By Ashley Curtin Via Baja.com
It’s a new year, which brings a new opportunity to travel and what better destination than Mexico.
With warm tropical temperatures, pristine beaches, historic landmarks and cultural entertainment filling the area, various Baja destinations make for the perfect long holiday weekend get-away.
A short distance from California, these featured destinations in Mexico offer travelers tips, insights and recommendations to help plan your trip’s itinerary.
A quick drive south from the U.S. Mexico border in San Diego, Calif., Tijuana is a great shopping and entertainment destination for travelers to escape and immerse themselves into Mexican culture for the weekend. Fine leather products, cigars, handmade crafts and other souvenirs can be found in markets throughout Tijuana, however, Mercado El Popo, located downtown, is the most colorful of them all. Traditional Mexican fare, spices and produce will have you walking away with numerous bags. To continue shopping, stroll down Avenida Revolucion, a street filled with souvenir shops and restaurants alike. Tijuana is also bustling with traditional Mexican entertainment and historically cultural activities. For entertainment, attend a Lucha Libre spectacle, which takes place at Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez Moreno every Friday night. Masked men dramatically throw each other around a boxing ring performing free-form wrestling. Another entertaining experience is to watch a greyhound race at Agua Caliente Race Track. Tijuana supports local artists and musicians with various art galleries and music venues spotting the town. For a very unique experience, El Lugar del Nopal, or cultural cafe, is a cozy enchanting place to experience art and listen to live music performances Wednesday through Saturday nights. The café also provides travelers a delicious authentic food experience.
VALLE DE GUADALUPE
Just 10 miles from Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe is Baja’s wine country. Situated 13 miles from the coast at 1,300 feet, this town boasts dozens of wineries, mostly accessible by country dirt roads, with tasting rooms open to the public. The various vineyards situated in the valley of Valle de Guadalupe grow a variety of tasty red grapes to make distinct Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah to hearty white grapes for the production of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Blanc de Blanc. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Valle de Guadalupe accounts for 90 percent of Mexico’s wine supply.
Depending on preference, boutique and small hotels can be found right outside the wine country closer to Ensenada, while large five-star resorts with oceanfront views just a short ride from Valle de Guadalupe line the coast. The cuisine ranges from delicious steaks to plenty of lobster and seafood along the coast.