Playas de Tijuana is on the western side of Tijuana, just south of the Mexico U.S. border. To the south is Rosarito and Ensenada, and to the Northeast is Downtown Tijuana commonly called El Centro.
Playas de Tijuana is home to the beaches of Tijuana, hence the name, and is the neighborhood of choice for wealthy business people working in Tijuana. Of all of the cities in Baja, Playas is the most like the U.S. Many Americans call it South San Diego.
Playas has a great boardwalk or Malecon as they call it here, with many amazing seafood restaurants and oyster shacks. Almost all of them have an authentic selection of good beer, and most of them have live music on the weekends. You will enjoy the restaurants on the beaches in Playas largely because the friendly owners are so warm and inviting.
English is the spoken language in most restaurants along the Malecon as they cater to Americans who come down for the weekend, or are staying in one of Tijuana’s many health clinics. Tijuana is a major hub for medical tourism for dental work and plastic surgery, and many people take advantage of the good beach living, and cheap hotels that Playas de Tijuana has to offer.
The Malecon is where the locals hangout on the weekends pretty much year round but more so in the summer months. The Dolphins also call Playas de Tijuana home about 3 months out of the year as they come inland and entertain many. It’s quite a sight. Sometimes a whale sighting happens and that’s an even bigger deal for the locals.
Life in Playas de Tijuana is relatively peaceful and relaxed. It is unlike the usual hectic rush of El Centro. Life here is much simpler and the pace is slower. Everything is better in Playas. Even the weather is 10 degrees cooler, and the views are to die for.
The Paseo Ensenada is a popular place for meeting and passing free time, and where major commercial centers and businesses are located. Plaza Coronado, which is located at the beginning of Paseo Ensenada, is the major entertainment center, where young people gather every day to spend free time. The Monumental Bull Ring is located here as well as the Tijuana-campus of the Universidad Iberoamericana
Playas de Tijuana has its own Arts & Cultural Center, which houses many local and artistic endeavors, including a Ballet and modern dance school, an art academy and many others. The Arts & Cultural Center is located inside the complex where the local government building is, along with another smaller bullfighting ring, known as theCortijo San José, which sometimes hosts rodeo shows. Along with the administration buildings, the Cultural Center, and the Cortijo, there is a civic square where every September 15 the Mexican independence celebration is held.
If you are in San Diego or anywhere near the border it’s worth taking a few hours to enjoy Playas de Tijuana.