THE BEST WAY
From LAX, Continental, Delta and Mexicana offer connecting service to San Miguel de Allende. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $278.
WHERE TO STAY
Posada Corazón, 9 Aldama; (315) 828-6273, www.posadacorazon.com.mx/eng_home.htm. This charming bed-and-breakfast is owned by descendants of one of San Miguel's founding families. It has six rooms (no TV in the rooms) and a short walk from downtown. Doubles start at $138 in summer, breakfast included.
Casa de Sierra Nevada, 35 Hospicio; (800) 701-1561, www.casadesierranevada.com. This complex has 33 rooms in five colonial buildings, some with patios and fireplaces, all a bit different. Doubles start at $252.
WHERE TO EAT
Bugambilia, 42 Hidalgo, 011-52-415-152-0127. More than 50 years ago, two sisters opened a restaurant that started as a hole in the wall. The authentic Mexican food is unchanged, and one of the sisters still greets customers in the covered patio beneath twinkling lights. A bit more expensive than most Mexican restaurants but still a bargain. Most dishes less than $20.
Santa Ana Cafe, Biblioteca Pública, 25 Insurgentes. This is inside the library and has a lovely courtyard; it's great for sandwiches and soup at lunch for less than $10. The library has a good selection of books about the area in its research room.
Pueblo Viejo, 6 Umarán, 011-52-415-152-4977. It has a great roof bar, La Azotea, with a panoramic view. Lunch, dinner, music downstairs; tapas and drinks upstairs, where each night a different two-for-one cocktail is offered.
Harry's New Orleans Cafe and Oyster Bar, 12 Hidalgo. Features New Orleans cuisine, but the Azteca soup is about the best in town. The clientele is a great mix of nationalities because in San Miguel, everyone goes to Harry's.
GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS
Every street in el centro boasts arte popular (folk art) shops and contemporary art galleries, but Fábrica la Aurora on Calzada de la Aurora is a must. A cab from Jardín to there is a bargain ride at $2.50.
El Museo de Arte Popular en Rancho Jaguar, private folk art museum by appointment only. 011-52-415-152-0804.
TO LEARN MORE
Mexico Tourism Board, (800) 446-3942 (for brochures) or (310) 282-9112, www.visitmexico.com.