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Sonoma Wine Garden, Cabo’s Newest Restaurant

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

The newest restaurant on the Cabo scene is Sonoma Wine Garden, a trendy, upscale venue. Located right in the heart of town, Sonoma Wine Garden is nestled between Pink Kitty nightclub and Las Quesadillas Mexican restaurant — a prime location.  Once you step inside the restaurant, it is like a calm haven:  You are completely unaware of the hustle and bustle outside, and the fact that Sonoma Wine Garden is located in the absolute busiest part of Cabo.

Inside Sonoma Wine Garden

Set back from the street, no detail was overlooked when it came to making Sonoma Wine Garden as calm and peaceful as possible. The interior is both relaxing and beautiful, with giant palm trees throughout, interspersed with water features, fire features and a large, illuminated onyx bar by the entrance. There are hanging lanterns and candles, making for a very romantic and warm glow after dark. The floor is tiled with giant slabs of white limestone and the walls, which are also mostly stone, are decorated with leafy vines and pictures of vineyards. Walking into Sonoma Wine Garden is not entirely unlike walking into an actual restaurant in Sonoma.

 

The menu at Sonoma Wine Garden focuses on Mediterranean flavors, with a “California touch.” The ingredients hail from both local Baja (freshly caught fish, organic meats and fresh salads and fruit) and from afar, like many of their wines and cheeses. No matter what you enjoy, it is likely that you will find something that suits your palate on the menu at Sonoma Wine Garden

The menu at Sonoma Wine Garden is comprised of an international fare — many of the meats and cheeses (in addition to the wine) are from France, Italy and Spain. The most expensive entrées on the menu are US$32 for a USDA Rib Eye steak and US$40 for a dozen oysters paired with six jumbo prawns. If you are looking for some great deals, Sonoma Wine Garden also has a number of weekly specials that should not be missed.

For the more budget-conscious, Sonoma Wine Garden’s numerous specials are a breath of fresh air. Their Happy Hour runs daily from 2-6 p.m. and includes their “Uno dos tres cuatro” menu, comprised of US$4 Well Drinks, US$3 Margaritas, US$2 Beer and US$1 Bar Bites. This menu is available seven days a week. On Monday’s there is a new promotion called “Timeshare Owner Mondays” – timeshare owners have no corkage fee and 2 x 1 on entrees of the same or less value. Thursday nights are “Hospitality Nights”, where ladies are served free sparkling wine with the purchase of a meal and are given a 50% discount on food items on the menu. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there is a late night menu available from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., and on Sundays be sure to stop by to enjoy their Live Music Night from 8-10 p.m.

Given the name of the establishment, it goes without saying that the restaurant’s wine selections will be interesting, and they are.  Comprised of a very extensive international selection, the wine list represents wines from both the new and old world wine growing regions. Many hail from California, however México, Argentina, Italy, France, New Zealand and Chile are also well represented. Should you feel at all overwhelmed by the wine list, there is always, of course, a sommelier you can talk to who can help you with your selection.

In the general spirit of Sonoma and California, and despite the restaurant’s haute-style décor, there is no dress code (though shoes and shirt are a good idea). Patrons can adapt their style to any occasion — a romantic date, family dinner, or even just a casual lunch.

Eating out in Cabo you will be spoiled for choice by countless restaurant options, yet Sonoma Wine Garden is a truly unique choice given its location, atmosphere, service, and the high quality of their food and drinks. Few other places in Cabo can boast such tranquility in the bustling downtown that is Cabo San Lucas “Centro”.

Sonoma Wine Garden’s hours of operation are Sunday – Wednesday from 2 p.m. until 12 a.m., Thursday – Saturday 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. They also have valet parking with the first two hours for free. For more information about the restaurant please visit the Cabo San Lucas Restaurant Guide.

Sonoma Wine Garden from the street.

Sonoma Wine Garden's open air restaurant.

