Consider Cobie Smulders settled. After travelling all over the world as a model, and years shuffling back and forth between her native Vancouver and L.A. for small roles in shows like Andromeda and The L Word, Smulders is now a permanent resident in Hollywood. And for that, she has How I Met Your Mother to thank.
The show, now in its fourth season, is a comedy based around the main character (Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor) telling his kids the many events that led up to his meeting their mother. Smulders gets her share of the laughs as television anchor Robin Scherbatsky, Ted’s friend and one-time love interest.
On top of her steady TV gig, she’ll make her silver screen debut next year in The Slammin’ Salmon, the latest offering from the comedy troupe behind Super Troopers and Beerfest.
When Smulders wants to escape her L.A. life, the small town of Sayulita, 45 minutes by car from Puerto Vallarta, is her chosen slice of paradise.
“I feel like when the draft was happening in the 1960s, people either went to Canada or Sayulita, because it’s got this hippie vibe, which I dig big time. There’s an amazing beach called Playa de los Muertos, or the Beach of the Dead. You walk through this really old and beautiful cemetery, in sort of a hill area that’s surrounded by trees, and it opens onto the beach.
“There’s some really great snorkelling—not really any turtles or other creatures, but tons of fish. I’ve wanted to be a marine biologist since I was little, and still kind of do, actually. Growing up, I wanted to discover mermaids and somehow live in their world.
“Last time I was [in Sayulita], I did have a small heart-attack moment. I’m swimming along, and I look at something ahead, and it was the biggest thing I had ever seen—a tuna or something—about five feet long. But it had this huge bite out of it, so I just said, ‘Okay, I’m getting out of the water now.’ It was really freaky.
“I’m not really a big fan of Mexican food, but when I’m in Sayulita, it’s completely different, I just can’t get enough of it. There’s this great restaurant called Sayulita Café (Av. Revolucion 37: +52-329-291-3511). My boyfriend and I will be trying to figure out what to have for dinner. And I’ll say, ‘Wouldn’t it be worth it to hop on a plane, fly to Puerto Vallarta, get Sayulita Café’s chicken tortilla soup, and come back here?’ That’s how good it is. We’re obsessed with this soup. They make really good chicken mole too, which is chicken in a sort of chocolate sauce.
“Sayulita Fish Taco (Jose Mariscal #13)
is in the main square, right in the middle of town. It’s this adorable, three-level restaurant. There’s probably only room for about three tables on each level, and you can dine on the rooftop. It’s a really cool hangout where you can look over the whole town. It’s so frickin’ delicious it makes me want to go back just talking about it.
“When the only light is the moon, we walk down the beach to get to the town. We’ll eat at a restaurant, have some margaritas and then walk down the beach home. It’s perfect.
“Sayulita is everything that Los Angeles is not. I tell everyone I know about this place, and I say, ‘Take me with you when you go. Let’s all go together.’"