Generational Chicanas are always proud of their Mexican heritage, and we celebrate all aspects of our culture every day. Now is the time to fall in love with your Mexican culture by visiting these 5 inspiring Mexican heritage towns, that range from big cities, wine & tequila country, to small pueblos; all celebrating La Cultura Mexicana.
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
Amigas San Miguel de Allende is my number one choice to celebrate cultura. My first visit to San Miguel de Allende was attending a cooking school, that forever changed my love for Mexican cultural heritage. I experienced a soulful colonial vibe, Mexican art present everywhere, and Placitas to relax and people watch. What I loved the most, is the town is walkable and picturesque, and a short flight to central Mexico. Best of all it is rated the best small city in the world by the travel industry.
Rich cultural heritage: San Miguel de Allende is known for its colorful colonial buildings, doors adorned with flowers, historic sites, and cultural institutions, celebrating the city's traditions. The town played an important role in Mexico’s independence from Spain, in which the town is named after the general that led the fight for independence.
Artistic scene: San Miguel de Allende is home to a thriving artistic community, with 200+ galleries, museums, and cultural events showcasing the works of local and international artists, making it a popular destination for art lovers. Casa Corazon Gallery close by El Jardin is a must visit, specializing Mexican Folk Hearts.
Scenic beauty: San Miguel de Allende is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including wineries, horseback riding, natural spring spas. The most spectacular is the “La Parroquia” a towering faded pink gothic style church in the city center.
Relaxation and rejuvenation: San Miguel de Allende is home to luxury hotels that offer a range of spa and wellness services. Natural hot springs, yoga classes, and massage treatments, making it the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with your spiritual self. Explore the Mayan baths, a natural hot springs bath experience.
Delicious cuisine: Known for its traditional Mexican cuisine, with a range of local markets, street vendors, and chef inspired restaurants offering a range of options to suit every taste and budget, all within 6 block range. So easy to navigate between all the restaurants and shopping! A visit to Blue Door Bakery in business since 1906 is a memorable visit.
Shopping: Mercado de Artesanías offers the best Mexican Folk Art and other treasures. Imagine 6 blocks of artist workshops and stalls that offer affordable jewelry, clothing and art. The center of the town is called “El Jardin” easy access to hundreds of boutiques.
Rooftops: The town is perched on a hill that offers dramatic rooftop views such as Luna Rooftop Bar, inside the Rosewood Hotel.
Festivals – The town is almost always in celebration mode, the best are Día de Los Muertos and Christmas season.
Airport – Leon or Queretaro
Who needs Paris to take in culture? Mexico City is better! I visit Mexico City every year, my cultural playground. Love how I am surrounded with history, contemporary and vibrant culture, and an endless range of attractions. I try to visit all the 6 neighborhoods, as each offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
Cultural Heritage: Mexico City is history is well preserved with the many museums of archaeological sites. The city center known as El Zocalo is home to El Palacio Nacional, The Cathedral, Aztec ruins and La Bellas Artes. Coyoacan and Polanco neighborhoods are home to the, Museum of Anthropology and La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s home.
La Comida Buena: Mexico City is especially known for its abundant and delicious comida, with street food, local markets, and fine dining restaurants offering a range of options to suit every taste and budget. Street Taco tours are a favorite experience.
Shopping for Las Compras: Mexico City’s shopping is a fun and affordable experience, ranging from local designers, artists boutiques and mercados. A must experience is San Angel’s Bazar Sabado, 100 artist selling art and traditional folk-art, or the upscale neighborhood of Polanco (Mexico’s Rodeo Drive). Did I mention affordable?
Exploring the vibrant nightlife: Mexico City offers many entertainment options, from live music venues and theaters to bars and clubs, ensuring there is always something to do after dark. Do not miss out our La Plaza Garibaldi dining and Mariachis and the floating gardens of Xochimilco.
Festivals – Dia de los Muertos and September 16th independence
Airport - MEX
VALLE DE GUADALUPE
Valle de Guadalupe, located in Baja California, is a paradise. Such an unforgettable and popular destination for wine lovers, foodies, for Amigas looking for a scenic getaway. Also known as “La Ruta del Vino” The wine route is the name given to the 120 wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe. Only a 2-hour drive from San Diego CA.
Wine tasting: Valle de Guadalupe is home to numerous wineries and vineyards, producing a range of varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon to Tempranillo. Amigas can tour the vineyards, sample the wines, and enjoy the scenic countryside. Visits to Adobe Guadalupe and Monte Xanic will be top of your lists.
Culinary scene: Valle de Guadalupe is known for its innovative and delicious cuisine, with a range of farm-to-table restaurants, food trucks, and street vendors offering a range of options to suit every taste and budget. Though so many to choose from, Javier Plascencia’s Animalon outdoor farm to table restaurant is a one of kind experience.
Relaxation and rejuvenation: Valle de Guadalupe hotels offers a range of spa and wellness services, including hot springs, yoga classes, and massage treatments, making it the perfect place to unwind and recharge. The beach town of Ensenada is less than hour away.
La Naturaleza: Valle de Guadalupe is surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and those seeking a scenic getaway. Many hotels that offer glamping experiences.