 

Sonoma Wine Garden

Sonoma Wine Garden

 

 

 


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Los Cabos as an LGBT Vacation Destination

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

Think Los Cabos is only good for fishing and partying? Think again. Los Cabos is a community that welcomes everyone and is of growing interest as a holiday and wedding destination for lesbians, gays, bis and transgenders alike. The LGBT scene in Los Cabos is not outwardly apparent, but the two main towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are widely accepting and tolerant of all kinds of visitors, making the region an ideal LGBT holiday and wedding destination. Cabo San Lucas has the busy marina district and abundant nightlife. Should you prefer a quieter day in Los Cabos, away from a lot of the hustle and bustle of the tourists, San Jose del Cabo is a great option. Located about 20 miles away from Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo is known for its art galleries and exceptional restaurants. Don’t miss the weekly Art Walk every Thursday evening.

ME Cabo Hotel and Nikki Beach, both sit on Medano Beach

A Wide Range of Places to Stay

Visitors have many choices when it comes to accommodations in Cabo. From renting a seaside villa to staying in a full-scale resort or hotel , there is an ideal accommodation for every kind of traveler. Enjoy the luxury, quality, exceptional service and how it caters to each individual guest. Anywhere in Los Cabos that you may choose to stay, your privacy can be assured.

In San Jose Del Cabo, Posada Chabela is a small boutique hotel that is also known for being especially LGBT friendly. Posada Chabela was opened in 2006 as “a place in the sun for everyone.” Rose Ann, the owner, is well-known for her amazing hospitality. The hotel sits on top of a hill overlooking the ocean, and on a beach that is a known and popular surf spot, Costa Azul. Aside from its proximity to the surf and the privacy it offers, the hotel is preferred by the LGBT crowd because it offers popular commitment ceremonies. For more information or to contact Posada Chabela please visit http://baja.com/san-jose-del-cabo/hotels/posada-chabela-bed-breakfast/, or contact Baja.com to book at 855-BAJA-411 or info@baja.com.

The famous ME Cabo, home of the notoriously trendy Nikki Beach, is a well-known gay friendly establishment in Cabo. Located in Cabo San Lucas, the hotel sits on Medano Beach, right in the middle of all the action. ME is also the home of Passion Lounge, one of Cabo’s most renowned nightclubs known for frequently hosting some of the world’s best DJ’s and some of Cabo’s biggest parties, including the Annual Pimp n’ Ho Party. If you stay at the ME you can expect a gay-friendly destination guide awaiting you in your room, in addition to an ‘adult’ film rental service.

A Vibrant Nightlife

In Cabo San Lucas, you may not find an abundance of gay bars per say, but the clubs and bars in Cabo welcome everyone warmly. Among the most friendly establishments is a well-known hotel and “Supper Club” called Scoop which was opened by the editor of the Gringo Gazette (a local English-language newspaper), Carrie Duncan, and her partner David Flores. Scoop is located in downtown Cabo San Lucas, on Leona Vicario St. The club boasts a large stage, dance floor, three bars, a private dining room ,and a conference room with a 60-person capacity for private events. On Friday and Saturday nights Scoop’s nightclub turns into a gay club from 12am until 4am. The hotel itself is a fairly luxurious place to stay, comprised of 8 unique rooms, each equipped with their own private bathrooms with marble bathtubs. For more information or to make reservations at Scoop, please visit http://baja.com/cabo-san-lucas/hotels/scoop-hotel-supper-club/  or contact Baja.com to book at 855-BAJA-411 or info@baja.com.

The most famous gay club in Cabo San Lucas is called Rainbow Bar. More than a decade old, this club has changed locations several times in Cabo. Rainbow Bar caters to a predominantly gay clientele, and is known for their disco-like interior with bright lights, a dancefloor and lots of mirrors. They play a mix of Mexican and English music, and they have a variety of cocktails on their menu. Be sure to check up on the hours of Rainbow Bar before you go as it may be closed during the off season (July-September). In season, Rainbow Bar is open from 4pm until late daily. To contact Rainbow Bar please call (624) 143 1455.

