Explore San Antonio's Oldest Neighborhood: La Villita
September 22, 2023
San Antonio, Texas, is a city steeped in history and culture, and each neighborhood in the Alamo City tells a unique story. Among these, La Villita is one of the city’s oldest and most charming neighborhoods. Nestled on the banks of the San Antonio River, this historic village offers a glimpse into the city’s past and a vibrant present that continues to captivate visitors.
From being a cultural art hub to savoring the culinary scene, today we’re sharing an itinerary to help you explore La Villita during your visit.
Start your day at La Villita Cafe ☕️
If you’re the type to start your day with a cup of coffee, La Villita Cafe is your go-to spot for all things breakfast. Their menu consists of locally roasted caffeinated beverages, tasty baked treats, and a breakfast menu that is served all day.
Make sure to check out their new BEER bar during lunch hour where they serve up local beers.
Visit the San Antonio African American Community and Archive Museum (SAAACAM) 🖼
Established in 2017 by Everett Fly and George Frederick, the San Antonio African American Community and Archive Museum, often referred to as SAAACAM (pronounced SAY-CAM), is on a mission to collect, preserve, and share the cultural heritage + untold stories of African Americans in the Alamo City.
When you visit the space, you’ll find two exhibits on display. The first, “Their Contributions,” shares the rich history of 43 remarkable African Americans and the pivotal events that have left an indelible mark on the vibrant African American community in the city.
The next one is spotlighting Eugene Coleman, the visionary co-founder of the beloved “SNAP” magazine. This publication played a vital role in connecting and celebrating the African-American community.
Lastly, another way to learn about San Antonio’s Black History is to take a Black History River Tour. The trip starts at La Villita, travels north through the Museum Reach to the Pearl then back downtown to the Alamo, Convention Center, and back to La Villita. Guest will learn about the continued African American influence in the Alamo City.
Grab Souviners and Shop Local 🛍
La Villita is the perfect place to shop locally and find souvenirs for family and friends. Here are a few shops we recommend to check out:
Yolix Luna Fine Art: Yolix Luna is a local artist known for her amazing paintings including San Antonio Missions, Dia de Muertos, and Southwest-inspired art and trinkets. If you happen to visit Historic Market Square, make sure to check out her second location there!
Capistrano Soap Company: This local shop is a third-generation soap maker. They create all-natural bath and body care such as soaps, lotion, and candles. During the weekend they also offer candle-making classes for those looking for an experience.
Scentchips: From scented wax melts to wax warmers, Scentchips has been hand-crafting in Texas since 1979. The flagship store is located in the heart of La Villita where you can shop all kinds of seasonal scents and even watch the process of making the wax melts.
Plaza Taxco: This local gem is your one-stop shop for all things silver jewelry, Mexican-inspired clothing, and accessories.
To learn more about the shops and artists located at La Villita, visit their website.
Explore the Historic Buildings 🏙
Finally, we suggest delving into the history of the buildings within La Villita, which encompasses twenty-seven nineteenth-century dwellings, each showcasing distinctive instances of the city’s early residential development. Stop by Yolix Luna Fine Art for a paper pamphlet about these unique buildings or visit this website to learn more.