Ensenada, 108km south of the border, is hedonistic Tijuana’s cosmopolitan sister. The city has a quirky mix of just-off-the-boat cruise shippers, drive-by tourists from California, visitors from mainland Mexico and seen-it-all locals. In case you’ve forgotten you’re in Mexico (what with all those US dollars and English menus), just look up: a Mexican flag, so large it’s probably visible from space, flutters proudly over the malecón (waterfront promenade). Wander Avenida López Mateos (Calle 1a) and you’ll find almost anything ranging from delicious French food to tasteless T-shirts. Don't miss the dancing musical fountain on the waterfront if you've got kids.
Ensenada was the capital of Baja territory from 1882 to 1915, but the capital shifted to Mexicali during the revolution. The city subsequently catered to ‘sin’ industries until the federal government outlawed gambling in the 1930s. Today the town is a tourist resort for more than four million visitors annually.