So Many Beautiful Places to Say “I Do”

Los Cabos is one of the number one wedding destinations in the world. In fact, Baja is one of the world’s ultimate wedding destinations. It’s easy to understand why: this is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world, and the weather is just about guaranteed to be perfect year-round. Same-sex marriage is growing more and more widely accepted in Mexico. On August 10th, 2010 Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that all 31 Mexican states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in Mexico City. Individual territories do not have to recognize same-sex marriages. Currently Baja Sur does not recognize the legality of same-sex marriages performed in Baja Sur, but they are required to recognize same-sex unions that were performed in Mexcio City. Commitment ceremonies are still a very popular choice for same-sex couples throughout Baja Sur, especially in beautiful Los Cabos.

Cabo is secluded and yet still easily accessible from Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). There are countless white sand beaches, hundreds of beautiful resorts, and an endless array of scenic places to hold a commitment ceremony. Whatever kind of event you want, the professional wedding planners in Cabo can arrange it for you. Businesses in Cabo are friendly to everyone who walks through their doors. Cabo is a destination where all who come can enjoy sun, fun, beautiful scenery, and an all around good time. From an endless array of water-related activities, to fabulous food, and a hopping nightlife, the Los Cabos region has it all.

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6 Ways to Prepare for Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

“Spring Break in Cabo. A place I can never remember, a place I can never forget.” -Travelny2

Spring Breakers at Nikki Beach.

Sitting on my balcony at midnight and listening to the music blasting from the nightclubs and echoing across the Marina, I am acutely aware of the fact that it is Spring Break in Cabo. This town normally has its fare share of party-goers and sun-seekers, but the last few weeks have seen a marked increase in the number of people down here and a very heightened madness to the partying!

From the last weekend of February and throughout the months of March and April, Cabo San Lucas is buzzing with spring break party craziness. Even though Cabo is regularly frequented by party-goers, Spring Break here takes it to a level that is not matched at any other time throughout the year. The bars, clubs, hotels, pools, and beaches in Cabo San Lucas see thousands and thousands of college and high school students wanting nothing more than to drink away thoughts of school and exams with their friends for Spring Break. It really is like the crazy MTV Spring Break party madness you see on TV – every day (and night).

Should you decide to join the likes of these fun, young people next year, there are a few things you should consider first:

1) Airfare to Cabo: To start out with, you should to be aware of the fact that flights to Cabo during Spring Break are going to be a little more expensive than they normally are. In the same way that travel around Christmas is expensive, flying to Cabo for Spring Break will likely land you with a steep airfare. If possible, you should book your flights in advance. Remember, if you can avoid paying for an overpriced ticket then you can save your money for drinks when you get here.

2) Accommodations in Cabo: Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where to stay in Los Cabos. Cabo hotels and vacation rentals fill up quickly during Spring Break. Things you might want to consider may be whether or not you want an all-inclusive package, the location of your hotel to the beach and or the bars, and how many people you plan on squeezing into your room. An all-inclusive package is definitely a great idea if you plan on drinking a lot – this will likely save you a ton of money. You should also think about where you want to spend most of your time. If it’s important to you to be on the beach, then you should try to make sure you are walking distance so you don’t end up spending extra money on taxis. Also, if you are with a group and you plan on cramming as many people into the room as possible, then you should check the hotel’s policies about adding people to the room so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you pay your bill.

3) Nightlife in Cabo: Cabo San Lucas is blessed with an abundance of nightlife so finding somewhere to go at night should not be a problem! You may want to look up the biggest clubs before you go though and see what they’re doing while you’re there. There is never cover at clubs in Cabo unless there’s an event going on. If there’s an event going on while you’re in Cabo you may want to look into getting a ticket and checking to make sure you have the proper attire to ensure that you are admitted. Normally though, nightclubs and bars in Cabo are pretty lax in terms of dress codes and do not charge a cover. If you are a girl or if you’re with any girls, another thing for you to pay attention to when you go out at night is Cabo’s Ladies Nights – when girls drink for free.

