La Villita is a unique, 42 acreneighborhood in San Antonio that offers visitors something different each month of the year. While the community is known for it’s art and artists most of the year; La Villita’s authenticity shines through most brightly during Fiesta Week (April 18th-28th) and throughout December when neighborhood merchants transform their storefronts into festive holiday displays. Click HERE to view our 2009 Holiday Guide .
Shop owners say they are able to keep their property up so nicely because they know so many of the people who come through on foot or by car. Click HERE for an article about how neighbors look out for one another. You can also read this interview with some La Villita shopkeepers about what it’s like to be part of this unique community.
You can find out more about La Villita by simply sit at one of the many outdoor cafes and watch life unfold around you on Houston St, which is the main street that runs through La Villita. If you’re looking for bargains during Fiesta Week (April 18th-28th) check out our article “How To Shop For Bargains During Fiesta Week” . We also have all kinds of information on where to eat, stay and play in San Antonio. There are even some unique tips on how to save money while you’re in town.
If you live here , we welcome your comments about La Villita and what it’s like to live in this special place. If you don’t live here, please leave your comments so others can benefit from the wisdom of folks who do!
Things to do in La Villita
Art and Artists
The single biggest reason people visit La Villita is to see the art and artists. It’s not surprising since San Antonio is home to so many talented creatives . If you’re tired of all those impersonal chain stores, come to La Villita and immerse yourself in a creative environment that will remind you why we love our city. There are also lots of other things to do in the neighborhood which you can check out HERE .
Local Shops and Restaurants
La Villita is a great place for shopping and dining! The merchants who operate shops offer fresh takes on urban style such as boho , rustic chic , modern vintage, or eclectic . If you like unique finds or unusual gifts stop by one of many shops in La Villita. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the selection of goods and prices. If you’re looking for someplace to eat, try one of the local eateries like Mi Tierra Cafe (open 24 hours) , Casa Rio (more than 60 years in business), The Original Donut Shop (you can get a meal here for under $5!) . There are also a number of restaurants in La Villita that range from traditional Mexican food to gourmet burgers.
History of La Villita:
It was originally settled as a Spanish colonial village in the late 1700’s and was the site of the first Texas Independence battle, The Battle Of The Alamo. Today La Villita is set up like an old Mexican village with 36 historic buildings along cobblestone streets surrounded by local shops, art galleries and restaurants. It is San Antonio’s most popular tourist attraction drawing visitors from all over to enjoy its unique collection of arts & crafts, shopping and fine dining. Click HERE for our 2008 Holiday Guide !
La Villita has something special for everyone! You can view historical exhibits at the beautifully restored Maverick-Smith Home (built 1800) or visit San Fernando Cathedral , which is located steps away from La Villita’s main entrance. For a good time head to the King William District where you can enjoy a slice from Rudy’s BBQ or dance all night at The Bonham. Here is our Guide To Dining In The King William District
And finally, before heading home, be sure and stop by Market Square for some great dining and shopping. You will also find some interesting historical exhibits that include one of the original homes built in San Antonio in 1877.
Today La Villita’s historic beauty, along with its lively commercial district, has won it designation as a National Historic Landmark District. La Villita is truly an authentic slice of San Antonio living!