Sunday, February 19, 2017

Still Craving Chocolate: Check out Tulalip Resort's Offerings for Chocoholics


Just north of Seattle, Tulalip Resort Casino chefs are going crazy for cacao in their kitchens from through March 31st. During a recent trip to Seattle, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti discovered Seattle’s indi chocolate location at Pike Place Market, which is a true small batch, single origin roasted “bean-to-bar” operation.

After his visit, Mascitti brought back samples for his chefs to taste and he challenged them to understand the nuances and complexities of the cacao bean. He went on to ask them to create a dish presentation that would best match those unique and wonderful characteristics. The excitement was so high that some of the chefs decided to not only use indi’s cacao beans in their roasted nib form, but to also find a place in their recipes for indi’s cacao tea blends, numerous spice rubs and un-tempered chocolates, as well as their 72% chocolate bars.

Chocolate lovers eager to try new dining options: this line-up is for you.

Chef Brent Clarkson’s Cedars Cafe’s featured dish is a Chicken Mole Torta with tender chicken breast simmered in Chef Brent's house-made mole sauce prepared with indi chocolate’s cacao nibs and mole spice rub; topped with coleslaw, chef’s tomatillo salsa, and pickled jalapeño. Served on a grilled torta bun and topped with his house-made black refried beans. To end the meal on a sweet note, guests can enjoy a Warm Chocolate Cobbler with pecans and indi cacao nib streusel.

Chef David Buchanan’s Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar will feature indi chocolate Dusted Filet Mignon - an 8 ounce filet with chocolate demi-glace, potato torte, broccolini, and spaghetti squash. Dessert consists of indi cacao nib churros with a Peruvian chocolate dipping sauce.

Chef Jeremy Taisey’s Tulalip Bay Restaurant will feature Cacao-Citrus Tea Smoked Duck Breast served with a chocolate ravioli, foie gras cake, black truffle, and dark chocolate. And that’s not even dessert! Enjoy indi cacao infused Amaretto Zabaglione with fresh raspberries, indi chocolate sorbet and cacao nib tuile post-meal.

Chef John Jadamec’s Eagles Buffet featured dish will include Pork Ribs seasoned with indi chocolate barbecue spice rub and bitter sweet chocolate; served with a house-made BBQ sauce.

At Journeys East go right for the finale by trying Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Warm Chocolate Fondant Cake with indi chocolate Gochujang chocolate sauce and ginger whipped cream.

Chef Brent Clarkson wants guests to order up a game day sandwich at The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, featuring a Spiced Cacao Rubbed Flank Steak Sandwich rubbed with their special blend of spices and indi chocolate cacao nibs, grilled and served warm on a buttery toasted ciabatta roll; topped with spiced cilantro sour cream slaw and fresh pico de gallo. Served with fries.
Try the deconstructed cocoa spice rubbed flank steak sandwich from The Draft.

For more information about Tulalip Casino Resort or to grab a spot at one of the Chocolate Exposed restaurants, visit tulalipresort.com.

Information provided by: Tulalip Resort

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pueblo Bonito Resorts Los Cabos Announces New Food Hall Concept


The Pueblo Bonito resorts in Los Cabos never cease to amaze me. They have just announced the opening of a new dining venue at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach.

The Market at Quivira, a unique culinary concept unlike any other in Los Cabos, has been unveiled at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort and has quickly established itself as a popular “foodie” destination.
The Market at Quivira
Photo: Betsy Anderson

Inspired by modern food halls found in major U.S. and European cities, including the Plaza Hotel in New York and Harrods in London, The Market, featuring an enticing array of eateries and a handsome central bar, has redefined the region’s gastronomic “food hall” experience. The spacious 15,000-square-meter facility, built at a cost of $5.5 million USD, offers open communal seating for more than 450 diners of all ages.  

The Market welcomes Pueblo Bonito resort guests to enjoy its array of food and beverage options with their all-inclusive plans. Only the chocolate shop is not included in the all-inclusive program.

