Most people come to La Serena for its beach and its summertime buzz. There are also a few cultural highlights and sites of interest scattered around the city. To start, this modestly sized city has a whopping 29 churches, some date back centuries to the times when pirates like Sir Francis Drake sacked the town looking for Spanish gold. Some stand forgotten, but most of the churches youâ€™ll find to be remarkably well preserved and historically documented.
In addition to these religious sites, the archeological museum has collected artifacts from across the country and is a worthwhile visit. There are a large number of craft markets and fairs that pop up along the streets and some, with legitimately handcrafted goods, are worth a second look. Although there are several pubs and a new casino on La Serenaâ€™s Avenida del Mar, if youâ€™re looking for top-notch night-life, you should pop over to Coquimboâ€™s Barrio InglÃ©s.