Cinco de Mayo Celebrations might be all margaritas, mariachis, and multicolored ruffles, but the best fiestas actually take place north of the border. In the US, Cinco de Mayo is a nationwide celebration of Mexican culture, food, and heritage. They don’t hold off on the tequila either—it’s one of the top five biggest drinking days of the year.
With parades taking place across the country, it’s tough knowing where to join the party. With over 400 million visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve rounded six of the best Cinco de Mayo destinations worth raising a glass too, rim well-salted.
What You Should Know About Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
No, it’s not Mexican Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when Mexico successfully fended off the invading French army. This was despite them being outnumbered 2 to 1. Some towns in Mexico still celebrate this victory with parades and reenactments, particularly around the town of Puebla, but festivities pale in comparison to the parties happening in the USA.
Americans started celebrating the holiday in solidarity with French-occupied Mexico (they won the battle but not the war). When the US’s Mexican population started to grow in the following century, Cinco de Mayo became more about celebrating Mexican heritage. With today’s Mexican-American population at over 12 million, you can see why Americans celebrate May 5 like the Fourth of July.
San Antonio, Texas
Cinco de Mayo’s Texan connection makes San Antonio a strong contender for anyone looking to celebrate this festival to the fullest. For one, it’s just around the corner from the birthplace of Ignacio de Zapato, who led the Mexican army in the Battle of Puebla.
With its historic 19th-century architecture, San Antonio offers the perfect setting for multiple Cinco de Mayo celebrations, stretched across a two day weekend. Be sure to check out the events at Market Square, which draw up to 50,000 visitors each year. As the center fo tejano culture, the city offers not only great food but also live concerts, arts & crafts workshops, and Folklorico dancers.
Drury Plaza Hotel offers a prime location with views over San Antonio’s main square and the 18th-century San Fernando Cathedral. Guests will love its cozy rooms, which come with free Wi-Fi, spacious marble bathrooms, and private balconies. Upgrade to a Corner Suite for spectacular views of the city after dark.
The extensive facilities on offer here make this hotel a great choice for families. Take a dip in the marvelous rooftop pool or enjoy a sundown soak in either of the outdoor jacuzzis. They also offer a free full breakfast, as well as refreshments with their signature 5:30 kickback service. Our top tip? Indulge in an early evening tipple at the superb rooftop bar.
- Narrated River Tours (100 meters)
- La Villita Historic Arts Village (400 meters)
- The Alamo (550 meters)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 251 – USD 401
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 105 South Saint Marys Street, Riverbend, San Antonio
Strategically located in the center of San Antonio, Hotel Valencia Riverwalk is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the city’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Don’t stay out too late, though. Save time to stop off at Naranja, the smart Mediterranean bar, where live flamenco music is performed on certain nights.
Bedtime is a treat at Hotel Valencia. The Courtyard Balcony rooms feature views of a fire-lit central waterfall, while the Riverview rooms look right over the city’s romantic waterways. All have high-speed internet, custom beds, and luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets. Best of all, two night stays receive a 20% discount, making this hotel the perfect place to spend the festival weekend.
- The Alamo (500 meters)
- Spanish Governor’s Palace (600 meters)
- Historic Market Square (1.0 kilometer)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 217 – USD 274
Guest Rating: 8.7
Address: 150 East Houston Street, Riverbend, San Antonio
Los Angeles, California
Given its proximity to the Mexican border, it’s hardly surprising the LA takes its Cinco de Mayo celebrations pretty seriously. The city, which is also a great place to catch a ball game, throws what it calls the “Super Bowl of Festivals.” Fiesta Broadway, on broadway street, is by far the largest local event, with over 200,000 people attending last year’s celebrations on the closest Sunday to May 5. This year, expect live Latin pop, salsa, and mariachi performances, and vendors serving up the best of the city’s notorious taco scene.
Looking to split your belt buckle but not your wallet? Head to the the free-for-all Cinco de Mayo celebrations at the Coliseum, which has traditional music, free vendor samples, and activities for the kids. There’s even a chilli-eating competition (if you can handle the flava). Fans of lucha libre should also clear some space in their itinerary to check out the Cinco De Mayan at Lucha VaVoom. Because, come on, it’s not a real fiesta until you see a 250lb man in a skirt perform a powerslam off the ropes.
Located smack in the middle of Downtown LA, Freehand Los Angeles puts you within walking distance of the city’s main Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Meanwhile, Metro Center Station, just around the corner, gives you easy access to the rest of the city without having to suffer LA’s infamous gridlock traffic.
Inside, this hotel is outfitted in retro hacienda-inspired decor, offering guests a boutique experience. The various rooms, suites, and studios come with all the essential facilities you would need during your stay. And there are also hip, hostel-style shared rooms with four, six, or eight beds (some female only) for travellers hitting up LA on a shoestring. Upstairs, the Freehand’s excellent rooftop bar and pool offer guests an a-lister experience right in the middle of LA’s most happening district.