The Market’s open-floor complex, designed to please all types of palates, features several distinctive restaurants as well as a coffee shop and a bar. These include:

       1950’s Diner – This classic American-style diner, accented by red-and-chrome décor, offers hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, milkshakes, homemade desserts and excellent breakfasts.
       El Asiatico – Asian cuisine is well-represented by a wide range of dishes, from traditional miso soup and Szechuan-style shrimps to delectable dumplings and other examples of Asian street food.
       La Creperia & La Heladeria – In addition to 24 flavors of homemade ice cream and gelato, La Creperia is turning out the best crepes (sweet or savory) in Los Cabos.
       El Deli – This bustling New York-style deli features the finest hot, cold or toasted sandwiches utilizing fresh-baked breads as well as selected meats, cheeses and condiments.
       El Italiano – Homemade fresh pastas, traditional lasagna and a mouth-watering variety of brick oven pizzas are available at El Italiano, which also offers a splendid array of Italian desserts.
       La Huerta – Specializing in fresh organic foods, La Huerta (‘The Orchard’) offers top-quality salads and vegetarian entrees, from a Portobello mushroom stuffed with quinoa and ceviche to a roasted beet salad served with blue cheese, arugula and walnuts.
       El Mexicano – A wide range of Mexican dishes is available here, from traditional sopas (soups) and tacos al pastor (native to central Mexico) to chiles en nogada--poblano chilis filled with shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices and topped with a walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. 
       La Chocolateria – Situated near the entrance to The Market, this signature outpost artfully displays the finest-quality truffles, chocolates and macarons. Perfect for a sweet finish. Also popular as a gift. 
       El Bar – The Market’s lively circular bar, featuring a 360-degree panorama of the restaurants and food stalls, offers artisanal beers, selected wines from Mexico, Italy and California, and a range of spirits (including tequila and mezcal).
       La Cafeteria – This popular gathering spot offers custom-blended international coffees (four to six different blends daily) as well as hot or cold frappes and fresh-baked muffins, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and more.
 
Looking ahead a Sports Bar, situated on a spacious terrace adjoining The Market and the first of its kind at Pueblo Bonito, will open later this year.

For more information about Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts, visit www.pueblobonito.com.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blini Feast at Portland's Katchka for Russia’s Butter Week – ACLU Benefit


Katchka's Bloody Mary
Credit: Carly Diaz
Following Portland’s uncharacteristically cold and stormy winter, Kachka will celebrate Maslenitsa, the Russian folk holiday that marks the end of winter, with a one-time brunch centered around blini. During Maslenitsa, or “Butter Week,” large, round blini made with butter (similar to pancakes) are eaten to symbolize the round, golden sun that arrives with spring. The blini will be served family-style with a bounty of traditional sweet and savory accompaniments: a board filled with cured fish, roe, fruit and preserves, as well as Machanka, a Belorussian gravy of braised meats.

“In its origins, Maslenitsa is a Pagan holiday which bids farewell to winter and welcomes in spring — a time when darkness turns to light,” says Chef/Co-Owner Bonnie Morales. “We wanted to honor that by creating an event that shuts out hatred and bigotry and welcomes in respect, inclusion, and equality by raising money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).”

Kachka’s Maslenitsa brunch meal is $45 per person which includes coffee, tea and a “vitamin shot” (see below). Proceeds from the brunch will be donated to the ACLU of Oregon. Kachka will also offer additional brunch cocktails à la carte, including the return of Kachka’s “Bloody Masha” (Horseradish vodka Bloody Mary). Reservations are available between 10am and noon on February 26th, and can be made by emailing reservations@kachkapdx.com.

