A Weekend in Cabo San Lucas
At the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, where mountain and beach converge, Cabo San Lucas surfaced as an exclusive celebrity hideaway back in the 1970s. While five-star resorts carved into its rough desert and rock landscape provide the kind of fortressed privacy that America’s household names gladly pay fortunes for, at its core, Cabo is still a sleepy fishing village that worships sun, sand, seafood and the lusciously simple life.
Beach Playa el Medano is the only swimmable shoreline in Cabo San Lucas — elsewhere the waves are choppy and unsafe. Stretching two miles along the marina, lively Medano is clad withsunbathers, watersports enthusiasts and palapa-covered bars and restaurants.
See December through March, gray whales make their annual Pacific Coast migration from the feeding grounds in Alaska to Baja California, where females give birth in lagoons in the Sea of Cortez. Watch frequent breach and blow sightings from shore, or mosey closer on a whale-watching tour, in a sailboat, kayak, catamaran or on a yacht.
Eat Two words: scallop tacos. After working up an appetite via vitamin D absorption, walk about 15 minutes west to The Sleepless Lobster, just off the main Cabo thoroughfare (on Ignacio Zaragoza). Cabo natives congregate family-style around gingham tablecloths at this open-air gem with a small simple seafood menu. The standout dish is succulent diver scallop tacos sprinkled with a few green pepper strips and lime juice, paired with the two-for-one margarita special.
Wander Cabo’s sloped downtown streets, framed by granite cliffs, are dotted with colorful knick-knack shops and souvenir stands peddling Day of the Dead dolls, indigenous jewelry and tchotchkes. Head for Lazaro Cardenas and Boulevard Marina, which trail off into side streets like Zaragoza.
Sunset Backtrack to the Marina Boardwalk and watch the sunset over raised yacht sails and cream-colored, stucco buildings.
Eat A quick cab ride toward the hills, the dining room at Los Cabos Winery sits next door to its humidity-controlled fermentation cave, where internationally sourced grapes age for up to 22 months before the wine is released in small oak-polished batches. Tastings of the oaky house-made wine are served with tapas or a full dinner menu, featuring plates like grilled shrimp with shredded coconut in mango sauce.
Brunch Prep for today’s adventures with a cup of Joe made from freshly brewed Oaxaca- and Chiapas-grown beans, and savory chilaquiles — tortilla cakes topped with sour cream and salsa and served with beans — at the modern Bar Esquina, part of the chic Bahia Hotel and Beach Club.
Kayak Cabo Expeditions is one of the leading environmentally conscious groups in Cabo and runs a 3.5-hour clear-bottom kayak tour through the Sea of Cortez — the highlights are Lover’s Beach and El Arco rock formation, beside which a sealion colony sunbathes blissfully. Preview the clear ocean, teeming with marine life, before slipping into a pair of fins and goggles and diving into the deep end.
Lunch Reward yourself with a hearty lunch downtown at Las Quesadillas, a low-key, friendly Mexican interpretation of a sports bar with arched doorways and dive décor. The sell? All pulp, no ice, fresh-squeezed fruit margaritas, succulent fish tacos and complimentary chips and salsa.
Golf You can’t come to Cabo without a little light swinging. Cabo San Lucas has an abundance of greens, from all-access public courses like Cabo del Sol and Punta Sur, to semi-private links like Palmilla One&Only, and finally, the ultra-exclusive, members-only Diamante and Querencia Championship.
Or Shop Luxury Avenue mall is Cabo’s one-stop shop for the finer things. The row of shops across from the harbor runs a narrow gamut from Fendi to Coach, Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo and select other boutiques. Visit UltraFemme, a Mexico-based perfumery and cosmetic emporium a few notches above Sephora.
Eat Dive into the centuries-old mole poblano (a simmered base of chocolate and chiles, augmented by 35 other ingredients), served over chicken, and topped off with genuine Mexican charm at Cabo favorite Mi Casa by the intersection of Avenida Cabo San Lucas and Lazaro Cardenas. If you’re hungry for something a little more refined, Brigantine steakhouse at the Playa Grande Resort serves creative, contemporary Mexican cuisine and Pacific panoramas, just a few steps from its private beach.