Travelers find any reason for a sunny escape to Mexico, but this is the perfect time of year to follow through.
Cancun, Mexico City, and Los Cabos may tend to top the list of the most sought-after destinations; but there are so many awesome places to visit.
Jam-packed with cultural sites and more incredible beaches, Mexico is great to visit year-round. Northern Baja, however, is often mistaken as “just another border town” and not given a fair shake.
The sprawling city of Tijuana, the charming town of Tecate, and the scenic beaches along Baja's gorgeous coastline are wonderful to visit for a sunny winter getaway with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 80s.
Tijuana's Mistaken Identity
Tijuana isn't your run-of-the-mill charmless border town with streets lined with dilapidated buildings.
Yes, there is a hint of truth with any false reputation and that's how Hollywood gets away with films such as Sicario, where border towns are deemed nothing short of a ‘danger zone'.
The fact is Tijuana is on the rise. Literally. Just take a look at the cityscape with new high-rises popping up left and right.
That's not to say you won't spot some eyesores in the city, but Tijuana is full of fun things to do with lively beaches, cultural markets, trendy restaurants, and world-class nightlife on the famous Avenida Revolucion strip.
Go looking for trouble in Tijuana – you'll find it. Go looking for a fun day – you'll find it. Despite reports of high crime levels, tourists are rarely affected and are oftentimes surprised by how ritzy Baja's largest city can be.
This city of 2.3 million goes beyond your typical street-corner pharmacies and dentists one would expect and has found its claim to fame as a foodie paradise with mouth-watering fine dining and street food vendors.
Tijuana did invent the Caesar Salad, after all.
Beginning February 15, Americans can skip San Diego and fly directly to Tijuana for the first time ever with American Airlines.
Mexico's Napa Valley
If Tijuana isn't your flavor, perhaps just use the most visited border in the world as your gateway to the neighboring region of Baja with a completely different lifestyle. And what better way than by train?
While TJ, as locals call it, is always on the move, the next town border town over is the access point to the beautiful Valle de Guadalupe, essentially Mexico's version of Napa.
Stretching from the quaint town of Tecate to the popular cruise port of Ensenada, there are endless places to wander and make your stay through this laid-back side of Baja.
Wineries, of course, are the most popular attraction to spend your day, but when it comes time to rest your head at night, there are some surprisingly swank hotels to choose from, including 4-star Santiago Diegueno set along the border to the upscale El Cielo Winery & Resort, further inland along the Ruta del Vino.
Not only that, but the Airbnb selections are phenomenal. Don't just take our word to make Valle de Guadalupe your next winter escape; TripAdvisor highlights this destination as a ‘hidden gem' for Spring Break as well.
Stunning Beach Towns And Stays
Along the Northern Baja coast, beachgoers will find seemingly endless small towns with stunning views and isolated beaches.
While the Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito are where the crowds head for scenic action-packed beaches lined with vendors and trendy bars, there are more tranquil beaches waiting to be discovered.
Driving south along the coastal tollway (1D) is widely considered safe during daytime hours. Let your wanderlust kick in and explore awesome coastal towns, such as Puerto Nuevo, known for immaculate seafood and spacious beaches.
The further along you head toward Ensenada, there are ample luxury resorts set on the waterfront and along top-rated golf courses, two great ways to enjoy sunny weather in the wintertime.
Offering some of the best views in Baja, stopping at the observation deck known as Mirador Salsipuedes is a must whether you're at the tail end of the wine route or simply checking out local beaches.
Some Baja beaches, particularly closer to Tijuana, do have strong currents and sanitation issues. It's best to do further research on your beach of interest before going for a swim.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.