If you're a history buff looking for a new place to explore, plan a vacation to Ensenada. The third-largest city in Baja California, Ensenada is full of thrilling sites with strong links to Mexico's history. Here are three you can't miss:
Riviera del Pacífico
Legend has it that this former hotel and casino was funded by the infamous American gangster, Al Capone. Back in the 1930s, the Hotel Riviera del Pacífico was frequented by Hollywood stars, who often flew in on private planes from Los Angeles. They were greeted with luxurious and eclectic decor like gold leaf ceilings, Indian cedar wood, and Italian tile floors.
Today, a tour of Riviera del Pacífico will give you a glimpse into this famed piece of Ensenada's history. The shore excursion will take you through the grand ballroom where the rich and famous danced the night away. You'll also have a chance to look through the Museo de Historia de Ensenada (Ensenada Museum of History), stroll through the gardens, catch displays in the gallery, and visit its elegant salon. While outside, you can experience a folkloric music show, or take in local artisans' craft displays.
Bodegas de Santo Tomás
If you're a wine lover, don't miss the chance to visit Bodegas de Santo Tomás, the oldest operating winery in Baja California. It was originally founded in 1888 by Miguel Ormat and Francisco Andonaeguí using vineyards that were first established by missionaries.
In 1932, the winery was sold to General Abelardo Rodriguez. He was responsible for transforming it into a successful business that produces award-winning wines, including chardonnay, cabernet, pinot noir, and merlot.
During a visit to the Bodegas de Santo Tomás you can tour the winery, learn about its history, and even taste some of its famous wines.
Don't leave Ensenada without an excursion to Plaza Civica. This picturesque square is home to the largest Mexican flag in the country, as well as bronze statues of some important figures in Mexican history. The magnificent busts are all local heroes: Venustiano Carranza, one of the principal leaders in the Mexican Revolution, Father Miguel Hidalgo, considered the father of Mexican independence, and Benito Juarez, who fought against Emperor Maximilian and the French army.
There is no shortage of meaningful things to do on a getaway cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. Plan a trip to this exciting city where you can step back in time through the city's history and immerse yourself in its culture via one of our amazing West Coast Getaway itineraries or Classic California Coast cruises.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Beau Hudspeth