Ensenada's slightly more refined equivalent of Tijuana's Avenida Revolución is the crowded Avenida López Mateos (or Av. Primera), which runs roughly parallel to Bulevar Lázaro Cárdenas (Costero); the highest concentration of shops and restaurants is between avenidas Ruíz and Castillo. Beggars fill this street, and sellers are less likely to bargain here than in Tijuana -- much of the merchandise is of much higher quality than in the north, and the shopkeepers of lesser stores are used to gullible cruise-ship buyers in Ensenada. Compared to Tijuana, there is more authentic Mexican art- and craftswork in Ensenada, pieces imported from rural states and villages where different skills are traditionally practiced. Off the highway on the way into Ensenada is the can't-miss Art & Stuff in El Sauzal (tel. 949/202-5321 in the U.S., or 646/175-8859; Km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada). This unpretentious and eclectic gallery has a collection worthy of boastfulness and high prices, but the owner is endearingly humble. Local artist Señora Q is the showstopper here with her whimsical interpretations that hint at magical realism on found objects and canvases, and in sculptures.
For jewelry and fine silver adornments, nothing compares to Los Castillo, five specialty stores along Avenida López Mateos (tel. 646/156-5274; www.loscastillosilver.com). This is the official outlet for the Castillo family's jewelry from the renowned silver city of Taxco. You'll find intricate sterling silver designs upon pristine porcelain that create original works of art on fine china, which also can be found at Neiman Marcus in the U.S., ornate sterling silver serving pieces, and jewelry that can't be found anywhere else. A few doors down from Los Castillo, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, Colores de Mexico sells designer look-alike bags made of leather. For handcrafted furnishings, Fausto Polanco (tel. 646/174-0336; www.faustopolanco.com.mx), at López Mateos and Castillo, sells fine hacienda-style furnishings at U.S. prices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.