Friday, August 2, 2019

San Miguel de Allende: A Wonderful Place to Be in July

     The Parroquia San Miguel Arcángel is probably the most photographed building in San Miguel de Allende—for good reason. It is the most beautiful church I’ve seen in all of my travels. When the sunlight changes, the colors of the stones change and a new photo is called for. When it rains, the church changes color again and my camera comes out for another photo. Of course, I can’t post all of them, though I’m tempted to show every changing mood of this masterpiece.
     There are so many amazing buildings, doors, parks, and restaurants in San Miguel de Allende that this article will be more of a collection of photos from our first two weeks here. We love the architecture, the cooler summer weather, the food, the gardens, and everything there is to explore so much that we’ve decided to stay another week.
     The buildings shown below are facing the Jardín Principal near the Parroquia, and create the center of town.

     During our walking tours of centro, self-guided, I noticed that predominant colors used on many of the beautiful buildings in San Miguel de Allende are various shades of orange and yellow. Though not typically my first choice, the colors work well here.
     I have often heard that San Miguel de Allende is overrun with foreigners. We sure didn’t notice that to be the case. Maybe because July is the month that locals take family vacations, the vast majority of people we saw were Mexicans. Spanish was the preferred language spoken in restaurants and on tours.

     We want to take the Trolley Tour of SMA, but the tickets sell out quickly. We have tried twice to buy a ticket but arrived too late in the day and all were sold out. So, we went back to our self-guided walking tour.
     We enjoyed many parks and plazas, watched children play basketball at the Parque Benito Juarez, saw the historic "Pemex Gas Station", and wandered the narrow stone-paved roads. Some calles remind us of the streets of Venice, Italy, except in San Miguel small cars and buses fill the streets. We especially enjoyed the streets in centro that were closed to vehicle traffic so that pedestrians could wander down the center of the streets.
     As always, finding good restaurants is an important part of our explorations. Hank’s New Orleans Café and Oyster Bar has become a favorite. The Cajun food, excellent service, and fun atmosphere keep inviting us back. One day, I began craving Chinese food and we decided to walk miles across town to reach Dragon Chino. I almost talked Jon out of going in due to its appearance, but he insisted we try it as we had walked so far to find it. We were glad we did—the food was delicious. They didn’t serve wine so we ordered Margaritas and they were excellent, too. We’ll be back for their spicy shrimp and chicken dishes!
Cajun-Style Calamari at Hank's
Dragon Chino Restaurant

     We have enjoyed the amazing weather here in San Miguel de Allende. It has been 80 degrees in the afternoon and in the 50s to 60s at night-- a very nice July climate. 
     Transportation around town is convenient which is important to us since we don't own a car. Who would want to drive in this city, anyway, where there is not a single traffic light and parking is a challenge? Roundabouts and driver courtesy keep things flowing, but it seems a little scary to me. We have a convenient bus service into centro which we use almost daily for 8 pesos (40 cents US) per person. When it rains in the evening, taxis are easy to find and Uber is inexpensive here.
     We’ve decided to stay another week. We still have plans to go to the Botanical Gardens, a yoga class, ride the trolley, and discover one or two more restaurants. Look for one more blog article from me about this fun city in Mexico.
Gombos Pizza
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  1. Looks wonderful! But 50s-60s at night in July seems a little cool. How fast does it warm up during the day? We have other friends who just spent the month of July there and loved it.

    1. The weather is about perfect! Last night the low was 52, just right for snuggling under a blanket. By noon, it's in the 70's and by 4:00 or so it hits 78 to 80. So comfortable, especially without the humidity of the coast right now. This could become our summer home! We'll definitely miss the ocean while we're here, though. Have a good day, Emily!

  2. by 11AM it is usually in the mid to high 70's. this is the case year round. once the sun is up it only takes a couple of hours for the temperature to reach in the 70's, even in the winter when it can go into the 40's at night.

    1. Wow, the weather is so comfortable. And year round? That's great. The only thing I'm adjusting to is the higher altitude. After living the past four years at sea level, the transition to 6500 feet is taking some time. I hope when we return next July, the adjustment will be easier.
      Thanks for reading and writing your comment.