Saturday, June 15, 2024

San José Art Walk continues to attract Los Cabos visitors

Art Walk is one of the longest-running cultural happenings in Los Cabos, but the seasonal event, which has run since 2006 is more than just an opportunity for visitors to admire the colorful canvases of local artists or bask in the beauty of San José del Cabo’s historic Gallery District. It’s a showcase for the heart of the city.

When and where to see Art Walk

Art Walk takes place throughout the high tourist season, every Thursday evening from November through June.

Art Walk is held every Thursday evening from 5  to 9 p.m., during the November through June high season in Los Cabos. It’s free and open to the public. Many of the participating galleries where Art Walk takes place, which extend their normal business hours for this event, are clustered along a two-block-long stretch of cobblestone-studded Calle Álvaro Obregón, between Calle Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and Calle Vicente Guerrero in downtown San José del Cabo. 

However, the event also branches off onto nearby side streets and starts only a block or so from Plaza Mijares, the city’s broad and lovely main square, which has been renovated in recent years and offers new charms alongside its notable historic attractions. 

Art Walk was founded by local gallery owners and gallery visits continue to be the focus of the event, from showcases for contemporary Mexican artists, like Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery and Galeria de Ida Victoria, to those spotlighting folk art and jewelry design. But the event also draws wandering musicians and street performers, and other local businesses stay open late too, giving Art Walk nights a special energy and glow. 

Historical attractions 

The downtown area outside the Art District’s borders also comes alive though, and nearby attractions bordering Plaza Mijares – the city’s main plaza – also remain open, including the historic Catholic church.

Los Cabos, the name given to the municipality when it was formed in 1981, references the municipality’s two cities: Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, its most important city and municipal seat, respectively. Because the focus on tourism here really took off when the National Fund for Tourism Development (Fonatur) took an interest in Los Cabos in the 1970s, many visitors are unfamiliar with the rich history and culture present here, particularly in San José del Cabo. 

San José is one of the longest continually occupied communities on the Baja California peninsula, dating back to the founding of its Jesuit mission in 1730 by Nicolás Tamaral and José Echeverría. Tamaral was subsequently killed in a 1734 revolt by Indigenous Pericú people, an event depicted in a colorful mosaic above the door of the city’s historic downtown Catholic church, the Parroquia Misión San José. 

The church is lit up for Art Walk evenings and open to the public. It has been at its current site in downtown San José del Cabo since the middle of the 19th century, and in its current form since being rebuilt following a hurricane in the early 20th century. Like City Hall with its historic 1930s-era clock tower, it’s an instantly recognizable landmark adjacent to Plaza Mijares, which also comes alive on Art Walk nights.

Drinking, dining and romance in San José del Cabo

The Art Walk also serves as a cultural showcase for San José del Cabo and the city’s historic Art District.

One of the many great aspects of Art Walk is that between gallery visits and downtown perambulations, there’s also plenty of time to eat and drink. Helpfully, the city’s best bars and restaurants are found in the Gallery District, or within a block or two of its borders. These include Los Tres Gallos, Los Cabos’ premier destination for traditional Mexican cuisine, whose San José del Cabo location is set in the heart of the Gallery District on Calle Obregón and features a two-level dining area built around three intertwined huanacaxtle trees.

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal is another local favorite for Art Walk interludes, thanks to its colorful courtyard dining atmosphere and menu specialties like pato con mole tacos, plus a superb collection of artisanal mezcals. The Gallery District is also home to the original location of Baja Brewing Company, the first microbrewery ever built in Los Cabos and maker of some of the municipality’s best hamburgers.

The signature pleasures of Art Walk in San José del Cabo, from walking hand-in-hand along cobblestone streets to being serenaded by wandering musicians to sipping wine and enjoying al fresco fine dining, are such that they’ve contributed to the event’s reputation as one of the best romantic activities for couples in Los Cabos. 

Chris Sands is the Cabo San Lucas local expert for the USA Today travel website 10 Best, writer of Fodor’s Los Cabos travel guidebook, and a contributor to numerous websites and publications, including Tasting Table, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Forbes Travel Guide, Porthole Cruise, Cabo Living and Mexico News Daily. His specialty is travel-related content and lifestyle features focused on food, wine and golf.

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