Like Mulegé, Loreto's subtropical climate makes it particularly inviting for those of us who like to sweat over our beers in summer and be warm enough to want beer in winter. Loreto's seamlessly restored mission underscores its role in the history of the Californias, and the church's adjacent plaza gives downtown a distinctly Mexican feel. Topping things off, the long malecón makes for lovely walks right along the gulf. The town's laidback feel is slowly vanishing, however, as droves of North Americans pour in to investigate the homes going up at the nearby Loreto Bay development and equal numbers of laborers from mainland Mexico pour in to build the place (see p180 for more information). Still, the cobblestone streets and historic buildings help ensure the historic ambience of downtown is alive and palpable.

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