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Loreto, Mexico with Kids: Where to Stay, Eat, and Play!

Battle the Winter Blues with Some Warm Mexican Sunshine

More low-key than Cabo and closer than Puerta Vallarta,  Loreto which lies on the Baja peninsula is an easy, inexpensive family-friendly trip to battle with winter blues. With a quick stopover in LA, you can fly directly into Loreto’s small airport and be on the beach in under an hour. . Located on the gulf side of the Baja peninsula, the tranquil water sets the tone for a relaxing holiday with kiddos. Kid-Friendly Loreto, Mexico

Most of the city is walkable and locals warmly welcome children into most restaurants and shops. The central plaza, El Museo de las Misiones, is surrounded by cobblestone streets for exploring local treasures (don’t miss Jorges fruit smoothies and sandwiches – the kids will love the talking parrots). There are several restaurants with outdoor seating located on the main square, which occasionally features live entertainment in the evenings and is a draw for kids ( both locals and out-of-towners).to and be on the beach in under two hours

STAY

Inn at Loreto Bay: A mid-sized hotel with a horseshoe shape (all the rooms face the water), the Inn at Loreto Bay has much appeal for families: a large kiddie pool (ok, there were a few missing or chipped tiles – this is Mexico after all), free snorkeling, kayak and windsurfing gear from the small beach in front of the hotel. Weekly family barbecues round the pool and Disney films play on the outdoor wall on the hotel on Friday nights.

Even more appealing are the villas for rent in the adjoining complex. Large enough for two families to share with a short walk to the hotel, you can still enjoy all the benefits of hotel guests (poolside and room service, towels).

photo by Sean Howard

DO

Sunday Farmer’s Market: If you’re renting a house or villa, this is the place to stock up on fresh seafood and produce. Bonus: You can pick-up second hand toys cheap enough to leave behind and a stroller or pack n’ play if you experience lost luggage woes. Kid-Friendly Loreto, Mexico

A tour of the Isla Coronado: A boat ride, dolphin sightings, a marine sanctuary and warm tropical water make for an ideal family outing. Book a ½ day excursion and get back in time for afternoon naps. adventurebaja@yahoo.com.

EAT

Vista Al Mar: This beachfront clam shack is a local favorite. A few minutes south of Inn at Loreto Bay. Pedro, the owner’s son, happily shares his bright yellow hand-crafted pirate ship, large enough to climb on. If your kids are about the right age (4-7) and offer a friendly smile, Pedro will bust out his ride-on toys and action figures too.

Pachamama: This Spanish tapas restaurant offers an intimate setting just off a few blocks from the mission. Known for its short ribs, homemade pasta and sangria. If you can snag the table out front, the kiddos can play on the nearby Little Tykes slide while you enjoy dinner.

La Picason: Prepare for a bumpy journey on the unmarked, dirt road that takes you to this private residence and restaurant offering the best dining experience you’ll find in Loreto. The wide loungy sofas and electronic music (courtesy of the owner’s teenage sons) offer a hip LA vibe. Kiddos can play on the beach directly in front of the restaurant while you enjoy homemade margaritas, smoked marlin quesadillas and stare at the Isla Coronado in the distance. Kid-Friend

HELP

Landing in a foreign country with little kids takes a little time to acclimate – where to find milk, diapers and other kiddo essentials? Save yourself the hassle and call First Contact Loreto. Owner Dawn Smith will stock your villa or hotel room with everything you need from the local supermarket, including diapers, bottled water, fresh fruit (even tequila). Affordable rates for most items and a small service charge applies.ly Loreto, Mexico

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