Recommendations for a trip to San Miguel de Allende

Old Mar 14th, 2021, 04:49 PM
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Recommendations for a trip to San Miguel de Allende

My girlfriend and I, in our 60's, will be staying at a friend's home in San Miguel. We like to shop, collect art, eat at great restauran5s and have access to a driver. Looking for ideas both in San Miguel and places to travel within 3 hours to do day trips. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 14th, 2021, 07:27 PM
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Well, you've come to the right place. My wife and I have lived in San Miguel & Queretaro for over 10 years. When are you coming and how long will you stay? Are you willing/able to do an overnight on any of your day trips?
PS I've got a couple of nearby trip reports that I plan on posting. Soon. I hope.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 04:27 AM
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There are certainly some fine eating places in SMdeA as well as a number of art galleries as I recall.

Within a 3 hours drive, we really enjoyed Morelia, Patzcuaro and Guanajuato. However all are very much worth at least an overnight stay. Some photos and detail of our time in those places on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/mexico/

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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 09:42 AM
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We are coming on 4/19 and staying until 4/26. We could certainly do over nights to other places. Thanks for your help.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 09:43 AM
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Any great ideas would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 02:25 PM
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In no particular order, these are some easy day trips.
1. Mineral De Pozos, an almost-ghost town about 45 minutes away. It's not as rustic as it once was, due to some touristy development. Posada De Las Minas is the best place to have lunch. You'd need your driver. I'm hoping to do a trip report soon.
2. Queretaro. You don't need a driver; you can take a bus, and the bus station is only about 10 minutes from centro. 2 good restaurants on the Plaza De Armas, 1810 & Chucho El Roto. Also out by where the acueducto begins is an old, still semi-operational textile mill with 2 restaurants, Hercules, a microbrewery, and another more upscale place whose name escapes me now. Great city just for walking around. Lots of tourist andadores and plazas. The sidewalk restaurants on 16 de Septiembre are good for people watching, but not so much for the food. Ignore the touts as you walk by.
3. Peña De Bernal. A quaint little town just over an hour or so from San Miguel near the Queretaro airport. Decent shopping, but busy on the weekends. Early in the week some shops may be closed. Some nice restaurants, really good cheese bread. Famous for its Peña, or monolith, one of the largest in the world. You'd want a driver. If you're up to it there is kind of a back way where there is a winery where you can have lunch, plus a really nice restaurant in Atongo, in an old hacienda.
4. Dolores Hidalgo, only about 35 minutes. Buses go regularly, but if you have a driver, you could stop in Atotonilco on the way and visit the Santuario, called by some the Sistene Chapel of Mexico. Mama Mia's Campestre is a great out place to eat in a garden like setting under the trees. Food is ok, about average. Dolores is known for its odd flavors of ice cream, lots of vendors around the main plaza. I sort of liked the avocado flavor. Also its so called talavera pottery, which isn't true talavera but still colorful. Lots of history as its where the 'grita de Independencia' was called out by Hidalgo.
5. Guanajuato. Probably a must-see, only about an hour away. Colorful, lots of little plazas and alleys that go nowhere. It's fun going into town since the streets are mainly underground in tunnels. You could combine Dolores with Guanajuato and enter through the mountains and the town of Santa Rosa, known for their Mayolica pottery, which is truly amazing. Their shop is almost like and art gallery. They'll ship if you buy something. I'll post a photo.
6. Leon. Leather shopping capital of Mexico, if not the world. Could be combined with a trip to Guanajuato, but best to spend a night. I like the Ramada Plaza, which coincidentally, overllooks the plaza, which I think is the most attractive one in this part of Mexico. You wouldn't need a driver as the bus station is right in the leather district. Centro is either a long walk or a short taxi ride to centro.
