For starters you might try ranging a bit further than your resort! Besides the tourist-laden Zona Dorado itself, Mazatlan has a real-live city. For starters hire a pulmonia driver to drive you around through some of it (there's some great old architecture and neighborhoods with amazing views, such as around El Cerro de la Neveria and El Cerro de la Vigia.).

Now go walking - hike to the lighthouse on top of El Cerro del Creston, explore El Centro and walk from the Cathedral to Plazuela Machado. Explore the Mercado Municipal and have a long conversation with a pig's head. Sit in the any or all of the small parks and plazas that dot the Centro and "Viejo Mazatlan" areas and watch real Mexicans go about their real lives, rather than some bartender or waiter in a Zona Dorado restaurant.

Rather than a Coke or Pacifico, order a Toni-Col to wash down those tacos de cabeza. Bottled not quite in Mazatlan (El Rosario, maybe 25 KM southeast) you can find it elsewhere in Mexico, but nowhere near in abundance as in Mazatlan. Fair warning, nobody's neutral on the subject of Toni-Col, either loving or hating it.

Stone Island - desserted beach - Amazing! Walk the Malecon Central Market Pulmonia Ride at night Try the public transportation! Day hike to faro light house. allow 30 minutes to get to top--take a cab to base. There are views of the entire area. Also, watch sunset from top of hotel freeman. the secret is out... This information based on forum thread: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...

*Another off the beaten path trip would be a visit to a converted Tequila production facility up in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains.  An excellent place to have lunch and see gorgeous scenery.  Take a look at their website:  http://lasmoras.com/english.htm