Hernán Cortés built a summer home here on top of the ruins of a pyramid. Over the next few centuries, Mexico City's political and economic elite and movie stars--and even the Shah of Iran--took up residence in this town. Cuernavaca--with its stately mansions and haciendas and blooming gardens--became known as Mexico City's more glamorous and beautiful sister.
Nowadays, an ever-increasing population means Cuernavaca has lost some of the mystique from its heyday, but its lovely gardens and Spring-like climate (and the fact that it is only an hour south of Mexico City) still make it a perfect getaway from that bustling megalopolis.
Be sure to check out the Palacio de Cortés and Jardin Borda while you're there. The former is Cortés' old digs, and it now houses the Museo Regional Cuauhnáhuac, which, over two floors covers Mexican history from pre-Columbian times to present. The latter is a grand Versailles-inspired mansion and garden which will give you a wonderful view into how Mexico's aristocracy lived in the 18th century.