Riviera del Pacifico
This historical symbol of Baja California and Ensenada has been restored and today houses museums and exhibits, beautiful gardens, a convention center and even a 19th century style Spanish bar.
Originally designed as a casino/hotel and owned by boxer Jack Dempsey, the Riviera opened its doors on October 31, 1930. It was the most elegant casino on the Pacific Coast of North America. Unfortunately when Mexico outlawed gambling some years later the casino was shut down and eventually fell into disrepair. Through the efforts of the state government, local businesses and the "Amigos del Riviera", today the former casino is a showplace of Ensenada and its people.
The Riviera is open most days and is next to the Ensenada Tourism Office.
Bodegas de Santo Tomas
Founded in 1888, this is one of Ensenada's oldest wineries. Moved to it's present downtown (Ave. Miramar #637) location in the early 1900's, the winery and cultural center offers visitors wine tours ($2 US per person at 11am, 1pm & 3pm), cultural & art events, a restaurant/cafe and a wine & gourmet shop.
You can also take a guided tour of the actual winery & fields 45 minutes south of town. Please call 3 days in advance at (6) 178-3333 or (6) 174-0829, ext. 22.
La Bufadora is a popular day trip for tourists and locals alike. This blowhole is found at the tip of Punta Banda, a rocky peninsula approximately 15 miles (25 kilometers) from Ensenada via Mexico 1 (look for signs at Maneadero).
During incoming tide, waves rush into an underground cavern and force out the water as high as 25-30 meters through a hole in the cavern. You'll find restaurants, shops & tourist facilities. The area is also known for great diving.
Taxis are available in town on Lopez Mateos. The 40 minute ride costs about $8 round trip with 4 or more people. If you drive, parking is available at between $1-$2 US a car. Many of the restaurants have "breakfast wars" and it is possible to eat a good breakfast for as little as $1.50 US.
Vantage Point above tourist area. Lookout to Todos Santos Island & Ensenada Bay
Open Air Fish Market
Northern Baja California's largest seafood market. Here you'll find the freshest fish in town. Everything from huge shrimp to yellowtail tuna & octopus. A perfect place to dine at one of the open seafood restaurant stalls or pick up something for a cook-out. Near tourist area, at the malecon. Enjoy a walk on the malecon and possibly a sea lion show as locals feed them bait fish.
En route to San Felipe via Highway 3 (22 miles east of Ensenada) is Laguna Hanson, one of northern Baja's prime camping & wilderness areas, Camping is available amongst the pines by the lakes edge. Passenger cars can usually make the trip during the spring, summer and fall. The park is a campers delight with extraordinary natural beauty, hiking trails and awesome, starry evenings.
Head south of town on Hwy. 1, turnoff at the Baja Country Club. Look for the signs to Aguas Calientes and skirt the golf course on the left. A 35-45 minute drive into hidden valleys will bring you to the hot springs, camping facilities & day stay areas.
For a minimal fee you can enjoy these soothing waters. There are other hot springs surrounding town, just ask around town.