- Los Angeles Theatre (550 meters)
- OUE Skyspace LA (850 meters)
- The Grammy Walk of Fame (1.0 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 107 – USD 613
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 416 West 8th Street, South Park, Los Angeles
Offering panoramic views of downtown LA, The Ritz-Carlon promises a memorable stay during and after Cinco de Mayo. An array of comfortable rooms and suites offer luxury amenities, including feather beds and televisions integrated into the bathroom mirrors. All of them have city views, but ask for a room on a higher floor to take full advantage of those golden California sunsets.
On the 24th floor, Wolfgang Puck serves contemporary Asian fare, while concept lounge Nest is the place to be craft cocktail or chilled glass of Riesling. Don’t check out until you’ve visited Ritz’s spa and beauty center, which boasts eucalyptus steam rooms and cold plunge showers.
- Los Angeles Convention Center (250 meters)
- Staples Center (270 meters)
- Sports Museum of Los Angeles (2.4 kilometers)
Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 650 – USD 2,912
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 900 West Olympic Blvd., South Park, Los Angeles
If you thought Cinco de Mayo celebrations only happened in the southwest, think again. The Mile High City is renowned for throwing one of the biggest May 5 fiestas in the US, drawing in over 400,000 Latino and non-Latino visitors.
It’s not hard to see why. Cinco de Mayo Celebrate Culture Festival alone boasts over 350 exhibitors and food vendors, serving festival favorites like mole poblano and micheladas. Music lovers will get more than their fill of salsa, cumbia, norteno and mariachi music, with performances across three separate stages. If that’s not enough of a testament to all things Mexican, there’s also a taco eating competition and absolutely adorable chihuahua race.
Located on “Millionaire’s Row,” Denver’s original upscale neighborhood, this 19th century mansion offers elegance and luxury a short walk from the main festivities. Book in advance to enjoy a stay in one of the eight traditionally decorated rooms, some of which have whirlpool baths. All come equipped with free high-speed internet. If you’re looking for something to do after Cinco de Mayo, they’ll also help you book premium theater and concert tickets.
Capitol Hill Mansion stretches the definition of “bed and breakfast” to offer a five-star brunch, and afternoon wine served in the parlor. Choose between a number of comforting menu options including drunken goat cheese souffle and spicy chorizo rolls.
- Molly Brown House Museum (250 meters)
- History Colorado Center (650 meters)
- Civic Center Park (900 Meters)
Star Rating: 4.5*
Price: USD 205 – USD 303
Guest Rating: 9.8
Address: 1207 Pennsylvania St, Capitol Hill, Denver
Located in Denver’s central business district, Le Meridien Denver Downtown puts you on the doorstep of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The 272 sophisticated rooms and suites all feature marble bathrooms, air conditioning, and free wifi. To take full advantage of Le Meridien’s spectacular city views by checking into a City View Room, or soak up the atmosphere at 54thirty rooftop bar. Le Meridien also provides several excellent fine dining options, including French fare at The Lobbyist and all-American comfort food at Corrine.
- Larimer Square (700 meters)
- Denver Art Museum (900 meters)
- Coors Field (1.6 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 234 – USD 346
Guest Rating: 9.6
Address: 1475 California Street, Downtown Denver, Denver
Saint Paul, Minnesota
We know what you’re thinking: Minnesota’s state capital does seem like a strange addition to this list. However, the smaller of the “Twin Cities” has been going big on its Cinco celebrations since 1999. Most of the action here takes place in District Del Sol, a West Side neighborhood with a sizable Mexican-American population. This year, Saint Paul parties on Saturday May 2, with a low-rider car show, three stages of live music and a parade down Cesar Chavez Street. Call yourself a real amigo? Put your stomach through hell at one of two jalapeño-eating contests or prove you’ve got the pipes Saint Paul’s annual grito competition.
Built in 1910, this heritage hotel previously has hosted numerous historic names over the years, from President John F. Kennedy to Charles Lindberg. Located just around the corner from the city’s riverfront, it boasts 255 traditionally decorated rooms with numerous luxury amenities. To make your May city break really special, check into the Landmark King guest room, which offers romantic park views and historic four-poster beds.
- Landmark Center (88 meters)
- Minnesota Children’s Museum (650 meters)
- Barrel Theory Beer Company (1.6 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 164 – USD 404
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 350 Market Street, Downtown Saint Paul, Saint Paul
Overlooking the Mississippi, InterContinental St Paul Riverfront provides the opportunity to make your stay in Saint Paul truly special. Its contemporary guest rooms come equipped with high-speed Internet, flat-screen TVs, and private bathrooms. Those staying in selected executive suites will also have access to a private wet bar.
