In the 1950s—long before the rise of Cancún and Cabo—Acapulco was the go-to Mexican destination. During its heyday, the "Pearl of the Pacific" attracted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and even John F. Kennedy with its amber beaches and pulsating nightlife. Acapulco's former beauty was celebrated on the big screen in films like Elvis Presley's "Fun in Acapulco" and the hit TV series, "The Love Boat." But as the 20th century wore on, Acapulco's glorious reputation tarnished as the city succumbed to over-crowding, pollution, and drug trafficking.
Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, Mazatlán is once again a coveted beach escape. The sidewalk cafés and scenic Malecón are just as busy as they were when film stars like John Wayne and Gary Cooper used to come to town. Residents are thankful for the renaissance -- this "Pearl of the Pacific" definitely experienced a low point in the 1970s and 1980s. And they support and enjoy the revitalization efforts of the Centro Histórico and the refurbished museums and theaters just as much as the tourists. You should do the same.
This is more than just a coastal resort getaway. Somehow Puerto Vallarta – also known as "Vallarta" or just "PV" – maintains a small-town atmosphere, while still boasting one of the most unique and sophisticated oceanfronts in Mexico. The dining options and the hotel choices reflect more of the same – you'll find both elegance and efficiency mingled together within the hotel and restaurant areas.
Best Places to Visit in Mexico