When
Sunday, February 26th between 10am and noon

Where
Kachka, 720 SE Grand Ave., Portland, Ore., 97214

Details
The set menu will be served family style, of abundant amounts of blini with sweet and savory accompaniments. The meal is $45 per person and includes coffee, tea, and a “vitamin shot” of Kachka horseradish vodka, beet juice, apple juice and celery bitters upon arrival. Additional beverages will be available for purchase and gratuity is not included.

Reservations
Reservations are recommended, and can be made by emailing reservations@kachkapdx.com

Information courtesy: Katchka

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Rockin’ Valentine’s Day at Tulalip Resort North of Seattle


Here’s a Valentine’s Day idea. Take the love of your life to Tulalip Resort Casino for a titillating night of fun-loving Rock and Roll music and perfectly matched plates. The Resort’s centerpiece events are the annual Rock Ballad Ball, which features music from two tribute bands and a jamming buffet dinner, or a choice from their seven award-winning restaurants that spotlight amorous inspired dishes and drinks. Tulalip Resort Casino has just what the love doctor ordered.

The Rock Ballad Ball is an out of the box barn-burner offered to the young—and the young at heart. This annual Valentine’s Day spectacular includes a concert of tribute bands U4 and INXSIVE featuring music from two legendary bands U2 and INXS.

Orca Ballroom doors open at 6:30 pm with a 7 pm Dinner Buffet service where guests can savor a selection of two salads, carved prime rib and maple herb chicken breast entrees, an assortment of side dishes, along with strawberry shortcake and dark chocolate mousse desserts and coffee/tea. Admirers and their main squeezes can dance the night away to rock pounding sounds starting at 8 pm.

Rock Ballad Ball is for those 21 and over. A no-host bar and festival seating compliment the all-you-can-eat dinner buffet. Concert tickets must be purchased in advance and are priced at only $65 per person or $120 per couple, including tax and gratuity. To purchase Valentine’s Day Rock Ballad Ball tickets, visit ticketmaster.com or the Casino Box Office (where no additional ticket processing fees are added). Additional details can be found at Rock Ballad Ball.

Looking for something a little more cozy and less shake, rattle and roll for an amorous getaway? Tulalip chefs are offering exclusive holiday classics at their award-winning restaurants. Lovers can make a stop at one or all of the Resort’s romantic hotspots.

Start by following Cupid's arrow to Tulalip Bay Restaurant for a Hearts of Romaine Salad or Bistecca alla Fiorentina (Tuscan style Porterhouse for 2) – pair it with a glass of Farnese Edizione Cinque Autoctoni, Abruzzo, Italy 2011. Slide into a home base finish with a Tartufo of Passion Fruit Gelato. Tulalip Bay’s specials will be available in addition to the regular dinner menu from 5 pm until closing on February 14, 2017. To book a table online, visit OpenTable or reserve by phone at 360-716-1500.

If steak and lobster is your traditional lover’s celebration dinner, then go no further than Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar for Chef David’s 8 ounce Chocolate Dusted Filet and his Sous Vide Lobster. And be sure to sample a serving of their Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake to seal the night. To reserve a table online, visit OpenTable or by phone at 360 716-1100.

Cedars Cafe’s Valentine’s Day specials will include a Sweet Dungeness Crab Melt, and as hearts melt into one, finish the night with a big slice of Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Red Velvet Cake topped with cream cheese frosting and sugar cookie hearts.

Gli amanti (lovers) can also wow each other with a trip to Journeys East for some plate sharing romance with items such as Steamed Clams in Black Bean and Oyster Sauce or Spicy Clams with Hua Tiao Wine and Vermicelli Korean Noodles. These chef creations will be available in addition to the regular dinner menu from 5 pm until closing on February 14, 2017. To reserve a table online, visit OpenTable or by phone at 360-716-1880.

Looking for a romantic spa experience for the love of your life? The T Spa has a grand selection of individual and couples spa treatments available, such as their Apricot Aromatherapy Massage, which will seduce the senses and hydrate the skin from head to toe. A perfect Valentine’s Day treat. 

