Getting there: American Airlines' least expensive unrestricted, one-way fare from Los Angeles to Guadalajara is $317, stopping in Dallas. On Continental ($222), you change planes in Houston. Mexicana's lowest fare is $172, Monday through Friday, nonstop.
When to go: Summer is the rainy season, humid but mild because of the altitude. Fall is invariably crisp, dry and sunny.
Where to stay: Several luxury hotels, including the Fiesta Americana and El Tapatio, are located inconveniently on the outskirts of town. We chose to stay, instead, in the heart of the historic district at the delightful Hotel De Mendoza. Its restaurant is good and moderately priced, with a menu about equally divided between Mexican and international dishes. A room for two is about $70 a night (tax included) in the winter high season, $46 a night the rest of the year. For reservations: Mexico Tours, Albuquerque, N.M., (800) 255-8482.
Where to eat: Guadalajara has many fine restaurants serving the world's cuisines. We were interested in Mexican dishes, which were available practically everywhere. The Copa de Leche on Avenida Juarez, one of Guadalajara's old favorites, offers a Mexican menu on its mezzanine and continental dishes on the first level. The restaurant is about a 10-minute walk across the historic district from the De Mendoza. A full dinner for two is about $30.
For more information: Mexican Government Tourism Office, 10100 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 224, Los Angeles 90067, (800) 262-8900 or (213) 203-8151.