Don't Miss in Cabo San Lucas
El Arco: Start by admiring Cabo's premier site, one of the last two rocks that mark "land's end" between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. The centerpiece of most Baja California photos, El Arco is a big rock with a wide arch cut through it by generations of tides and sea activity. While you can see it from the marina or Medano Beach, it's much more fun to get up close - and you might glimpse sea lions. Try a glass-bottom boat tour, catamaran sail or kayaking tour with a provider such as Baja Outback. Standup paddleboarding is also popular; and scuba divers won't be able to resist the manta rays, parrotfish and other marine life at Lands End. For a bird's-eye view, go parasailing with an operator such as Cabo Expeditions.
Whale-watching: From mid-December to mid-April, whales, including humpbacks, grays and blues, visit Cabo. You get close on a 15-person Zodiac, and the experience is amazing. Nearly every tour operator offers a whale-watching tour of some sort; expect to pay about $89 for a several-hour trip.
Sportfishing: Cabo San Lucas considers itself the "marlin capital of the world," and regardless of which fish are running, there are numerous sportfishing operators that take individuals and groups on half- and full-day excursions. Some restaurants in town will even cook your catch.
Party boats: Numerous party-boat-style expeditions (mostly half-day) are available. Charter operators have booths at the marina where you can sign up.
San Jose del Cabo Rent a car and drive for 20 minutes from Cabo San Lucas along a winding highway that rings the Sea of Cortez. San Jose is charming, historic and peaceful (in other words, everything Cabo is not). Its adobe storefronts are centered around Plaza Mijares, with its green grass and shading trees. There's a historic mission, but the real diversion is boutique shopping for handmade jewelry, sporty cotton fashions, artwork and high-end household gifts. You won't find many tourist trinkets there.
San Jose is also a great lunching spot; Tropicana Inn Bar & Grill (Blvd. Mijares 30; 114-21580; open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.) is a locals' favorite with a people-watching sidewalk cafe.
Todos Santos: A government-designated "Magical Town," is a popular day trip given you have the time (about an hour's drive each way) and budget to rent a car or pay a driver. It's so-called a magical town because of its historic preservation, the colonial village is full of art galleries, restaurants and tourist sites, including the infamous Hotel California made popular in the Eagles' classic song.
While tourists flock to take pictures at the hotel, built in 1947, the owners make clear on their website that there is no proven connection to the band. Still, there's no harm in stopping in the hotel's restaurant, La Coronela, for a drink (Calle Juarez S/N; 612-145-0525; open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., 11 p.m. if there's a band). The town's beach, Playa Cerritos, also makes Todos Santos a draw for surfers.
Vitrofusion Y Arte: Otherwise known as the Fabrica de Vidrio Soplado or Blown Glass Factory, this gallery on Cabo's outskirts, is where you can watch artisans create and design glass the old-fashioned way. There's also an onsite gift shop where they sell their reasonably priced merchandise (such as pitchers, decorative items and glassware). Glassware made there is also available from a number of stores in town. (Lazaro Cardenas S/N Edificio Posada Local 6-A; 624-143-0120)
Golf: The game of golf is huge in Cabo (you'll find gold excursions in nearly every port on this itinerary), with at least a half-dozen courses welcoming day visitors. The most famous is the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol, designed by Jack Nicklaus, boasting ocean and desert views and rated as one of the world's top 100 by Golf Magazine. (866-231-5677; fees depend on course, tee time and season, but expect to pay in the hundreds.)