The city of Tijuana, a metropolis of Baja California, is a destination where tradition and modernity converge in a unique setting. This so-called "Gateway to Mexico" is the busiest border crossing in the world, reaching more than 50 million crossings per year between pedestrians and motorists at the San Ysidro checkpoint, part of San Diego County, California.
Having been previously a set of ranches, this thriving metropolitan area now stands as a place where economic, cultural and touristic activity serves as a magnet for Mexican and American visitors, who are attracted by the many entertainment options. Tijuana's fame began thanks to the ban on gambling and alcohol sales in the U.S. (Volstead Act, ratified in 1919 and repealed in 1933), which led to several investors (among them Abelardo L. Rodriguez, President of Mexico from 1932 to 1934) creating one of the first resorts in the country.
The Agua Caliente Casino was thus born, opening in 1927, which offered a hotel, recreation, a spa, entertainment and, of course, gambling (casino, horse and greyhound racing). Its success was immediate. The casino attracted many Hollywood figures and became included as part of the tourist route through southern California. And even though the casino closed down in 1939, now long beyond the glamorous years the racing track still opens its doors to those who enjoy the thrill of racing, sports and, of course, the stakes (completely legal, fortunately!).
In the midst of modernity runs Avenida Revolucion, full of vitality and without doubt the most popular street of this city (and some even say the world‘s most visited Avenue), offering a range of restaurants with Mexican and international menus to delight any palate.
The flavors of Tijuana are famous worldwide! As proof, it should be mentioned that the invention of the famous and always delicious Caesar salad is attributed to an Italian-American restaurateur who lived in San Diego, but had his restaurant in Tijuana.
Alongside the restaurants in an 8 block span, dozens of shops open their doors offering all kinds of Mexican crafts imaginable, which are brought by indigenous traders from all over the country: masks, toys, textiles, jewelry, leather goods, etc. And as in any border town, be sure not to miss the duty free shops.
And what about the nightlife! A numerous number of bars, nightclubs, and gentlemens clubs pulsate to the sounds of Mariachi, Nortena, and Electronic music, to ensure fun and a party atmosphere that goes until dawn.
Other highlights include the Crafts Market and the Plaza Viva Tijuana. But if you are on a search for flavors and tastes, nothing compares to the Mercado Hidalgo, where in addition to the typical products of the region, you can find an endless array of food, desserts, sweets, spices and sauces.