When it comes to celebrating Hispanic culture, 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!

Long Beach, California

Hispanic Heritage Month in Long Beach, California

Less than three hours from the Mexican Border, the city of Long Beach embraces Hispanic culture with the annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month, so you’ll want to book your cheap flights in October. The event focuses on music and dance representing Mexico and Central and South America. Held at the aquarium of the Pacific’s Honda Pacific Visions Theater, the event also includes special activities and educational programs.

Additionally, the city has established the El Mercado de Long Beach initiative for a proposed Latino Cultural Center to celebrate local and regional Latino culture, art, and history. The space in the district includes grocery stores, restaurants, retail, entertainment, and social services for the Latino community.

Salt Lake City, Utah

alt 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 and the Mega Peruvian Festival, to name a few celebrations.

Pueblo, Colorado

Mariachi spain guitar player

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. The festival includes music‚ arts and crafts‚ and you guessed it … fantastic food cook-offs featuring the region’s famous Pueblo chilies!

Arlington, Virginia

Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia, USA city skyline on the Potomac River.

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 or by dancing the night away at the Festival Latinoamericano.

Related: ¡Vive el Arte! 8 Must-See Museums About Hispanic Heritage Across the U.S.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

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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 Film Festival for some interesting events as well.

Chicago, Illinois

Hispanic Heritage Month in Chicago, Illinois

It would be hard to find any city in the country that celebrates Latino culture more than the Windy City. Art aficionados will find lively Latino communities with colorful Hispanic street art such as Pilsen, Humbolt Park, and Little Village while foodies will flock to eateries featuring traditional and fusion dishes. Experience the rich Latino culture on foot in the area bordered by 16th Street, Western Avenue, and the Chicago River. The colorful street art includes huge murals and intricate mosaics. Be sure to visit Humbolt Park with over 60 works representing Puerto Rican culture. All of these communities come together during Hispanic Heritage Month between September 15th and October 15th every year featuring the culture through food, art, and music.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Hispanic Heritage Month in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans’ Hispanic roots date all the way back to the 18th century. For the past three centuries, the city has welcomed immigrants from Central and South America, Spain, and the Caribbean. Several sites around the city reflect the influence of its Hispanic immigrants. Some of them are in unlikely places. For example, you’ll find a lot of the country’s Hispanic architecture in the city’s French Quarter. The Cabildo and the Presbytère are identical buildings that surround the St. Louis Cathedral. They were built during the Spanish era and were once the Spanish administration buildings for the state of Louisiana. Since 1911, it’s been part of the Louisiana State Museum.

St. Augustine, Florida

Hispanic Heritage Month in St. Augustine, Florida

Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the continental United States. A stroll through the popular colonial quarter will reveal the city’s Hispanic roots. Stop by the Lightner Museum housed in the old Alcázar Hotel to experience one of the country’s best collections of 19th-century art. Built in 1888, the building features Spanish architecture and was a place for luxurious experiences such as sulfur baths and steam rooms. History buffs will want to visit the Castillo de San Marcos. Built between 1672 and 1695, it’s the nation’s oldest masonry fort and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. Along with stunning views of the Atlantic, visitors enjoy an array of activities from weaponry demonstrations to cannon firings.

Columbus, Ohio

Hispanic Heritage Month in Columbus, Ohio

The Hispanic Chamber of Columbus sponsors several events and educational programs for the city’s Latin and Hispanic communities. During October, some of the city’s best Hispanic restaurants offer special Latin-inspired culinary creations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The city also offers a career fair with the objective of connecting Hispanics and other bilinguals with jobs in Central Ohio. In mid-September, the Proyecto Mariposas, Quinceanera held at the Lincoln Theatre Columbus offers an evening of culture, traditional food, dance, and a silent auction as a fundraiser and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Near the end of September, La Fiesta Latino Pride celebrates with food, performances, activities for kids, and more.

Know of any other unexpected cities where you can celebrate Hispanic history and culture? Share them with us in the comments!

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Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by night...no wait...that's Batman...my bad ... Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!