Whatever fires up the proverbial Love Machine this year, Tulalip seems to have it covered!

Information courtesy: Tulalip Resort and Casino

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Discovering Portland’s Alberta Street: Food, Murals and Tiny Places to Stay


Saturday the weather was mild enough to head out to north Portland and enjoy a 5K walk starting at McMenamin’s Kennedy School. The Columbia River Volkssport Club has a tradition of hosting a “Pre-Superbowl Walk” annually.

We chose the route taking us along colorful Alberta Street. As I walked, I realized the street had changed during my time in the Portland area. Once a neighborhood where mostly African American ship workers lived, it was now an eclectic arts district with a hipster vibe.

History
Alberta Street was first developed by immigrants in the 1880′s and expanded during the era of streetcars. The Vanport Flood of 1948, just across the bridge from Vancouver, Washington’s shipyards, resulted in many African-Americans and low-income families having to move out of the area and seek low cost housing. The Alberta area was not far away. Ultimately the Alberta area became known as an African-American community.

By the ‘80’s the area fell into disrepair, banks wouldn’t lend to people settling there and it became known as a dangerous crime area. Urban renewal shifted neighborhoods. African-American families moved out of the area.

The Arts District
Many neighborhoods in Portland have been revitalized, gentrified and no longer affordable. Alberta was one of the neighborhoods where people organized to create this transition yet keep the sense of community. Artists found affordable studio space, small businesses opened up where once shop windows were boarded and community events like the monthly Art Walk were planned to bring in customers to the business area.

Alberta Street was the center of the activity. The community feel remains. Art on Alberta, a non-profit arts organization, was formed by a small group of art businesses and artists who first met in 2000 to secure a grant for fabric banners for the street and organize the first spring Art Hop.

The Community Cycling Center was established over 20 years ago as a place where people could learn to repair their bikes and kids could get free or inexpensive wheels. Now it’s a great place to find a used or even new bike and their charitable mission continues.


The Murals
When you walk down Alberta Street and peer into alleys you’ll start discovering the murals. There is fanciful art and art depicting the diverse tapestry of cultures found in the Alberta area. Community Cycling Center has an amazing mural on the side of their building depicting fun bike riding experiences and animals.



The public art extends to ATM machines and newspaper racks. Walk slowly and discover the art.









Fun and Fanciful Businesses
One of my first experiences in the new and revitalized Alberta food scene was the Grilled Cheese Grill. They make such innovative cheesy delights as The Hot Brie… Melted Brie, Roasted Red Peppers, Fresh Tomato and Spicy Brown Mustard on Sourdough and The Cheesus, where TWO grilled cheese sandwiches serve as a bun for a 1/3 pound burger! You can eat outside on a picnic table or in their converted school bus.


And then I discovered Bollywood Theater! Bollywood Theater serves up freshly made to order East Indian street food. Once you taste their carefully spiced foods, you’ll never want to eat at an Indian buffet again. When you’re there, be sure and visit their Bollywood inspired restrooms complete with movie.


As you walk Alberta be sure and check out the Tiny House Hotel with tiny home accommodations surrounding a convivial courtyard. And across the street we noticed they have expanded! They now rent those tiny teardrop campers so you can continue your tiny experience as you explore the out of doors. Choose between Rosie, Miles and Sunny at $80 - $90 a night.



Continue down the street and you’re likely to see a restaurant with a permanent line. That’s Pine State Biscuits and the line is part of the culture there. They have more than biscuits including pies, fried chicken and chicken pot pies.

Year Round Walking
Alberta Street, between NE 33rd and NE 11th is a vibrant area for a walk even on a rainy day and even when the shops are closed. Enjoy the murals and plan a lunch stop.

