We weren’t expecting much when we first made the hour long drive from San Diego to Tecate. Other than the famous Tecate brewery, we weren’t sure there would be much to do in Tecate. Regardless, we love Baja California so we decided to spend a sunny Saturday seeing what Tecate has to offer.
It was surprising how much we ended up loving Tecate. It’s an incredible city with a charming, small town feel. Tecate is one of the cleanest and safest cities we’ve been to in northern Baja California, yet it’s still a big enough city to impress you with its authentic restaurants and fun things to do.
Here are 11 awesome things that we did in Tecate, Mexico:
1. Visit the Tecate Brewery Beer Garden
One of the city of Tecate’s main claims to fame is that it is the site of the first Tecate brewery ever. For those who don’t know, Tecate is one of the most popular beers in Mexico. It’s a smooth, easy to drink beer that could be compared to Bud Light in the United States. When we visited Tecate, the brewery tours that are typically offered were closed due to factory renovations. Luckily, Tecate had just opened up a brand new beer garden!
We stopped by the beautiful, modern new beer garden and loved our experience. When you walk in the front door, you get a free drink ticket that is good for one beer (either a regular or light Tecate). You can drink your beer at the bar or tables on the first level, or walk upstairs to enjoy your beer on the second floor patio.
2. Take a stroll in Miguel Hidalgo Park
Miguel Hidalgo Park is located in the heart of Tecate. It’s a great place to visit if you feel like taking a leisurely walk, or to enjoy the sunshine on one of the park’s many benches. An ice cream cart is pushed around the park during various times of the day, and great shops and restaurants surround the park.
We’ve never seen a more photogenic neighborhood park. A beautiful fountain gurgles on one side of the park, beautiful trees and flowers draw chirping birds, and in the center of the park is a charming gazebo.
3. Visit the famous El Mejor Pan de Tecate Bakery
El Mejor Pan de Tecate is a famous Mexican sweet bread bakery that has been open for over 50 years. This bakery is famous for its pan dulce (or “sweet bread” in English) and began half a century earlier as a family-owned business. In total, there are over 100 different variations of breads and pastries.
We had a hard time choosing the pastries we wanted to try for breakfast–everything looked so incredible! We ended up settling on a nutty donut, a chocolate eclair, and a pink coconut ball (apologies for the lack of proper baking terms). Everything we tried was delicious!
4. Order an authentic Mexican margarita
We all know how the saying goes: “When in Rome…” And when you’re in Mexico, you have to order a margarita! There are a ton of great places to enjoy an authentic Mexican margarita in Tecate. We loved the colorful outdoor patio at TKT Meson.
The margaritas were blended with ice, giving them a smooth and cool finish. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a hot sunny day. Salud!
5. Visit the Catholic Church on Av Miguel Hidalgo
We are not religious in any way, but checking out a place of worship when you visit a new place is always a great cultural experience. We walked by this beautiful catholic church as we left the park, and had to take a peek inside. It didn’t disappoint.
The architecture is absolutely beautiful, and while we weren’t able to find the exact name for this church, we do recommend you stop by. It’s right on Av Miguel Hidalgo.
6. Try the tacos at Taqueria Los Amigos
There’s no better casual spot for lunch than Taqueria Los Amigos. Located in the heart of Tecate, Taqueria Los Amigos draws large crowds for their authentic and fresh Mexican food.
The menu has plenty of great options to choose from, and we selected a bean and cheese taco and a carne asada taco. Everything was fresh and delicious–they even sliced up the beef for the carne asada taco right in front of us!
7. Admire the colorful street art
One of the first things we noticed about the streets of Tecate is that they are decorated with colorful street art all over the place. We’re accustomed to the beautiful street art in Mexico, but Tecate has more than we’ve seen in any other city in Baja California.
It’s not hard to find the street art–it’s all over the place! Just walk around in the main downtown area surrounding Miguel Hidalgo Park and you’ll stumble across quite a few.
8. Take a picture at the colorful Tecate sign
We love how Mexico has installed colorful installations with city names all over the country! We can’t resist getting a picture with each new sign whenever we visit a new city in Mexico.
Tecate’s sign is located just outside Miguel Hidalgo Park. It’s right across from the gazebo–you can’t miss it.
9. Explore Avenue Miguel Hidalgo
Avenue Miguel Hidalgo is the main street in downtown Tecate. It’s the perfect place to explore to get a good feel for Tecate. Start at the corner of Miguel Hidalgo and Ortiz Rubio and head toward the Tecate brewery for a beautiful walk around town.
10. Order the Carne Asada Nachos at Meson TKT
It was hard for us to pick what to order when we arrived at Meson TKT. There are so many delicious items on the menu to choose from, but ultimately we settled on the carne asada nachos. They were every bit as delicious as they looked! Our favorite part was the warm tortilla chips–they were the perfect foundation for all the fresh toppings.
11. Walk Across the Border
The border crossing at Tecate is one of the easiest border crossings to Mexico we have ever done, especially if you’re walking. They don’t check passports of pedestrians crossing into Mexico, and there was zero line coming back. We just scanned our passports and they let us back into the U.S..
There is a parking lot on the U.S. side of the border that only costs $5/day to park, and it’s right next to the border. The main downtown area of Tecate is just a few blocks from the border, so it’s very easy to walk all day without taking a single cab. If you decide to take a car, keep in mind that there is likely to be traffic crossing back into the United States. It’s way easier and quicker to just walk.
Tecate is an amazing city to spend the day exploring. While we had a great day, we probably wouldn’t recommend spending more than a weekend there since it’s not a massive city with tons of things to do. To learn more about what to do on your day trip to Tecate, check out our video:
If you’re looking for a good place to stay, the famous Rancho La Puerta fitness resort is located in Tecate. We haven’t been, but we’ve heard great things about it. You can also catch a baseball game while in Tecate. Their baseball team is called the Cerveceros and you can check their schedule for more detailed info on when they play.
Don’t forget to check out these other posts from Baja California that you may like:
- Perfect Baja California Itinerary: Roadtrip to Tijuana, Rosarito & Ensenada
- 15 Epic Things To Do In Ensenada, Baja California
- Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California’s Breathtaking Wine Country
- 16 Incredible Things To Do In Tijuana, Mexico
- Best Chinese Restaurants in Mexicali, Baja California
- 7 Amazing Places To Eat In Tijuana
- Popotla Fishing Village: Beachside Seafood in Mexico
- La Bufadora: Exploring Ensenada’s Marine Geyser
- 19 Amazing Things To Do In Rosarito, Mexico
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