The above map has several of Cabo's "Greatest Hits" marked. It gives you a good idea of the general layout and shows you how walkable the area is. Spend a minute with it to orient yourself. See below for some links to my top recommendations. There are a LOT of good restaurants all around the marina too. They'll be more pricey, but some of the bars are casual and more affordable but still lovely to sit by the bay. Just wander! And ask around. You're often able to catch live music or a good happy hour, and for about $5.00 or so you can catch a water taxi to the other side of the harbor. Uber is readily available too -- keep in mind it can be HOT here so a $5.00 ride in air-conditioning will be appreciated!
You can Uber up north to San Jose de Cabo for about $30 each way, or some hotels offer a day trip (or night for the First Thursday Art Walk). It's cute, but I'd say only go if you are staying up north. Or go another time when you do -- like for Dia de Los Muertos! They have a nice plaza and parade there for a few days of celebrating Oct. 31st though Nov. 2nd.
You'll most definitely be attacked by touts at the airport offering free tickets, golf, fishing, etc. in exchange for sitting through a 90 minute (i.e. HALF-DAY) time-share/vacation club presentation. Be prepared! We got two rounds of gorgeous golf for $200 AND a half-day deep-sea fishing outing for $200 in exchange for one (couple) presentation. They were tough salesmen though! But if you can handle pressure and have a half day, maybe do it. We bought an "Inspira" Vacation Club and were not pleased. I'd love to hear any comments about this one! Tell me all about it when you visit. I DO enjoy my Raintree Club Regina one though :-)
We stayed here and it's great more affordable choice as you get a condo-style SUITE with a kitchen (with fridge for room drinks on private balcony or enjoying left-overs). It comes with full access to the more fancy Playa Grande just a couple blocks away. Rooms are casual and uh... Mexican... but comfy, spacious, and well-priced. Don't do the all-inclusive package as you'll want to explore the area! After Happy Hour :-)
WOW! Some of the best Italian food ever -- and I'm saying that as a food professional from ChicAHgo. Plus it's SO cute! Downstairs has a main fountain pool in the middle and it's quite romantic, but also fun! And over-the-top delicious! I recommend the lasagna -- you can split it AND both have leftovers the next day! Good prices, though really... Cabo prices overall are close to what things cost in the U.S. Here, it's worth every penny.
This is THE place everyone knows and goes and even a nickname for the city.
It's Sammy Hagar's club, but it has a mainstream appeal with beachy decor, posters, and paraphernalia hung on every inch of wall and ceiling space. There are several meandering rooms and patios. Go earlier for an enjoyable Happy Hour or late night for the party! It's fun to see in the day as it's almost tiki-ish in theme with crazy-colorful outdoor spaces.
Come to swim in the gentle water of the cove and stay all day! (Most of the Cabo surf is deadly rough and you can't get in the water at most hotel beaches. Seriously... BEWARE!!!) But here you can get lounge chairs and drinks delivered to you to take out into this quiet ocean cove, soak up the sun, listen to music, and grab breakfast, lunch or dinner. You'll hear about The Office from pretty much everyone, but I like Mangoes next door better as the beach vendors are kept at a distance (for the most part).
Talk about discovering a hidden gem!
Off the beaten path and MAGICAL! This is one of the all-time sweetest restaurants I've ever seen :-)
The menu is limited, but the grill master will whip up something delicious, and his gardener-extraordinaire sister will delight you with drinks and their story. This one is a treasure and it's more fun to be surprised -- go at dusk to see in both daytime and night!
There is a LOT to do here! Snorkeling and diving are reportedly good with tours. The desert golf here is beautiful! You'll likely see whales fully breaching if whale watching Dec-March and getting splashed! Take a sunset sailboat cruise or watch it from fancy hilltop restaurants like Mona Lisa or Sunset Point for an especially memorable evening. I'd recommend a day trip up to artsy Todos Santos (but the full day tour that also includes La Paz is too long, though nice to get just a peek). I didn't rent a car and wouldn't unless I've been there a lot. Uber and bus tours get you around. But also don't forget to just chill and relax.
You can't do it all -- and you'll be back!