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Arts, Culture, and Shopping

The city of Ensenada is a booming cultural hub, with museums, art galleries, theater, historic buildings, and bazaars spotlighting the artisan handicrafts of the country

Shopping Central

The López Mateos Avenue, also known as Calle Primera (1st St.), is Ensenada’s main shopping district, a bustling scene where locals and visitors gather to sip coffee in the cafes, explore the art galleries, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy margaritas and traditional Mexican cuisine. Strolling Calle Primera you’ll find artisan pottery, unique pieces of jewelry, gorgeous clothing, hand-painted figures, glassware, Native authentic crafts, and silver from central and southern México.  There’s something for everyone and every budget.

Calle Primera welcomes thousands of cruise ship passengers and visitors to enjoy the art and culture of Mexico, a perfect place to find a take-home treasure or gift for a loved one. And there are plenty of quaint cafes and watering holes when you need a break from browsing and buying.

Please enjoy this map of the area—your guide to Calle Primera’s finest shops and dining spots.

Centro Estatal de las Artes (Center for the Arts)

This excellent modern museum and cultural center features international artists, local painters, photography exhibits, poetry workshops, live concerts, dance, theater, and more.

Museo Histórico Regional

Set in the town’s old jail, this museum has a permanent display of “People and Cultures of Meso-America,” plus rotating exhibitions set in the 1886 military headquarters and former jail. Look for its ongoing film series under the stars. Ave. Gastélum #56

Museo del Estero

For more than 65 years, Benjamin Novelo has been collecting pre-Columbian artifacts from the Olmec, Aztec, Zapotec, and Maya civilizations. This private collection at Estero Beach Hotel has more than 1,700 pieces including Mayan and Aztec codices, stone carvings, funeral masks, tomb treasures, jade carvings, and turn-of the century black-and-white photos of Ensenada’s evolution.

La Covacha Foro/Galería

This small downtown gallery was established by a group of local creative minds as a place to experiment with the arts. Cultural programs include photography and painting exhibitions; jazz, electronic, and classical music concerts; and classes in painting, music, and photography. Calle 3ra. #350 int. 5A

Riviera de Ensenada

Built in the 1930s, this historic California Colonial–style icon with its lovely blooming gardens was once a glamorous hotel and casino frequented by movie stars and dignitaries. Today, it’s a social, civic, and cultural center with incredible art, historic photographs, stunning mosaics, and the Museo de Historia de Ensenada, which focuses on native peoples of Baja California as well as missionaries and European explorers. It’s also a perfect place for a margarita at the Andalusian Bar or Bougainvillea Patio.

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Arts, Culture, and Shopping

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