Museum of Modern Art
Av. Paseo de la Reforma, Bosque de Chapultepec
Mexico City's Museum of Modern Art sits on the eastern edge of Chapultepec Park. The domed modernist building with its permanent collection of Mexican masters—Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo—inventive exhibits, and sculpture garden is a delight.
La Copa Cocina
Av. Legaspy 33., Todos Santos
La Copa Cocina has stellar fish tacos, citrusy guacamole, and for the more adventurous, crispy fried grasshoppers (actually, they're not half bad). Located in the pretty garden basement terrace of the Todos Santos Inn—ambiance is not a problem here—the restaurant charms. Lights flicker overhead while you tuck into dinner, and the Todos Santos air is naturally perfumed with surrounding flowers. Better yet, the bar upstairs mixes a mean margarita, and the elegance of the open-plan 1870s building will have you checking room availability for your next stay.
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.
Upon Request, Todos Santos
A mile or so down a serpentine dirt road, past a mix of local and expat homes, and out-of-nowhere panoramic views of the Pacific, is Casa Mila. A wall of smooth concrete surrounds a checkerboard tiled courtyard, replete with a fireplace and cozy seating draped in Mexican blankets. A spiral staircase leads to the rooftop palapa—the kind of place that will have you dreaming of a glass of wine by sunset. The kitchen is modern and functional, with every coffee maker imaginable alongside beautiful stemware and terracotta pots for dining in when the mood strikes. Beds are sumptuously comfortable, and the outdoor shower transformed daily grooming into a treat. But few details beat falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach outside. Leaving Casa Mila is hard. The whole place—Joshua Tree meets minimalist casita—is so special you’ll want to take it in over and over, and it still won’t be enough.
Hacienda Los Olivos
Upon Request, Todos Santos
Sylvie Sabatier is a Los Angeles–based Frenchwoman who, after designing her own eclectic Todos Santos retreat, had a roster of expats wanting a Sabatier flourish in their homes. More of a hacienda than a house, the property—hidden down a bumpy track—sits in an idyllic mango grove. Hacienda los Olivos is divided into a large straw-topped lounge room and kitchen, a master suite, and three smaller colorfully tiled, sumptuously comfortable casitas. Simmering a pot of beans for dinner, peeling a mango you picked yourself, lounging on the Mexican textile sofas—it’s all as transporting as it sounds. There are no bad angles at Sabatier’s hacienda. And while you could spend an entire vacation on one of the daybeds, we suggest exploring this vast and gorgeous property. Wander the gardens and catch all the details: the green and blue pool tiles that match the surrounding jungle, the outdoor showers, the Moroccan mirrors, the sculptural light fixtures. You’ll want to bring home your own Sabatier flourish before you leave.
The Green Room
La Pastora, Todos Santos
About five miles outside town, down a rocky track, the Green Room is one of those whispered spots the folks in town don't want the tourists to find. It’s perched on the edge of an empty beach. One of our favorite things to do is sit with our legs propped up on a stool with an icy Pacifico in hand. At night, the place fills up with a lively crowd so get there early, snag a table, and get your tuna tostito order in before the sun starts to dip.
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.
Francisco Petrarca 254 Col., Polanco
Casa Teo is an Airbnb that moonlights as a creative space for artists, chefs, and regular travelers. It’s also the latest culinary concept by chef Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s legendary Pujol. This well-appointed, Scandinavian-style, two-bedroom apartment perched atop the former Pujol location in Mexico City’s achingly chic Polanco neighborhood, is a food lover’s dream. And as in many households, the action (and in this case, design focal point) centers around the kitchen—namely, a long communal kitchen table, where gorgeous breakfast spreads and elaborate evening tasting menus are prepared by an in-house chef. Prefer to go out? Who knows what kind of near-impossible dinner reservations the Casa Teo team might be able to snag for you.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Every spring hundreds of whale sharks swim to Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula to feed off the nutrient-rich plankton in the area. The site is incomprehensible: dozens of gently curved, grey, polka-dotted whale sharks, most the size of a school bus, churning up the clear blue water. It's a playground of gentle giants—and it's safe to join. Whale sharks aren't a threat to humans—only to plankton—which makes swimming with them not only safe but a truly transcendental experience. And because the species is facing extinction, it sadly may be a fleeting one. The Blue Sphere Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for oceanic health and endangered marine life, hosts dive expeditions off Isla Mujeres: You can see the whale sharks from the boat or snorkel among them.
Rosewood Mayakoba, Carretera Federal 307, Playa del Carmen
A favorite of goop staffers for long-weekend retreats, this gorgeous indoor-outdoor spa is on its own private island. You arrive by crossing the Puente del Balneario (“spa bridge”) from the Rosewood Mayakoba resort, and the lush grounds include twelve treatment rooms and eight suites that all have private porches. Some facials are gentle and nurturing, while others, like the revitalizing Toning Ritual, in which a chilled mask is applied to the skin, are meant to intensely awaken your complexion.