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Ideal for: Culture Cravers, Foodies, History Buffs
This is Mexico as you’ve never seen it. A bastion of colonial Spanish architecture 170 miles northwest of Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende’s historic center is a 64-square-block stretch of inviting cobblestone streets, colorful stucco structures, and alleys filled with authentic Mexican wares. The 500-year-old city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time—burros still traverse the cobblestone streets to deliver milk and fire wood. Still, the city’s well-heeled crowd of artists, locals, and expats create a cosmopolitan feel, which you’ll experience while perusing galleries, jazz clubs, and bistros.
This is the city’s central plaza, and the perfect place to relax in the shade and sample grilled corn known as elote from local street vendors. On the south side of the square, stop into La Parroquia, a church whose pink spires are a town landmark.
Visit the Cañada de la Virgen, a 40-acre archeological site originally habited by Otomí and Toltec Indians more than 1,000 years ago. Explore the site’s seven pyramids, spread out across four complexes, on a guided walking tour.
Don't miss a soak in the public hot springs of La Gruta, which translates to “the grotto.” A 20-minute drive outside San Miguel de Allende, the hot springs are made up of open-air pools as well as a steamy grotto.
With a location in central Mexico and a high elevation (around 6,400 feet above sea level), San Miguel de Allende enjoys pleasant year-round weather. Average highs remain in the 70s all year long, while nights can be cooler in the high 40s and 50s. Summer is rainier than average, with occasional afternoon storms rolling in from June through September. The rest of the year is mostly dry.