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After being crowned “Best City in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler in the fall, San Miguel de Allende is on every traveler’s radar. The UNESCO World Heritage City is renowned for its centuries-old buildings, historic cobblestone streets and vibrant colonial charm. Throw in terrific art galleries, innovative restaurants and five-star hotels, and visitors have all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience. The following San Miguel attractions have inspired locals and visitors alike for decades.
Brush Up On Colonial HistoryThough beautifully preserved, San Miguel de Allende is almost 500 years old. Most of the city is based around the main square, including centuries-old structures such as the ever-famous, multi-spired Parroquia church that looms over the town’s heart, the Jardin. The main square is the perfect starting point for a trip to San Miguel, and it is only a few steps away from the 250-year-old Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez, a branch of the Palacio de Bellas Artes and a major cultural institution of the city.
Visit Casa DragonesCasa Dragones is one of the finest tequilas in the world — not to mention Oprah Winfrey’s brand of choice. The company only produces 24,000 bottles a year (at $275 a bottle), and it’s found in fine-dining establishments across North America. Clients can enjoy exclusive tastings at Casa Dragones headquarters, a private residence that was converted from 17th-century stables. Reservations are necessary.
Art Fix at FabricaSan Miguel de Allende is brimming with art galleries and artists. In fact, most visitors primarily identify San Miguel with its vibrant art scene. Fabrica La Aurora, a former textile factory, now houses a collection of some of the best galleries, studios and antique stores in town.
Be Pampered at Rosewood San MiguelFor now, San Miguel is home to only boutique hotels with fewer than 100 rooms, many of which boast at least four stars. The most luxurious among them is Rosewood San Miguel, a self-contained oasis with fountains and lush gardens. The old-world-meets-modern hotel opened two years ago and has since topped multiple “Best Of” lists with its 67 luxurious rooms, a three-tier outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace with sweeping city views and a Senses spa.
Uncork at Cuna De TierraWhile Mexico is all about tequila, wine has also become a hit, and San Miguel is expanding its vineyard scene. The government recently sent local winemakers to France to learn about wine production, and San Miguel is being prepped as a wine destination in years to come. Cuna de Tierra is an intimate vineyard just 40 minutes outside of town that offers terrific red and white varietals.
Moxi at MatildaInside the uber-modern Hotel Matilda, Moxi serves up innovative Mexican dishes by celebrated chef Enrique Olvera, who is famous for his highly acclaimed restaurant, Pujol, in Mexico City. The restaurant is visually stunning, with oversized chandeliers and mirrored walls, but the avant-garde, farm-to-table Mexican fare is its main attraction.
Cuna de Tierrawww.cunadetierra.com
Fabrica La Aurorawww.fabricalaaurora.com
Palacio de Hotel Matildawww.hotelmatilda.com
Rosewood San Miguelwww.rosewoodhotels.com