Although within walking distance of most of the city’s premier bars and restaurants, InterContinental St Paul offers great in-house drinking and dining. Citizen, its smartly-outfitted restaurant and bar, serves great contemporary American cuisine, craft cocktails, and local beer. It’s four private event spaces, also make this an ideal place for parties and private functions.
- Palace Theater (550 meters)
- Xcel Energy Center (800 meters)
- Minnesota History Center (1.3 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 171 – USD 922
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 11 East Kellogg Boulevard, Downtown Saint Paul, Saint Paul
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR! The city of Chicago never passes up a party, and Cinco de Mayo is no exception. On Saturday May 2, prove you can hold your agave at Bar Crawl de Mayo, which takes adults through some of North Point’s best cantinas. For just as many micheladas but far better views of the lakefront, hop aboard the Cinco de Mayo Booze Cruise. The three hour trip features a live DJ, giveaways, and unbeatable views of the Windy City.
If alcohol isn’t your thing (or you need something to soak it up), Gotham’s Mexican food is off the hook. Head to GR Prime Steakhouse for some killer chilaquiles, or tuck into some tacos—seriously, Chicago takes them to another level.
This hip downtown hotel offers chic industrial rooms and suites right in the heart of downtown Chicago. Nearby Halsted & Fulton Market Station provides a quick beeline to Pilsen district, the center of Chicago’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Make sure you’re back in time for dinner, though. City Mouse, the Ace’s trendy onsite restaurant, serves seasonal Midwestern fare that more than deserves your hungry attention. After dinner, head up to the roof for a cocktail at Waydown with live sets by some of Chicago’s best up–and–coming DJs.
- Girl & The Goat (750 kilometers)
- Bottom Lounge (1.0 kilometers)
- Randolph Street Market (1.1 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 279 – USD 2,877
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: 311 North Morgan Street, Near West Side, Chicago
Located in Chicago’s prominent South Loop, the Blackstone Autograph Collection offers modern accommodation in a heritage building. The hotel’s contemporary rooms feature luxurious amenities such as marble soaking tubs and plush beddings. It’s Lake View Rooms look out over Lake Michigan and Grant Park, and if you stay in the notorious Smoke Filled Suite, you’ll be sleeping in the same room that hosted the 1920 Republican convention.
Guests at The Blackstone can take advantage of numerous amenities, including an onsite fitness center and lounge bar. Fans of Spanish dining will love Mercat a la Planxa, a restaurant serving Catalonian tapas and cupfuls of fruity sangria. When you’re ready to wind down, K’Alma Spa provides numerous revitalising treatments.
- Museum of Contemporary Photography (140 meters)
- The Art Institute of Chicago (700 meters)
- Willis Tower (1.6 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 326 – USD 678
Guest Rating: 9.0
Address: 636 South Michigan Ave, The Loop, Chicago
Las Vegas, Nevada
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Let’s be frank, it’ll be a struggle not to talk about all the debauchery in store at 2020’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Sin City has events and parties all over the map. On May 5, head to the Plaza Hotel Casino for a free evening of live music, mariachi music, and of course, lucha libre wrestling. Sip on fresh fruit margaritas and over 1,000 varieties of tequila at La Cantina. Or if you’re looking for something a little more chill, grab your bathing costume on May 4 for a Mayo-themed pool party at Go Pool day club.
Centrally located right on The Strip, Planet Hollywood is within walking distance of many major tourist attractions, including Caesars Palace and The Colosseum. This enormous resort also boasts nine bars and restaurants, onsite shopping, a spa, and two large free-form pools. When (read: if) you’re ready to catch up on sleep, Planet Hollywood’s slick, contemporary rooms offer luxury amenities, and in some cases, great city views.
- Bellagio Hotel and Casino (500 meters)
- High Roller (1.4 kilometers)
- Adventuredome Theme Park (3.9 kilometers)
Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 184 – USD 1,976
Guest Rating: 7.8
Address: 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas
The Cinco de Mayo celebrations happening at this Strip-side location aren’t the only reason you should check out Flamingo Las Vegas. This resort’s freeform swimming pool, tennis courts, and jacuzzis make it a great place to kick back and unwind. And yes, those pink-feathered birds wandering around the grounds are real.
This hotel’s fabulous guest rooms and suites provide the perfect place for a catnap before you head out on the town. A stay in the Flamingo Room will treat you to spectacular views of The Strip and the 160-meter-tall High Roller ferris wheel. The hotel also provides rollaway beds and there’s a kids pool, making it a great choice for families.
- Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen (300 meters)
- The Venetian (850 meters)
- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat (950 meters)
Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 117 – USD 774
Guest Rating: 6.9
Address: 3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas
Viva México, Viva América
In a month with a conspicuous absence of other festivals to look forward too, Cinco de Mayo is a real lone ranger. So why waste the occasion, amigo? Book a room at one of these top Cinco de Mayo hotels and make your tribute to Old Mexico a real treat for yourself. After all, it’s your vacation too.