Written by @PresidentELLA
Cuba's Malecon, which means "pier", was exactly what it was supped to be: A chill spot. Similar to El Malecon in the Dominican Republic, the island makes a great use of it's coastline, making it a popular hangout spot for people of all ages. Littered with restaurants and hotels, this is definitely a tourist friendly spot - especially since it's one of the few places you can get free, public wifi.
While I'm sure everyone was there for the wifi, I was taken aback by the majesty of the island. Many of the buildings are going through cosmetic renovations, but the architecture is amazing. There are war hero monuments everywhere, emitting an inescapable sense of pride. The pastel paints cover buildings, provide a contrasting, very calm mood. The ocean? It was magnificent. Since I visited in October, hurricane season, the deep blues waves crashed against the shore, with more power than violence, as it to beg you to respect it, not fear it. My mood was either influenced by the island, or by reading Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea while I was there. I would beg that both Hemingway and myself saw the beauty and glory of the island.
If you plan to do everything in Cuba, you have to walk the Malecon and visit one of the newly constructed, fancy restaurants. If you do nothing, you can just walk the Malecon ad experience the people, architecture, the graffiti and signs with powerful political slogans and maybe run into an impromptu music festival going on in an alley. Cuz that's Cuba... even the simple is grand.