People generally think of sprawling beaches and luxury resorts when they picture Cabo San Lucas, but if you’re not making time to explore the city’s legendary downtown district, you’re not getting the full Cabo experience.

Head west of Playa el Medano (Swimming Beach) until you hit Lazaro Cardenas and Boulevard Marina, and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Downtown Cabo San Lucas. Shopping, dining, sightseeing, and nightlife abound, and the vibe is unlike anything else in the world. There are a few stops, in particular, that should be at the top of your itinerary. 

1. High-Energy Nightclubs: Like El Squid Roe

El Squid Roe Nightclub
Credit: @elsquidroecabo

 

Address: Av. Lázaro Cárdenas e/ Zaragoza y Morelos s/n Centro, 23454 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

Easily Downtown Cabo’s most famous nightclub, El Squid Roe is the place where the party lasts all night. This iconic nightclub and restaurant features three full stories of dance floors, strobe lights, and music, all with a high-energy urban vibe complete with oversized DJ booths, chain-link guard rails, and metal art installations. It’s not uncommon to see a celebrity like Snoop Dogg or Rihanna enjoying bottle service and dancing the night away.

While this crowded, boisterous environment isn’t for everyone, it’s perfect if you want to let your hair down and enjoy the best nightlife that Cabo has to offer. 

Other nightclubs to explore: Mandala Los Cabos, Kitty Nightspot Cabos

2. Massive Shopping Plazas: Like Plaza Bonita Shopping Mall

Plaza Bonita Shopping Mall
Credit: @senorfrogscabo

 

Address: Blvd. Paseo de la Marina 17, Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

Plaza Bonita is the ultimate spot for Downtown Cabo San Lucas shopping. Located right on the Marina Boardwalk, it offers scenic views along with some of the best stores, restaurants, and bars in the city. The courtyard offers breathtaking views of the marina, and dining choices include Art & Sushi, Da Vinci´s Italian Bistro Bar, Ceviche Factory, and much more. 

Grab a latte at Starbucks or a cerveza at Señor Frog's, and stroll through the clothing boutiques, jewelry shops, traditional craft stores, and famous art gallery. Tiki Bar 2 (located along Lazaro Cardenas) is an attraction unto itself with its colorful Polynesian decor, eclectic international menu, and out-of-this-world drink specials like two tequilas and two beers for just $7. If you’re hungry, try the famed sashimi serrantito. 

Other shopping plazas to explore: Puerto Paraiso, Plaza Pioneros

3. Unforgettable Taquerias: Like Tacos Guss

Tacos Guss
Credit: @blissfullydiana

 

Address: Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas S/N, Centro, Ildefonso Green, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

Los Cabos is known for, among other things, its amazing taquerias. If you want to enjoy the best street tacos in Cabo San Lucas specifically, you’ll want to head to Tacos Guss, located just a block from the marina on Lazaro Cardenas. 

As soon as you arrive, you’re greeted with an assortment of salsas. Every taco includes a platter of ingredients like pico, onions, cilantro, and lime, so you can prepare your tacos exactly as you like them. Their tacos al pastor are to die for, as are the skirt-steak tacos. Other flavors include beef, chicken, chorizo, tripe, and lengua. Locals and tourists mutually agree: this is the best taco shop in town, and the prices are amazing.

Other great dining spots in Cabo San Lucas: Maria Jimenez, Lorenzillos, Salvatores

4. Culture Spots: Like Cabo San Lucas Natural History Museum

Cabo San Lucas Natural History Museum
Credit: @elreflejodelosmuseos

 

Address: Plaza Amelia Wilkes, Centro, 23410 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

If you’re looking to break up the party with a bit of culture, the Natural History Museum offers vast paleontology, paleo-biology, and geology collections. Get close to a real whale skeleton, learn about the early natives of Los Cabos and the Mayan culture, browse an assortment of ancient rocks, and explore an impressive fossil collection. 

Most of the signs and plaques are in English, and only a $2 donation is required for entry. This quiet, self-guided museum is great for when you want to step away from the hustle-and-bustle and learn about how the community came together from a historical, archaeological, and anthropological perspective. 

Other great culture spots in Cabo: Laura Urrea Art Gallery, Golden Cactus Gallery

5. The Hottest Bars: Like The Giggling Marlin Bar & Grille

The Giggling Marlin Bar & Grille
Credit@de11edonne

 

Address: Blvd. Paseo de la Marina s/n, Centro, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

The Giggling Marlin is the oldest bar in Cabo San Lucas, and it’s still one of the best. Their motto is “If our food, drinks, and service aren’t up to your standards, please lower your standards.” 

Their tacos, burritos, and sandwiches are all excellent, but the nightlife is the real draw. Enjoy tequila shots while hanging upside down, order 2-for-1 drinks all day and night, and watch raucous floorshows while tasting the hottest tableside salsa this side of the Sea of Cortez. 

The Giggling Marlin is famous for their signature blue agave tequila, a recipient of several major awards including the 2017 SIP Consumers’ Choice Award. If you visit this popular establishment, be sure to order a glass.

Other excellent downtown bars: Monkey Business Bar, Uno Mas?, The Jungle Bar 

6. Beautiful Historical Architecture: Like Iglesia de San Lucas

Iglesia de San Lucas Historical Architecture
Credit: @leinavdb

 

Address: Calle Cabo San Lucas 415, Centro, San Lucas, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico

If you want to take in a Sunday Mass or you just enjoy historical architecture, head to the Town Square where you’ll find Iglesia de San Lucas (Church of Saint Luke). This beautiful structure in Downtown Cabo San Lucas is free to explore, and it exemplifies the region’s 16th-century architectural style. The church was built in 1730 by a Spanish missionary, and it’s still amazingly well-preserved.

Because it’s located in the heart of Town Square, the church is also adjacent to a number of boutiques and restaurants, so you can couple your visit with a meal and shopping excursion. Lace up your walking shoes and explore some of the best sights near the marina.

Other eye-catching architecture: Los Milagros Hotel, Puerto Paraiso Mall

7. World-Class Gaming: Like PlayWin Casino

PlayWin Casino
Credit: @allambre

 

Address: Plaza Nautica, Blvd. Paseo de la Marina #14, Centro, Col. Centro

Looking for a Vegas-style casino in Downtown Cabo San Lucas? This is the place. And while PlayWin isn’t the only business in town that offers slots and table games, it’s definitely the best. Colorful decor and friendly staff help to reinforce the vibrant ambiance, and while the venue is small and a bit smoky, the slots are much looser than anything you’ll find in a big resort-casino. 

Just load up your player’s card and enjoy a full night of gaming. Slots can be enjoyed for as little as 5 cents. While some smaller casinos limit your options to blackjack and video poker, this place has blackjack tables, roulette wheels, and a sportsbook, so anyone can partake in the same gaming options they would enjoy in a much larger casino. Just remember to bring pesos. 

Other nearby casinos: Casino Caliente

How to Enjoy the Best of Downtown Cabo San Lucas 

All of the above spots are located within a two-mile radius of one another, so you can easily explore them all in one day if you’re feeling ambitious. However, if you want to enjoy the full Cabo experience, complete with beaches, whale-watching tours, water sports, and Downtown explorations, your best bet is to book a Cabo San Lucas luxury villa and extend the fun over at least three to five days. 

When you’re not in a hurry, you can truly enjoy the best Cabo San Lucas shopping, dining, and sightseeing experiences in a memorable way.