San Jose del Cabo
Carretera Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo
SEARED, the One&Only Palmilla steakhouse run by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is where you go if your dream dinner phrase is “Wagyu beef.” The place has fifteen different cuts of the finest meat, vegetable sides best described as “crazy” (in a wonderful way), and views of the Sea of Cortez that will take your breath away. The resort is a quick taxi over from town if you’re staying in San José del Cabo. And while you’re there, take advantage: A post-dinner walk on the winding resort grounds makes a great dessert. (But still: Order dessert.)
El Wine Bar y Café
Carretera Transpeninsular, San José del Cabo
The drive up the long, winding dirt track to Flora Farms can be discombobulating. You’ll repeatedly look at your GPS, wondering whether this really is the right road. It is. And the bumpy drive is worth it. First, order the bloody Mary—a masterpiece of a drink in which the garnishes could make up a meal. Then indulge in one of their sticky buns, with crunchy caramelized walnuts, and afterward, walk over to El Wine Bar y Café. The small space is impeccably kitted out. Aside from their wide selection of Mexican and Napa Valley wines (there are dozens of options by the glass), their coffee is easily the smoothest cup in Los Cabos. We couldn’t help but purchase a few bags of beans to take home, plus a few of their delicate cups to sip from.
Carr. Transpeninsular, San Jose del Cabo
El Merkado was a new (and very welcome) discovery for us on a recent trip to Cabo. The large, warehouse-style building just off the Transpeninsular Highway looked so rustic, so out of place amidst all the resorts, we had to pull in for a closer peek. Inside, we found an assortment of restaurants, including Italian (the pizza and pasta dough is made fresh daily) and Mexican, plus a salad bar, burger joint, and everything in between. Toward the end of the building is a little shop selling beautiful stemware, enamel dinnerware (we couldn't resist a set of red-rimmed ceramic espresso cups), and cocktail-making accoutrements. For a casual meal, El Merkado nails it.
Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo
Tacos aside, all we ever want to drop pesos on in Mexico are ceramics and maybe some local olive oil. But the exquisite unglazed pieces you seriously contemplate slipping in your purse in restaurants and hotels (we would never!) are hard to find. Store-owner and Frenchwoman Anne Sidora came to Los Cabos on vacation and never went home. The curator’s space by Flora Farms brings together stunning cups, candles, soaps, and leather pieces made by Mexican artisans. It’s impossible to leave this beautifully merchandised store empty-handed—each exquisite item has been hand chosen, and it shows.
Chileno Bay Resort & Residences
Tourist Corridor, San Jose del Cabo
Open since 2017, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences provides contemporary and spacious accommodations, with gently shaded outdoor showers and lemongrass-scented organic bath products. The in-house restaurant Comal hangs over the ocean and offers an assortment of great, modern Mexican cuisine. The star of the place, though, is the ocean. Chileno Bay Resort & Residences sits on Cabo’s only swimmable beach. (The volume of colorful, exotic-looking fish a few strokes from the shore is staggering.) And as a hotel guest, you have the option to snorkel (which we highly recommend), paddleboard, and surf at no cost. Follow a morning on the waves with a casual lunch of shrimp tacos and spicy elote corn at the pool bar. (Braver souls can try a shot of traditional liquor containing a full preserved serpent—we’re not braver souls). And if you’re going to book a spa appointment, this is the place to do it: The facilities at Chileno are some of the most stunning we have seen anywhere. And the treatments—everything from Aztec herbal scrubs to infrared sweatsuits—are first-rate, each one given in a private cabana.
Av. Santa Maria de la Ribera, San Jose del Cabo
Worlds apart from the crowds that often consume Cabo San Lucas, Costa Palmas is the 100 percent private, white-sand, translucent-blue-sea, nature-filled escape you probably didn't know existed. The one-thousand-acre property is surrounded by orchards, organic farms, and forests on one side and calm water as far as the eye can see on the other (the Sea of Cortez is famously still)—arguably one of the most beautiful spots we've ever been lucky enough to visit. The Four Seasons and Aman have properties here. Both give guests the option to chose between secluded private residences (custom-built for indoor/outdoor living with the softest daybeds, rainfall outdoor showers, fireplaces...you get the idea) or the more traditional resort experience—you can't go wrong either way. The marina accommodates boats up to 250 feet long, the spas blend in with the greenery they were built into, the golf course is second to none, and the five restaurants are fueled with bounty grown in the aforementioned organic fields.
Calle Sin Nombre, Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo
Whether you come for a meal at the farm-to-table restaurant, or to check-in and unplug in one of the twelve tree houses on the property, this place is a bucket-list must. Situated on twenty-five acres of farmland up a winding dirt road adjacent to Flora Farms, design-forward hotel offers some of the most incredible amenities (note: tree houses, fifteen feet off the ground, each with their own alfresco shower, plus terrace with palm grove views) and experiences like hiking, yoga, and access to roam the totally gorgeous on-site farm. The staff and owners are incredibly hospitable, so much so that you'll jump right into their awaiting Mezcal tasting upon arrival.
Calle Paseo Malecón San Jose, San José del Cabo
Perhaps one of Mexico's most interesting hotel openings of 2016, this 205-room property designed by local architect Miguel Angel Aragonés has a hypermodern aesthetic that differentiates itself from others in the region. The overall experience here is totally customizable—from the personalized in-room indoor/outdoor lighting concept which is at the guest's discretion, to room service, which is available at the touch of tablet. The design is marked by sharp lines, cream marble and travertine, Italian-made Poliform furnishings, and a stately infinity pool. As for the guest rooms? With their floor-to-ceiling windows and private outdoor space, each one appears to float on water. While the hotel has no less than five restaurants on property, it's worth leaving the campus one afternoon to head to nearby Flora's Farm, an area staple, known for its farm-to-table dishes and laid-back vibe.
Las Animas Bajas, San Jose del Cabo
If you're into more of a vacation enclave with a farm-to-table bent then head to Baja California to check into one of the ten charming Culinary Cottages at Flora Farms: a twenty-five-acre organic working farm in the foothills of Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo.
Hwy. 1, San Jose del Cabo
When the pro surfers come down to Cabo, they surf Zippers. Situated minutes from downtown San José del Cabo, this legendary break is great if you’re an experienced surfer and even better if you’re more interested in watching the action with a cold one in hand, from the safety of the aptly named beachside taco-and-burger spot, Zipper’s Bar and Grill. Another solid break, La Roca, is within paddle distance. Rent gear or set up a lesson at Costa Azul surf shop. Enter from the parking lot off Highway 1.