When we think of Los Cabos, the word party comes to mind for many of us. We have seen the "spring break" antics on various television programs and we might have some idea of things like the stone archway that joins the Pacific Ocean with the Sea of Cortez. We may have heard of Cabo Wabo or the Giggling Marlin where the younger set drinks and dances until dawn. Los Cabos tends to offer images of two things, partying and beaches and that would be absolutely true, but there is another side.
A short drive north along the corridor from Cabo San Lucas is the village of San Jose del Cabo and a whole different style of life and entertainment. The Art District Association has created an art walk in the old town area that offers open galleries, jazz musicians and a relaxed atmosphere every Thursday night from November until May. The galleries display paintings, jewelry, pottery, photography as well as $50,000 works of sculpture from famous Mexican artists. The atmosphere is inviting and friendly and most of the stores are happy to pour a glass of wine and some even offer local tequilas to sample as you wander the streets and stores near the old cathedral.
Unlike the beaches in the area that are loaded with hucksters that are trying to pry a few dollars from your pockets for cheap costume jewelry and other junk that will turn a lady's ear green, this area caters to a more mature crowd. The offerings displayed run the gamut of prices, quality and artistic significance but there is very little pushiness from the owners and their employees.
There is really very little need for a tour guide since the atmosphere is so easy and informal but several companies will provide a pick up and return service from the hotels in the area along with experienced guides to help interpret or point out buildings and sites of interest. Most of the shop owners speak passable English and along with the tourist's willingness to speak a little Spanish, a conversation and negotiation is relatively easy. Many of the artists and shop owners are from Canada and the U.S. and now live in San Jose.
There are several very pleasant restaurants on the art walk and many more in the surrounding old town area itself that are worth considering for a late meal without the hordes of hustlers of every stripe that are found in Cabo San Lucas. For those of us who think that the party stops at 11 PM, instead of just starting, San Jose del Cabo and the art walk on Thursday nights is an alternative worth the effort. Friendly people, great music, libations, warm breezes, the smell of food cooking and smiling faces make the whole experience one to bring back and remember fondly.