Dolores Hidalgo is a compact town with a pretty, tree-filled plaza, a relaxed ambience and an important history. Amazingly enough, the Mexican independence movement began in earnest in this small place when at 5am on September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, the parish priest, rang the bells to summon people to church earlier than usual and issued the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), also known as the Grito de Independencia (Cry of Independence).
Today Hidalgo is one of Mexico's most revered heroes. Dolores was renamed in his honor in 1824. Mexicans swarm here for Independence Day (September 16), during which time the price of accommodations can more than double. The town's centro histórico is worth a half-day visit for history buffs, not only for its interesting independence-themed museums but also for its colored Talavera ceramics workshops and famous ice cream.