OUR LOCAL: Elizabeth Day TOWN: Todos Santos HOW LONG: 12 years WHY TODOS SANTOS: My husband and I went to La Paz for vacation and took a drive to Todos Santos, if only to be able to tell a friend who kept suggesting it to us (we were considering moving to somewhere—not sure where—in Mexico for a six-month stint) that we had indeed checked it out. We hadn’t even driven a block into the town when I said, “This is it. We’re home.” Our daughter in the car seat behind us was almost two, and I was five months pregnant with our son. My husband said, “Shouldn’t we look around? Check it out before we decide?” The joint decision was made within a half hour of walking buy accutane generic around this magical oasis in the desert. We fell in love with Todos Santos, and instead of staying only six months, we’ve called it home, sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time, for the past twelve years. OCCUPATION: Writer and Book Editor HER BIO: Elizabeth, an award-winning book editor, is the author of the inspirational novel, Living with Gusto, and the creator of the motivational website PostcardsFromGusto.com.
If you had to describe Todos Santos in three words, what would they be? Authentic, Soulful, Tranquil
What’s the vibe of Todos Santos? There’s a surfer vibe, an artist vibe, a magical vibe that gets you believing anything is possible, and a back-to-core-basics vibe.
Why do most people come to Todos Santos to visit? A lot of people come to surf at Cerritos Beach, to check out the many art galleries in town, to visit the Hotel California, or because they heard from someone (like we did), “You have to check out Todos Santos.”
Best activities to enjoy in Todos Santos? When people come to visit, we love taking them to Cerritos and Las Palmas for a picnic, water fun, and good old beach time. There’s also horseback riding with Kaia Thomspon (our local horse whisperer), fishing, biking, surfing, hiking to the old port (stunning view), and walking around town.
Any good street food? Chilakos for steak tacos, La Durangueña for gorditas, Sinaloense for fish tacos. Compa Chava for ceviche.
Favorite sit-down restaurants? La Esquina or Todos Santos Café for breakfast. La Copa for incredible gourmet tacos, sliders, and other tapas-style fare. Tre Galline for homemade pasta dishes. El Zaguán for fresh fish.
What are some of the best hotels in the area? Hotelito, Casa Tota, and of course Hotel California.
What are the best beaches to visit in Todos Santos? Cerritos and Las Palmas.
Any popular nightlife or entertainment? La Esquina has live music (depending on the time of year) on Thursday and weekend nights. Fantastic vibe. Fun for all ages.
Annual events that are worth making a trip to Todos Santos for? The Music Festival in January, run by Peter Buck of R.E.M., the Film Festival in February, and the Fiestas Tradicionales in October.
Are there internet cafes or wifi spots in town? Yes, and it’s pretty easy to find them. Cafélix and Todos Santos Café are great, friendly places to go to grab a coffee and freshly baked snack while checking email, etc.
Any good shopping? For vibrant, beautifully made clothes, shoes, and accessories, Étnica. For unique gifts, Mexican Soul. For books and local artistry, El Tecolote Bookstore.
Things people shouldn’t visit Todos Santos without seeing or doing? Eat a mango, without using a knife to cut it, on the beach. Enjoy hot, freshly made tortillas from California Star Tortilleria.
Your best insider tip about visiting Todos Santos? Explore it on foot. And even if it pulls you out of your comfort zone at first, don’t wear a watch and turn your phone off.
What’s the best time of year to visit? Town’s crowded, and there’s a lot going on December through March. Any other time of year, you’ll experience a quieter, less crowded Todos Santos. Most people opt not to visit in August and September because those are the hottest months and hurricane season.
The best “local spot” in town? La Esquina.
Photos by Zoe Day
3 thoughts on “Ask a Local: Todos Santos”
I was surprised you didn’t mention the Open Studio Tour as one of the annual events that is worth making a trip to TS for. This winter, we will be hosting the 6th Annual Studio Tour. Last year we had 38 participating artists (both Mexican and Gringo) and had almost 300 visitors on the tour. People come from as far away as Mexico City and pretty well are parts of the US and Canada and many folks plan their vacation around the tour dates. In 2015 we will be hosting a 2 day tour (for the first time) on Feb 7 & 8th, 2015.
Hey, Zoe: great photos, girl. Well done!
One addition to Elizabeth’s hotel choices (all of which are great) is the Todos Santos Inn. In the historic district, and comes with a great bar (with live music on the weekends).
The best handmade soaps ever (olive oil soaps), In Mexican Soul store.