Boasting more than 350 days of sunshine annually, a booming luxury hotel scene and easy air lift from most major U.S. cities, Cabo San Lucas is hotter than ever. Located at the very tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, this spectacular resort town is just a 2.5-hour flight from Los Angeles or Dallas and only a four-hour jaunt from Atlanta. Once you’re on the ground, it’s less than an hour to your hotel of choice, where a frosty margarita or cerveza, pristine beaches and crashing waves await.
Pack your days with as much — or as little — adventure as you desire because there’s something for everyone in Los Cabos.
You’ll usually arrive around midday into Los Cabos International Airport and buzz through customs. (Skip the timeshare hawkers and the “taxi” companies and arrange private transport through your hotel.)
By early afternoon, you’ll stroll through the open-air lobby of your home base for the next two nights, Grand Velas Los Cabos, a family friendly, luxury all-inclusive resort. You’ll be greeted with a margarita or a signature agua fresca, a cool towel and a mini massage — the gateway to a picture-perfect vacation.
For your first afternoon, hit the pool or the beach loungers, where you can ease into vacation with another cocktail and an order of tacos (shrimp, beef and fish, in that order). Butlers will offer snacks and service to your chair, so you won’t have to move, unless you feel so inclined.
Before dinner, hit the well-appointed oceanfront gym or massive 35,000-square-foot spa, where you’ll kick off any treatment with a seven-step hydrotherapy circuit and time in the sauna, steam and ice rooms. We recommend the signature Blue Agave Candle Massage to hydrate skin after time in the sun.
Need a break from the little ones? A massive club offers everything from arts and crafts to the latest gaming equipment in dedicated areas for kids and teens.
As the sun dips low on the horizon, we’d suggest a visit to the resort’s signature fine-dining restaurant, Cocina de Autor, helmed by acclaimed Dutch chef Sidney Schutte, who leaves his perch at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam at least six times a year to make a personal visit to the resort. The inspired 10-course menu delivers fresh, local ingredients prepared in a gastronomic style, all included in the price of your stay.
If you’re craving something more casual, there are six restaurants and several bars on property, running the gastronomic gamut from steak and seafood to French, Italian and traditional Mexican fare.
The next morning, nosh on breakfast (eggs prepped with fresh shredded beef was our favorite) on your balcony and get ready to hit the town.
While Cabo offers azure waters and expansive beaches at nearly every hotel, most (with the exception of the One&Only Palmilla, Chileno Bay Resort and the new Montage Los Cabos) aren’t swimmable. Rather, take advantage of your seafaring surroundings with a sport fishing excursion in the fall, a whale watching adventure in early spring and a day cruise to see El Arco (the region’s famous rock arch) by water and get a little snorkel action in summer. Book via the hotel concierge or through an onsite provider, like Cabo Luxury.
By afternoon, it’s time for some culture and cuisine. Grab lunch back at Grand Velas (we love the casual palapa restaurant Cabrilla for fresh ceviche and a mango margarita) and then pick the town you’d like to sample. If it’s Thursday, San Jose del Cabo, the area’s historic and cultural center, is a must-visit. A signature art walk takes place each week from November until June, where local galleries host showings, wine tastings and live music. Stroll through town and buy a souvenir or two; we suggest silver, fire opals or hand-painted pottery.
Make the most of the 30- to 45-minute drive and have dinner off-property. Local restaurants Flora Farms and Acre Baja are some of the area’s hottest tables, often booking weeks in advance for their fresh-from-the-farm, California-meets-Baja fare.
If you don’t care to venture quite so far, Cabo San Lucas may have an unflattering reputation as a college spring break town, but we love to wander away from the main drag of bars and head instead to eclectic shop La Coyota inside the former home of Los Cabos restaurateur Edith Jiménez. From hand-blown glass hearts to richly embroidered tunics and linens to gorgeous pottery and jewelry, this hidden gem of a store is a prime spot for one-of-a-kind mementos.
Opt for a more upscale evening at the aforementioned Montage resort’s Mezcal. Done up in hand-painted tiles, rich brass and leather accents, it’s a modern Mexican kitchen with a creative twist. This style is highlighted in dishes like pork belly tacos with a peanut-chipotle sauce or jumbo prawns with burned cucumber guajillo adobo (chili sauce). Finish with nightcap at Marea, the hotel’s oceanfront restaurant.
While all of the eating and exploring has made for an action-packed few days, do not miss a late evening decaf or cocktail on your bougainvillea-studded balcony. The salt air, star-studded skies and crashing waves will lull you right to sleep.