One hour of extra air time past San Diego brings you across the Tropic of Cancer to Cabo San Lucas, where the ocean is a good 10 to 15 degrees warmer than SoCal’s coast, the water clear enough to count your toes, and the sunset so breathtaking it melts your cares away. Well, that and the margarita you’re sipping.
For some reason, you’ve never made it past San Diego. It doesn’t help that you don’t remember an ounce of Spanish from high school either. But after a few hours wandering this fishing town’s cobblestone streets, spotting dolphins and whales in the warm Pacific waters, and vegging out while herons fly over the Sierra Madre mountains, you’ll wonder if you should have booked an extra day or two. (Answer: Probably, but five days will do you just right).
Fortify yourself with Tulum’s authentic eats before exploring ancient ruins.
If you’re a lover of the town of Tulum and the surrounding Riviera Maya, you’re likely not a fan of a certain type of Mexico vacation—one that involves thumping nightclubs, body shots, and not a whiff of true Mexican culture for miles. If so, the minute you step foot in the Cancun airport—the main hub for Yucatan Peninsula vacationers—you’ll want to immediately rent a car and hightail it out of there.
If long walks on the beach, piña coladas by the pool, and afternoon naps sound like a snore, then the hustle and bustle of Mexico City (population: 19.3 million) might be just the thing. A far cry from your standard sleepy beach town, Mexico DF (Distrito Federal) is home to top-notch restaurants, 150 museums, and a flourishing art scene.
Like San Francisco, this is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity. While artists and creative types flock to bohemian Roma for its galleries, boutiques, hip bars, and restaurants, Polanco is the destination for swanky shopping. Condesa, meanwhile, dates to the turn of the 20th century and is home to magnificent old homes, cafes, and parks.