By Maranda Pleasant
The People. The Colors. The Music. The Mood. The Culture. The Beaches.
The design community, cafés, colorful buildings and art are unparalleled in their vibrancy and richness. We would walk around the main square at midnight eating corn on the cob from street vendors, splurging once in a while at the Dôce 18 Concept House at the super luxe boutique shops. We would work late and find restaurants with small fireplaces and order an obscene amount of corn tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole and salsa.
We loved its raw wildness—one street leading in and out, hailing taxis, hitchhiking, working from hammocks, eating raw vegan food all day, then moving to the beach for cocktails. No shirt, no shoes, no problem. You just won’t find many places like it, though the trust fund set has found it and prices have skyrocketed. Don’t expect clear water most of the year. Avoid the December holidays at all costs.
Oaxaca + Puerto Escondido
Between its breathtaking mountains and beaches, the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico is a cultural dream, steeped in traditions from the country’s 16 indigenous groups adding color, vibrancy and beauty to everything they create. You’ll also find the low-key paradise of Puerto Escondido, the largest town on Oaxaca’s coast, featuring several beaches and a chaotic nightlife.
Hear me out! For scuba diving and snorkeling, I’ve never seen clearer water. If you’re planning a dive trip, skip over Playa del Carmen, which has a gritty magic of its own, and take a ferry/ plane to Cozumel. We spent 10 days here in February, practically underwater, and it was spectacular.
Baja California + Northern Mexico
Perfect for retreats, surfing and self-care getaways, like a week at the Rancho La Puerta resort in Tecate, only 45 minutes from San Diego. Then check out the whale watching along the coast, and make sure you stay a few nights in the seaside surfing town of Todos Santos. (Todos Santos is to Baja what Tulum is to the Riviera Maya.)
Mexico City has more swanky vegan restaurants than Los Angeles. More record stores, urban art, artists and musicians than you can imagine. It is such a gem. Check out the design in Roma, Polanco and La Condesa, our fav neighborhoods.