Best Things to Do in the Hidden Gem Between California and Mexico
Calexico is a warm California city right on the border of Mexico in Southern California. Across the border, you’ll find its sister city, Mexicali. Between the Calexico area and Mexicali, there are some fun hidden gem places to visit. We’ve picked five we particularly like to help you explore this area.
Keep in mind that while in years past, U.S. citizens needed only a state-issued ID to visit Mexico, times have changed. Now, U.S. Citizens must have a passport to visit Mexico. If you’re unsure how to get one, visit the U.S. Passport website.
We’ll start with sites on the U.S. side.
Camarena Memorial Library
The mission of this library is to encourage lifelong learning starting with kids and teens. At the Camarena Memorial Library, you, your family, and your kids can find plenty to do. You can all enjoy crafting on Tuesdays, story time, and virtual story time on various days, holiday events, family movie events, and a lot more.
If you’d like to volunteer, you can join the Friends of the Camarena Memorial Library, which is $10 for individuals, $20 for families, and $5 for seniors. The group serves as liaisons between the community and the library, handles fundraising, and more.
You can learn a lot more about the library on their website.
The Calexico Recreation Department has more than a dozen beautiful parks all with plenty to do with your family. There’s Adrian C. Cordova Park, which has a walking and running trail and playground. It’s lit in the evening, so you can stay even after dark up to 10:00 p.m. Community Center Park is a nice place to relax with benches, restrooms, and a shaded structure, great for those sunny Southern California days. Kennedy Gardens Small has a shaded structure, benches, and a children’s playground, while Kennedy Gardens Large features a basketball court.
You can rent spaces at many of these parks for special events.
Now, let’s head to Mexicali, Mexico, right over the border.
Instituto de Investigaciones Culturales
The websites for this and the following places are in Spanish, but that shouldn’t be a problem, since you can use Google Translate to switch it to English.
The focus of Instituto de Investigaciones Culturales is cultural studies, and in 2003, this institute, which translates to the Center for Cultural Studies, was created. It’s both a museum and an academic space focusing on scientific and sociocultural knowledge.
If you’re interested in sociology, this is a great place to visit. The museum holds events such as academic conferences and features a theater for various presentations.
Museo Sol del Niño
Museo Sol del Niño opened in the fall of 1998 to encourage people to learn more about technology, science, and culture. While the focus is on teaching children and teens, people of all ages can learn something here.
Besides the exhibits, you’ll find a cafeteria with a soda fountain and a souvenir shop. If you’re interested, you can also get a guided tour of the museum. We also encourage you to check out the site for information on workshops, courses, conferences, and vacation programs.
The museum contains areas titled Magic Science, Plaza del Sol y del Agua (Sun and Water Plaza), Sustainable House, Nature Room, and Augmented Reality. There’s also an art workshop where you can create art using recycled material. When we say this place is amazing, we’re not kidding. It even has an Imax theater that can hold up to 300 guests and shows films in 2D and 3D.
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
With bells above a picture of the Virgin Mary, and the Mexican flag, and a clock above the arched doorway, Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a welcome site in downtown Mexicali. The interior of the church is peaceful, and they set up a large nativity scene every Christmas season.
If you’re in the area and would like to attend mass, you’ll find the hours on their website. They hold services every day. There’s also a shop on site selling books, religious articles, and Catholic magazines.
If you already live here, or are planning to move, and need a place to store your business inventory or belongings? At StaxUP Storage, we can help. We have units from 5’x5’ to 10’x25’ as well as car, RV, and boat spaces. Rent a unit online, buy your moving supplies directly from us, and know your stuff is secure in your unit.