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The homeland of tequila, mariachi music and the charro (Mexican cowboy), Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco, is widely considered the "most Mexican" of cities. The country's second-largest metropolis is a mix of historic and modern architecture. Stroll the labyrinthine hospital grounds of the 19th-century Hospicio Cabañas, or lose yourself among fans cheering on Las Chivas soccer team at the Estadio Movistar. While cultural treasures abound in the historic center, Guadalajara is also a major financial hub, reflected in the bustling, contemporary Zona Minerva.
Things to Do
Ride a horse-drawn calandria through the city's Centro Histórico for the best view of the cathedral's twin steeples towering over the broad, surrounding plazas. The Palacio del Gobierno's main attraction is the colossal mural by José Clemente Orozco, which passionately depicts Father Miguel Hidalgo and the Mexican Revolution. One of the best people-watching opportunities is along the Paseo Teopizintle in upscale Zapopan. On weekend evenings, families stroll here in their finest, past sidewalk shops and restaurants.
Search for authentic handmade leather sandals and guitars at the sprawling, open-air Mercado Libertad, scented with a mix of leather and chile wafting from the market's food stalls. The artist villages of Tlaquepaque and Tonalá, just outside Guadalajara, are the best handicraft sources. The onsite factory shops offer a glimpse of the artists at work creating chunky silver bracelets, colorful glassware and gleaming copper.
Nightlife and Entertainment
The Teatro Degollado has a performance calendar that blends world-class opera, ballet and symphony events with September's annual International Mariachi Festival. To experience a nightly fiesta, go to the colorful La Feria restaurant and bar, whose evening entertainment features joyful mariachi bands comprised of violins, guitars and trumpets. For even more of the region's festive troubadour music, performed by bands wearing silver-studded charro outfits, head to the Plaza de los Mariachis. You'll pay a small fee for a serenade.
Restaurants and Dining
Hearty local specialties, torta ahogada sandwich drowned in chile de árbol sauce and birria (spicy stew with goat or lamb), are plentiful in food stalls of the Mercado Libertad and restaurants of Las Nueve Esquinas. Casa Bariachi's menu features juicy steaks, and waiters sing with mariachi bands. Artful takes on Mexican cuisine are served at El Sacromonte, where the decor is as intricate as la corona de la reina Isabel -- a crown of shrimp drizzled with lobster sauce.
Find American Airlines flights to Guadalajara and plan a trip of discovery to this vibrant destination in Mexico. Located in the state of Jalisco, it's known as the capital of tequila and fine mariachi bands, but you'll also find a range of things to do in Guadalajara that include museums, galleries and colonial architecture.
One of the best-known activities in Guadalajara involves its fields of agave, from which fine tequila is made. Outside the city, between the foothills of the Tequila Volcano and the Rio Grande River valley, lies a field of blue agave that has been named to the World Heritage List by UNESCO. Tequila aficionados won't be disappointed by the fine selection available in Guadalajara's many restaurants, and it's also an ingredient in some delectable dishes. After all, tequila is the official drink in the state of Jalisco. There's no better way to spend an evening here than sampling outstanding cuisine while listening to the sounds of a talented mariachi band.
Another of our favorite things to do in Guadalajara is viewing the city's beautiful architecture. Don't miss the 19th-century Metropolitan Cathedral and Degollado Theater (where the city's Philharmonic Orchestra performs) in the heart of the city. You also will want to see the neoclassical Municipal Palace and the Colonial-era Church of San Sebastian de Anaico. The city's Colonial Center features beautiful plazas and monuments, including the Rotundade los Hombres Ilustres, which is a city landmark.
Visiting the city's many museums and galleries is one more of the activities in Guadalajara that you'll want to try. The City Museum, or Museo de la Ciudad, covers Guadalajara's history and is a great place to start your tour. The University Art Museum's permanent collection is also impressive, and you can see a comprehensive collection at the Regional Museum of Guadalajara. The Regional Museum is housed in a 17th-century building whose architecture alone is worth the visit.
And don't forget to add shopping to your list of things to do in Guadalajara, too. There are modern shopping malls as well as markets and plazas (plus individual street vendors) offering everything you could imagine, from handcrafted items to jewelry to colorful textiles. It will be easy to find souvenirs here!
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|Guadalajara International Film Festival||Mar 2014 (annual)||Guadalajara|
|Guadalajara International Mariachi & Rodeo Festival||Aug - Sep 2014 (annual)||Guadalajara|
|Design Fest||Oct 2014 (annual)||Expo Guadalajara|
|October Festival||Oct - Nov 2014 (annual)||Benito Juarez Auditorium|
|Adobe Fonda||Mexican||Around Town||3||4|
|Café Madrid||Mexican||Around Town||1||1|
|Chez Nené||French||Around Town||3||4|
|El Sacromonte||Mexican||Around Town||3||4|
|Hostería del Angel||Spanish/Portuguese||Around Town||2||3|
|I Latina||Eclectic||Around Town||2||1|
|La Chata Restaurant||Mexican||Around Town||1||1|
|La Fonda de San Miguel||Mexican||Around Town||2||1|
|La Fonda de la Noche||Mexican||Around Town||1||3|
|La Matera||Steaks/Chops||Around Town||3||2|
|La Tequila||Mexican||Around Town||3||3|
|La Trattoria Pomodoro Ristorante||Italian||Around Town||2||2|
|Los Itacates Restaurant||Mexican||Around Town||1||2|
|Mariscos Progreso||Seafood||Around Town||2||1|
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