- For other places with the same name, see San Antonio (disambiguation).
San Antonio is the second largest city in the state of Texas and the 7th largest in the United States. It's the 24th largest metropolitan area in the country. Visited by more than 31 million annual visitors, San Antonio is a beautiful city at the axis of three different geological terrains: Hill Country, South Texas Plains and Prairie and Lakes. There's a lot to do in this city: fine art museums, historical missions and plenty of amusement parks in addition to great dining and lots of drinking. The culture and people are vibrant and interesting. San Antonio's downtown is one of the most lively in the nation.
San Antonio is considered to be the cradle of Texan liberty. Its best-known landmark is the Alamo, the site of the famous battle (1836) where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were killed. When most visitors see the Alamo for the first time, their common reaction is "Hm, I thought it would be bigger."
No other city in Texas reflects the state's Spanish and Mexican heritage better than San Antonio. Hispanics make up a considerable fraction of the population and it shows in most places. The Hispanic atmosphere of San Antonio makes it a truly unique U.S. city. This becomes most evident during Fiesta week, a yearly celebration that attracts 3.5 million people to its over one hundred events including parades, music, festivals, fairs and food and drink in the charming downtown streets of the city. San Antonio also has a significant African-American population.
San Antonio, with a population of about 1.5 million (2020), and a metro population of nearly 2.5 million (2018), still enjoys a small-town feel despite the hustle and bustle. Its people are friendly, open and bicultural, and the concentration of population around its center makes it easy to get just about anywhere within a 30- to 40-minute drive.
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During the summer it can get hot, and sometimes humid. Temperatures in the 90s and 100s °F (30s °C) are typical from May to September, though there are some days that stay cooler. April and October have also been known to get into the 90s and even 100s, and during the winter it typically is cool and rainy. Carry a light sweater; you never know when the weather may change in San Antonio.
- 1 San Antonio Visitor Information Center, 317 Alamo Plaza, toll-free: +1 800-447-3372. For visitors coming to San Antonio, a good starting place to see is the downtown Visitor Information Center and Official City Store across the street from Alamo. It is a wealth of information about San Antonio. Representatives there can assist you in getting a map of the city, help you get around, or anything else you may need in San Antonio. The San Antonio Convention & Visitor's Bureau has a savings website, the San Antonio Vacation Experience, for families and groups traveling to the city.
- 1 San Antonio International Airport (SAT IATA). Serves over 30 national and international destinations with non-stop service and many more with one-stop direct service. For destinations, check with individual airlines. Ground transportation from SAT to Downtown available by shuttle ($19 one way per person), by taxi ($25-35 one way, up to 4-6 persons depending on the size of the taxi), or by public bus (Number 5) which stops just outside Terminal B (brings you downtown in about half an hour for $1.20 exact change and runs approximately every 30 minutes).
San Antonio is served by two Amtrak long-distance trains. The Texas Eagle provides a direct connection with Chicago while the Sunset Limited calls in San Antonio on its way between Los Angeles and New Orleans.
- 2 San Antonio railway station, 350 Hoefgen Ave.
Most visitors to San Antonio arrive by either I-35, I-10, I-37 or US 281. I-10 comes from El Paso to the west and Houston to the east. I-35 comes from Austin to the north and Laredo to the south. Driving times are about 1 hour from Austin, 4 hours 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth and less than 3 hours from Houston.
- 3 Greyhound, 500 N St Marys St, Downtown (Across the street from Bill Miller's Parking Lot).
- Megabus. Service from Dallas, Austin, and Houston. The bus stop is in the parking lot on the south corner of 4th St and Broadway St.
- Autobus Americanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services from various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 301 Broadway in San Antonio.
- Turimex Internacional. Mexican trans-border bus line with services from various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 518 N, Alamo in San Antonio.
- Omnibus Mexicanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with services from various points in Mexico. Bus stop is at 930 Broadway in San Antonio.
San Antonio is in the middle of Texas. Therefore, it is not accessible by boat, although there are many tubing opportunities around San Antonio, thanks to the huge abundance of rivers in the area.
San Antonio's bus system, the VIA Metropolitan Transit, runs the downtown trolley service (actually a bus) for a small fare. Bus fares range from about $1.10 to $2.50 depending on the service with a one-day $2.75 pass (for purchase at some retail outlets see VIA's Website under Fare information) for all routes.
There are 4 types of routes: Express, Skip, Frequent, and Metro. The Express routes usually run from the sub-urban areas (mostly Park and Rides) to downtown. Most of them run about once every 30 minutes. Skip service usually runs along the streets with high traffic. They usually do not stop at bus stops that are served by the frequent routes. Skip routes also usually run about every 30 minutes. Frequent routes can also be found on high traffic roads and as the name implies, the stops are very frequent. Although Frequent routes come by about once every 15 minutes, it is usually faster to wait a little longer and take the Skip routes if you are going a long distance,for example on San Pedro ave, it is usually quicker to wait for the #3 (Skip) as opposed to the #4 (Frequent) if you wanted to get from downtown to North Star Mall. Metro service is usually found in neighborhoods around the city, frequency varies with each route, but they usually run about once an hour.
Discount fares are available to children between the ages of 5 and 11, senior citizens 62 and older, Medicare recipients, persons with disabilities and students. A reduced fee ID is required for reduced fares and can be acquired from VIA Information Centers (students may get the necessary forms from their campus administration). Bus schedules and route information can be found at VIA's website, by calling the VIA information line +1 210-362-2020 or for the hearing impaired at +1 210-362-2019, or at the San Antonio Visitor Information Center.
Cabs are available to be hailed downtown, at the airport, or at military bases. In other areas you should reserve a cab in advance.
