A drive through Dorado’s coast makes this municipality seem fit for a Rockefeller. That’s because it once was. The original Dorado Beach Hotel and Casino property was developed by Laurence Rockefeller’s Rockresorts, a company founded in the 1950s to promote what could be called the first wave of ecotourism. It is no wonder that Dorado has flaunted its appeal over the years, calling itself the Golden City, as well as the cleanest town in Puerto Rico.
To this day Dorado has much to boast about, including many golden beaches. Still, while some are municipal and provide easy access for everyone, others like Los Tocones Beach have been taken over by a string of neighborhoods -some very upscale- lining the coast. Among the more popular public beaches with facilities and lifeguards are Sardinera Beach and Balneario Manuel “Nolo” Morales at Costa de Oro. You can also swim at your own risk at the Cocal and Mameyal beaches.
The town features various historic locals of interests, including the Casa del Rey, an inn for Spanish government officials built in 1823 (making it the oldest building here). Not much later it was bought by a local and converted into a residence. Two wings were then added, forming an enclosed, interior patio. Then it became fit for one of the island’s foremost writers in the Romantic tradition, Manuel Alonso y Pacheco. Now, the house-cum-museum is open to visitors during the week.
Dorado’s rich culture and history shines on also through Monumento a Las Raíces, honoring the island’s Taíno, Spanish, and African roots, the recently-inaugurated Museo Del Plata, and the Teatro Juan Boria, named after a landmark poet in the Afro-Caribbean tradition.