San José's centro doesn't have much of a draw, per se. The sprawling, oddly quiet Plaza Mijares spreads over three blocks, and although lined with shops and restaurants, it feels empty all year except for the Feria de San José, when it fills with music stages, food stalls, and revelers. The most pleasant end for a stroll or a sit is on the western side, where the city's refurbished 1730 mission stands. The ceramic tile painting above the entrance graphically memorializes the 1734 revolt over polygamy that lead to the local padre's martyrdom; it looks like he didn't stand much of a chance.
The lovely narrow streets extending westward from Plaza Mijares make up San José's Art District, a tiny neighborhood of colonial houses made into galleries, studios, shops, and restaurants. Whether or not you're an art aficionado, it's a pleasant place to spend an afternoon, strolling the candy-colored blocks and enjoying a coffee or leisurely lunch. The street view, while lovely, isn't the whole story. Some courtyards here host shops and galleries stuffed with art and handicrafts, while others have hidden restaurants where you can eat in secluded, quiet style. From the square, walk west on Obregón and wander. Highlights include the Galería de Ida Victoria (Guerrero 1128 at Obregón; tel. 624/142-5772; www.idavictoriaarts.com; Nov-Aug Mon-Sat 10am-7pm), the Mata Ortiz Gallery (Obregón 10 btw. Morelos and Hidalgo; tel. 624/142-4969; www.mataortiz.com; Mon-Sat 10am-8pm), and Patricia Mendoza (Obregón at Hidalgo; tel. 624/105-2270; www.patriciamendoza-gallery.com; daily winter 10am-2pm and 5-8:30pm, summer 11am-2pm and 6:30-9pm); pick up a map of the whole district at the tourist office on the square or one of the many restaurants throughout.
On Thursday nights between November and June, the whole town turns out for the district's Art Walk, a strolling open house of galleries, studios, restaurants, and bars. Check the Art District website (www.artcabo.com) for information on smaller events as well.
Festivals & Special Events in Los Cabos
San José del Cabo celebrates the feast of its patron saint on March 19. The patron saint of San Bartolo, a village 100km (62 miles) north is feted June 19, and the patron of Santiago, 55km (34 miles) north, July 25. They're all occasions for a rip-roaring Mexican country good time, with music, dancing, horse races, rodeos, rides, religious processions, and lots and lots of sweets for sale from streetside booths. San José's fiesta, in particular, is a reason in itself to make the trip, together with thousands of others from all over southern Baja who come to town for a whole week of partying.