- 1 The Alamo, 300 Alamo Plaza (park at any of the pay lots in the area), ☏ +1 210 225-1391. Daily 9AM-5:30PM, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Considered to be hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty, the Alamo is a former mission which was also the site of the Battle of the Alamo (1836). Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Revenues from an adjacent gift shop fund the historic preservation efforts. The Alamo site consists of not only the former mission itself but quite a lot of monuments, informational placards and outbuildings. Excavations and expansion of exhibition space is continuing as of 2023, to include another future museum, but as of January 2023, there is already more than enough to see and learn on-site that you could spend an entire day there if you so chose.
- 2 Aztec on the River (aka Aztec Theatre), 104 N St Mary's St (on the River Walk, at the corner of E. Commerce and N. St. Mary's Streets), ☏ +1 210 812-4355, [email protected]. The Aztec on the River was touted as the Riverwalk's most exciting entertainment attraction. This historic 1926 movie palace was meticulously restored in 2006, complete with a Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ.
- 3 , 228 S. Laredo St., ☏ +1 210 226-4801, [email protected]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day). Homesite of Jose Antonio Navarro, a 19th-century Texas legislator under Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the U.S. The park is the site of Navarro's furnished house, first residence, and store. $4, 6-18 $3, 5 and under: Free.
- King William Historic Area, Bounded by Durango, South St. Mary’s, Eagleland and the San Antonio River. A 25-block area south of downtown and east of the San Antonio River. In the late 1800s, prominent German merchants settled the King William area, making it the most elegant residential area in the city. It is Texas' first Historic District. Accessible from Alamo Plaza via the Blue VIA Streetcar. Highlights include the magnificent mansions along King William St. from Beauregard St. to Guenther St. Don't miss the Steves Homestead (1876) on King William St. or the Guenther House (1859) and Pioneer Flour Mills on Guenther St. If you happen to arrive in San Antonio early in the month, try to catch First Friday, like the name implies, it happens the first Friday of the month. On First Friday you can find all kinds of little booth selling things ranging from flowers to art to funnel cakes. There is usually live music.
- River Walk (Paseo del Rio). The River Walk area, one level below the street level of San Antonio, is an excellent place to explore by day and party by night. The River Walk has guided barge tours by Rio San Antonio Cruises departing regularly. Numerous restaurants, shops, and hotels line the River Walk on both sides of the most popular and developed downtown loop, which winds its way below the streets bounded by Houston to the north, Alamo to the east, Villita to the south, and St. Mary's to the west. The east end of the River Walk is extended to the Convention Center and to the Rivercenter Mall. Further development of the River Walk is proceeding north and south of downtown. No visit to San Antonio is complete without a stroll along the River Walk. Along many sections of the River Walk, there is nothing between the edge of the sidewalk and the river. Be very careful with young children, baby strollers, wheelchairs, intoxicated persons, etc.
- 4 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Missions are about 2.5 miles apart), ☏ +1 210-932-1001. Four Spanish frontier missions, part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish southwest in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, are preserved here. They are missions San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion. These, plus four other missions around San Antonio, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The national park, containing many cultural sites along with some natural areas, was established in 1978 and covers about 819 acres.
- 5 San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium, 3903 N. St. Mary’s Street, ☏ +1 210 734-7184, [email protected]. Open 365 days a year: 9AM-5PM from Labor Day to Memorial Day; 9AM-6PM, Memorial Day to Labor Day. The zoo is home to over 3,500 animals representing 750 species of animals on 56 acres. Adults $14.25; seniors (62+) and children (3-11) $11.25; under 2 free, group rates available.
- 6 San Antonio Botanical Gardens, 555 Funston Place, ☏ +1 210 536-1400. Daily 9AM-5PM; closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Another peaceful place to walk is in the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. In the spring they have the Spring Children's Vegetable Garden Program. Adults $10; 3-13 $7, under 3 free; Seniors, military and students $8.
Museums and galleries
- 7 Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, ☏ +1 210 227-6960, [email protected]. A part of the Blue Star Arts Complex, the art center is a non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art center that advances the growth and understanding of contemporary art, artists and the curatorial process.
- 8 Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, 318 E. Houston Street, ☏ +1 210 247-4000. Daily 10AM, closing time varies with season. See website for deails. A short two blocks from the Alamo and 50 feet from the River Walk. Adults $19.99; children (ages 3-11) $14.99.
- 9 Institute of Texan Cultures (aka ITC), 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd (HemisFair Park; main entrance is off Durango near Bowie), ☏ +1 210 458-2300, [email protected]. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. A one-story 50,000 sq. ft. museum featuring Texan history, brought to life by docent-interpreters, and the cultures of over 20 national/ethnic groups of people who have made Texas their home. Admission fee. Snack machines. Accessible from downtown via the Purple VIA Streetcar. $10; children, seniors, military, students $8.
- 10 Instituto de México (Mexican Cultural Institute), 600 HemisFair Park, ☏ +1 210 227-0123. M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. (Website in Spanish.) Contemporary art from Mexico. Free.
- 11 McNay Art Museum (The McNay), 6000 N New Braunfels, ☏ +1 210 824-5368, [email protected]. Su noon-5PM, Tu W F 10AM-4PM, Th 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Free admission on Thursday evenings and the first Sunday of the month, except for select exhibitions and special events. Fine arts exhibits, library. museum store. $20; Senior, military, student $15.
- 12 The DoSeum, 2800 Broadway, ☏ +1 210 212-4453, [email protected]. M-Th 10AM-5PM, F Sa 9AM-6PM, Sun noon-5PM. A vibrant museum for children, although with exhibits that might also appeal to adults. Groups, parties, events, hands-on learning play. $12.
