Fall in love with Mexico's San Miguel

Visit a mountain city of courtyards, cobblestones, and secrets waiting to be revealed. Here's where to go and what to see

  • Walking the narrow cobblestone streets past shuttered windows, closed doors, and climbing bougainvillea, you have a sense of secrets waiting to be revealed.

    San Miguel street

    Thomas J. Story

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The courtyard is the essence of San Miguel. Below are three favorites, regularly open to the public. But some of the most beautiful belong to private homes; these you can glimpse just strolling around the city or, even better, on the Sunday House & Garden Tour. Houses on the tour change weekly.

Biblioteca Pública Not the prettiest of the city's courtyards, but one of the liveliest -- the library is command central for expats, plus there are frequent concerts and a good cafe. INFO: Café Santa Ana ( $) open daily; library closed Sun; Reloj 50A; 415/152-0293.

Escuela de Bellas Artes This former monastery is now an art school: It hosts art exhibits and an impressive (if unfinished) David Siqueiros mural. But the best thing about it is the courtyard: verdant, lovely. INFO: Calle Hernández Macías 75.

Villa Jacaranda San Miguel has gorgeous jacaranda trees; one of the best is in the courtyard of this hotel--worth a meal  here just to enjoy. INFO: Closed in Apr for renovation; Calle Aldama 53; 415/152-1015.

House & Garden Tour Starts at the Biblioteca Pública at noon every Sunday. INFO: $15; tickets go on sale at 11 a.m.; Avenida Insurgentes 25; 415/152-0293.


Fábrica La Aurora A former textile factory that has become 40 shops and galleries offering contemporary works as well as Spanish Colonial antiques. INFO: Calzada de la Aurora.

Libros El Tecolote A great little bookstore with a good stock of mostly English language books. INFO: Closed Mon; Calle Jesús 11; 415/152-7395.

Mercado de Artesanías Leatherware, pottery, jewelry--they're all here, somewhere, in this sprawling crafts market. INFO: Between Loreto and Colegio, north of El Jardín.

Next: Where to eat 



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