Cabo Spring Breakers loading up on shots at The Saloon.

4) Transportation from Los Cabos International Airport: This is definitely something you should look into before you arrive in Cabo. Taxis in Cabo are not cheap, so renting a car or taking a shuttle are certainly your most economical options. You should ask your hotel if they provide transportation as they may be able to meet you at the airport for no additional charge.

5) Dehydration: A lot of people don’t take care of themselves when they visit Cabo San Lucas on Spring Break. Large quantities of alcohol combined with long stretches of time in the sun can easily lead to illness and dehydration. Make sure you have lots of bottled water with you at all times (do not drink water from the sink in Mexico), and be sure to drink electrolyte drinks and have lots of vitamin C. Partying all day and night will definitely lower your immunity, and your friends’, and the last thing you want when you’re on vacation is to get sick!

6.) What to Pack for Spring Break in Cabo: Sunscreen, flip flops, a good hat, sunglasses, your swimsuit, and finally, don’t forget your camera. Spring break in Cabo will surely be a trip you’ll want to remember (or need the pictures to remind you) forever.

We would love to hear your Cabo Spring Break stories, please share them with us here. What were your favourite clubs? Where do you think are the best places to stay for spring break?

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Spring Break Tip: Ladies Nights in Cabo San Lucas

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

Girls, if you are visiting Cabo on spring break and traveling on a budget, this list is for you. Did you know, seven days a week, in at least one of the major bars or clubs in town, there is a Ladies Night where you can get in without paying a cover and enjoy your margaritas for free? The drinks will flow at least until midnight, and sometimes even until dawn. Use this guide to plan your next spring break club crawl. Have fun and be safe.

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Los Cabos International Airport

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

Los Cabos International Airport from the air.

Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) is located in Baja California Sur, near San Jose del Caboand about 30 miles from Cabo San Lucas. On a map you can see that the SJD Airport is located inland from the coastal areas, and when you fly into the airport you definitely get the sense that you are landing in the desert. Presumably it was constructed in such a location to reduce the noise and traffic levels for Los Cabos, but whatever the reason, travelers should be aware of the location of the airport when they arrive, as it is a bit of a trek to Cabo San Lucas.

If you are staying in San Jose del Cabo, it shouldn’t be a long journey to your hotel. The airport is only about seven miles from San José del Cabo centro (center). If you are staying in Cabo San Lucas though, I highly recommend you have someone waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. Many of the hotels and resorts in Cabo will provide airport transportation. It helps to look into this before you arrive at SJD so you don’t have to figure it out in real time.

If you don’t have a ride prearranged, then you have several options for getting to your hotel or wherever you are staying:

1)   Taxis: If budget is not a factor, you can always take a taxi. If you take a taxi from SJD Airport to Cabo San Lucas, you should expect to pay between US$80 and US$100, not including tip. This is a pretty steep price to pay for a 30-mile journey.

2)   Shuttles: The shuttles (colectivos) are vans that will hold about 15 to 20 people. This is a good money-saving option (US$20 one-way to Cabo San Lucas), but depending on where you’re going, it could take a while.  Shuttles are a great way to meet people though, so you might take one for the entertainment factor alone.

3)   Buses: The local bus runs on a loop from the airport, through San Jose del Cabo and all the way to Cabo San Lucas. It will take more than an hour to get to Cabo San Lucas, due to frequent stops. The perk here though is that it only costs about US$1, by far the most economical means of transportation.

If you know how you’re getting to your destination from the SJD Airport, the rest of your experience in the airport should be a breeze. Immigration and customs are a routine part of the arrival process, but nothing to worry about. Lines can be long, but once it’s your turn, simply present the forms you filled out on the plane, and tell them where you’re staying. Provided you aren’t trying to bring in drugs or firearms, they should let you right through.