- 13 San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), 200 W Jones (2 blocks west of Broadway), ☏ +1 210 978-8100, [email protected]. Tu F 10AM-9PM, W Th Sa Su 10AM-5PM. Four floors of fabulous permanent collections, from Antiquities to Asian to Contemporary Art, as well as changing exhibits. Bring your sketchpad or camera (no flash, permanent collections only). Cafe SAMA serves only snacks. On the #7 Sightseer Special bus line, or via any of the buses along Broadway (#9,10,14) with several blocks walk. If you can do only one museum visit, this is the one to explore in San Antonio. $10; seniors $7; students and military $5; 12 & under free. Free Tuesdays 4PM-9PM.
- 14 Southwest School of Art & Craft, 1201 Navarro and 300 Augusta, ☏ +1 210 224-1848, [email protected]. Vary by gallery. See website for hours. Art/museum gift shop in the Ursuline Campus as well as student work in the hallways and cafe. On bus lines, and the Ursuline Campus backs up to an older, parklike section of the River Walk. Free.
- 15 Texas Transportation Museum, 11731 Wetmore Rd, ☏ +1 210 490-3554. F 9AM-3PM, Sa Su 10AM-5PM. An outdoor museum which includes a private railroad, historic cars and trucks. F adult $6, child $4; Sa Su adult $8, child $6.
- 16 Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, ☏ +1 210 357-1900, [email protected]. M 10AM-5PM, Tu 10AM-8PM, W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Dinosaurs, textiles, natural history, science treehouse, and more. A museum complex with lots of different activities going on - fun with kids! Adult $10; seniors and military $9; 4-11 $7; free Tuesdays 3-8PM.
- Hopscotch Art Gallery, 711 Navarro St Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78205, [email protected]. W Th 3-9PM, F noon-10PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 11AM-7PM. An interactive art museum where all artists come together to create unique and colorful art as a way to tell stories.
- Ruby City Art Museum, 150 Camp St, ☏ +1 210-227-8400. Th 10AM–6PM, F 10AM–6PM, Sa 10AM–6PM, Su 10AM–6PM. A contemporary art museum that shows art pieces from international artists. Free.
- A total solar eclipse on Monday 8 April 2024, starting at 1:34PM local time. San Antonio is right on the edge of this and only gets 15 sec of totality - head northwest on Hwy 10 to Comfort and Kerrville to improve that to 4 min. Chances of a clear sky are 50%. The track of totality is northeast from Mexico to enter the US at Del Rio then through Texas into Arkansas.
- Fiesta!!!. Fiesta is a yearly event held in San Antonio in late April. Fiesta is a 10-day, city-wide, fun-filled, multi-cultural celebration. Many family-oriented events take place during this time, as well as many events geared towards adults. With over 100 different events, it's the biggest party and greatest community benefit in the state of Texas. One of the most fun events of all Fiesta, is Oysterbake on the St. Mary's University campus. It kicks Fiesta off with a bang, has plenty of food (chicken on a stick, oysters, fried oysters, corn, corn in a cup, meats on sticks, pizza, you name it. Friday of Oysterbake is usually more family-oriented with an 1980s or '90s band headlining the festivities. (Previous headliners: Eddie Money, Loverboy, Night Ranger, Smashmouth) Saturday is a jam-packed day of fun, food, music and booze. More modern acts will headline the main stage, there will be a country stage, and a tejano stage. Previous acts include: Three Days Grace, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Hinder, Lit, 10 Years, Buckcherry (bad year), and The Veer Union. If you're single, Oysterbake on Saturday is your time to shine. Otherwise, you'll have an awesome time with friends or family. Leave the toddlers at home on Saturday! Don't be that parent.
- First Friday Art Walk. San Antonio First Friday is a free showcase of the art community in San Antonio. The event takes place on the 1st Friday of every month in the historic King Williams district. Many local restaurants feature live music, and there are vendors selling local goods along the walk.
- San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is an annual agricultural fair and entertainment event in early February. It provides world class rodeo action and entertainment to people of all ages. Everyone who's anyone in country music plays during rodeo time, simple as that.
- Texas Folklife Festival. The Texas Folklife Festival is an annual four-day celebration in the second week of June, of the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that settled our state. Some 45 groups bring their stories, crafts, music, dances, and foods to share with visitors in a vibrant blend of education and entertainment.
- Bat migration, River Walk. Texas is one of the best places in the world to observe bat migrations. Every night at dusk in the summer, thousands of bats emerge from their "hangouts", including under urban bridges, and many people come to watch. Local conservation organizations host weekly events to explain the migration.
- San Japan, 900 E. Market Street. San Japan is a three-day anime convention held every Labor Day weekend. Attendees are drawn to the event to purchase merchandise, appreciate cosplay, and visit panels featuring famous guests from the voice acting and animation industries. As one of the largest Anime Conventions in Texas, just over 20,000 registered attendees descended upon San Japan in 2019. You don't have to be a hardcore anime fan to appreciate this event; plenty of other nerdy subculture can be found in and around the Riverwalk over the course of these three days. Price varies according to badge type..
- 1 SeaWorld, 10500 SeaWorld Dr, toll-free: +1-800-700-7786, [email protected]. Vary seasonally. See website for hours.. A marine life theme park which is home to the world-famous Shamu the killer whale. There are also thrill rides, a small water park, as well as sharks, an aquarium, penguins, seals and sea lions, and an opportunity to pet and feed dolphins. $55.
