The Mexican government made San Miguel a national monument in 1926 to preserve its Colonial architecture and cobblestoned streets. You'll reap the benefits of that gift as you stroll the city's 2- to 3-foot-wide stone-paved sidewalks (watch your step) and gaze up at richly colored stucco-and-stone buildings, their carved doors preserved in the dry air, some dating back to the 1700s. Those doors open to courtyards lined with orange and lime trees, bougainvillea, palms, and other tropical plants and flowers, all centered around splashing fountains.
Everywhere in the city, you'll hear church bells, particularly on Sundays. You may also hear the whoosh, pop, and ka-boom of the fireworks that often signal the beginning of a festival.
photo: The 18th-century Santuario de Atotonilco is a holy site for Mexicans.