Once outside the airport, you can expect to encounter a swarm of people who want to sell you transportation, activities, and timeshares. Just politely say No Gracias and continue on your way to meet your party or find your shuttle. . If you have to wait a while, you can have your first Corona, tequila, or margarita before you even leave the airport -  Bienvenido a México!

Baja veterans, what’s your strategy for avoiding the crowds at Los Cabos International?

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Attend the Champagne Jam this Friday in Cabo

By Meghan Fitzpatrick

Don't miss the Champagne Jam

Cabo San Lucas hosts a number of charitable events each year, all of which raise money for great causes. One of the newest fund-raising efforts here is the Champagne Jam. All the who’s who of Cabo and much of Baja Sur will attend to raise money for the Ray Thomas Foundation, an organization that works to improve schools and implement sports and after-school programs into Baja California schools. This event takes place tomorrow, Friday, March 30, in Cabo San Lucas at the 12 Tribes Restaurant in the Casa Dorada Resort, overlooking Medano Beach. Tickets will be available at the door for $35, which includes a welcome glass of champagne; all VIP tickets and premium tables for this year’s event are sold out.

The first Champagne Jam last year was a tremendous success, raising enough money to open a new kitchen in one of Cabo San Lucas’ underfunded schools. That kitchen now feeds more than 150 kids every day. The goal is to open at least one new kitchen every year in Baja, in addition to raising awareness for the Ray Thomas Foundation and helping to implement community clean-up programs and after-school programs throughout the Baja Peninsula.

This year‘s event line-up includes multiple internationally acclaimed headliners, such as  Shane Dwight, American Idolist Michael Johns, Dana Atherton’s Jazz Trio from San Francisco, Mexican Folk Music by Monica Rojas, and the youth rock groups Rapid Fire and Equazion. There will also be a few surprise acts in store for the crowd. In addition to the champagne and the music, there will also be a raffle and silent and live auctions.

Kids at play

The Ray Thomas Foundation, also known as The Foundation Youth Education Sport (Y.E.S.) in the U.S. and Grupo de Apoyo Ray Thomas (G.A.R.T.) in Mexico, is an organization that was established by American softball umpires in 1989. The group’s primary objective was to share their passion for sports with the children of Baja – and they did just that. Americans and Mexicans alike joined forces and supported the cause to help provide the children of Baja with sports programs and equipment, and over time, a number of additional school and community programs.

Now, 22 years later, the Ray Thomas Foundation is a strong Baja organization, helping schools and local communities throughout the peninsula. Some of the organization’s efforts include school breakfast programs, special needs facilities, and community graffiti clean-up initiatives (since the Ray Thomas Foundation arrived in Cabo, graffiti throughout the city has gone down considerably), numerous sports programs, and even a program that teaches children how to care for their pets.

In 2011 the RTF started the ¨Adopt a School¨ program designated to give the hotels in the Los Cabos area, an opportunity to sponsor poor schools by implementing these different programs. The participating hotels have their logos prominently displayed at all RTF events and are given the opportunity to participate in any of the above programs with their sponsored school.

State governments and D.I.F. (Desarrollo Integral de La Familia) are generally responsible for most of the funding of RTF’s programs in the state of Baja California Sur. Last year in La Paz, the mayor even started a co-ed slow-pitch softball program for six school districts. Currently there are five schools in Cabo San Lucas that are involved with RTF’s sponsorship program, with more than 130 teams and more than 900 children involved.

For more information about the Ray Thomas Foundation, visit http://www.raythomasgroup.org/ or find the group on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RayThomasFoundation.  For more information about the Champagne Jam, or to book your tickets, email cabocoop@yahoo.com or call (624) 143 2726.

Photos credits: Tana Craighead & The Cabo Wine Club

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