- 2 Six Flags Fiesta Texas, 17000 IH-10 West, ☏ +1 210 697-5050. Hours vary seasonally. See website for hours. Home to several thrill rides and exciting shows, Fiesta Texas is an entertaining theme park geared to people of all ages. It has a really interesting water park and the ride the Boomerang is recommended. $71.99 at the gate, $51.99 online.
- 3 Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, ☏ +1 830 438-7400. Hours vary seasonally. See website for hours. Home to a great drive-thru Safari Park! $22; seniors $20; 3-11 $13.50.
- 4 Morgan's Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards, ☏ +1 210 495-5888.
- 5 Natural Bridge Caverns, 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, ☏ +1 210-651-6101, [email protected].
- 6 Eisenhower Park, 19399 NW Military Hwy. Daily, sunrise to sunset. Eisenhower Park is roughly 20 miles from downtown, close to many good quality amenities for pre- or post-hike activities. The park has a good size parking lot, and parking is free. It also has onsite facilities you can rent if you'd like to have a social gathering on park grounds. The park offers 6.35 miles of paved and natural trails through a preserved Texas Hill Country landscape, providing plenty of opportunity to observe local plants and wildlife as well. The park is dog- and kid-friendly (it has a playground and children's rock wall), but bikes and other recreational transport options are not allowed on the trails. Trail difficulty ranges from easy to moderately intense -- some trails might be challenging for those who find it hard to climb up and down rocky inclines. free.
- 7 Crownridge Canyon Natural Area, 7222 Luskey Road. Daily, sunrise to sunset. Crownridge Canyon Natural Area is an excellent spot for a quick hike or trail run, and nature lovers will appreciate the variety of native plants (including a wildflower field) and animals often seen in the park. It's roughly 20 miles from downtown, close to many good quality amenities for pre- or post-hike activities. It offers 1.9 miles of paved and natural trails through a preserved Texas Hill Country landscape. The main trail is a low level of difficulty, suitable for most ages. No dogs or bikes are allowed on the trails. The park has a free parking lot which usually has enough parking. free.
- 8 Friedrich Wilderness Park, 21395 Milsa. Daily, sunrise to sunset. Friedrich Wilderness Park has a fairly extensive network of hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty through a preserved Texas Hill Country landscape. Total trail length is approximately 10 miles. Some trails are paved and some are natural, with options for most skill or mobility levels. This is an excellent spot for bird watching or enjoying native plants (including a wildflower area). It's in northwest San Antonio, roughly 20 miles from downtown, close to many good quality amenities for pre- or post-hike activities. Kid-friendly, but no dogs or bikes are allowed on the trails. The park also offers nature classes for children. The park has a free parking lot, but on busy days it fills up quickly and you might have to park on the street and walk to the trailhead. free.
- 9 San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is home to the five-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs who play at the AT&T Center.
- 10 San Antonio Missions, 5757 US HWY 90 West, ☏ +1 210-675-7275. The Double-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the San Diego Padres plays at Wolff Municipal Stadium.
- 11 San Antonio FC, 5106 David Edwards Dr. The USL Championship affiliate of New York City FC, playing at Toyota Field.
- 12 San Antonio Talons. The Talons are San Antonio's Arena Football team. They play at the Alamodome in the AFL.
- UTSA Roadrunners, ☏ +1 210 458-8872, fax: +1 210 458-4813, [email protected]. The city's main college sports attractions are the teams of the University of Texas at San Antonio, whose main campus is off Loop 1604 just west of the northern interchange with I-10. UTSA is a member of Conference USA, which sponsors FBS (top-level) football; it is set to move to the American Athletic Conference in July 2023. Most venues are on campus, but the football team plays at the Alamodome. Notably, the football team drew more than 35,000 fans per game for its first season in 2011.
- 13 Incarnate Word Cardinals (UIW Cardinals), ☏ +1 210 805-3000. The teams of the University of the Incarnate Word, whose campus is on Broadway near Breckenridge Park and the zoo, are a fairly new addition to Division I, having joined the Southland Conference in 2013. Unlike UTSA, the football team plays on campus and in the second-level FCS.
- 14 Alamo Helicopter Tours (San Antonio Helicopter Tours), 8535 Mission Rd., Suite 104 (From Downtown head east on East Market St and merge onto I-37/US-281 South via ramp to I-10. Take exit 135 to merge onto SE Military Dr/TX-13-Loop W. Sharp left at Mission Road. It's at the Airport Main Terminal Building.), ☏ +1 210 287-5797. M–Sa 10AM–5PM. Offers exciting and breathtaking views of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including sites such as the San Antonio River, Downtown, the Botanical Gardens and Historic Mission. $77.50-1795.00.
- 15 San Antonio Walks, 317 Alamo Plaza (directly in front of the Alamo), ☏ +1-888-368-6874, [email protected]. M-Sa 9:15AM, 12:15PM, 4PM; Su 9:15AM, 12:15PM. Professional guided tour. This is not a highlight reel, but real storytelling about the city's rich history. Captivating and educational. Voted: Best Tour in San Antonio. Member: Texas Travel Industry Association. $21; Under 6 Free (cash only).
- 16 Segway Tours, 260 East Houston St, ☏ +1 210 441-1198, [email protected]. San Antonio Segway Tours enables you to tour downtown San Antonio on a Segway. Learn to ride a Segway and tour beautiful and historic downtown San Antonio. Tours leave from and range from 1 hour to 2.5 hours. Tours depart 7 days a week, 6 times daily. $39-59.
- 17 Mission Adventure Tours - Kayaking, Espada Park - 1750 SE Military Drive, 78214, ☏ +1 210-383-0872, [email protected]. Guided and unguided kayak trips on the San Antonio River, as well as specialty guided kayak trips on the Median River, Comal River, San Marcos River and many other rivers throughout central and west Texas. Mission Kayak also offers beginner kayaking classes, large group and corporate tours, as well as team building events. $49-81 depending on trip length.
