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travel to tepic in February

Hi, we are thinking about spending 4 or 5 days in Tepic in mid-February. I would appreciate any info on if it is safe there for a couple norte americanos? I saw the travel warning but also several posts saying it has been safe lately. We were hoping to find a hotel for 50 to 60 dollars which appears quite doable if one moves away from the plaza principal and walks there. But should we spend more and stay on or very near the plaza? Restaurant recommendations for mexican food? Must sees around the city? And best places to shop for art work? Thank you.