If You Want A Warm-Weathered Winter Getaway And Love Tequila, This Town Is Your Paradise

As winter continues to weave its way around the Northern Hemisphere — along with its shorter days, icy winds, and slush-covered streets — there's something truly magical about knowing you can escape the chillier months of the year by heading south on a sunny adventure. Whether you're lounging on the beaches of a tropical Caribbean island or jetting off to Australia to explore some hidden-gem destinations, escaping the cold for much-needed sunshine is a great way to make winter a little more bearable and fun.

Speaking of fun, there's a vibrant destination just south of the U.S. border that's brimming with culture, cuisine, and historic charm ... and even a touch of booze. Located in Mexico's western state of Jalisco, and just an hour away from the city of Guadalajara, the town of Tequila is (as you might have guessed) famous for producing the punchy spirit. Here's a fun fact: If the drink isn't made with 100% Blue Weber agave — or produced in the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, or Tamaulipas — it can't legally be considered tequila.

With an average temperature of roughly 72 degrees Fahrenheit, Tequila is balmy all year round, which makes it the perfect destination for travelers who want to ditch the layers and scarves in exchange for something a little lighter. Plus, with an array of museums, bars, distilleries, and local hotspots to check out, you'll find plenty of ways to keep yourself busy whether you're there for only one day or several more.

How to get to Tequila

One of the best things about Tequila is how easily accessible it is from Guadalajara. If you're hoping to save some cash, there are frequent buses that depart from the city's main bus station — Central Vieja — and drop you off in Tequila's station. A one-way ticket for this journey will set you back roughly $7. If you don't mind paying a little more, there's also the possibility of hiring a private taxi or Uber to drive you there for anything between $42 and $145, depending on the size of the vehicle.

Alternatively, for travelers looking to get into the spirit — both literally and figuratively — from the get-go, there's always the Jose Cuervo Express. With four experiences available to suit different budgets, the classic train departs from Guadalajara and takes you through Jalisco's changing landscapes and many agave plantations into the heart of Tequila. Additionally, the ride also includes a guided tour of the Jose Cuervo distillery — La Rojeña, which is also the oldest in Latin America — as well as music shows onboard, tequila tastings, and more. Just make sure you book your tickets well in advance — they can easily sell out weeks before the scheduled departure.

More tips for your visit

Once in Tequila, you'll want to buy yourself a classic "cantarito" — a ceramic cup — from one of the street stalls. These usually cost between $6 to $17 depending on the size and include your first tequila-based cocktail. You can then go back to any of the stalls and get a refill with the drink of your choice.

Then, there's hopping aboard a distillery tour. Although the Jose Cuervo and Casa Sueza tours are among the most popular, you can also head over to the main square and speak to other operators to find a perfect fit for you in terms of time and cost. Most of these experiences are very similar and will often take you to an agave plantation aboard a kooky vehicle shaped like a chile pepper or a giant barrel, give you a tour of a local distillery to show you how tequila is made, and even offer a quick tasting.

As for keeping the party going, Tequila's oldest bar, La Capilla, serves a unique concoction they've dubbed a "batanga." Made with tequila, Coca-Cola, salt, and lime, the drink is often mixed with a knife and may also feature some additional salty or spicy flavors — rumor has it that the knife used may still have traces of jalapeño, avocado, or other local produce for extra seasoning. True or not, let's be honest: Nothing beats finishing the day off with one of these while local mariachis gather around your table. ¡Salud!