Our flight from Dallas took us to Leon, Mexico where a driver, arranged ahead of time by the hotel, picked us up and whisked us away for an hour ride to the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende.
San Miguel consistently ranks among the best tourist cities, not just in Mexico but also in the world. This beautiful, cobblestoned village lies about three hours north of Mexico City and is a wonderful first experience for those who want to venture away from the typical beachside Mexican resorts.
My husband, aunt, and I chose to visit San Miguel for a relaxing New Year’s Eve celebration because of the wonderful weather and the city-wide celebrations.
We stayed in Casa Misha, one of the most fanciful boutique hotels in which I have ever stayed. We were treated to a made-to-order breakfast every morning in the library. We actually believed we were the only ones in the hotel until we finally happened to see another couple seated in their private dining area. The service was extraordinary, and the large rooms were beautifully decorated.
We had arranged a cooking class at Marilou Mexican Ancestry Cooking School and spent a fun morning preparing our own lunch while Marilou shared history and cooking tips. We also got to take her recipes home with us so we could make them for our friends and demonstrate what we had learned.
We had a great time wandering around the town. We loved walking around on our own and exploring the area around the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the church located in the city’s main plaza, El Jardín. There are great shopping opportunities for souvenirs and clothing. I would highly recommend a few pairs of the San Miguel shoes which are comfortable even when walking on cobblestones.
We took a trolley tour that was in both English and Spanish, but the English portion was extremely short and provided less information than the Spanish. If you don’t speak Spanish, I would recommend taking an English only tour.
San Miguel is a city for Food lovers. The first night we ate at Los Milagros which had great food, including molcajete. A molcajete is actually the Mexican version of the mortar and pestle, but this restaurant has given it a whole new meaning by filling the piping hot utensil with shrimp, beef, chicken, cheese, and other luscious fajita items and serving them with hot tortillas. The live 1970’s and 80’s American music and the roomful of American ex-pats added up to a great experience.
We enjoyed a special occasion dinner at The Restaurant which is located in a beautiful Colonial building with a Moroccan courtyard. We celebrated the New Year at Andanza with excellent food and brilliant service. Our final night we at Peruvian food at La Parada.
Before dinner at Casa del Diezmo, which serves Yucatán cuisine in a delightful courtyard setting, we walked to the Rosewood Hotel for a drink at the rooftop bar to watch the sun set over the city. (Taxis are very inexpensive and can be arranged through your hotel or restaurant but I always like to walk.)
The atmosphere of San Miguel is an interesting blend of Mexico and American since approximately 10% of the population is ex-pats, primarily from the US. There are many spas, art galleries, museums, and historical sites to fill your days. San Miguel is a great destination for someone who has never ventured to a non-English speaking country because most people at restaurants and shops are bilingual.
Have you been to San Miguel or have questions about going there? Please share your thoughts and questions below!