Is a Road Trip From OC to Mexico Safe?

Flaccid_Leper wants to know. 

The Canadian transplant, now living in Costa Mesa, wants to know, and he has posted the following questions at Is it safe to drive in Mexico? Any idea of good party places somewhat close to the border that are also tourist friendly and relatively safe? Any alternative ideas? Any suggestions for activities/accommodations?

I'm_probably_drunk posted the following suggestions: 

Don't go to Tijuana, that's for sure! If you're going to go, stay at a Rosarito Beach area hotel... Rosarito is about 30-40 minutes south of the border. Plenty of fun things to do.. Papa's & Beer etc..


It's a lot safer now than it used to be, I wouldn't be scared to go. I go often... My Grandma LIVES just south of Rosarito. There was a year or so period where I didn't travel down there because of all the ruckus. Today/now I go down there without a thought.

I only offer the stern warning about not leaving Rosarito because I don't know you or your shenanigans. But seriously.. don't go to Tijuana.

Help a Canadian brother out!

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Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Oh look, another "helpful" guide by someone who hasn't set foot in Tijuana in years if ever, and who assumes that the entire city looks like the Lomas Misión ghetto you drive past on the way to points south.

Rosarito's fun if you're a 23-year-old frat boy. Plenty of clubs there.

But Tijuana has something for everyone (except possibly haggard trolls like Ihateusc who are see everything through crap-colored glasses). If you're into arts and culture, there are museums and CECUT (the Centro Cultural de Tijuana). If you're into crafts and tchotchkes, there are markets and mercados sobre ruedas where you can buy things without dealing with the ripoff artists on Revolución or in Puerto Nuevo. Want to wander a Mexican food market for chiles and mole pastes and cheese and stuf? Mercado Hidalgo is just south of the border. Safe, cheap, big, plentiful. Smoke a Cuban cigar—a real one—on Revolución at La Villa del Tabaco. Stock up on tequila—with samples—at Leyva's on Revolución between 6th and 7th.

Sixth Street (Flores Magón) is lined with new bars with good security and a fun time. Everything from dancing to dive bars (El Dandy del Sur!).

And then there's the food... screw all the haters who talk about three tacos for a dollar and don't ask questions. The best seafood? Right there in TJ. Drive up to El Mazateño on a weekend morning and have tacos de camarón enchilado. Drive out to the beach and eat seafood plucked right from the water. Head for the Gastronomic District and eat at La Diferencia, La Querencia, Casa Plascencia, Erizo Cebichería... or dress up, save your money, and reserve a table to Misión 19.

Head south and take a tour of the wine country—Ensenada has great seafood too—and just enjoy northern Baja.

As far as car security, park in attended lots and don't leave valuables in the car... just like any large city.


you dont have to mexico.  just drive to hp or bell, just enjoy the trash strewn streets, grafitti on the walls, auto body shops with broken down cars, 14 yo females pushing baby carts.... you dont have to go to mexico, mexico has come to you!

mitch young
mitch young

Sad. Back in my day the places on Revolucion would actually advertise on 91X. Going to TJ or Rosarita was like going to Laguna Beach -- or maybe just slightly more 'edgy' and risky. 

But maybe things are turing around, the Woodrow Wilson institute has a report on the growing 'middleclass-ness' of Mexico. One fervently hopes this is true.

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