With Hispanic Heritage Month now in full swing, a lot of the media focus turns to festivities and cultural activities in major cities like New York and LA, which have always had sizeable Hispanic populations. However, you don’t have to just live in or visit one of these famous cities to enjoy all the great art, music, food, and history. Take a trip with us to some of these lesser-known cities with vibrant Hispanic populations that have just as much great culture and history, and party with the locals while still having money left to spare in your travel budget!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Over the past decade, Salt Lake City has blossomed into an incubator of sorts for the arts, and this movement has largely bolstered the Hispanic community that calls the city their home. With about 25% of the population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, you can most certainly experience great cultural and gastronomical treats while attending The Hispanic Heritage Parade and Street Festival, Festival Latino Utah, and Mega Peruvian Festival, to name a few celebrations.
Colorado is not the first state that comes to mind when you think about Hispanic culture in the US, but the city of Pueblo will soon change that thought. With a rich representation of Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans — who make up almost half of the city’s population — you can partake in the annual Chile & Frijoles Festival presented by Loaf ‘N Jug. The festival includes music‚ arts and crafts‚ and you guessed it…fantastic food cook-offs featuring the region’s famous Pueblo chilies!
With one of the largest Hispanic communities in the metro Washington, D.C. area, Arlington brings the party to the streets with its own Latino American Festival, while history buffs will also enjoy visiting the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial located on Memorial Avenue in Arlington. You can also dig into some of the best food from Peru, Bolivia, and El Salvador in one of its many highly rated restaurants.
Charlotte, North Carolina
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It may come as a surprise to you, but Charlotte’s large Hispanic community boasts diverse Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian, and Ecuadorian roots. You can enjoy all the cultural festivities by checking out the fabulous food and eclectic vendors at Hola Charlotte Festival, dancing the night away at the Festival Latinoamericano, or watching a live lucha libre match at El Grito Festival (commemorating Mexican Independence Day).
Trenton, New Jersey
With a sizeable community of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans, New Jersey’s capital city is proud of its Hispanic influence. Columbus Day parades are colorful affairs that feature the sounds and flavors from all over Latin America, while you can also enjoy great art and music at the humble yet inspiring Galeria Casa Cultura — Trenton’s first Latino art gallery and cultural center.
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The City of Brotherly Love has much love for its energetic Hispanic population, and this is nowhere more evident than in the historic Centro de Oro neighborhood. The area celebrates its Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican roots with a large number of fantastic eateries, and it’s also the venue for the annual Feria del Barrio extravaganza that celebrates Latino arts and culture. Don’t forget to check out the Philadelphia Latino Flim Festival for some interesting events as well.
Know of any other unexpected cities where you can celebrate Hispanic history and culture? Share them with us in the comments!