Nestled three hours north of Mexico City in the hills of Guanajuato state, lies the little city of San Miguel de Allende, a charming, walkable, and colorful town that is a favorite destination for domestic and international travelers alike. The closest international airport is still 90 minutes away down a winding highway, making San Miguel de Allende feel like a remote getaway. Once you arrive, you will quickly notice the many Americans who have made San Miguel their home, living there full time or for months out of the year.
Though the town is full of Americans it is hard to say it is “Americanized” because the feeling I got is that there is a strong desire to preserve its culture. The town is safe and everyone I encountered was kind, worldly, and welcoming. Once you are there it is a particularly easy destination for Americans to get around in as nearly everyone speaks English. Whether or not this type of travel fits your style, San Miguel de Allende is undeniably beautiful and worth the visit.
Unfortunately I did not spend enough time in San Miguel de Allende to be able to experience everything, so my observations are based on a short three day stay. In those three days I was able to eat great food, taste and learn about one of my favorite brands of tequila, enjoy the perfect year-round weather, and find the best spots for taking photos.
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San Miguel de Allende has a special significance in Mexico’s history, as it is said to be the first town to gain its independence from Spanish rule. In 1926 the Mexican government declared the town a Historic and Protected site, preserving San Miguel de Allende’s charming colonial architecture and layout. Many of the buildings and homes in San Miguel de Allende are built within the colorful stone walls that line the narrow cobblestoned sidewalks.
The town is centered around its main square and famous parish church, La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel. The main square is certainly the most lively part of town, as it is usually filled with crowds, vendors, and tourists, and lined with many shops and restaurants.
Tequila Tasting with Casa Dragones
The history of San Miguel de Allende and the very brand that is Casa Dragones go hand in hand. The brand is named after the Dragones, an elite cavalry belonging to the Queen of Spain during colonial rule. Led by General Ignacio Allende, the Dragones took Mexico’s interests to heart and fought for independence from Spain. La Casa Dragones in San Miguel de Allende is the original stables of the Dragones Cavalry and has been transformed into a private home. Guests are able to contact Casa Dragones concierge to schedule a private tour.
Everything about the Casa Dragones brand is executed tastefully, significantly, and thoroughly down to the very last detail- especially in the process in which the tequila is made, distilled, and enjoyed. The Casa Dragones Joven Sipping Tequila is a fine blend of silver and añejo tequilas, and distilled in a unique process so the final product is complex, smooth, and crystal clear. The Casa Dragones Tequila Blanco is a silver tequila crafted to its purest form, and can be enjoyed in a cocktail or on the rocks.
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Where to Eat
Breakfast or Lunch
Casual restaurant serving gourmet food.
Everything is great but definitely order the
mollete and a chamorro quesadilla
Drinks and Views
Luna at Rosewood or El Atrio
Make a reservation for sunset
to see the city glow
Delicious Mexican food on a rooftop terrace
Café San Agustin
Get an order of churros- you get to skip
the line if you take them to go!
Where to Stay
Certainly your opinion of a trip can be shaped by how much you liked or disliked your accommodations, and I think I loved San Miguel de Allende so much because our Airbnb was absolutely wonderful. The property was a short walk to everything within the city's center, and in addition to being safe and secure, the property was lovely. A central patio is surrounded by beautiful brick, and the Airbnb listing is set up such that depending on your group size, you are able to rent half (Casita Paloma-2 guests) or all (Casa Paloma-4 guests) of the property. Beyond the property having it all and exceeding my expectations, our hosts and their staff were welcoming, professional, and treated me better than most hotels I have visited!
Have you visited San Miguel de Allende? What did you think and what was your favorite part?