Guadalajara is located in the state of Jalisco in western Mexico. It is commonly referred to as the “most Mexican” of cities, and Jalisco is the birthplace of many things people think of as “typically Mexican”—tequila, sombreros, mariachi music and, yes, even the Mexican Hat Dance.
The city has a temperate climate, and is surrounded by mountains, ancient volcanoes and grand Lake Chapala. Outdoor activities include hiking, fishing, tennis, golf and swimming in local balnearios (bathing springs). Shoppers love to visit nearby artist towns, Tlaquepaque and Tonalá, to view the shops and small handicraft factories—and find their own treasure to bring home.
Calmer activities abound as well. Stroll through downtown Guadalajara’s centro historico and view the myriad of styles (Renaissance, Classic, Gothic and Moorish) that make up the city’s cathedral. Catch a ballet folklorico performance in elegant Teatro Degollado. Get serenaded by strolling mariachi musicians at the Plaza de los Mariachis or gawk at the sprawling Mercado Libertad. Visit the Palacio de Gobierno to see the stairway mural painted by José Clemente Orozco. And at the end of the day, drink a toast to the city with a glass of, what else, tequila.