San Antonio is home to several historic vaudeville theatres; The Empire, Aztec, Alameda, and the Majestic. There are also many live music venues including, Sunset Station, Paper Tiger, Scout Bar, Blue Star Arts complex, Pearl Brewery, Cowboys, La Tuna's, Randy's Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar, and The Ten Eleven and many great local bands.
- 18 Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St, ☏ +1 210 226-5700, [email protected]. Recognized as one of the most ornate facilities in the country, the Majestic has long held a special place in the archives of Texas theatrical and architectural history. In the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Majestic was designed and built in 1929 by John Eberson for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres, and stood proudly for many years as the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest motion picture theatre in the country. It was intended to be the most modern and ornate building in South Texas - complete with new sound and projection equipment - and was the first theatre in the state to be totally air-conditioned.
San Antonio is home to a variety of shopping venues with a wide selection of shops and stores. With ten major shopping malls within an hour drive of downtown as well as La Villita and Market Square in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
- 1 Alamo Quarry Market, 255 E Basse Rd, ☏ +1 210 225-1000, fax: +1 210 271-3491, [email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM.
- 2 La Villita (La Villita Historic Arts Village), 418 Villita St, ☏ +1 210-207-8614, fax: +1 210-207-4390. M-F 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-4PM. 30 shops and galleries offer distinct handcrafted items by artists from San Antonio and surrounding areas.
- 3 Market Square - El Mercado, 514 W Commerce, ☏ +1 210 207-8600, fax: +1 210 207-4287, [email protected]. Daily: summer 10AM-8PM; winter: 10AM-6PM; stores closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Visitors can browse through the 32 shops at "El Mercado," and 80 specialty shops in Farmers' Market Plaza. Market Square is also the scene of many Hispanic festivals where food and beverage booths spring up alongside the Guadalajara lamps and the strains of mariachi music blend with the excitement of Mexican dances.
- 4 Shops at Rivercenter, 849 E Commerce, ☏ +1 210 225-0000. M-Sa 10AM-9PM; Su noon-6PM. On the River Walk and connected to the Marriott Rivercenter and the Menger Hotel. It is also within walking distance of the Alamo. Houses over 100 retail shops including an IMAX theater.
- 5 The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, ☏ +1 210 582-6255, [email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. In northern San Antonio adjacent to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The Shops at La Cantera is an open-air mall anchored by Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's, and Neiman-Marcus. La Cantera offers stores on the higher-end of shopping such as Juicy Couture, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Vera Bradley, Lucky Brand, Anthropologie, the Apple store, Aveda, Burberry, Gilly Hicks, Sleep Number, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, and more. Most people, though, come to La Cantera to eat and enjoy happy hour at some of the best,upscale yet casual restaurants in the city. Kona Grill offers $3, $4, $5 appetizers such as sushi, pizza, and egg rolls, with discounted spirits and beer. Yardhouse has hundreds of beers on tap available in a 1.4 liter yard in a classic rock-inspired setting. There is a wide array of food, the general rule for chains is to skip the dishes you find everywhere and try the specialties. Here, try the seared ahi sandwich. Other eateries are Grimaldi's Brick-Oven Pizzeria, P.F. Chang's, Perry's Steakhouse and Z Tejas - a southwestern-themed restaurant with great non-Tex-Mex food and fantastic happy hour specials.
- 6 North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, ☏ +1 210 342-2325, [email protected]. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. San Antonio's internationally-acclaimed shopping destination center boasts over 200 specialty stores and restaurants. Adjacent to the San Antonio International Airport, North Star is in the heart of the city. North Star is home to the largest cowboy boots in the world. They stand 40 feet high and 20 feet long! Stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Pottery Barn Kids, Armani Exchange, Arden B., Montblanc, J.Crew, Oakley, The Cheesecake Factory, Talbots, Janie and Jack, Apple, bebe, Coach, Sephora, Guess, and Steve Madden.
Groceries and other basics
The major supermarket chains in San Antonio are H-E-B and Walmart, with some locations open 24 hours. In addition many specialty and organic supermarkets such as Whole Foods Market, Central Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe's can also be found in San Antonio.
The Pearl Brewery (now an urban re-development center) hosts a farmers market on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM and Sundays from 10AM to 2PM. Local farmers, vendors, and artisans offer up fresh, seasonal products to the public. Excellent restaurants, boutique shops, condos and apartments have been incorporated in this yellow brick former brewery. The horse stables have been converted into a ball room/dance hall. The "Pearl" is right next to the San Antonio River which forms an excellent green area, you can walk or take the river shuttle up from your hotel downtown. Plenty of parking is available under Hwy 281 and along Grayson St.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Mid-range||$10 - $20|
- 1 Casa Rio, 430 E. Commerce St, ☏ +1 210 225-6718, [email protected]. Su–Th 11AM–10PM; F Sa 11AM–11PM. A great Tex-Mex restaurant if you're on a budget. This is the oldest restaurant on the River Walk, opened in 1946. You can enjoy good local-style dining in a colorful and romantic setting. Mid-range.
- 2 Ruthie's Mexican Restaurant, 11423 West Ave, ☏ +1 210 308-0253. Great Latin food.
- 3 Schilo's Deli, 424 E. Commerce St, ☏ +1 210 223-6692. M–Sa 7AM-8:30PM. If you're tired of Tex-Mex, Schilo's is a great place for good German food at budget prices, right above the River Walk (next to Casa Rio). Try their Evening Specialties, available after 5PM, excellent value. Split Pea Soup is a long-time favorite.
