Valle de Guadalupe: Traveling With Kids
I have always known that when Antonio and I decided to have littles of our own, they would become a part of our nearly constant urge to travel and explore. I almost think that it has actually sparked the passion to travel even more so. Pre-kids we traveled as much as we could. We checked places off of our never ending “bucket list”, loving each new experience as they began to unfold. Fast forward nearly a decade, and here we are now with two little ones in tow. I have always envisioned the places that we will be able to show them, the cultures that they will become immersed in, and the new cuisines that are to be discovered.
| Encuentro Guadalupe (downstairs area) and Troika, Valle de Guadalupe
As you can see, Baja California is a huge part of our lives. For one, that is where Antonio grew up, and where I was also fortunate to travel there many times as a little girl with my family. More often than not I am asked to share where that love of Baja comes from. It’s easy enough to say the cuisine, culture, scenery, and people make up a part of that. It wasn’t until we really started to venture down to the Valle de Guadalupe, scour the streets of Tijuana eating nearly every step of the way, make beachside visits to Popotla, and being able to breathe in the salty air of the beautiful port city of Ensenada, that I would just stop and say I love this!
Now, let’s go back to talking about the Valle de Guadalupe, because that is one of our most favorite places on earth. Spring time is almost in full swing, and I’m pretty sure that the valley is greener than ever at this moment. The windows of our car are rolled down, as soon as we take our first turn onto the wine route. Giovanni always sticks his hand out the windows, loving the feeling of the fresh air in his face. He will be five this year, and now when we say “Valle de Guadalupe”, he knows exactly where we are headed. For him, that means he has the ability to run around to his hearts content, gather as many rocks as his little pockets and fists can hold, as well as count the number of animals we get to see throughout the day.
| El Pinar de Tres Mujeres, Valle de Guadalupe
Camila will be one in a couple of months, and of course she is still at the age where she is mostly coming along for the ride. I do have to say though, that she is honestly the best little eater. She can vouch for the fact that breakfast at La Cocina de Doña Esthela is a necessity on our trips down there. Giovanni watches the woman that makes the fresh tortillas, making sure that he gets flour, and Camila waves at nearly everyone that walks by. Mama and Papa get to enjoy a piping hot cup of cinnamon scented Cafe de la Olla, in between bites of big plates of machaca or chorizo con huevo.
| Rancho El Mogor, Valle de Guadalupe
Our day trips usually consist of two wineries, and almost always two food stops. We often try to discover new places, but we love to fall back on our favorites. A couple of great wineries to visit with the kids in tow are Lechuza, Cavas del Mogor, Clos de Tres Cantos and Las Nubes. Now in Mexico, we have found that most places are “family friendly”, but we do tend to narrow them down to where we felt the most comfortable with our children there with us. The parents get to enjoy a glass of wine, the kids are content in the outdoors, and suddenly all is right with the world.
The parents get to enjoy a glass of wine, the kids are content in the outdoors, and suddenly all is right with the world.
So now it’s time to satisfy that mid day, or even late afternoon hunger that begins to set in. Finca Altozano is a wonderful spot to take the kids. We load the table with a few family style dishes, lemonade for the little man, and a glass of their house red wine or ice cold craft beer for the adults. For the older kids, grab their hand and head up to the top of one of the barrel seats. Watch their eyes widen as they get to explore the Valle at new heights. Another family favorite of ours is Troika. Gastropub style dishes coming off of this gem of a food truck. Have the kids join in on the fun of a taco making assembly line by ordering their platter of lechon, and sliders and fries are always a hit as well. A newer addition, La Esperanza. Giovanni could not get enough of their lamb chops! (pictured)
Malva also graciously welcomes families, and will even take the wee ones to the nursery to see the baby goats and chickens. As the summer season approaches, keep your eyes open for campestres like Silvestre, with wide open views of the gorgeous Valle, and a casual picnic table setting. Another seasonal beauty is El Jardin de Adobe. Dine al fresco with the littles, all the while taking in the unforgettable landscapes of the expansive vineyards at Adobe Guadalupe.
Of course, we do have certain restaurants that we like to reserve for the times that we get down to the vineyards without kiddos. Date nights and uninterrupted leisurely meals are good for the soul!
Visiting La Escuelita with the kids can make for a lovely time as well. A nice chance to show them the recycled materials, and architecture that makes up this neat space. On Saturday’s if you choose to visit Cavas del Mogor, they have their farmers market up and running. Pick out some jams to bring back home, and the little ones can visit the chickens and sheep on the property’s ranch.