I have to tell you all how surprised I was about our little weekend getaway to Ensenada! I had done my research, figured out how to get there, where to stay, things to do, but I was not prepared for what this little Mexican town had to offer. Let me start of by talking about the drive to Ensenada from San Diego. The entire drive, nearly 90 minutes, is entirely along the coast! It is beautiful, and something I did not expect. Driving along the coast line, seeing the waves crash up along the shoreline, took me by surprise and started our weekend getaway off right.
What I loved most about Ensenada, was the fact it felt like Mexico. It is hard to explain, but I have been to several Mexican cities, some more popular than others, and many more “Americanized” than others. Ensenada had an authentic Mexican feel, which I loved. The town is small, people were friendly, gave us recommendations on things to see, places to eat. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and attractions for travelers to visit. As almost all Mexican cities, Ensenada has a city sign for tourists to visit and take pictures at and enjoy a great look out point of the ocean. Another popular attraction is the La Bufadora, a blow-hole spewing water up to 60 feet in the air. The city center is full of life, especially during the summer season, markets are open to buy fresh food, fish and any kind of good or trinket you can think of.
The food was outstanding, especially the sea food! There are many places to eat and drink in Ensenada, many locals and friends who have travel there before recommended Papas & Beers and Hussongs Cantina. However, of all the places we tried, Mariscos Bahia de Ensenada, by far had the best seafood we tried, not to mention the best mango margarita! I woke up the following morning contemplating if we should go back for more or try something new. The fish was fresh, especially the lobster, and delicious. A must do when traveling this area is indulge in some seafood, you will not be disappointed. Ensenada is lively town, there are many coffee shops and bars open into the evening to enjoy and get a feel of the town.
Another highlight of our trip was our stay at Hotel Lucerna. A new hotel to the area, Hotel Lucerna, is a great place to stay while traveling the area. The hotel itself is beautiful, with all the ammenities of luxury hotel, including a heated pool. The staff was helpful, assisting us with finding a wine tour, places to eat, and attractions to see. The hotel provides a wonderful breakfast spread each morning and encourages the guests to sit and enjoy the hotel. It was a great places to relax and wind at after a busy day of traveling and sight seeing.
Lastly, if you are planning on visiting Ensenada you can not miss scheduling a wine tour through the Valle de Guadalupe-Mexican Wine Country. The Valle de Guadalupe, located in Baja California, just a little more 30 miles from Ensenada, Mexico, you will find what people are calling “the new Napa” with miles and miles of beautiful landscape and more than 200+ wineries. We were lucky enough to book a private driver to take us to and from Ensenada to wine country, to several wineries and back to our hotel. It was such an amazing day and truly opened my eyes to the hidden treasures of Mexico.