- 4 Teka Molino, 7231 San Pedro Ave., ☏ +1 210 344-7281, [email protected]. M-Sa 7AM - 9PM. Teka Molino is a famous Tex-Mex restaurant on San Pedro, two blocks from North Star Mall. Locals are familiar with their famous puffy tacos, carne guisada, guacamole cups, bean rolls, and home-made tortillas.
- 5 Main Street Pizza, 1906 N. Main St, [email protected]. Just east of San Antonio College, about 2 miles north of downtown. Popular with students at San Antonio College (SAC) as well as Trinity University because of its affordable prices, good food, and proximity to the campuses. Offers fried calamari, calzones, pizzas of all sizes, manicotti, and an eclectic mix of other traditional Italian food. Daily specials are available.
- 6 Jacala Mexican Restaurant, 606 West Ave, 78201, ☏ +1 210 732-5222. 11AM - 10PM. Oldest originally owned restaurant in San Antonio, operated by the Quinones family since 1949. Jacala is known for their puffy tacos, enchiladas, and their margaritas.
- 7 Green, 200 E Grayson St, Suite 120 (Near Downtown at Pearl Brewery), ☏ +1 210 320-5865. Su 9AM-9PM; M–Th 8AM-9PM; F 8AM-8PM. San Antonio's only all-kosher, all-vegetarian eatery. Be sure to try the soups and specials. Dinner is $7-15. Second location at 10003 NW Military, Suite 2115, in Alon Center.
- 8 Rosario's, 910 S. Alamo St. A Mexican restaurant that is somewhat lacking in character but serves good food in decent-sized portions. It's a popular place, but it occupies a large space and is far enough from the Riverwalk that there usually isn't much of a wait for a table. $7-15.
- 9 Joe's Crab Shack, 212 College St #100 (River Walk). The local version of a national chain. A great good time, especially when the waiters all stop and line dance in the aisles. Good food, silly T-shirts, on the north side of the River Walk loop. A great place to host a birthday party or special occasion. The "fish bowl" drinks are fun for two to share. Dinner $9-21.
- 10 Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St (on the second floor - take the elevator on the side of the building), ☏ +1 210-227-1187. A bohemian eatery in a building with character. The menu lists everything that they make from scratch, ranging from breads to sauces. The entree choices vary from pizzas to pot roast to lamb burgers to "Puntas Norteñas" (tough to describe, easy to eat). There is a full bar with very knowledgeable bartenders, and a really solid beer and wine list. The buttermilk pie is a house special desert that numerous patrons swear is extraordinary, although if you aren't already pre-disposed towards buttermilk you might be just as happy with the other pie selections. $10-$25.
- 11 Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, 218 Produce Row (in the Mercado), ☏ +1 210-225-1262. Open 24 hours. Blow $5 on the Mariachis, they're among the best in town (they tune because they care). The interior looks like Christmas vomited on a flea market, yet somehow the result is a charming and unique decor. Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex and Nuevo Mexicano food that is reasonably priced and definitely above average in terms of taste and quality. Service is prompt. Splendid bakery in the front section.Rumored to have free WiFi Entrees $9-20.
- 12 Sushi Zushi, 203 S. St. Mary's (at Market, in the International Center across the street from the Drury Plaza Hotel), ☏ +1 210 472-2900. M-W 11AM-10PM; Th F 11AM-11PM; Sa 11:30AM-11PM; Su 11:30AM-10PM. Three other locations in San Antonio area. Extensive Japanese sushi menu, including other Japanese dishes like soup, salad, udon, soba, etc. Japanese comfort foods are good value. Tasteful, modern setting.
- 13 Paesanos River Walk, 111 W. Crockett Street #100, ☏ +1 210 227-2782. Su-Th 11AM–10PM; F Sa 11AM–11PM. Classic Mediterranean and contemporary Italian dining on the San Antonio River Walk. Modern Mediterranean specialties such as Shrimp Paesano or oven-baked pizzas piled high with grilled chicken and artichokes, Lemon Peppered Salmon, or daily specials. Choose from inside or terrace seating and enjoy views to the famed San Antonio River Walk.
- 14 Boudros, 421 E. Commerce, ☏ +1 210 224-8484. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. From Commerce St. entrance, take the elevator down to the River level and walk through the restaurant to the riverfront entrance. A very popular Texas bistro, with locals and tourists alike, right on the River Walk. Hearty portions. Blackened prime rib is its signature dish. Reservations are advisable, especially weekends.
- 15 Azuca, 713 S Alamo St, ☏ +1 210-225-5550. Best tortas de jamon (ham sandwiches) north of Mexico City.
- 16 Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary's (International Center), ☏ +1 210 225-0722. Biga on the Banks has a reputation for innovation. Owner and Chef Bruce Auden is known for his culinary creativity. Reservations recommended. $25-50.
- 17 Savor The Culinary Institute of America, 200 E Grayson St. #117 (in the Historic Pearl Brewery Complex), ☏ +1 210-554-6484. Part of the Culinary Institute Of America.
San Antonio's downtown is the hub of the city's nightlife, with hundreds of dining options, bars and clubs mostly on the Riveralk and throughout street level. Other major nightlife locales, include Southtown Arts District, home to First Friday Art Walk, a large art block party with crowds upward of 20,000 along Alamo St. Scores of dining, galleries, theatres and lodging options, that include more than 10 historic 19th century B&Bs adjacent to the Riverwalk.
Wander down through the River Walk and take your choice of bars and eateries. You can't go wrong. There are also several bars/restaurants in the Mercado block of tourist shops.
