With topography, culture, and cuisine so rich and varied, the Baja Peninsula could be its own country. There’s the newly pulsating urban center of Tijuana, the devout seafood following in Ensenada, a vibrant and polished wine scene in Valle de Guadalupe, natural wonders along the Sea of Cortez, and Cabo’s mix of lavish hotels and impeccable beaches. But best of all, the region is just a hop, skip, or short flight away. Try on our 46 tips for the top ways to relax, dine, drink, and play—the Baja way.
TIJUANA, Mexico — It was a chilly spring evening and the dining room at Misión 19, one of Tijuana’s many acclaimed restaurants, was buzzing. Waiters patiently talked diners through the menu — would the tiger milk shrimp with aioli be best paired with a red wine from the nearby Guadalupe Valley, or perhaps a mezcal-infused cocktail?
Each morning, denizens of the San Diego-Tijuana border area turn on their radios to get the news like everyone else around the country. But along with the weather forecast (most likely sunny and 75 degrees), sports scores, and top headlines, listeners also hear the wait times at the border.
A new wave of developers is bringing a fresh eye to old Tijuana, breathing life into decaying and abandoned buildings, and creating new ones. They talk of a city with art galleries, cafes, breweries, colorful murals, bike stations, collaborative work spaces, markets with organic produce. They envision bustling streets where adventurous foreign tourists mingle with city residents.