4 Reasons Why Couples Need to Know About Baja
Real Weddings Editor Shira Savada recently sought adventure in Mexico, and now she's back and sharing some highlights from her travels.
I've been to Mexico before, but never to the Baja peninsula. And now I'm kicking myself for not having gone there sooner! This little strip of land is just a dream and I think perhaps one of the best spots for ceviche. First up, Todos Santos, a little surf town about an hour from the airport-an awesomely small airport BTW. I'm no surfer, but I hear the waves are as great as they look. I stayed at Rancho Pescadero, a resort set on a strip of private oceanfront. It was a haven among a beautiful stretch of picturesque cacti and water views and felt authentically like the region. With 28 suites on the property, it's great if you're having an intimate wedding and looking to have all of your guests stay onsite (you can sleep up to 68 total). Equally as impressive as the setting and hospitality is the food. A majority of the vegetables, herbs, and other produce are grown on site, and the chefs prepare some super tasty fare-from the addictive fresh-made tortilla chips I enjoyed poolside with a variety of salsas, to the farm-to-table dinner in their garden restaurant. If that's not enough, they make their own chocolate too, which makes for a great welcome treat or favor!
And if you're looking for a fun spot to visit while in town, Art & Beer is not to be missed. It's a bizarre bar right off the side of the road that makes for a fun excursion. The owner reminds me of Jerry Garcia. He and his wife sell their artwork and blend their own tequila. I sadly missed the live music, but I still wandered the boardwalks, by the stage, through the art installations. Think Burning Man meets Big Sur, meets some sort of fantasy island. And get ready for the mixed drinks! I tried to do the math and use my mediocre Spanish to figure out their size, and I think they're about 42 oz.!
Then I hit Cabo San Lucas, at the southernmost point of Baja California Sur. It was 24 hours of pure bliss. I checked into The Cape, which is a Thompson Hotel. It's sexy and it's sleek. There's lots of glass, black wood, cool textures, and modern fixtures. The open lobby and salt-filled air instantly put me at ease. Then the views sucked me in. All 161 rooms in this new hotel (it opened last July) have an ocean view and a private terrace. My balcony even had a plunge pool, so I barely wanted to be inside. But then I didn't want to leave the room either. The free-standing tub, the double-head shower, and the bed that's made of dreams lured me in. But alas, I headed downstairs to enjoy the common areas. There's a small saltwater pool next to the larger, infinity pool complete with a swim-up bar, which is where I parked myself under an umbrella and next to a piña colada (when on vacation, right?). There are a few restaurants and bars (including one on the roof) here, for when you're ready to mingle (or eat). So there you have it, this is a great spot to honeymoon. But it's also a contender for a destination wedding for 30 to 224 guests. So go intimate or all out. And invite me, because I can't wait to go back.
I went to Flora Farm, in San Jose del Cabo, for my one dinner in Cabo. If ever I've been to a magical oasis of a place this was it. I wandered the grounds, saw kale plants as large as I am, and couldn't stop thinking I was somehow in a movie, because I'd never seen a spot like it. So many of the menu's ingredients are grown on site. They really embody the farm-to-table movement, plus you're sitting yards from the produce, so it's very meta and very, very tasty. You must order a "Farmarita" which is a margarita made with heirloom carrot juice. You will thank me. It's also great for private events, as they have a few spots that cater to smaller crowds. Better yet, consider having a rehearsal dinner in their mango groves!
So now that I might have sold you on a destination wedding in Baja, you'll need a florist. Look no further than Pina Cate. Her work will leave you breathless. I just love this arrangement she made for a dinner I attended and how it was a mix of some more traditional flowers and then local bougainvillea, which is so prevalent in the area.