Head south from the Tijuana border, and in a hour you'll find yourself in the lively port city of Ensenada, Mexico, a cosmopolitan destination for cruise ships as well as visitors from nearby California. Choose an all-inclusive vacation in or around "The Pearl of the Pacific" and you'll enjoy shopping, sampling local delicacies, exploring the area, museum-hopping, and visiting the many historic sites and monuments.
Romance in Baja
Hotel Estero Beach has been entertaining visitors since the 1950s and maintains its commitment to its colorful past. The on-site Mexican Heritage Museum houses a permanent collection of art, artifacts, fossils and jewelry that adds to your hotel experience. Estero's romantic getaway package includes a romantic dinner for two with a bottle of bubbly, two half-hour massages, and free usage of tennis courts and one hour complimentary bicycle usage.
Bring the Family
The Hotel Coral and Marina has a number of packages ranging from wine tours to spa specials, as well as an all-inclusive package that includes one night in an ocean-view stand suite, free meals, discounted spa treatments and shuttle transportation to the downtown shopping and tourist area. For a little extra, add the kids to your suite and they can eat, drink and be merry while taking advantage of the pool, the beach and on-site playground. You can also reach Hotel Coral by boat; your dock fees include the hotel's amenities.
Movie Star Heaven
"Through this door pass the most beautiful women in the world," proclaims the sign over the entrance to Rosarito Beach Hotel, just north of Ensenada. Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and Rita Hayworth were guests, as were Orson Welles, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn. Get a feel for how the stars were entertained with the Valentine's two-night package, which includes beachfront accommodations, a bottle of local wine, two tickets to a dinner dance show or 1 tickets to the Carnival Masquerade Ball -- you can find costumes in the adjacent shopping area -- and a big bowl of chocolate-covered Mexican strawberries. Kids under 2 stay free and they can ride horses on the beach for an extra few dollars. Be sure to visit nearby Baja Studios, where you can learn the secrets behind the filming of "Titanic."
Wine With Your Lobster
Located between Rosarito and Ensenada, Puerto Nuevo was once a sleepy little fishing town known as the Lobster Village. Still famous for its deep-fried crustaceans, PN has grown into a thriving tourist destination. Puerto Nuevo Baja Hotel and Villas provides its guests with indoor and outdoor pools, spa services, tennis, and classes in yoga and tai chi. The "All Included" package includes 2 nights accommodations in a double room, all meals and a Sunday brunch. Bring two kids between 2 and 10 years old, and they also stay and eat free. To add to your experience, the hotel is happy to arrange a tour of the Baja Wine Country Route.