Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
san antonio, Texas
October 27, 2009
August 14, 2004
From journal Riverwalk
October 27, 2003
This little village on the river was restored by a joint effort of the city and the San Antonio Conservation Society. Located near the River Walk on the south side of the San Antonio River, it is laid out like a Mexican village, populated with boutiques, craft shops, eateries, art galleries, workshops, theatres, artists and a few original adobe buildings.
Shopping here can be a pricey experience so it's usually cheaper to just observe the artists at work, or come later in the day to soak up the atmosphere. Featuring upscale stores and shops to find Native American jewelry, woven items, rugs, blankets and accessories, this place is a shoppers dream.
Since it was right across the street from the Fairmount Hotel, at which we stayed, we were able to see La Villita at various times of the day. In the morning it is quiet, which is a great contrast to all the activity on a Saturday night. There was a stage set up with bands playing and food booths selling tacos and other snacks for an Accordion Festival, which was in town. There was also a wedding in one of the historic homes. In fact we caught a beautiful sight, because the doors to the church were open and the large stained-glass window at the back of the church was lit up from the floodlights behind the church, lighting up the stage for the band. The bride and her guests spilled out of the house where the reception was held and wandered through the streets of the village.
On the east end of the village is a small glassblower's shop and museum. There is a $.10 donation, but once you enter, you can see the owner spinning the glass rods heated by a torch and making unique glass creations. They were nothing all that outstanding, but it was an interesting experience, and I did really like these colorful little guitars he had for sale. Chamade and the Village Gallery were two of the shops we really enjoyed visiting.
As you walk through the village, you'll see several different 19th century homes such as Florian House, Gray-Guilbeau House, and Cos House. The latter is where Mexican General Perfecto de Cos signed the Articles of Capitulation after San Antonio was recaptured from Mexican Federal Troops.
From journal San Antonio: The Fiesta City
July 11, 2001
La Villita was developed as a settlement adjacent to the Alamo. After the Alamo was abandoned in the late 1700's (before it became a military fortress), La Villita was a village of huts for Spanish soldiers, which were replaced with adobe style houses after a flood in 1819. La Villita is said to have been fairly large in the 1830's before the fall of the Alamo, and late in the 19th century was home to European immigrants who became became successful business owners in San Antonio. By early in the 20th Century, La Villita declined into a high crime slum area. In 1939, San Antonio Mayor Maury Maverick initiated restoration projects to preserve La Villita.
Today, La Villita is a monument, with historic buildings including adobe structures, early Victorian, and white limestone buildings. In addition to its historical significance and charm, La Villita has many arts and crafts shops and studios where you can purchase art (pottery, glass, paintings, etc), clothing, souvenirs, and jewelry, or dine in casual to very nice (Little Rhine Steak House) restaurants. Additionally, La Villita's nice landscaping and large shade trees provide an escape from the Texas heat.
In addition to the shops and studios, there are public restrooms, and a non-denominational church.
La Villita is located right next to the Hilton (see other journal entry), and can be reached from the street or Riverwalk levels. Walking out the front of the Hilton, turn right (or turn left if exiting to the Riverwalk) and you can't miss it. It is right across Alamo Street from Hemisfair Park and the Tower of the Americas (see other journal entry), where San Antonio hosted the 1968 World's Fair.
As long as you are already at the Riverwalk, why not?
From journal San Antonio
November 14, 2000
From journal Upscale San Antonio
October 21, 2000
We were recently there for an over-large private party. Some times that happens and this village is closed to the public.
From journal San Antonio, the Best of Texas--wonderful!