Veracruz City is home to interesting museums and one of the best aquariums in Latin America, and you're bound to enjoy some great seafood while here. But that's not the most important reason to visit this town. No, what really makes Veracruz unique and wonderful is its zócalo, or main square (officially called Plaza de Armas). On Friday and Saturday evenings the plaza and its adjacent seafront boulevard pulsate with people enjoying music and dance and conversation in the balmy night air.
After one evening sipping a beer or coffee in the zócalo while you watch older Veracruzan couples dance the stately Afro-Cuban "danzón" in perfect rhythm, you will be hard-pressed not to fall in love with Mexico's most famous port city.
Other must-visits during your time here: Gran Café de la Parroquia ("cafe" is too banal a word for this 200-year-old landmark and home to some damn good coffee) and the Acuario de Veracruz, where you can choose to be lowered into a pool of sharks in the middle of a feeding frenzy (from the safety of a transparent cage). If your trip falls before Ash Wednesday in February or March, you might be a spectator of one of Mexico's biggest fiestas, the Carnaval de Veracruz, which consists of nine days of dancing, fireworks, music, and parades.