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Guadalajara is México's pearl of the west. It is a city with both historic and modern qualities. It is not really a resort town, but it is an ideal vacation for the person who wishes to visit a different kind of resort from the usual busy and loud atmosphere. Guadalajara offers a refreshing change of pace and a more laid back and relaxed vacation experience.
Guadalajara has a population of over three million and it is somewhat of a busy metropolis, but amazingly, the lifestyle can actually be somewhat serene here. The city is packed with historic monuments; parks adorned with flowers and tree-lined avenues. It also has its share of attractions to keep a visitor entertained for days.
The city is known for its world famous Mariachi bands and as the birthplace of the Mexican hat dance. The month-long October Festival is world-famous and draws visitors from all over with a wide variety of music, cultural and artistic events and a diverse range of craft exhibits.
Guadalajara offers a unique combination of authentic Mexican culture and the lively experience that only a big city can provide. Start out with a visit to the historic center and see the incredible colonial architecture the city is famous for, the centerpiece being the cathedral which stands at the center of the city. However, do not miss the Degollado Theatre, an architectural masterpiece in its own right. For a more serene break in a busy sightseeing day, take a stroll through the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres, a structure situated in the midst of the city gardens, full of blooming flowers and the wafting of their subtle aromas. If you get tired of walking, see the sights from a Calandria, a horse-drawn carriage where your guide and driver will make sure you visit all the highlights that make this city unique, not just in Mexico, but also in the world.
Guadalajara is also a family-friendly place with lots to see and do for children. When everyone is tired of sightseeing, take in some of the other activities this region is famous for. Visit the zoo or the Selva Mágica (the Magic Jungle), a theme park for children. Visit the Planetarium, the Centro de Ciencia y Tecnología, to view the science, space and airplane exhibits.
If golf is your passion, there are several places in Guadalajara to indulge in. Guadalajara Country Club is the closest and although it is a private club, it is possible for outsiders to arrange for visitors' privileges. There are also plenty of facilities for tennis as well and the Club de Tenis Royal, conveniently located near the La Gran Plaza shopping mall, is open to the public with clay courts.
Last, but certainly not least, is the nightlife in Guadalajara. Discos, salsa clubs, jazz and piano bars and even extravagant production shows are the norm here. In fact, Guadalajara is a city focused on music lovers and many of the restaurants feature live music. Guadalajara is a city of diversity and the nightlife here offers something for everyone. You could spend two or more weeks in the city and not exhaust all there is to see and do here.