Earlier this month, my best friend that I have known since kindergarten, got married! ❤ I was sooo happy to be there for her on her special day and I was also excited to visit a state of Mexico I had never been to. Her wedding was in Mexico’s cool and chic wine country region called, Valle de Guadalupe in the state of Baja California.
Valle de Guadalupe is about an hour and a half from Tijuana, which is where my best friend Mildred lives. Tijuana is just a few minutes away across the border from San Diego!
Here are a few tips if you are thinking about visiting this wine country region of Mexico:
To get there, you can either fly directly into Tijuana or you can fly into San Diego. Crossing down to Tijuana is pretty easy, but if you don’t have a special permit for your car and passport, it can take more than 3 hours to cross back to San Diego. Luckily, my friend has that permit, so she was able to pick me up from the San Diego airport and we just drove down to Tijuana.
To be honest, I did not know what to expect nor was it really ever on my bucket list to come to here… but it turned out to be a lot better than I imagined.
While there, we ate some yummy food at the popular Hotel Caesar , where the famous Caesar’s Salad was invented. What is really cool about this place, is that they prepare the dressing right in front of you and they show you all the fresh ingredients and instructions on how to make it. You can even take home the recipe as a souvenir!
If you go, definitely get the Caesar’s Salad and the bone marrow! Absolutely AMAZING!
Fun Fact: The world-famous Caesar`s Salad was born in Tijuana, in 1927. It was created by Cesar Cardini the chef and owner of Caesar´s Restaurant. They prepare about 500 Cesar salads every day and about 1,000 per day on the weekends!
Right across the street, on Avenida Revolucion, we took the infamous picture with the donkey that looks like a zebra! The ultimate proof you went to Tijuana!
We passed by this small beach town on our way to the wedding. The beaches and restaurants in this area are a pretty popular destination for some fellow Cali Americans during long weekends. They have an awesome overlook of the Pacific Ocean where you can snap a quick pic.
If I wouldn’t have told you, I bet you would have thought this picture was taken in Santorini or somewhere exotic haha 😜
Fun Fact: Titanic was filmed here! 😱
Valle de Guadalupe:
Also known as the Mexican “Napa”! Here you can find hundreds of wineries that offer wine tastings year-round and chic restaurants with awesome views of the mountains and vineyards. 🍷🍇
Since the 1990s winemaking has become very popular in the state of Baja California. During the month of August, they host the Grape Harvest Fiestas in the Valley of Guadalupe and the town of Ensenada. So this time of year, is the best time to go!
Here are some of the vineyards we visited:
This modern & chic winery, restaurant and boutique hotel was built around this now IG famous dead tree and mini lake. A must visit! Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
Clos de Tres Cantos
This unique winery is built from recycled materials, including discarded wine bottles, laja stone and reclaimed wood. We did a tasting of 5 wines for $200 pesos, that’s only $10 USD!
La Esperanza BajaMed
My friend got married at this gorgeous restaurant that sits on the road that leads to the famous L.A. Cetto winery. Their expansive dining room is open, which allows it to have a mesmerizing view of well-established grapevines—some of these, are the oldest grapevines in the Valle de Guadalupe.
Fun Fact: The term “Baja Med” comes from the fusion of Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian influences by which the cuisine of Baja has come to be known.
This winery has a little bit of everything! It has a tasting room, bed and breakfast, a stable with majestic Aztec horses and a restaurant with amazing views of the vineyards. This hacienda-style architecture is enchanting!
Is a popular destination for short cruise ship trips from Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. That is why there are a couple of street with many bars and famous restaurants. One of the most popular seafood restaurants is La Guerrerense. Their most popular items are the tostadas of different kinds of ceviche and their 13 types of hot sauce!
Even Anthony Bourdain had the chance to check out this yummy spot!
If you are tired of going to the same typical destinations in Mexico, come give this northern state a try!
Some photos by Esteban Araujo