After our very hot visit to Tulum, we were looking for something to do that was relaxing and fun so we drove up the coast a bit trying to decide what to do for lunch. We had rented a car from Budget, located inside our hotel, so we had the rest of the day to cruise around with no set schedule. We impulsively exited the highway at Akumal because I suddenly remembered a friend telling me about a “tree house restaurant” in the area. And that is how we found the best family friendly restaurant in Akumal, Mexico.

Akumel is a small town along the coast consisting of villas and restaurants, all locatad right on the water. We drove through the main gate into the area and immediately saw signs and t-shirts for sale advertising La Buena Vida….the tree house restaurant! Driving past several huge villas, we eventually came upon a little area with a silver jewelry shop, a small art gallery and La Buena Vida. From the road it didn’t look like a tree house, but as we got closer, it became obvious it was one of a kind.

The first thing we saw when we walked in? A bar with swings instead of bar stools. The kids were enchanted! A rustic bar with everything you could possibly want to drink, stairs up to second level with a few tables and quaint Mexican themed decor throughout was such a welcome site after our experience in the hot, buggy jungle.

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A friendly host showed us to our table and as we walked through the restaurant, the kids became even more excited. All the tables had umbrellas with grass roofs, some practically right on the water and, in fact, the entire floor of the restaurant was made of sand. The perfect seaside restaurant! Two tables are up in the trees with ladders to climb up and buckets for the staff to deliver your food and drinks. Unfortunately, the two treehouse tables allowed adults only so we could not experience those in particular, but we were very happy with our table right on the water all the same.

After ordering our food and drinks, I took the kids over to the bar so they could test out the swings at the bar. They loved them and had a fantastic time. After the swings, we headed over the the lounge area, which consisted of short tables with pillows to sit on the floor, hammocks and even a pool! The kids were happy to experience their first hammock and we enjoyed just watching the beach and some brave surfers out testing the waves.

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The food was more than adequate and came promptly and we all really loved it, which is why I consider it the best family restaurant in Akumel, Meixco. The only downside was all the seaweed collecting on the beach, which we soon found out is very common in the summer months and not present during winter and spring. In fact, we found that the area has fantastic snorkling and many friends have since told me that they have enjoyed a drink and a snack at La Buena Vida right before a fun snorking outing. Akumal is very easy to get to and I really recommend a visit if you’re in the area of Playa del Carmen.

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