- 1 Drink Texas, 200 Navarro St, Suite 100, ☏ +1 210 224-1031. 2PM-2AM daily.
- 2 Mad Dogs British Pub, 123 Losoya St # 19. British-themed bar & grill on the Riverwalk.
- 3 Howl at the Moon, 111 W. Crockett #201, ☏ +1 210 212-4770, [email protected]. Su-Th 7PM-2AM; F Sa 6PM-2AM. Howl at the Moon is a singing, clapping, stomping, dance-on-the-piano, rock 'n' roll dueling piano show! It's part concert, part piano bar & all centered around audience interaction & 2 baby grand pianos. Howl at the Moon offers an experience beyond the average bar with live entertainment, comedy, & sing-a-longs throughout the night. Howl at the Moon is the perfect place for corporate parties & special events. Don't fret if you can't get there for your party or event–with their "Piano Shows To Go," they'll bring all the excitement & fun to you! On Thursday nights, bring your Texas college ID for free admission and drink specials -- usually $1 domestic, $2 Corona or Dos XX, and $3 UV Vodka $4 Bull Blasters. Great place to meet people on Thursdays.
- 4 The Little Rhein Prost Haus, 231 S. Alamo St., ☏ +1 210-890-2225. 5-10PM. A friendly gathering place with rustic charm and its historically significant location on the San Antonio River. The building was erected in 1847 and is basically unaltered since its original construction. German comfort food dishes.
- 5 Zinc, 207 N. Presa St., ☏ +1 210 224-2900. M-F 11AM-2AM; Sa Su 3PM-2AM. Zinc serves wines from all corners of the globe with an emphasis on champagne and domestic varietals.
- 6 SoHo Wine and Martini Bar, 214 W. Crockett St, ☏ +1 210 444-1000. 4PM-2AM. Extensive drink menu, in addition to your usual favorites SoHo also provides an impressive array of fun specialty house martinis such as the Ginger Tini, The Espresso Tini and the Carmel Apple Tini.
- 7 Retox bar, 1031 Patricia Dr (Blanco/West Ave), ☏ +1 210-775-2886. 2PM-2AM. Retox is local live music venue, retox is classified as a upscale dive bar.
- 1 SureStay Plus By Best Western San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, 6900 IH 35 North, ☏ +1 210-798-3900, toll-free: +1-800-210-4255. Complimentary hot breakfast buffets and social hour in the evening. Also offers in-room business services, a work area complete with dual phone lines, Wi-Fi access, personal voice mail and daily newspaper. $51 (Jan 2022).
- Super 8 by Wyndham San Antonio Airport North, 15314 San Pedro Ave, ☏ +1 210-306-4902. Free transportation to San Antonio International Airport. $55 (Jan 2022).
- 2 Days Inn Suites San Antonio North/Stone Oak, 1505 Bexar Crossing (corner of San Pedro Avenue, just south of 281 and 1604 junction), ☏ +1 210-545-5400. Well outside of San Antonio's downtown. Large and comfortable rooms, pool, free high-speed Internet (Ethernet). Just off a big freeway, so no neighborhood nearby to enjoy, but pleasant inside and with friendly staff. $54 (Jan 2022).
- 3 Bullis House Inn, 621 Pierce Ave, ☏ +1 210 223-9426. Historic bed and breakfast offering rooms.
- 4 Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, 105 S. St. Mary's St (between Commerce and Market (kitty corner from Aztec Theatre)), ☏ +1 210 270-7799. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The 24-story Alamo Bank building, opened as a Drury hotel in 2007. Direct access from the lower level of the hotel to the western side of River Walk downtown loop. Free hot breakfast buffets and evening social hour daily on the second floor of the 50-ft tall lobby. Views from the 22nd floor observation deck; pool/spa on same level. Free internet and long-distance phone calls. Pets accepted with a daily cleaning fee of $15 each.
- 5 Hampton Inn - San Antonio Downtown (Riverwalk), 414 Bowie Street (one block west of the US-281/I-37 freeway, and about 3 blocks from the River Walk downtown loop), ☏ +1 210 225-8500.
- 6 Hotel Indigo San Antonio-Riverwalk, an IHG Hotel, 830 N St Mary's St (at Richmond Ave), ☏ +1 210-527-1900. Studio suites; complimentary hot breakfast buffet. On the quiet north leg of the River Walk.
- 7 Comfort Suites Stone Oak, 1754 N. Loop 1604 E, ☏ +1 210-495-5557. Near the Stone Oak and Northwoods areas in North San Antonio. Free internet and free hot breakfast daily.
- 8 Hampton Inn & Suites San Antonio-Downtown/Market Square, 411 South Flores St, ☏ +1 210 212-7000. Opened in 2014.
- 9 O'Brien Ascend Collection hotel, 116 Navarro St (one block away from the San Antonio River Walk), ☏ +1 210 527-1111. Boutique hotel.
- 10 Residence Inn, San Antonio Downtown/Market Square, 628 S Santa Rosa Ave (3 blocks away from Market Square), ☏ +1 210-231-6000, toll-free: +1 210-231-6000, [email protected]. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Free hot breakfast buffet daily and evening social hour (M-W).
- 11 The St. Anthony, 300 E Travis, ☏ +1 210-227-4392. Built in 1909 and now run by Wyndham, this beautiful downtown hotel was frequently awarded AAA's Four Diamond Award for excellence.
- 12 Sleep Inn & Suites at Six Flags, 5042 Beckwith Blvd, ☏ +1 210-561-6100. Next to the Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.
- 13 Springhill Suites San Antonio SeaWorld/Lackland, 138 Richland Hills Dr, ☏ +1 210-520-6655. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. New downtown hotel with high speed internet access and indoor swimming pool.
