Obama's Rainy Tour Of Old Havana Is A Must For Any Cuba Visitor

Take some travel tips from the president.

When it comes to travel, nothing rains on President Obama's parade.

In the first visit by a sitting U.S. president in 88 years, the first family touched down in Cuba on Sunday amidst some wet weather. They headed straight to a walking tour of Old Havana, a neighborhood that's maintained its architectural character since its founding in 1519.

The area is comprised of five large plazas: Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza del Cristo and Plaza de la Catedral. Each plaza is surrounded by significant buildings, monuments and narrow, winding streets.

Though it was a bit damp, the President still gladly played tour guide for Sasha and Malia, showing them through the sites. And as it turns out, their itinerary is a perfect starter kit for any U.S. visitor to Cuba.

After the Obamas touched down at José Martí International Airport, they stopped outside Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana, one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas.

Construction on the cathedral began 1748, and finished in 1787. According to Lonely Planet, Christopher Columbus' remains were interred at this cathedral from 1795 through 1898, when they were moved to Seville Cathedral in Spain.

The cathedral on a sunnier day than when the Obamas visited.
The cathedral on a sunnier day than when the Obamas visited.
The inside of the cathedral.
The inside of the cathedral.
A detail shot of the cathedral's stunning architecture.
A detail shot of the cathedral's stunning architecture.

Just a regular ol' family touring the rain. We feel you, Obamas.

It's raining.
It's raining.

Later, the President paused to revel in a painting of Abraham Lincoln that his hosts placed at the entrance of the Museo de la Ciudad, the museum that fills one side of the beautiful Plaza de Armas. The building that houses the museum is a classic example of Cuban baroque architecture, and had served many purposes before becoming the official city museum of Havana in 1968.

The president at the museum with city historian Eusebio Leal Spengler.
The president at the museum with city historian Eusebio Leal Spengler.
The plaza on a sunnier day.
The plaza on a sunnier day.

Then the president headed out into the quaint cobblestone streets, drizzle and all.

Still raining but all smiles. 
Still raining but all smiles. 

The Obama family's walking tour also included Plaza de San Francisco and Plaza Vieja, two spots that capture the historic buzz of Old Havana.

They cruised through neighborhood streets which, to be honest, will appear much more festive when visited on a sunny island day.

Overhead view of the Plaza de San Francisco.
Overhead view of the Plaza de San Francisco.
Busy outdoor cafes in Plaza Vieja.
Busy outdoor cafes in Plaza Vieja.
Locals on San Miguel street in Old Havana.
Locals on San Miguel street in Old Havana.
Sunset in one of Old Havana's main squares.
Sunset in one of Old Havana's main squares.

Want to follow in the Obamas' footsteps? Recently relaxed rules mean Americans can more easily visit Cuba now, as long as they're engaging in activities such as educational travel and not simply sitting on a beach.

But with so much Cuba to see, who would wanna sit on a beach anyway?

See you there!