Watered by Gulf of Mexico swell, coastal Veracruz is a harbor city with a social agenda. The graceful fa‡ade of a white cathedral stands silent and still, fronting street-side activity and brushed by the shadows of lofty palms. Veracruz isn't really about cultural sights but more a way of life. Get a feel for what makes Veracruz tick on a walking tour of the city.
Forge on over the bridge to explore the deserted fort of San Juan de Ulua, or while away warm afternoon at one of the city's museums. Having cruised through the significant cultural sights, sprawl out on of the better beaches south of town.
Regular harbor traffic keeps most snorkellers at bay; scuba divers can explore a shipwreck and offshore reefs on a guided tour of the best sites. Rent kayaks and paddle out to sea for perspective but don't miss a night on the town.
When the sun begins to slip over the western horizon, the streets come alive. Veracruz has plenty to party about but unlike Cancun or Los Cabos this isn't a city that vibrates because of tourists—Veracruz has a beat all its own.