Less than two hours from San Diego, down the Baja California peninsula, it’s one of the easiest and safest places to experience Mexico on a budget — which makes it easy to think of this small coastal city and cruise line layover as a sort of Mexico for Beginners. But dismissing northwest Baja is a mistake. Beyond the souvenir shops selling sombreros, knockoff artesanía (handicrafts) and tacky T-shirts, there’s a college town, a port town and a budding culinary capital that invite exploration. While Ensenada and the surrounding area can require a bit of patience, its pleasures are worth the time it takes to find them — and all the more so because they can be had so affordably.
There were the family day trips—lunch at Calafia, curio shopping, maybe a stop in Tijuana for a photo with a zebra-striped donkey if we had an out-of-town visitor along. As teenagers, my friends and I took the trolley to San Ysidro and walked across the border, treating TJ like an exotic mall. San Diego kids went to Baja to surf and camp and eat fish tacos and drink Coronas. (Let’s not discuss the nightclub shenanigans we partook in once we could pass for 18.)
The trio, with about 12 restaurants between them in San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe, are Baja’s Emissaries of Eating. While out promoting their own businesses and brands, these globe-trotting gastro ambassadors are at the same time shifting the narrative of a region once known more for kidnappings and cartels than quail and kumamotos.
Could long lines at the San Ysidro Port of Entry be largely in the past?
Many drivers accustomed to waiting in line for hours instead sailed through the busy border crossing within minutes on Wednesday. What made it possible was the reopening of seven inspection lanes — and the completion of a key phase in the $741 million reconstruction of the massive port, the busiest on the U.S.-Mexico border
The Rosarito Beach area of Baja California in Mexico, once a thriving spring break locale that was decimated by crime and a collapsing economy, has had to find new, quieter ways to prosper.
Experience the winery, dining and beauty of Baja California, Mexico Jan 12, 2014 By Fernanda Beccaglia Approximately only 10 percent of Baja California’s wine gets exported, meaning you will need to make a trip to the area, specifically Valley of Guadalupe, to sample it for yourself–personally, I don’t mind. Some of the popular varieties you will find include Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Malbec and Barbera. If you are planning a trip any time…
Looking to rent a car in California to drive to Mexico You must have so many questions, hopefully the following will help answer all your questions. Is Mexico safe and should I be worried? When talking about Mexico, many people do not understand that there is Mainland Mexico and Baja Mexico. Mainland Mexico has many wonderful areas, but has had its share of bad publicity for shootings and drug cartel action, most of which takes place in Juarez, Mexico. How…
An oasis of music and wine in Baja Steve Lopez Recent Columns October 12, 2013, 12:05 p.m. In the hills high above Ensenada, on the road to Ojos Negros, a dust-covered, mustachioed cowboy named Don Heriberto Aguilar has found the perfect life. A trip to Aguilar’s rancho was not on my itinerary in Mexico. I was there to research a story, which will be coming soon, on more than three decades of good deeds performed in Baja California…
About 20 miles from the border, Rosarito has graduated from its “spring-break, party-hearty” atmosphere. Instead, the town has become more appealing to visiting families and couples on romantic getaways, who while away the days on the wide, sandy beaches, shop in the craft markets and stroll along the quarter-mile-long sportfishing pier in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel.