With their considerable Hispanic populations, you’d imagine that the majority of Hispanic Heritage Month events (which runs from September 15 to October 15) would take place in and near major cities on the East or West Coasts.
The fact is that there are many other beautiful cities in the United States with thriving Hispanic communities, as well as amazing events, exhibitions, parades, and parties that sparkle brightly with Hispanic pride.
If you’ve been scratching your head trying to find out where these cities are, don’t. Here’s a list of several lesser-known locations where you may immerse yourself in Hispanic culture and history without having to travel to a larger (and more expensive) metropolis.
Top 12 US Neighborhoods With Hispanic Vibes
1. Columbus, Ohio
Many Hispanic Heritage Month festivities take place in Columbus, Ohio’s capital city. Quinceañeras, art shows, and festivals showcasing Latin food are among the festivities. However, it is worthwhile to book inexpensive flights in October solely to see the spectacular Mexican Independence Day Parade.
The Parade is extremely joyful, with incredible live music, entertainment, and dancing. Columbus is well-known for its substantial Hispanic population and diversity. Columbus has the fifth-largest Hispanic population in the US, with over 100,000 Latino citizens.
2. Pueblo, Colorado
Did you hear someone mention Pueblo chilies? The famed pepper is grown in the region, however, is only one of the many contributions this small city offers to Hispanic cultural festivities.
With its close-knit community of Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans (who make up over half of the population), this Colorado city puts on spectacular celebrations with the annual Chile & Frijoles Festival. Visitors may experience music, arts and crafts, and, of course, mouth-watering cuisine cook-offs featuring Pueblo chilies.
3. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City has long established itself as a hot breeding place for the arts and music over the last decade, making Hispanic celebrations here all the more thrilling and vibrant.
While you may be sceptical about its Hispanic credentials, you can rest certain that with over 20% of the people identifying as Hispanic or Latino, you will have a genuine experience just as much as everywhere else.
The Festival Latino Utah and Mega Peruvian Festival are just two examples of festivals where you may learn about different cultures while still having a good time.
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
For those who are unfamiliar with the city’s significant Hispanic culture, the Hola Charlotte Festival may be a genuine eye-opener.
You may participate in this large street festival in uptown Charlotte, which has food stalls and street sellers, as well as tons of music and cultural acts, by drawing on the city’s strong Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian, and Ecuadorian presence.
Other Hispanic events in town include the Festival Latinoamericano and the El Grito Festival (for Mexican Independence Day).
5. Arlington, Virginia
Throughout the year, Arlington’s Hispanic population — the biggest in the Metro D.C. region — participates in various activities and events to promote Hispanic culture and history.
Whether you’re a cultural vulture (dance in the streets at the Latino American Festival) or a history enthusiast, the county has something for everyone (enjoy a visit to the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial on Memorial Avenue).
You’ll also enjoy all of the Latin American delicacies at the various restaurants that provide delectable dishes from Peru, Bolivia, and El Salvador, to mention a few.
6. Trenton, New Jersey
Trenton is home to a sizable Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican community, which makes Columbus Day parades lively spectacles full of pomp and grandeur.
When in town, don’t forget to check out the city’s local eateries, which provide real Latin American food. The Galeria Casa Cultura, the city’s first Latino art gallery and cultural center, is also worth a visit.
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
You can’t go to Philly without visiting the historic Centro de Oro district, where you can eat some out-of-this-world Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican foods and attend the annual Feria del Barrio festival, which celebrates Latino arts and culture.
Don’t miss out on the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, which features some fascinating exhibitions and retrospectives.
8. Chicago, Illinois
The Hispanic population in Chicago is more than five times the national average, and Hispanic-owned enterprises have become an important element of the city’s economy.
Art exhibits, film festivals, dance performances, concerts honoring Mexican composers, and symphony orchestra performances are among the Hispanic Heritage Month events in Chicago.
Paseo Boricua, a street near Humboldt Park with outdoor markets selling Latin American food, cultural objects, and a range of Spanish-language periodicals, is a must-see.
9. Long Beach, California
Long Beach, in addition to being a renowned tourist destination, observes Hispanic Heritage Month by presenting a variety of activities. The Baja Splash Cultural Event at the Aquarium of the Pacific, as well as seminars and exhibits at the Museum of Latin American Art, are among them.
Throughout the remainder of the year, Long Beach offers a plethora of various festivals dedicated to honoring diversity, art, music, and more. This city is also regarded as one of the greatest in the United States for persons wishing to study Spanish since it has over ten Spanish tutoring institutions and provides unique options for doing so.
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
Carnival is held all year in New Orleans. In addition to the events held during Hispanic Heritage Month, there are several Mardi Gras parades and festivals that highlight Latin culture and heritage through colorful floats. You will also be able to enjoy traditional delicacies and live music events.
Not only that, but New Orleans is home to the Barrio Latino sector, a culturally rich neighborhood renowned as one of the greatest spots in America for true Latin food.
11. St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest city in Florida is noted for its Spanish architecture and strong Hispanic heritage. Festivals, concerts, dance performances, and art exhibitions are all part of St. Augustine’s Hispanic Heritage Month.
For example, Las Noches de Fiesta is an annual event that celebrates Latin American customs with live music, dancing, and entertainment. If you’re planning a trip to St. Augustine, don’t miss Unidos En La Msica, a Latin American music festival with dancing lessons, activities, genuine food, cultural displays, and more.
Read also: 7 Amazing Florida Facts Only Locals Know
12. Pilsen, Illinois
If you wander through Pilsen in Chicago, you will see the vivid murals and mosaics that cover the walls and buildings, expressing the Latino culture and immigrant identity of the neighborhood’s residents.
The neighborhood’s Mexican population began to rise in the 1960s, and artists began to reflect the Mexican people’s revolutionary past and the challenges they faced via painting on the sides of buildings and viaducts at the same time.
Pilsen locals also developed their own community facilities to maintain the Pilsen neighborhood’s strong cultural identity, such as Casa Aztlán, which provides meeting spaces and services for local residents, artists, and activists.