Playa del Carmen is the most happening place on the coast with one of the best stretches of beach. Most of the restaurants and nightlife are on 5th Ave. The 5th Ave. is a pedestrian street (no driving on it). The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. The local architecture has elements of native building (i.e. rustic walls and thatched roofs). Playa del Carmen was a little more a tourism city than I anticipated. More and more mainstream resorts are moving in, we were hassled about see timeshare presentations, and most restaurants had American menus. The shopping on 5th Ave. was great, but the merchandise gets a little repetitive. On 5th Ave. you can find anything you want. You can take the ferry to Cozumel, wine and dine, find 24-hour doctors, try some free samples of tequila, or anything else that you might need. In particular there is a general store on 5th Ave where you can find any supplies that you might need that are harder to find in other places.