OUR LOCAL: Lauren Cremascoli TOWN: San Felipe HOW LONG: over 20 years ABOUT LAUREN: My husband, Franco, and I started going to San Felipe and camping so we could vacation with our dogs! They love the freedom at our place and being able to really cut loose on the beach. It did not take long to make friends and find just the right “campo” at which to buy a house. Then we sold that one and bought four at the north end of our piece of Heaven (Rancho Percebu) and built them out and now rent out three and use one for ourselves. Franco is a retired painting contractor and has done most of the building, electrical (solar), plumbing, etc. by himself. He is down there most of the time Oct-June to take care of the guests. I am a Realtor® serving San Diego since 1987.
If you had to describe San Felipe in three words, what would they be? Peaceful, unspoiled, full of friendly people!
What are some of the best activities to enjoy in San Felipe? Fishing, swimming, shelling, exploring the desert and mountains near our place; watching the Baja off road races; walks on the beach with my dogs.
What’s the best street food? Fish and shrimp tacos! San Felipe is the HOME of the fish taco.
And your favorite sit-down restaurant? Rosita.
What are some of the best hotels in the area? El Cortez is a great option (Costa Azul is terrible).
What are the best beaches to visit? The one at Laguna Percebu has the longest and cleanest stretch of nice sandy beach. Punta Estrella is also nice but not as big.
Any popular nightlife or entertainment? Most people party within their own communities; There are several bars in town that are nice; the Miramar on the main street in San Felipe has been there since the 40’s and was where the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club guys used to hang out. They supposedly sat around drinking at the Miramar and came up with the idea of the 3-person baseball team leading to the Over the Line Tournament held yearly in San Diego.
Any good shopping? The little shops on the main street have the usual Mexican trinkets and there are street vendors who sell silver jewelry. The town now has a Calimax grocery store that has everything you could possibly need. Fresh tacos (corn and flour) can be bought from locals who make them in their homes. During shrimp season you can buy huge fresh shrimp for a lot less than we pay for small frozen ones here in our stores. The fresh fish is also a great buy from local fishermen – or catch your own like we do
The best “local spot” in town? Club Miramar Bar
What’s the best time of year to visit? October through June. The monsoon effect starts in July and goes through September. This means that the temperatures can be well over 100° with humidity over 90%. The ocean water is like bathwater and not refreshing. AC barely cools a room with temperatures and humidity like this. We close up our houses during the summer as do many of the ex-pats living there.
Annual events that are worth making a trip to San Felipe? Off road racing events put on by SCORE; the Baja 250 which will be Feb. 28, Mar 1 & 2 this year. The Shrimp Festival in October is fun and there’s a Blues Festival every spring.
Things people shouldn’t visit San Felipe without seeing or doing? Visit the area where the giant cactus are – south of town. A very large one was shipped to Spain for the world’s fair.
What’s your best insider tip about visiting San Felipe? If you want night life and glitz, don’t come here. If you want a place where you can relax, be yourself, party with friends, fish, sleep, read a book, ride your quad or dirt bike, San Felipe is the place for you.