Think Mexico is all about tacos and burritos? You haven't been to Hacienda las Trancas, a sprawling estate in colonial Mexico's fertile Bajío. Once a fort on the original Camino Real, it's been lovingly restored by a North Carolina couple who gave new meaning to "early retirement" when they purchased the crumbling mansion in 2003 and transformed it into one of Mexico's great castles.
Here you'll dine on such delicacies as Mama Yolanda's Huevos Rabos de Mestiza (poached eggs swimming in tomato-cheese sauce) and Torta de Papa en Flor de Calabasa (potato pancakes cradled in squash blossoms), featuring organic produce from the hacienda's garden.
A Bike Beyond Boundaries tour based at the stunning property will take you through Dolores Hidalgo, "Cradle of Mexican Independence,"; artsy San Miguel de Allende, fondly known as "Gringo Gulch"; and Guanajuato, a student town brimming with silver trinkets.