Trajineras, churros, and more await in Mexico City

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) - When you think of getting out of town and heading to Mexico, visions of beach time typically come to mind.

But KRON 4 travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says head to Mexico City, and you might want to trade a swimsuit for an extra pair of walking shoes.

Dana says once there, get on the water, but you won’t need a bathing suit.

You’ll be floating, and eating and maybe even drinking, while aboard brightly-colored gondola-like boats called trajineras.

Xochimilco is in the southern part of Mexico City, and it’s essentially Mexico City’s ancient canal system.

Captains propel the boats using a long wooden stick – there’s no motor. Cruisers just enjoy the ride.

There are floating entrepreneurs of just about every kind, selling food, drinks, and souvenirs, but the Mariachi bands make the biggest splash of all.

You can hire a band for a song or two, and they’ll board your boat to perform.

Once back on solid ground, Dana says don’t rush to get back into the city part of Mexico City. Save time for a stop at the colorful Frida Kahlo Museum. 

The museum is actually the former home of Frida Kahlo and husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

So along with a small collection of works, probably just the right amount for those non-museum types, there’s photographs and personal items.

Inside, the house looks in many ways similar to how it did in the 1950s. Don’t miss her studio and the colorful kitchen.

There is often a line to get in. If you can be organized and by your ticket in advance online, that can save you some time.

The neighborhood surrounding the Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacan, is a nice place to wander. Things are less chaotic than in other parts of Mexico City.

But sometimes chaos, controlled chaos is part of the fun.

Mexico City’s historic center seems to always be buzzing, making it equally fun for strolling.

Francisco I. Madero Street is for people watching and shopping.

The large city square, is surrounded by Aztec ruins and the massive Metropolitan Cathedral. You can go inside or walk just about anywhere.

Or you could go to the post office. Italian designed, it’s worth the trip. Built in 1907, it’s an incentive to remember how to write a postcard again. And it is even open on Sundays.

Dana says one of the best parts about visiting Mexico City is eating.

Forget about the diet until you get home. Along with being tasty, drinks and dishes at Dulce Patria in the Las Alcobas Hotel are striking and colorful. (If the Las Alcobas name sounds familiar, it’s the same group that just opened a new property in St. Helena.)

It’s fun as servers arrive at the table with dish after colorful dish, especially dessert.

Speaking of dessert, at some point during your Mexico City visit, churros are a must. Some places sell dipping sauces like chocolate and caramel.

Whether you’re a purist or a dipper, the sugar rush rarely disappoints.

Founded in 1935, La Churreria El Moro has five locations, which makes satisfying your sweet tooth even easier.

Along with churros, spring for the Chocolate Español hot chocolate. Plan on sharing. It’s like a melted chocolate bar in a cup.

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