Baby, it’s cold outside! Well, at least in New York City it is, which is inspiring a lot of East Coasters to travel somewhere just a bit warmer.
For some people the perfect getaway includes warm waters, sand, and lots of lounging under the sun. For others it may include warmer weather, but still with the vibe and energy of a bigger city.
If you are looking for that warm, big city getaway, then look no further than Mexico City, a destination diverse enough to offer visitors tons to see and do. A flight to Mexico City,
the Federal District and capital of Mexico, is about five hours from JFK non-stop. During the winter months, the temperature is a comfortable 70 degrees, making for a nice warm weather getaway.
This cosmopolitan city is a cultural hub and an ever-growing foodie destination. If you are looking to discover the best of its culinary scene, kick off your visit at Limosneros, in the historic district. Here you will have a chance to taste traditional Mexican dishes with a contemporary twist.
The term, “limosneros,” comes from the word, “beggars,” in Spanish. In the late 1500s, architects would collect and trade important resources to build many of the buildings needed at the time, such as hospitals, homes, and religious murals. Much of the architecture seen in the historic district to date was established by petitioning the community for donations for these resources. This restaurant’s building is one such construction that came about through petition and donations (limosnas) of residents. It’s not just a beautiful building to visit; the food here is adventurous and delicious. It makes for a fabulous intro to the Mexican food scene.
Viewfinder Tip: Though the city has gotten a bad rap in the past, the safety measures one must take when traveling to Mexico City are no different than those when traveling in any other major city around the world.
Another fun stop is in the neighborhood of Colonia Roma, which reminds me a lot of New York City’s West Village with its trendy shops, cafes, and eateries. One place to visit, Delirio, is owned and operated by a brother and sister team under their mother’s name, Monica Patino, a famous culinary figure in Mexico. The food here is seasonal, although they are best known for their baked goods, jams, and sandwiches, all of which are made in-house. Sit outdoors and take in the city views and people passing by.
Lastly, go super casual and very Mexican with a stop at El Fongoncito. The soft tacos here are to die for. Order the platter, which features a huge selection of all the different kinds of tacos they serve.
You can walk off all that delicious food by touring any one of Mexico City’s 160 museums, my absolute favorite being the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a performing arts center, as well as exhibit center of some of Mexico’s most renowned artists.
Palacio Bellas Artes
Another reason I absolutely love Mexico City: its cosmopolitan feel. Walk along El Paseo de La Reforma, the city’s main strip and you will feel as if you are in Paris. Tour the Bosque de Chapultepec, and you will feel as if you’ve been transported to New York City’s very own Central Park.
Like any city of its size, there are a lot of Mexico City hotels to choose from. The Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel located in a historic building overlooking the very active public plaza, El Zocalo. It is centrally located, within walking distance to some of the city’s most famous tourist attractions and museums. But for all that this hotel has going on outside, it’s the inside that will take your breath away, starting with its impressive grand hall with a Tiffany glass ceiling and antique elevator, constructed in the mid-1500s. This is historic Mexico at its finest.
Another fun stay is at the center of Paseo de la Reforma in the JW by Marriott. Its location is perfect for anyone wanting to be in the middle of where both visitors and residents like to come together. The hotel is within walking distance to the park and botanical garden, two locations worthy of a day’s visit.
What is your favorite warm city vacation destination?