Three “Cool” Baja Weekend Trips

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by Jennifer Kramer

If the heat of summer has you pining for the cool ocean or mountain breezes, check out or rediscover these three easy weekend destinations where the temperatures stay moderately cool even if the hottest months of the year.

Ensenada

Who’s it for: families, couples, anyone looking for a fun or relaxing weekend in the city

What to do: Avenida Lopez Mateos (Calle Primera) is full of shops with beautiful leather goods, Mexican artisan crafts and lively cafes. If you’ve never made it to the legendary Hussong’s Cantina, stop in to have a cerveza at the bar that’s been frequented by figures such as Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne in the 120 years that it’s been open. Just south of town, enjoy the breath-taking drive out to La Bufadora to take in the famous blowhole and to get your fill of delicious seafood.

Where to eat: You can’t go wrong at El Rey Sol, Mexico’s oldest French restaurant (don’t miss out on the pastries!). Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada is famed for its fabulous seafood. Or if you follow the foodie scene, La Guerrerense seafood cart, with 15 types of ceviches, has been featured by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Newsweek.

Where to stay: Hotel Coral and Las Rosas are great options with legendary weekend brunch buffets that both locals and tourists adore (Las Rosas also has a full spa!).  The Estero Beach Resort is a wonderful option for families with activities, a pool and the beach.

San Quintin

Who it’s for: fishermen, surfers, water-sport enthusiasts, anyone looking for a deserted-beach getaway

What to do: San Quintin is an excellent area for surf casting and inshore fishing with a highly concentrated supply of fish. You can charter a fishing boat from various places around town. San Quintin also attracts windsurfers, kiteboarders and surfers with spots like Playa Santa Maria and Pabellon. The nearby San Martin Island is a great spot for divers, kayakers and fishermen alike. Or spend the afternoon on the deserted beaches taking in the sand dunes or doing some clam digging.

Where to eat: The Hotel Jardines opened its restaurant to rave reviews. It’s also a lovely option for lodging. Cieto Lindo Motel’s bar and restaurant is an old San Quintin standby for seafood and margaritas.

Where to stay: Hotel Mision Santa Maria offers nice accommodations with a prime location on a stretch of deserted beach. If you’re a true angler, the Old Mill Motel, which occupies the old gristmill site, has been a modest favorite for decades.

Sierra de San Pedro Mártir

Who’s it for: wilderness seekers, hikers, stargazers, anyone looking to escape civilization for a bit

What to do: This national park boasts the highest mountain range on the Baja peninsula and is a dramatic change in scenery from the coast. EcoTur does guided hikes and tours of the area or experienced hikers can go it alone (few trails are marked so you’ll need a GPS or topographic maps). San Pedro Martir is also home to the rare borregon (bighorn sheep) and the world-class National Astronomical Observatory. With several large telescopes, the observatory is open to the public but hours are limited and vary by season.

Where to stay: Self-contained camping is permitted within the park. For those less adventurous, the nearby Meling Ranch offers wonderful accommodations and is a great jumping-off point for lots of activities the area has to offer with mountain biking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding and hiking guides for hire.

La Bufadora in Ensenada

La Bufadora in Ensenada

La Bufadora "The Blowhole"

La Bufadora “The Blowhole”

Views of San Pedro Martir

Views of San Pedro Martir

The beautiful beaches of San Quintin

The beautiful beaches of San Quintin

 

Driving to Baja? Don’t forget your Mexican auto insurance! Discover Baja has the best rates and the highest-quality insurance. Visit www.discoverbajaonline.com or call 800-727-2252 for more information.

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