There are many unique stores selling silver jewelry, beachwear, pottery, T-shirts of all descriptions, and many arts and crafts, typically Mexican in nature. There are three movie theatres showing current releases, some in Spanish and some in English with Spanish subtitles. There is a daily flea market along a small river that flows through town and into the bay. All this is very pleasant for sightseeing in the daytime, but the town comes alive in the evenings, when tourists join the locals along the Malecon to watch and become part of the entertainment. There are many statues and sculptures to be admired and photographed, as well as different forms of live entertainment, depending on the season. Being there at Christmastime, we saw many religious displays, too. We enjoyed mingling with the Mexican people, with their friendly, bright-eyed children, and their family pets. Puerto Vallarta is a fun place to visit for people of all ages and has not become overrun with college-age kids yet. This is a destination to return to often.