If you don’t mind some crowds, Alberta businesses pack in late-night crowds during the monthly Last Thursday street extravaganza. Expect some of Portland’s best people-watching there (especially in the summer months, when the road is closed to traffic and crowds fill the street). The Alberta Street Fair, held in August, features live music on multiple stages, more than 150 local vendors, kids’ activities, a beer garden and more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Portland Night Market: Lovers Edition and More


Portland’s popular “shop and eat local” event, the Portland Night Market, announced its dates for the 2017 season, including its “February LOVE Rose City” edition, February 10-11, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., located at 100 SE Alder Street, Portland, Ore. Admission is free and open to all ages.

I attended the three-day holiday shopping event and was totally impressed. From the Bible Club cocktails to the gift vendors and food trucks... the evening I attended was a hit. I ran into gift items from near and far… some fringy and some suitable for family. It was an all-around fun evening.

So I’m up for more shopping! This year, the Portland Night Market will host four events throughout the year, including:
·       February 10-11, 2017 – LOVE Rose City Edition
·       May 12-13, 2017
·       September 29-30, 2017
·       December 1-3, 2017 (The Holiday edition is the only three-day event, including Sunday brunch food and beverage options)

February Market
You’ll be intrigued by the pre-Valentine’s Day “LOVE Rose City” edition of the Portland Night Market with the whimsical “Aphrodisiac Alley” featuring local chocolate and beverage vendors such as Alma Chocolate, Catman Cellars, Best Friends Honey and Marshall’s Haute Sauce. The PDX Oyster Social will give away 45 dozen oysters on the half shell each night at their “oyster booth” while supplies last.

The Bible Club’s Speakeasy returns to its second floor location with their unique craft cocktails and live music. Popular hot food vendors include The Dump Truck, PDX Sliders, Popi’s Pastries, FoMo Chicken, Big Fat Weiners, Tastebud, Wasabi Sushi, Boke Bowl and more. Dessert vendors include Churros Locos, Cream, Pip’s Original Doughnuts, Treehouse Chocolate, Boozehound, Sweetheart Saint Johns and more. Local food brands will be at the market offering tastings, including Jem Nut Butters, Plum Tree Jam, Honey Mama’s, Tea Bar, Oregon Olive Mill and Buddha Chocolate.

Art + Interactive Experiences
Sprinkled amongst all the food, drink and artisan goods for sale, Pelett and her team invite local artists and creative groups to curate rotating art installations and musical performances. The February market will feature two evenings of Burlesque performances upstairs on the mezzanine and an interactive area for guests to make their own flower crowns.


Portland’s Best Merchants Under One Roof
The Portland Night Market boasts some of the Pacific Northwest’s best small businesses under one roof as an ideal spot to sell their wares and engage with customers. Visitors will be able to shop prominent local brands such as Bull in China, Wildfang, Sparrow, Will Leather Goods, Portland Gear, Pigeon Heart Designs, Candy Relics and Cargo. For a complete list of vendors, please visit www.pdxnm.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Mi Casa Restaurante

Watch for my article on the
restaurants of lovely San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
This is Mi Casa.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

10 Best Travel Experiences of 2016


2016 was another good year of travels locally and internationally. It’s hard to pick the ten most memorable because each trip has included some very special experiences.

Mesa Arizona’s Fresh Foodie Trail
Wine, urban farms, craft breweries, local olive oil, and farm-to-table restaurants dot the landscape of Arizona’s Valley of the Sun. The desert holds surprises for those who explore the beauty and the bounty of the Mesa area, just south of Phoenix.  We experienced the Fresh Foodie Trail and came back with three special finds to share with readers of Real Food Traveler.

