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Your guide to Ensenada
All About Ensenada
Located just 70 miles south of the US border on the Baja California peninsula, Ensenada is a sunny port offering an array of shopping, dining, and nightlife. Despite being one of the most popular cruise destinations of the Pacific, this lively destination still retains its eclectic charm with its bustling harbor, sandy beaches, surfing spots, specialty craft boutiques, and art galleries. Ensenada doesn’t hold back when it comes to local cuisine — delightful alfresco restaurants and bars serve up farm-to-table plates, seafood, Baja Med dishes, local wine, and margaritas along Calle Primera, Ensenada’s popular main street.
Though its sea views and beaches are front-and-center, the area’s acclaimed wine country is just a short drive away. Visitors will find a surfer’s paradise along Ensenada’s coast, which features surf contests year-round. And yet, you don’t need to be experienced to catch the waves — hubs with board rentals and beginner outings are available. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities for those who want to discover Ensenada’s unique ocean ecosystems.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Ensenada?
Ensenada enjoys a temperate climate and features many attractions and events year-round, offering a range of ideal times for booking a vacation rental. Winter is a great time to visit if you want to spot gray whales as they migrate annually from Alaska down to the lagoons of Baja California Sur. Guadalupe Valley’s wine harvest season begins in August, wherein the culinary festivities of the Wine Harvest Festival take hold of the city for two weeks, attracting many visitors. Ensenada Carnaval is exceptionally popular and takes place at the end of January. In the spring, the annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, one of the largest of its kind in North America, marks its finish line in Ensenada.
What are the top things to do in Ensenada?
Calle Primera or Avenida Lopez Mateos
Calle Primera, also known as “La Primera” or Avenida Lopez Mateos, is set in the heart of Ensenada. This strip features craft boutiques, seafood restaurants, and cafes, as well as an array of lively nightlife spots and bars, which proudly serve margaritas in the very city where the popular cocktail is purported to have originated.
Enjoy a guided horseback ride along the San Miguel Hills while taking in scenic views of Ensenada, Salsipuedes Bay, and the Todos Santos Islands. After the ride, saddle up to a BBQ lunch back at the ranch. Beginners and seasoned riders alike can explore Ensenada’s natural beauty on horseback with many options for guided tours.
History Museum of Ensenada
The History Museum of Ensenada is housed in the Rivera del Pacifico building, a former Prohibition-era casino. This museum offers a look at the cultural history and evolution of the region from the first settlers to current day by way of artifacts, artwork, and photography. You can also check out classes or film screenings in the Rivera del Pacifico building through the Casa de Cultura.