San Miguel may have been built to honor a monk and a military hero, but now it’s mainly a monument to relaxation. This small town located in the Bajio mountains, about 150 miles north of Mexico City, was named for both the monk who founded it, San Miguel El Grande, and General Ignacio Allende, a hero in Mexico’s War of Independence. Today, thanks in part to its colonial Spanish architecture, this town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a magnet for weekenders and expats from Mexico City. When you visit San Miguel, you can walk alongside the quaint cobblestone streets, browse the shops for artisanal crafts and take part in any number of festivals that make this picturesque town a great year-round destination. Read this San Miguel de Allende travel guide to plan your expat-style vacation:
Things Not to Miss in San Miguel de Allende
• Walk to the El Mirador, a lookout point that offers great sunset views
• Visit the mask museum, The Other Face of Mexico
• Shop for blown glass, papier mache and other arts and crafts at Fabrica de Aurora
• Marvel at the city plaza, El Jardin, and the town’s main church, La Parroquia
When to Go to San Miguel de Allende
Even though they can't get the ocean access here that you find in many other Mexican resort towns, people who travel to San Miguel de Allende love it for its seemingly eternal spring. It has mild winters and sunny summers (summer is when you’re mostly likely to get rain, too). The peak San Miguel de Allende travel season falls around the main religious holidays here: Christmas and Easter, as well as the festivals in August and September leading up the festival for the patron saint. If you want to see town’s gorgeous jacaranda trees in purple bloom, come between March and April.