Writers, painters and artists have flocked to San Miguel since the 1930s for inspiration, lured by its 17th and 18th century Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and sun-drenched buildings. But lately, it’s become a hotspot for those looking for a quick weekend getaway, due to its year-round temperate climate, rich culinary offerings, and plethora of shops selling handmade goods to die for (we dare you to resist the urge to snap them up). The city has grown in popularity as a gay-friendly travel destination, thanks to many hotels, restaurants, and clubs that cater to the LGBTQ community. Here are our picks for where to eat, stay, and dance the night away while you’re in town.
PILLOW TALK: Casa Schuck B&B
Decorated in classic Spanish colonial style, Casa Schuck offers coveted privacy and personal attention: You can spend a day lounging in the lush poolside garden, enjoying a margarita on the rooftop overlooking the city at sunset, or get friendly in one of ten luxuriously appointed rooms. Two great options: The tangerine-hued El Royal suite features exposed wood ceilings, a carved fireplace, and views of the gorgeous Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel cathedral; El Cielo, one of their newest top-floor suites, is heaven-sent in vibrant yellow and blue. When you’re ready to venture out, just ask: The owners can arrange anything from romantic hot air balloon rides to bicycle tours. Don’t miss the Sunday House & Garden walking tour, which offers a glimpse inside everything from a sumptuous Colonial mansion to a tiny adobe house.
PILLOW TALK: Casa 1810 Hotel Boutique
A mere five minute walk from the town center or el Jardin Principal, Casa 1810 Hotel Boutique is a hidden gem located just steps from shops, restaurants, bars, and more. Fourteen beautifully designed rooms—boasting colonial ceilings, fireplaces, rustic tile floors, soaking tubs, luxurious sitting areas—make this haute hotel a perfect getaway. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast in the inner garden courtyard, have a drink or tapas in the intimately chic downstairs lobby bar, soak in the outdoor relaxing pool, or chill on the rooftop terrace bar (left) and enjoy the beautiful views of the famed Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel—a neo-Gothic cathedral that has become the city’s point of reference.
Located in the Hotel Matilda, Moxi is helmed by Enrique Olvera, the celebrity chef credited with elevating Mexican cuisine to the next level (he also runs Mexico City-based Pujol, continually listed as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants). The menu rotates seasonally and offers delish dishes like suckling pig with watercress and bean puree, or Cornish hen with chard and roasted cauliflower—along with tasty sides like baked sweet potato with pumpkin seeds. When you’re done savoring your meal, be sure to tour the hotel, which is home to rotating exhibits of photography, paintings, and art installations.
RETAIL THERAPY: Artes de Mexico
A vacation isn’t complete without shopping, natch. And San Miguel is a great place to pick up some hot and chic swag for your home. Artes de Mexico is chock-full of brightly-colored, one-of-a-kind must-haves like wooden trunks, handmade baskets, tin lanterns, and gorgeous textiles, made locally or imported from other parts of Mexico. The best part: It’s all reasonably priced, so do yourself a favor and pack an extra bag to carry home your stash.
LA VIDA LOCA: GET IN THE SPIRIT
Founder and owner Lady Zen discovered the space for Plata while helping a friend move furniture out of an abandoned club: In 2016, it became one of the city’s first LGBTQ-friendly nightclubs—straight, gay, and trans patrons are all welcome. The venue features live music from performers including Lady Zen herself, as well as dancing, drag shows, and DJ sets from artists like Ula LaFaggot (+52 415 144 6101). Get your drink on with one of Mexico’s favorite national spirits, mezcal (think tequila with swagger), at La Mezcalería. Sample the owners’ own label along with other varieties straight up, or in an expertly crafted cocktail, and snack on the tapas-style menu—just don’t miss the cucumber and cilantro margarita (+52 415 121 5354).