by Michelle Locke, The Associated Press, February 10, 2016
TLAQUEPAQUE, Mexico (AP) — Strolling the boutique-lined streets of this arts-and-crafts enclave near Guadalajara, Mexico, is like stepping into the brightly colored pages of a storybook.
Above, rainbow-colored bunting flaps beneath an often cerulean sky. Fantastical sculptures on the sidewalks cast stark shadows on the vivid yellow, white and terra cotta walls of the stucco buildings.
Even the name has an engaging rhythm - tuh-lah-keh-pah-keh.
And the best part is this fairy tale visit to Tlaquepaque's historic center includes tacos.
HOW TO GET THERE
Tlaquepaque, historically known as San Pedro Tlaquepaque, is a suburb of Guadalajara, capital city of the state of Jalisco. To get here from downtown Guadalajara you can rent a car or take a taxi. Another option is to take an open-air tour bus, http://www.tapatiotour.com.mx. Once in Tlaquepaque, head for the historic center. The main street is Independencia, which is lined with stores, galleries, restaurants and bars. You'll also want to explore the smaller side streets. A major landmark is the Jardin Hidalgo, a large plaza flanked by two colonial-era churches on Independencia and the Parian, 199 Calle Juarez, which is a block of restaurants and bars known for mariachi music, especially on weekends.
WHERE TO EAT
Casa Luna, at Independencia 211, is a restaurant is set in the courtyard of an old mansion with art-decked walls and colorful lanterns hung above the tables, lending a warm glow at night. Live bands play during the dinner hour and the menu offers traditional Mexican cuisine with a high-end twist, like the duck carnitas tacos. Tlaquepasta, 139 Reforma, is also a popular spot. For a more casual experience, street vendors sell a variety of foods including sweet corn on the cob.
WHAT TO DO
Shop: Independencia is lined with upscale boutiques selling handmade jewelry, pottery, glassware and home goods.
See: There are two ceramics museums. The Regional Ceramic Museum is at 237 Independencia. The larger Museo Premio Nacional de Ceramica Panteleon Panduro, 191 Priscilliano Sanchez, is named after Panteleon Panduro, considered the father of modern ceramics in Jalisco. Admission is free and the museums are open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, closing around 3 p.m. Sundays.
Sit: The Jardin Hidalgo, on Independencia between Guillermo Prieto and Francisco I. Madero, offers shady benches where you can watch the world go by. The garden is named after Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a key figure in Mexico's fight for independence, and there is a statue of him here. Two churches overlook the garden, the Parroquia de San Pedro and the larger Santuario de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad. If you visit in June, you may catch the celebrations of the saints' days of St. Peter and St. Paul, which include music, dance and fireworks.
This article was written by Michelle Locke from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.