7. Celaya & Comonfort. Celaya may be a surprise to many, but it has a nice centro where you'll see nary a tourist. Not fine dining, but there's a soda fountain with homemade root beer and right around the corner you'll see people lined up to buy empanadas of some 25 different fillings. Comonfort is one of the latest towns designatec as a Pueblo Magico. Both places are great just to people watch locals going about their lives. That said, there has been some problems with crime. So probably best to take a bus or ask your driver's advice. I hope to do a Celaya report too.
8. San Luis Potosí. It's about 2 1/2 hours by bus. One of my favorite cities in Mexico. The architecture is simply grand, probably the best examples of colonial & Porfiriato in the area, aside from Mexico City. Again perhaps a candidate for an overnight.
9. Tequisquiapan. About an hour and a half. Part of the 'Ruta de Queso y Vino, the cheese and wine route. Probably could be combined with the aforementioned Bernal for a long day.
Now, while I agree with Crellston that Morelia & Patzcuaro are good options, there's almost too much to see/do in the area for just an overnight. You could easily spend an entire week in the area. So with only a week, you'd probably have tp spend 2 nights to do make it worth your while. And that'd be just Morelia and Pátzcuaro.
In San Miguel, besides individual art galleries, the Fabrica Aurora is your best bet for art. It's in an old textile mill.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 04:21 PM
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Thanks so much for all that. I will strt working on the itinerary now. If you have anything to add please dont hesitate.l
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Old Mar 19th, 2021, 06:09 PM
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Just a couple more restaurant ideas. I suggest the jicama tacos at Pueblo Viejo right off the jardin. Normally only on their upstairs bar menu, but they'll serve them in the main restaurant if you ask. Really good. One of our favorites is Casa De Los Milagros 'terraza' location. Best view/sunset in all of San Miguel. Some of the menu leans towards Tex-Mex, but the Molcajetes are the bomb. Usually some mediocre live music. But nice open air seating/spacing. One of our favorite places since you have a driver is Al Rojo Vivo. Their fare is mostly steaks and burgers, which are among the best in town. Plus, good, inexpensive & generous margaritas. It's in the old Hacienda Landeta on the outskirts of town. Lovely lush old world setting. The hacienda belonged to the Condesa De Canal, of a clan from Spain. The Casa De Canal in town is now home to Starbucks (among a couple of other businesses) right off of the jardin. The hacienda was their getaway retreat. Canal street bears their name. One more bit of trivia. The movie 'The Wonderful Country', starring Robert Mitchum, has a scene at about the 55 minute mark that was filmed in San Miguel. It's on Youtube. The doors he enters are right across from Starbucks. Still look as they did in 1959.
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Old Apr 6th, 2021, 06:29 PM
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San Miguel is a fabulous place! There are lots of new restaurants there, but my favorite was a place with a huge courtyard that served Chiles en Nogada. The town of Guanajuato can be visited for just a day, and it certainly should be. It's in a valley, with gorgeous colonial architecture, and less overrun with retirees from the US than San Miguel. People used to do tours of homes on Sunday, with the profits going to support the cultural center started by retirees where art classes are held, and there's a good library with books for kids (one of the few in Mexico).
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Old Apr 11th, 2021, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by baldone View Post
Well, you've come to the right place. My wife and I have lived in San Miguel & Queretaro for over 10 years. When are you coming and how long will you stay? Are you willing/able to do an overnight on any of your day trips?
PS I've got a couple of nearby trip reports that I plan on posting. Soon. I hope.
I am planning a trip to San Miquel Allende in June. Do you know of any good AirBnB or private places to stay? It will be two girls in their 60's. We are kinda arty....
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Old Apr 12th, 2021, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Travelena View Post
I am planning a trip to San Miquel Allende in June. Do you know of any good AirBnB or private places to stay? It will be two girls in their 60's. We are kinda arty....
Since we live here, we've not had opportunities to stay in Air bnb's. Just hotels when we'd visit from Queretaro during our time there. There are some in my complex, but it's about 20 minutes by taxi from town. So that probably won't work. If you had a few picked out, I'd by happy to comment on the safety & quietness of the colonia. Generally, in descending order and w/o regard to budget, the most desirable areas to stay in are centro, Guadiana, Guadalupe & San Antonio.
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