Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tuh-la-keh-pah-keh) is a little arts and crafts village charmingly nested in the shade of some 100-year-old sycamore trees on the banks of Oak Creek, and it is one of Sedona´s favorite attractions.
Authentically designed after a colonial artisan village near Guadalajara, Mexico, Tlaquepaque has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970s. The word from the Nahuatl language, which was once spoken by the ancient Aztecs, translates to “place above clay land” and apparently alludes to the pottery craftsmanship of the people of Tlaquepaque. It is also said to mean “the best of everything”.
In Sedona´s Tlaquepaque, elegant shops, world famous galleries, and gourmet restaurants lining the cobble-stoned walkways below magnificent arched entryways create an unforgettable experience that is part creative inspiration, part eulogy to the good life, and part voyage to a time and place long gone.
The land Tlaquepaque now stands on once was a sycamore grove owned by Hary and Ruby Girard of Sedona. When Abe Miller, a Nevada businessman, traveler and arts enthusiast, proposed his idea of replicating a Mexican artisan village on the banks of Oak Creek, he had to promise the Girards to leave the Sycamores untouched, and so he did. In the early days of Tlaquepaque, one might venture upon a well-known sculptor working on his or her latest piece in one of Tlaquepaque´s studios and galleries, and to this day artists hold opening receptions, performances and book signings here. Be sure to check out Tlaquepaques calendar for special events like the Festival of Lights or the Celebration of Native American Music and Dance.
With over 40 specialty shops, fine dining restaurants and exclusive art galleries, Tlaquepaque is more than a shopping experience. Tlaquepaque is filled with unique creative expressions in every medium - Western and eclectic bronze sculpture, functional and traditional ceramics, blown glass creations, contemporary and Southwestern fine art paintings, weavings, decorative arts, architectural décor pieces and stunning large format photography.
Saturate your senses and inspire your soul on a stroll through this lush artistic community, and if your timing is just right, you may hear the chime of the Chapel bells in joyful celebration of a Tlaquepaque wedding - its romantic architecture and inspirational vibe have made it a favorite wedding destination.
Be sure to visit the Chapel, which holds a very special place in the Tlaquepaque Village. Stained glass windows and hand-carved leather pews, an awe-inspiring mural over the altar, and white-washed adobe walls evoke memories of the rural beauty of a quaint Mexican village in a era long past.
Today, Tlaquepaque is a place that visitors return to again and again - to look and wander, to sample and buy, to eat and drink and refresh body and soul.