- 14 Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites San Antonio Northwest, 5535 University Heights Blvd, ☏ +1 210-549-2434. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Hotel includes bar/restaurant, pool/fitness room, and a business center with computers and printer.
- 15 Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market, 7615 Jones Maltsberger Rd, ☏ +1 210 930-2333. Check-in: noon, check-out: 3PM. Airport is 2.5 miles away.
- 16 Mission Inn San Antonio, 3760 Roosevelt Ave, ☏ +1 210-923-2361.
- 17 Crockett Hotel, 320 Bonham, ☏ +1 210-225-6500, [email protected]. This sister hotel to the Menger is across from both the Rivercenter and the Alamo.
- 18 The Emily Morgan San Antonio – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 705 East Houston St, ☏ +1-210-225-5100. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio Texas is the official hotel of the Alamo and is next to the Alamo and near San Antonio's Riverwalk. $159.
- 19 The Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St, ☏ +1 210-229-9222. A contemporary-style 12-story hotel offering 265 suites with over-sized bathrooms and a separate parlor with a sleeper sofa.
- 20 Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro St, ☏ +1 210-222-2008. Boutique hotel overlooking the Riverwalk.
- 21 Hyatt Regency Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, ☏ +1 210 647-1234, fax: +1 210 681-9681. 27 holes of championship golf, Windflower spa and four-acre water park.
- 22 Hyatt Regency San Antonio, 123 Losoya St. 632-room hotel directly overlooking the historic Alamo and on the Riverwalk.
- 23 Marriott Plaza San Antonio, 555 S Alamo St (Take Hwy. 281 (I-37) South, take the Cesar Chavez exit. Go right on Cesar Chavez to Alamo, take a right on Alamo, an immediate left on Arciniega. Hotel is on corner of Alamo and Cesar Chavez Streets.), ☏ +1 210-229-1000. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. The hotel sits on 6 acres of lush landscape and is home to Asian pheasants and colorful peacocks. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and fire pit or grab dinner at the hotel's Anaqua Restaurant & Lounge, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- 24 San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie St (adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Rivercenter Mall), ☏ +1 210-223-1000.
- 25 Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza (connected to the Rivercenter, and next door to the Alamo).
- 26 Noble Inns, 209 Washington St, ☏ +1 210-223-2353, toll-free: +1-800-242-2770, [email protected]. Three distinctive bed and breakfast properties, all in the King Williams District. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, heated pool and hot tub. $99-299.
- 27 San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk, 889 East Market St, ☏ +1 210-224-4555. Balcony views of the city and River Walk below. Across the street from the San Antonio Convention Center.
- 28 Omni La Mansion, 112 College St, ☏ +1 210-518-1000. At the River Walk on the banks of the Paseo del Rio in downtown.
- 29 The Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio, 420 W Market St, ☏ +1 210-224-6500. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- 30 La Cantera Resort & Spa, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, toll-free: +1-866-716-8137. In the Texas Hill Country just north of San Antonio; good views. Six pools, three hot tubs, 36 holes of golf, spa services, tennis courts and a kids club.
By American standards, San Antonio is fairly safe for its size. As long as you take elementary precautions, you'll have a great time. Even when there are crowds for such events like the Alamo Bowl, it is still relatively safe. The River Walk always has something going on, but if you're in one of the quieter spots at night, exercise some caution. Inner city neighborhoods, particularly on the West and South Sides, should be approached with caution at night, though they are of little interest to tourists. In San Antonio, if a place looks iffy, don't go there at night.
As of Dec 2021, San Antonio has 5G from AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile / Sprint. Free WiFi is widely available.
- Belgium (Honorary), One Alamo Center, 106 S St Mary's Ste 200, ☏ +1 210 271-0630, fax: +1 210 225-1951, [email protected].
- Germany (Honorary), 310 S Saint Mary's St, Tower Life Bldg Ste 2201, ☏ +1 210 226-1788, fax: +1 210 226-2065, [email protected].
- Mexico, 127 Navarro St, ☏ +1 210 227-1085, fax: +1 210 227-1817.
To leave San Antonio, use US 281 south to get to Brownsville, I-10 east to get to Houston, I-10 west to get to El Paso, I-35 north to get to Austin, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth, I-37/US 181 south to get to Corpus Christi and Floresville, SH 16 north to get to Bandera, SH 16 south to get to Poteet, or US 281 north to get to Blanco and Johnson City. An alternate route to Austin is to use US 281 north and US 290 east. I-410 and SH 151 do not leave the city. However, Loop 1604 does go to small towns in the county.
- New Braunfels - 30 miles northeast of San Antonio, this town is best known for its German culture and heritage, not to mention the Schlitterbahn, persistent in being voted the world's best waterpark.
- San Marcos - 50 miles northeast of San Antonio, San Marcos is the home of Texas State University and its Aquarena Center, as well as two massive outlet malls that have more than 350 shops.
|Routes through San Antonio|
|Tucson ← Del Rio ←||W E||→ Houston → New Orleans|
|Tucson ← Del Rio ←||W NE||→ San Marcos → Dallas|
|El Paso ← Boerne ←||W E||→ Seguin → Houston|
|Austin ← New Braunfels ←||NE SW||→ Laredo → END|
|END ←||N S||→ Pleasanton → Corpus Christi|
|Fredericksburg ← Boerne ←||N S||→ Cuero → Port Lavaca|
|Del Rio ← Castroville ←||W E||→ Seguin → Houston|
|Wichita Falls ← Blanco ←||N S||→ Pleasanton → McAllen|
|Kerrville ← Bandera ←||N S||→ Jourdanton → Jct N S|