Cultural experiences: Valle de Guadalupe is home to a thriving artistic community, with numerous galleries, museums, and cultural events showcasing the works of local and international artists. Best time to visit is during October harvest.
Festivals: The annual Valle Food and Wine Festival held in October is a must experience.
Airport: San Diego or Tijuana
Amigas If you had to choose one pueblo to visit, and feeling adventurous, then purchase your plane tickets now to Oaxaca City. The journey to arrive may take little longer, as it located in southern Mexico, yet worth the journey.
You will feel the historical generational vibe when traveling to Oaxaca. Always welcoming experience that include preserved colorful historical colonial center with cobbled streets, and a central square bustling with tourists and locals along with musicians serenading people as they rest under the shaded trees, as well as visitors enjoying fine coffee and lively conversation at one of the local cafés.
Rich cultural heritage: Oaxaca City is known for its indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec cultures, with numerous historic sites, museums, and cultural institutions showcasing the city's rich history and traditions. Common to hear the women speak their native languages, as they offer their woven goods for sale.
La Comida Buena: Oaxaca is renowned for its traditional dishes, including mole sauces, tlayudas, chocolate, cheeses and mezcal. A foodie's paradise, with a range of local markets, street vendors, and fine dining restaurants to choose from.
Mole - Oaxaca’s cuisine incorporates elements of pre-Hispanic cuisine, to include Oaxacan Mole in its 7 varieties depending on the type of chili used, Chapulines, (dry roasted, spiced grasshoppers), tlayudas (large tortilla spread with the remaining of the lard and beans), maguey worm sauce, chiles Rellenos (stuffed chilies), and of course the famous Oaxacan tamales in banana leaves.
Mezcal - Of course you can enjoy a good glass of mezcal, the traditional drink in Oaxaca. There is a saying attributed to Oaxaca regarding the drink: "para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también" (For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well).
Arte de Mexico: Oaxacan artists tend to be a family tradition, that have been passed down to multiple generations. Oaxaca is host to many women owned artist collectives. These women artists are masters of jewelry, woven rugs, shawls, ceramics or elaborate wooden figures. A highlight is visiting Jocobo & Maria Angeles workshop, in a nearby town Ticlcajete, to purchase alebrijes or the Aguilar sisters figurine workshops in Ocotlan de Morelos.
La Naturaleza: Oaxaca City is surrounded by historic natural landscapes, to include ancient capital of the Zapotecs, Monte Alban pyramids. Experience a tree that is 2000 years old, and is one of Oaxaca's natural wonders, the massive Cyprus tree "El Tule".
Relaxation and rejuvenation: Oaxaca City offer a range of spa and wellness services, including hot springs, Temazcal ancestral healing ceremonies and lots of cobblestone streets to wander and take in cultural beauty.
Festivals – July La Guelaguetza & October Dia de los Muertos,
The second-largest city in Mexico and a vibrant cultural hub, known for Mariachis and Tequila! Guadalajara is also considered the traditional cultural center of Mexico. Celebrate Mariachi music, Charros, artist and Neogothic architecture — all surrounded by beautiful fields of blue agave that produce the world’s purest tequila. Guadalajara is close to my heart, being my father’s birthplace, I was privileged to grow up with these traditions.
Rich cultural heritage: Guadalajara is known for its colonial architecture, historic sites, and cultural institutions. Mexican culture enthusiast travel to Guadalajara to celebrate the main city as well as its surrounding area. The town of Tequila, where everyone’s favorites drink originated and is still produced today, is a perfect day trip via the Cuervo Tequila Train. Lake Chapala, located just a short ride from Guadalajara, is Mexico's largest lake and provides visitors with a tranquil escape from the city. The most artistic town withing the metropolitan Guadalajara Tlaquepaque, a beautiful neighborhood to shop, eat and listen to Mariachis in El Parian.
Delicious cuisine: Guadalajara is renowned for its traditional dishes, including tequila, tortas ahogadas, and birria, and is a foodie's paradise, with a range of local markets, street vendors, and fine dining restaurants to choose from.
Artistic scene: Guadalajara is home to a thriving artistic community, with numerous galleries, museums, and cultural events showcasing the works of local and international artists, making it a popular destination for art lovers. Visit The Museum Cabanas, home to stunning frescoes by muralist Jose Clemente Orozco.
Shopping: Guadalajara is known for leather goods, yet they offer a wide variety of local and international brands, boutiques, and markets selling everything from traditional handicrafts to the latest fashion trends. A visit to San Juan de Dios Mercado, the largest roofed market in Mexico is worth the effort. Shop for folk art, clothing, and leather goods.
Vibrant nightlife: Guadalajara offers, from live music venues and theaters to bars and clubs, ensuring there is always something to do after dark. The annual Mariachi Festival held in late summer is a must experience, hosted in the famous Teatro Degollado. The Avenida Chapultepec is the strip in Guadalajara is the place to be for a late-night bar crawl.
Festivals – Mariachi Festival September
Given that Mexico is the only culture that has been designated by UNESCO a treasure to humanity, now is your time to have these experiences.
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