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Cabo San Lucas

Updated: June 11, 2012 05:10 PM EDT
The giant rock arch of El Arco. (©iStockphoto/Inga Brennan) The giant rock arch of El Arco. (©iStockphoto/Inga Brennan)
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By Valerie Hamilton

Cabo's been a hot spot for 70 years, from its start as a golden-age sportfishing mecca in the 1950s through the 1980s party era of a million spring breakers. Since then it has transformed into one of Mexico's most exclusive destinations, and today's Cabo is a golden peninsula of expensive resorts, American-style restaurants, and all the diversions under the sun. But it's as appealing today as way back when, with beautiful beaches, singular sunsets, and the magic that happens where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez.

Beaches

Slip on your shades and start posing at Playa El Médano, Cabo's sexiest strip of sand. Whatever your pleasure -- swimming, snorkeling, or sipping tropical drinks at a beachside bar -- it's here. Across the bay, the surreal cliffs of Playa del Amor (Lovers' Beach) make a stunning set for your day in the sun, and kayakers paddle through the giant rock arch of El Arco. Rainbow-colored coral and frilly fish brighten the ocean floor at Playa Chileno, Playa Santa Maria, and Pelican Rock, where you can snorkel right from shore.

Things To Do

The waterbound fun starts in Cabo's port, where boats dock for fishing, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking adventures, as well as pirate-themed cruises aboard a historic tall ship. Inland adventurers can hike Baja's desert canyons and waterfalls, or blow through them in a Humvee. Get your history fix at the stone-walled Iglesia de San Lucas, founded by Spanish missionaries in 1730.

Eating & Drinking

Cabo's coastal cuisine is all about seafood, and the very best in town is served up Japanese-style at the refined Nick-San, where the elite meet over local sashimi of moon scallops and wahoo or a refined sea bass misoyaki. Put on your drinking shoes for a visit to Maro's Shrimp House, for a stab at a succulent pile of crustaceans and the house cocktail, the Bulldog -- down 19 and they'll paint your name on the wall. Mexican foodies can't miss La Fonda, a temple of Aztec delicacies like ant eggs and modern-day mole sauces that draw a loyal local crowd.

Nightlife & Entertainment

The Southern sun bakes Cabo during the day, but after hours, it's the nightlife that sizzles. Start the evening at Land's End with cocktails as the sun sets crimson over the Pacific. A jazz set and a margarita at Two for the Road get the night started, and Marina Boulevard's tequila-fueled dance parties keep it moving into the wee hours.

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