El Tajin Ruins Veracruz (iStockphoto)

Veracruz Beach (iStockphoto)

Pico de Orizaba Mexico Veracruz (iStockphoto)

Fort San Lorenzo Veracruz (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Veracruz

Though steeped in history with stories of rich silks and spices outbound to Spain, invading pirates, and Hernán Cortés marching toward the Aztec empire, Veracruz is very much in line with modern Mexico. Famous (or infamous, depending on your age group) for its nightlife, the zócalo is nearly always hopping with a Cuban-influenced rhythm, and, be warned, everyone here likes to dance. But whether you move with the likes of a chica bonita or a flat-footed gringo, there is a corner here for every flavor. Try Mambo Café, a thumping nightclub blazon with promises of ladies’ nights and half-priced shooters, or Las Barricas, a live-music venue playing everything from salsa to soul. Gran Café de la Parroquia is a good option for pre-party nibbling. The custom here is to clink your spoons together for a refill on coffee—you’ll need it.

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