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Sampling everything: Oaxaca State is a best-of-Mexico sampler: ruins, colonial cities, beaches, crafts, and gorgeous scenery.
Eating Oaxacan food: Think cheese, mole, empanadas, tamales, soups, and rich hot chocolates. Be sure to try Oaxaca's specialty spirit, mezcal, which is made from dozens of types of agave (unlike tequila, which is made exclusively from blue agave).
Craft-shopping at the source: The villages around Oaxaca City actually produce many of the crafts you see in markets all over Mexico.
Experiencing a coastal frontier: The Oaxaca coast is the most unexplored and undeveloped of Mexico's shorelines.
Visiting a mountaintop city: Monte Albán, built by the Zapotecs, is one of the country's most important ruins.
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