There are many museums in San Miguel, and the Casa de Ignacio Allende gives wonderful information about the city’s foundation in 1542, the Mexican Revolution, and hero Ignacio Allende. This is where he was born and grew up, and some of the rooms have been preserved as they looked when he lived there. It’s right next to the Cathedral and is closed on Mondays!
What stole my heart though, is San Miguel’s newest museum, the La Esquina Toy Museum! This tiny four room museum is chock full of colorful handcrafted toys from different the regions and cultures of Mexico. Its history of children’s toys is delightful and fun for all ages. And, the view of the city from the rooftop is amazing!
A trip to San Miguel de Allende wouldn’t be complete without time spent in El Jardin, the central plaza. Many locals call it the “living room” of San Miguel! It’s closed to traffic on three sides and lined with shade trees and benches just perfect for sitting and watching the world go by. There are plenty of cafes ringing the square with outside patios and food carts selling fruit and snacks. On one side of the square is the tallest building in the city – La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. The spires and rose color are amazing, especially at sunset. There is something interesting going on at any time of the day in El Jardin, but the nighttime mariachi bands are a must!
Usually you don’t think of going to libraries while on vacation. The San Miguel Biblioteca is a different story! This library has the largest collection of English books in Mexico, vibrant colorful murals on the ceiling of the bookstore, and a tranquil courtyard complete with fountain and café. It’s a great place to go and find out what’s going on in town. They offer walking tours and a Sunday historical house tour as well as having a small theater. Don’t forget to pick up the English/Spanish newspaper “Atencion”. This comes out every Friday and lists everything coming up around town for the next week!
Spa time! La Gruta Hot Springs is outside of town but well worth a half-day visit. It’s about a 20 minute taxi ride, and the best advice I can give you is to set a time for your taxi to come back and get you. It’s isolated, and you could wait a long time for a ride home if you don’t! There isn’t anything fancy about this place, but it’s oh-so relaxing. There are different spring-fed pools that range from a swimming pool with lukewarm water to a very hot water thermal tunnel and water cave. They have lockers, reasonably priced swimsuits you can buy if you forget your suit (like I did!), a restaurant with great guacamole, massage rooms, showers and lots of lawn areas and chairs for just hanging out and relaxing. If you go on a weekend it’s very crowded with local families.
Who loves the beautiful lavender of the Jacaranda tree? San Miguel de Allende is full of these beautiful towering trees. If you travel there in March or April you’ll see these dazzling trees in full bloom!