If you are driving to Ensenada Mexico from Tijuana, just take the toll road going south and you can be there in just over half an hour. If you prefer to leave your car in the parking lots on the US side, you can catch a bus to Ensenada Mexico for about $8 USD at the ABC bus station in Tijuana.
Ensenada Mexico is a nice town for a weekend getaway, or a mini vacation at one of the resorts by the beach. While it's not what anyone would call a real Mexico vacation destination . . . It's close to the border, so it's a very popular weekend getaway for Southern Californians. Why not . . . Ensenada is a nice little town with affordable hotels on the beach.
If you want to do more than lie around the hotel pool and soak up some rays, you will find plenty of things to do in Ensenada. . . You can take a tour of the town in a horse drawn buggy, go on a day trip to La Bufadora (a natural blow hole by the sea which shoots water into the air like a geyser), go to the beach and swim, go for a horseback ride, rent a jet ski, tour the harbor in a boat, go dancing in one of the Ensenada night clubs, or relax between shops at one of the fine Ensenada restaurants.
Ensenada Mexico also has plenty of places to shop, but since the Ensenada cruise ships began to come on a regular basis, most of the larger shops know that the tourists have money and they are a lot less likely to bargain with you over price than in Tijuana. So if you are shopping in Ensenada for bargains, your best bet is to stick to the small shops, street vendors, or take a walk up to the stores in the Mexican section around Juarez Street and shop where the locals do.
Ensenada's Hotels are a little more expensive than the old hotels on Tijuana's Revolucion Blvd., but they are also a lot nicer. If you are looking for cheap lodging, you need to check the small hotels where the Mexicans stay when in town (between 2nd and 5th streets). You will still be within walking distance of the tourist section by the harbor, but you may be without the amenities of the larger hotels. If you do opt for one of the non-tourist zone hotels, be sure it looks like a busy street that has plenty of light at night . . . and that there isn't a bar on the same block . . . unless you like extremely loud music all night long :(
As for the dining in Ensenada Mexico, you will find plenty of good seafood places, Mexican restaurants, and even several places to have a pizza or hamburgers if you have finicky kids.
Tip : While you can easily use dollars in Tijuana or Ensenada . . . if you know for sure that you are going to spend cash in Mexico, draw that cash from an ATM machine within Mexico. It's fast, easy, and you get the official International exchange rate. You can use dollars, but bear in mind that you are not going to get as good an exchange rate from local businesses. -- And don't draw more pesos than you will spend while in Mexico . . . Exchange rates at US banks for Pesos are usually pretty bad.