Things to Do In and Around Guadalajara

There are so many things to do around Guadalajara.  The things listed below are what we've done in Guadalajara with lots of other things we weren't able to get to before we left.  We lived there for two years and never came close to running out of things to do.

Most of the archaeological sites are run by the INAH and you can get more info on their website.  They are generally open from 9-5.

A lot of the towns listed are Pueblos Magicos.

The last section is a calendar of annual events.  A good way to find out when the major fiestas are in many towns is to look on the Spanish Wikipedia page for the town. This post has my recommended list of annual events.

This is a link to a series of posts I'm working on about good places we've eaten here.  These are mostly quick places to eat and definitely nothing posh. You'll have to look elsewhere for that. 

Archaeological Sites:

?Santa Rosalia (three buildings NW of town) (?Arenal)
?El Penol near Etzatlan
El Grillo
El Diente
Ixtlan del Rio
El Chanal
La Campana
La Capacha
Canada de la Virgen
Oconahua (Palacio de Ocomo)
El Churijero in Tenamaxtlan?
More sites to track down

Outdoor Adventures:

Tequila Volcano
Colima Volcano (still trying to get here)
Bosque de la Primavera (camping, mountain biking, hiking- we go here often)
El Diente (this is a great place for rock climbing- we go here all the time too)
Opal mines at Magdalena (maybe ruins in the area too around Huitzilapa?)
Mezcala Island (I haven't been here, but one of my sons has and he liked it)
La Barranca (some of the group thought this hike was not worth the climb back up)
Las Piedras Bola
Gruta Puente de Dios near Tecatitlan
Cerro el Huehuenton
Cascadas de Comala
Cerro el Narigon

In Town:

Hospicio Cabanas (my husband's favorite place)
Templo Expiatorio (love this place)
Metropolitan Cathedral
Basilica of Zapopan
Huichol Museum in the Basilica of Zapopan (I really like this museum)
Mercado Abastos
Mercado Libertad
Day of the Dead Market (and here)
Casa de Artesanias
Asian markets (there's also one the even-numbered side of Calle 4 in Abastos near the fondas)
Good bookstore
Guadalajara Zoo (one child has been there and he loved it)
Teatro Degollado (recommended)
Palicio de Gobierno (there's a good Orozco mural in here and is worth a stop)
Panteon de Belen (there are tours in English and Spanish and it's an interesting place to visit)
Museo de le Cuidad (this is a nice little museum)
Regional Museum of Guadalajara
Museum of Sacred Art at the Cathedral (a great way to poke around other parts of the Cathedral)
Museo de las Artes Populares de Jalisco
Plaza de los Mariachis (this was a little boring when we went so we'll have to try again)
Avienda Chapultepec (I love to go here at night)
Colomos Park (this is a lovely, large park between Zapopan and Guadalajara)
El Rincon del Diablo
University of Guadalajara (rectory, library, murals, art- definitely go here)
Museo de Periodismo y las Artes Graficas (Casa de los Perros- fun to visit if you love museums in interesting buildings)
Nueve Esquinas (Valle and Colon in Mexicaltzingo and you should stop here for birria)
El Refugio

Nice towns:

Tlajomulco (there's supposed to be a good place to watch a charro near Tlajomulco)
Tapalpa (I haven't been here, but two of my sons have and they liked it) (Virgen of Defense on the first Saturday of July or September, or August 5 through 15)
San Miguel de Allende
Dolores Hidalgo
Mexico DF

Annual Events:  

Fiesta del Senor de los Rayos in Tenamaxtlan and Totatiche (January 3-12)
Dia de los Reyes in Cajititlan (January 6)
Leon leather fair (January)
St Anthony's Day (January 17)
Saint Sebastian's Day at San Sebastian el Grande or San Sebastian del Oeste (January 20)
Bucerias Street Festival (around January 20th)
Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe in Villa Hidalgo (late January, maybe last Sunday)

Candlemas in Encarnacion de Diaz and San Juan de los Lagos (late January through February 2)
San Felipe de Jesus' Day in Atotonilco (January 28-February 5) (first Mexican saint)
Anniversary of the City of Guadalajara (February 14)
Carnival in Chapala, Ameca, Sayula, Autlán Navarro, Jalostotitlán, or Amatitán

Vallarta bird festival (early March)
Huichol Festival in Puerto Vallarta (March)
St Patrick's Day Festival in Melaque and Cihuatlan (March 17)
Feria de Tonala (late March/early April)

March or April
Holy Week (Tonala can be a good place to go)
Pilgrimage from Ameca to Talpa

Fiesta del Sol in Tonala (first half of the month)
Founding of Tequila (April)
Feria de Abril in Tepatitlan (22nd through 30th)
San Marcos Fair in Aguascalientes (April/May)
Sugarcane Fiesta in Tala (April/May)
Saint Joseph's Day in Arandas (April 23 through May 1)

Holy Cross Day (May 3rd)
Ocotlan Regional Fair (3rd-11th)
Jalisco Cultural Festival (May)
Feria patronal al Sr. Del Perdón in Tuxpan (last half of the month)
Dragonfruit Festival in Amacueca (third Sunday in May)
Señor Grande de Ameca (sometime this month)

Guanajuato Food Fest (early June)
Corpus Christi (June 4)
Ceramics fair in Tlaquepaque (June/July)
Feria de San Juan Bautista (June 24)
Dia de San Pedro in Tlaquepaque (June 29)

Fiesta of Mary Magdalene in Cuitzeo
Fiesta de Santiago in Tonala (July 25) (don't miss this one because of the Tastoanes)
Zacatecas Folklore Festival (July/August)

Fiesta de la Virgen de la Asunción in San Juan de los Lagos (1st through 15th) (also in Jalostotitlan)
Lagos de Moreno Feria (August 6)
Assumption of the Virgin Mary (August 15)
Mariachi and Charro Festival in Guadalajara (late August/early September)

Mariachi Festival in Guadalajara (first week)
Independence Day at the Basilica of Zapopan (September 16)
Ocotlan Festival  (late September)
Michaelmas in San Miguel de Allende or San Miguel Cuyutlan or San Miguel el Alto or any other San Miguel you find or Atotonilco (September 29)

Fiestas de Octubre in Guadalajara (October)
La Romeria or the Fiesta of the Virgin of Zapopan (October 12)
Guadalajara Marathon (mid October)
Festival Cervantino in Guanajuato (October)
Fiesta in Zapotlan el Granda (October 23)

Fiesta en honor de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in Teocaltiche (November 1-11)
Day of the Dead (November 1st and 2nd)
Festival of the Skulls in Aguascalientes (early November)
Chapala Art Festival (mid-November)
Hot Air Balloon Festival in Leon (November or December)
Guadalajara Book Fair (end of November/early December)

Las Calles Compuestas in Atotonilco (November 30 through December 8)
Tlajomulco Fiesta (December 8)
Tequila Festival (December)
Bullfighting in Tenamaxtlan

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