Market Square San Antonio

Market Square San Antonio is one of the most interesting parts of town to visit. Covering three blocks, this historic area is known for its decidedly Mexican flavor. Often referred to locally as El Mercado, Market Square San Antonio is also known for its shopping opportunities, and thanks to a few good restaurants, dining is also a top thing to do. A number of attractive buildings that have been around for decades only add extra depth to this colorful area, as do various events that include live Mexican music performances.

When visiting Market Square San Antonio, you might get the feeling that you've been transported to Mexico. Mariachis often perform in the square, for example, and the overall environment is very much akin to what you would find in a public market south of the border. While shopping in this area, you can expect to come across a wide variety of Mexican imports, including silver jewelry, serapes, quinceanera dresses, sombreros, pottery, and artwork. It is also possible to purchase souvenirs at Market Square San Antonio, imports from the Inca of Peru, and even Budweiser souvenirs.

If you're in the market for Mexican goods, then you might head straight for the indoor "El Mercado" when visiting San Antonio's Market Square. This market is one of the largest Mexican marketplaces that can be found anywhere outside of Mexico. The goods are mostly of high quality, and many come straight from Mexico's interior. Another part of Market Square is known as the Farmer's Market, and it houses both shops and food courts. You will also find Mexican goods for sale, as well as other products from Texas. There's even a store that specializes in colonial-style imports from Spain. Rounding out the shopping hot spots in the area is Produce Row. More goods from Mexico and abroad are on sale at the stands that line Produce Row, with pottery, hats, jewelry, clothing, and handcrafts being among the more typical items.

It isn't all about shopping in Market Square San Antonio. There's also the Market Square events and the area's delightful dining opportunities. There are at least two excellent Mexican restaurants that deserve consideration, and on the weekends, food stalls only add to the options. Many of the food stalls specialize in Mexican food favorites, such as gorditas, though there are some that offer Chinese food and other kinds of cuisine. As you might imagine, you can get a mean margarita in Market Square San Antonio, which is reason enough to drop by.

As for the Market Square events, it is worth noting that the area plays host to most of San Antonio's Hispanic festivals. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with plenty of fervor, and you might try to plan your visit around one of the Primer Sabado affairs. These first Saturday of the month festivals are one-day jamborees that feature arts and crafts, food, live entertainment, and even some activities that cater to kids. Other Market Square events that might pique your interest include Fiestas Patrias, which is held in September and celebrates Mexico's independence, and the Dia de los Muertos Celebration, which takes place on October 31.

Market Square can be found on the western side of the downtown area. The area's borders include Commerce Street, Santa Rosa Street, Dolorosa Street, and Interstate 35. There are some good hotels near Market Square San Antonio, and a number of great attractions are also within easy reach. The Alamo, for example, is just ten blocks away, and the San Fernando Cathedral is even closer. As for the hotels near Market Square San Antonio, none is closer to the action than the La Quinta Inn. This affordable hotel is arguably one of the best cheap hotels in town. In the comfortable guest units, cable TV, a coffee maker, an iron, a hair dryer, dataport phones with voice mail, and a convenient alarm clock figure among the amenities, and guests will also enjoy free parking, Internet access, and an outdoor pool. Offering a similar lodging experience in many ways is the attractive and affordable Courtyard Marriott, and for those who really want to save on rates, there is a Motel 6 just across the Interstate.

If these hotels near Market Square San Antonio aren't luxurious enough for your taste, there are some more upscale downtown hotels that also offer relative proximity to the area. Many of these hotels are Riverwalk hotels. Such is the case with the Riverwalk Plaza Hotel & Suites, which is among the Riverwalk hotels that is closest to Market Square. A historic boutique hotel, the Riverwalk Plaza blends historical charm with a variety of modern conveniences.

Image: Timothy O'Keefe/SACVB

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