San Miguel de Allende: Number one City in the World

Conde Nast just came out with its reader’s choice awards for The Best City in the world awards. Number one city? San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Here’s the blurb itself.


Readers’ Choice Rating: 84.6

San Miguel de Allende nabbed the No. 1 spot thanks to its “great atmosphere, excellent restaurants, culture and ambiance galore.” The “lack of street lights and billboards” makes the region “romantically and historically beautiful, and the city itself offers a “traditional feeling of a small town in the heart of Mexico.” “An amazing place to be.”

What’s not to love?

There’s history, art, architecture, a beautiful hillside setting, fabulous shopping, wonderful food, great people.

There are concerts, lectures and the wonderful San Miguel Writer’s conference whose workshops have been led by such literary greats as Margaret Atwood and Barbara Kingsolver, two of my favorites.

There’s the famous Instituto de Allende where you can immerse yourself in Spanish or art classes.

And if you’re thinking of retiring, you could do worse. While San Miguel is expensive by Mexican standards, it’s still quite affordable for Americans. (With proper precautions, it’s probably less dangerous in SMA than in cities in the US. Hey, I used to live on the  Berkeley/Oakland, CA border. Tell me about crime!)

Sigh. Just this time last year I spent a long weekend there with friends. I’d go back in a heartbeat. This is the street where we stayed at the wonderful B&B Casa de Liza, so you can see why we were enchanted.

We had a wonderful time getting serenaded by mariachis while  drinking tequila under the portales in the jardin.

We spent a great day shopping in a converted factory called Fabrica La Aurora. So much to buy. So little time.

After our friends went back to the DF, Dave and I visited a former student of his in Guanajuato, another lovely town nearby. We took the ETN first class bus back to Mexico City the next day, and we were back in the Condesa before we knew it.  Give me a first class Mexican bus over United Airlines any day.

BTW…We felt safe everywhere.

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