Though now dwarfed by Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque has maintained its identity as a place apart, where wealthy Guadalajara families used to build fine summer houses to get away from the heat and noise of their growing city. Today most of the mansions have become stores and restaurants, hotels and public buildings. The result is a charming, colorful town that retains the ambiance of the village that it once was.
Tlaquepaque, Mexico, now lies within the greater Guadalajara metropolitan area. It is, however, older than Guadalajara: Long before the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, Tlaquepaque was known for craft production. In fact, its name (pronounced "tlah-keh-pah-keh") comes from the Nahuatl language and means "place above clay land."
Wandering out of the Plaza de Artesanías, you will find yourself on Calle Juárez. It and nearby Calle Independéncia are homes to Tlaquepaque’s most successful shops and restaurants. One block distant is the Parián, and one block further is Jardin Hidalgo, the heartbeat of Tlaquepaque and the site of many free music and dance performances.
If you care to go farther abroad, Tapatío Tour, a double-deck bus, whose route takes visitors to points of interest in Guadalajara, Zapopan and Tonala, stops just outside Plaza de Artesanías. Alternatively, nearby GDL Tours runs excursions to places beyond the city, such as the town of Tequila.