Farming in a forest of water and nutrient fed produce
in the Arizona desert.
Foodie Adventures on the Long Beach Peninsula
First it was St. Patrick’s Day at the Lost Roo Pub and a luxurious stay at Boreas Inn B&B and then it was a successful salmon fishing trip out of Ilwaco. The Long Beach Peninsula in SW Washington State is a treasure trove of foodie delights. In season, peruse the Ilwaco and Long Beach Farmers’ Markets, enjoy Mushroom Month and experience the cranberry harvest. There’s always something to do, see or eat when you make a trip to the Long Beach Peninsula.
Cranberry harvest time on the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington
Discovering Portland All Over Again
Portland is a ten-minute trip over the bridge for me and I thought I knew the Bridge City, but a press trip in Portland and environs proved me wrong. I experienced a stay at the hip, renovated Ace Hotel and toured to the west for Saki and Zip Lining, to the east to discover a new family-friendly food cart pod and to the south to kayak up to the rushing Willamette Falls.
Zip through the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
This one is less than an hour from downtown Portland.
Anacortes Art Walk
The Fidalgo Island town of Anacortes, Washington makes for an easy getaway with amazing views, farm-to-table cuisine, and both public and gallery art. I was invited to Anacortes to check out their art and…especially the First Friday event. What I discovered was the stunning natural beauty of the area, the creativity of local artists and the luxury of a stay at the Historic Majestic Inn. They also have a fanciful historic mural collection dotted throughout the town.
Discover Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island. You can get there via a short bridge!

Exploring the Art Glass Scene in Tacoma
I’ve traveled past and through Tacoma, Washington many times. I didn’t realize the colorful treasures that lay within the city. Tacoma, Washington is one of the hottest destinations for studio art glass lovers. Many see Tacoma as a port city with the grey Tacoma Dome as its most recognizable landmark. But I now know differently. Tacoma is colorful and vibrant and much of it is due to its dedication to art glass.
Amazing Chihuly art glass installations in Tacoma

Living it Up on San Juan Island
The San Juan Islands, a group of islands in northwest Washington state, are a well-known destination for outdoor adventure lovers. While you can sail your boat into Roche Harbor on San Juan Island or take an adventurous kayaking trip around some of the smaller islands, there’s plenty to do for those who just want a little relaxation and pampering. We experienced some of the best of San Juan Island, one of the larger islands in the archipelago, in just three days. And my dog, Cinnamon the Coonhound, discovered the dog-friendly side of things and had a great vacay.
There is so much to discover in the San Juan Islands.
This is sunrise from the Island Inn.
 First Ever Vancouver Dining Month
Sometimes there are things to discover right in your own back yard. During the month of October, the city of Vancouver, Washington put together their first ever Dine the Couve event. Many restaurants and brew pubs participated and we found out that excellent meals were to be had at only $23 for three courses.
Vancouver dining with a view.
Native American Tourism Conference
I traveled north to the Tulalip reservation and beautiful resort and had the pleasure of attending the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism (AIANTA) Association national conference in Washington State. I came away with news, information and experiences that will inform and entice travelers who love exploring history, culture and natural beauty. Native tourism opportunities are growing, native hospitality is welcoming and the access visitors have to native lands and people is much more open that you might realize. And, I discovered a beautiful Casino/Resort and plan to return in 2017 to do a feature article.

The Warmth and Color of Los Cabos, Mexico
Last but not least I traveled south to the tip of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico to warm up a bit. It was my first trip to Los Cabos and it was a marvelous experience. I was one of the first guests to experience the luxury of The Towers at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica complete with personal butler service. We also sailed to Lands End on a beautiful 55-foot sail boat. Before returning home to the chilly weather, I spent some time discovering the quaint arts town of San Jose del Cabo.
Welcome to El Encanto in San Jose del Cabo
Follow Us in 2017
Instant trip pictures can be found on Instagram along with the occasional hound dog photos.
Look for our articles, musings and sharing of others’ travels on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas in Los Cabos: Rethinking the Traditional


What’s a traditional Christmas? Skating, sledding and snowdrifts come to mind. Santa’s sleigh is pulled by reindeer native to arctic and mountain regions of the world. Making snowmen and drinking hot cocoa and eating decorated cookies are fitting activities during winter holidays, right? Or so I thought until I visited the sunny, desert and beach lands of Baja California Sur.

