Tijuana has long been a bridge to taste Mexican delicacies without traveling far, just across the border from the United States. Due to its accessibility, the wealthy and well-known visited throughout Prohibition and the Golden Age of Hollywood.
In the second half of the 20th century, Tijuana gained a rep for being sleazy. But in recent years, the city has changed for the better due to concentrated efforts and investments in the local culture. Theaters, street art, and museums have all been elevated to the same level as the city’s spicy cuisine, so there are lots of things to do in Tijuana these days.
Best Places to Visit in Tijuana
Tijuana is no longer merely a pit stop for tequila and entertainment. It’s now a fantastic way to taste Baja Californian culture.
1. Rio Plaza Tijuana
In Tijuana, there are many possibilities to indulge in some retail therapy. But Plaza Rio Tijuana is one area that offers a taste of everything. The sizable outdoor shopping center is the largest of its kind in Baja California. Since 1981, it has delighted shoppers and was modeled after American malls.
The Tijuana Cultural Center is next to the mall, which has more than 100 shops to visit. These are a nice mix of well-known American retailers, national chains, and neighborhood businesses.
2. Rosarito Beach
Locals love the Tijuana beaches, which are a terrific place to experience the ocean without having to leave town. However, travel 30 minutes south to Rosarito Beach for a genuine Mexican beach experience.
Rosarito is the first significant resort city you will reach in the south if you are traveling from the United States. The stars would come here during the 1930s, often known as the Golden Age of Hollywood, to enjoy the shimmering golden sand.
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Even on those crowded days, there is plenty of room thanks to the enormous sand dunes. Finding your own spot of sand to take in the scenery before diving back into the azure ocean won’t be a problem.
3. Take a horseback ride
You’ll spend a lot of your time in Tijuana taking in the lively downtown streets and discovering the native way of life. But why not take advantage of the chance to go horseback riding on the beach for some time in nature?
Horseback riding is a wonderful way to explore the local areas, whether you’re traveling with friends and family or just seeking a romantic encounter.
You can pick from a variety of local businesses that offer slightly different experiences. Beach strolls in the late afternoon and at dusk are popular options, but you may also go down the coast to see the Pacific in all its splendor.
4. Rodriguez Pasaje
The Pasaje Rodriguez may be found on the notoriously hectic Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana. The creative corridor is the engine powering Tijuana’s progress, if the Avenida is the vehicle.
Make a detour along Pasaje Rodriguez as you stroll along the main street, which is lined with hotels, clubs, stores, and restaurants. A charming alleyway filled with public art is broken up by teeny, delicious restaurants. You may also find art galleries in Tijuana that regularly feature the best local painters.
On the first Friday of each month, visitors should make an effort to arrive at Pasaje Rodriguez. Exciting events take place in the already energetic passage, enhancing the atmosphere.
5. The Restaurant Caesar’s
When I learned that the salad was a staple of Mexican cuisine, it was a revelation that completely blew my mind. Why not try the most authentic Caesar Salad out of all the restaurants in the world if you can find one? Today, Caesar’s Restaurant continues to serve the same recipe, striking a delectable mix between tangy street food and other regional fare.
6. Park Morelos
Even in the best of circumstances, Tijuana can be a busy city. There aren’t many natural areas near town save the coast. At Park Morelos, though, you can take some time to unwind, read a book, or hang out with friends.
The park has a hearty mix of open grass and forested trees. This strikes a beautiful balance between walking trails, areas of shade, and open areas ideal for a picnic. The lovely lake may be found when you stroll through Park Morelos. This is a terrific area to spend a few hours with your sweetheart in addition to taking in the scenery.
7. La Bufadora
The distance from Tijuana to this outstanding natural monument is just over 20 hours. La Bufadora, which is situated at the tip of the Punta Banda Peninsula, is regarded as the second-largest marine geyser in the world (the largest is Makapu’u Point on the Hawaiian island of Oahu).
The amazing vista is not far from Ensenada, a historic but modern city. Water can be launched more than 60 feet into the air by the geyser. Due to the volume of water crammed inside a submerged sea cave, this phenomenon happens. Air and water are forced out of a small hole as the pressure builds up over time.
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After viewing the magnificent exhibit, browse some of the neighborhood shops and take in the scenic journey back to Tijuana.
8. Tijuana Cathedral
At the beginning of the 20th century, work on the Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe began. But it took until the 1970s for the cathedral you see today to be finished. Its blend of colonial and neo-classical design was well worth the wait, according to the residents.
One of the best buildings in the city is the Tijuana Cathedral, which was the first Catholic church built there. Its two towers and exquisite facade are distinguished by the charming brickwork and a variety of columns, spires, and crosses. The statue of Our Lady that dominates the entrance is arguably the most beautiful feature.
9. El Popo Market
The meadows are one of the best ways to explore Mexico, and this is still true in Tijuana. Travelers will struggle to find a finer market in town than El Popo, despite it not being the biggest.
On the well-known tourist strip Calle Benito Juarez, there is a market called El Popo. With a large number of permanent vendors and delicious local fare, it is an instant explosion of color, flavor, and atmosphere. All of your favorite market items, like artisanal cheeses, fresh produce, local delicacies, soaps, and incense, are available here.
You can get a taste of the world outside of the border town thanks to the market, which draws farmers and artists from a wide area around Tijuana. Check out some of El Popo’s many street foods before leaving.
10. Tijuana’s Playas
The finest place to experience the Pacific while in Tijuana is Playas de Tijuana, which is located in the city’s western section. Without having to travel too far from the center of town, you may enjoy the nicest local beaches here. Forget about visiting Ensenada or Rosarito, and instead enjoy the 2.5-mile beach. One that attracts locals particularly well on the weekends.
Swimming is excellent at the white sand beach thanks to the gentle currents and enjoyable but not excessive swell. Of course, with your back to the west, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking sunset every evening.
Travelers can stroll along the four-mile boardwalk that traces the shoreline at Playas de Tijuana all the way to the U.S. Border and back.
Almost everyone will give you a doubtful glance if you mention Tijuana. True enough, Tijuana doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. You might be curious as to why so many people have been coming here throughout the majority of the 20th century given boasts like “the most crossed border in the world.”
Tijuana was once a hub for a variety of criminal activities. But things are now very different for this well-known border town thanks to a recent revival, government investment, and cultural renaissance. Tijuana is experiencing a renaissance in its dining and urban art scenes, with its modern eateries, galleries, and hip cafés.