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Plazuela Machado, the Place to Be and Be Seen in Mazatlan, Mexico

Of all the things to see and do in Mazatlan, Mexico, the one that should not be missed is a visit to Plazuela Machado (Machado Plaza). By day the picturesque square draws romantic couples who smooch on the steps of the gazebo and diners who frequent the many restaurants surrounding the plaza. But by late afternoon a flurry of activity is underway. Wait staff haul tables into the streets, shake out fine linen tablecloths, and set the tales with shining silver flatware. Vendors arrive soon afterward and set up their craft booths along the sidewalks.

After sunset, the real magic happens. Plazuela Machado’s trees, wrapped with Italian lights, come sparkling to life, antique street lamps bathe everything in a soft yellow glow, candles flicker from every table. and hundreds of people descend upon the plaza. From a stage at one corner of the plaza, a six piece band plays romantic ballads, enticing some to dance, while others enjoy the music as accompaniment to their alfresco dinner.

Many in the crowd are dressed in their finest, destined for a performance at the historic Angela Peralta Theater, which anchors one end of the plaza. The festivities go on until well after midnight, from Wednesday through Sunday, every week of the year. Without a doubt, Plazuela Machado is the place to see and be seen in Mazatlan, Mexico.