Resort Festivities
At the seaside resort of Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, Christmas music was being broadcast out by the pool and the reception area was anchored with a multi-story, professionally decorated Christmas tree. Glass hearts, a resort specialty, were hanging from the branches of desert trees. Warm climate flowers, especially the striking magenta bougainvillea, dotted the landscape.
Pueblo Bonito Christmas tree.

Glass hearts in the gardens at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica
are made from recycled glass from the resort.
As we drove to the resort, we saw the landscaping staff lining the gardens with deep red poinsettia plants. The plant is native to Mexico.

Go surf fishing at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica
and the chef will prepare your catch right on the beach.
Guests lazed on shaded beds on the beach or tried surf fishing. The world-class Quirvira Golf Course with stunning ocean views was busy as was the spa.  At night guests sat with margaritas around a fire pit on the beach.  Once you arrive at Pacifica, the only thing you have to worry about is where you want to dine.  Across the Pueblo Bonito resorts there are 25 restaurants. Wouldn’t a week at this all-inclusive adult resort be an ideal Christmas gift?

A Village Christmas
South of Cabo San Lucas is the resort town of San Jose del Cabo. While the beach is lined with resorts, a true Christmas gem is the historic district, a traditional Mexican “centro” or downtown.

Mission church on the plaza
at San Jose del Cabo
The first thing you will notice when you arrive are the decorations on the municipal square, or plaza. A large Christmas tree, a life-size nativity scene and a stage with holiday greetings… Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo 2017. Surrounding the stage area are temporary booths for the nightly Christmas market. On one side of the plaza you’ll see the Catholic church and hear softly ringing bells.

The plaza takes on a festive air drawing families to the
nightly events during Christmas.
Just off the plaza is the boutique hotel, Casa Natalia. Chef and co-owner Loic Tenoux has created a welcoming bar, oyster bar and patio dining setting. And the food is an amazing combination of continental and Mexican cuisine.

As you arrive at Casa Natalia, you’ll find a tree and Nativity figures. There are Christmas touches everywhere.

Nativity at Casa Natalia
Close to the plaza, the Gallery District begins. While the area is festive every Thursday night during Art Walk, Christmas brings an even more festive atmosphere. Christmas shopping can be done in a relaxed and elegant setting. There are small arts and crafts shops and impressive galleries. The streets are closed to traffic and musicians entertain through the evening.

Festive shop offers mosaic lights from Turkey.
Explore each street, enter the galleries and accept a glass of wine or appetizer. The atmosphere is welcoming and festive.

Galleries are open and welcoming during Art Walk
each Thursday evening.
On one corner you’ll find the elegant, yet traditional, El Encanto Inn. You are welcome to enter and explore the beautiful gardens and fountains. At Christmas time there are poinsettias and a beautiful tree in the lobby. At night the garden is magical with colored lights.

Explore the gardens of El Encanto Inn
Returning to the Plaza
The plaza is also lighted and bustling with activity during Art Walk.  On nights preceding Christmas arts and crafts and local people selling food can be found. Children entertain on the stage and the vibe is family oriented. It’s not a show for tourists… it is an authentic, local celebration.

Stroll the plaza in the warm night air.
You can attend mass at Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti just off the plaza.

Christmas Eve is an important family gathering time in Mexico and on Christmas Day, you’ll find the town quiet. But if you want to experience a real Mexican Christmas, consider San Jose del Cabo.

Shop for a hand painted Christmas ornament.
Rethinking the Traditional
Baja California with its desert to sea landscapes is not all that different from the Holy Land, where Jesus was born. In the Los Cabos area the resort landscaping turns to natural desert as you drive along. You’ll spot palm trees, desert vegetation and light brown earth.

Desert terrain and gardens at Rosa Farms

Anything remind you of the first Christmas?
And, you’ll find you don’t miss the ice and snow all that much, anyway.