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ICONIC CITY: Our Guide to Things to Do in San Antonio, Texas

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Visit San Antonio to experience a city filled with rich history, culture, food and more.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and San Antonio doesn’t disappoint with its larger-than-life history, culture and food. This southwestern city became the first civilian settlement in Texas in 1718, and it has since grown to be the seventh largest city in the United States. With more than 300 years of rich history and many of the original early architectural and cultural elements still remaining, San Antonio is an ideal destination for experiencing the past first-hand.

San Antonio’s robust history isn’t the only reason to visit—the city is also booming with modern and unique options for shopping, hotels, restaurants and outdoor fun to be had!

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WHERE TO STAY
San Antonio has accommodations for every preference—whether you like the rustic look, high-end elegance or a room that exudes southern charm, there’s sure to be a hotel that will make your stay unforgettable.

The Four Diamond Omni draws inspiration from Spanish colonial architecture and European style, offering river-view rooms that are the epitome of luxury and romance.

Omni La Mansion Del Rio riverwalk hotel San Antonio

Omni La Mansion Del Rio

Omni La Mansion Del Rio
One of the most beautiful places in San Antonio is the historic River Walk, which runs through the city’s downtown. Omni La Mansión Del Rio is located right on the River Walk, making it the perfect hotel stay for those who love to bike, hike or simply explore the dining and shopping that border the river. The Four Diamond Omni draws inspiration from Spanish colonial architecture and European style, offering river-view rooms that are the epitome of luxury and romance.

The Omni offers several options for dining, including the AAA Four Diamond Las Canarias, with gourmet meals crafted with local ingredients and awe-inspiring views of the River Walk.

Hotel Emma at The Pearl San Antonio

Hotel Emma

Hotel Emma
Originally a 19th Century brewhouse designed by Chicago architect August Maritzen, Hotel Emma offers unique industrial style riverfront rooms. With the building’s original stonework and vaulted ceilings, it will transport you to the rich past of San Antonio. The rooftop pool is the perfect place to relax and unwind on a warm day, while you order some refreshing pool-side refreshments. Hotel Emma’s 3,700-volume library is a book lover’s dream, and guests can check out books using the library’s vintage card system.
A self-proclaimed culinary destination, Hotel Emma sources local ingredients to provide a world-class dining experience at the property’s three eateries, Supper, Larder and Sternewirth. Supper is the pinnacle of San Antonio fine dining, while Larder is a gourmet grocer aand Sternewirth is a vintage tavern and club.

The Historic Menger Hotel San Antonio

The Historic Menger Hotel

The Historic Menger Hotel
The oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi River, the Historic Menger Hotel, has museum-worthy architecture and furnishings that embrace the history of San Antonio. Combining their historic atmosphere with modern amenities, each of the 316 rooms provides elegance and charm. Located on the Alamo Plaza, the Menger Hotel is just a five-minute walk away from the historic River Walk.
The hotel is home to a historic bar, the legendary Menger Bar, which was built in 1887 as a replica of London’s House of Lords Pub. In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt and Colonel Leonard Wood set up shop in Menger Bar and recruited more than 1,250 men to form the Rough Riders.

The Anthony historic hotel in San Antonio

The St. Anthony

The St. Anthony
The St. Anthony is AAA Four Diamond Marriott hotel that overlooks the scenic Travis Park, which traces its unique history back to upper farmlands of Mission San Antonio de Valero. This luxury hotel offers all you need for a great stay in San Antonio, located conveniently near the waterfront River Walk in downtown.

With three different options for fine dining and a Cabana bar, there’s something for everyone at The St. Anthony. The Gallery on the Park sources its ingredients from local Texas farms, and guests can enjoy stunning views of Travis Park as they indulge in traditional dishes with a modern flair.

La Cantera resort San Antonio

La Cantera

La Cantera
Want a room with a view? Each suite and room at La Cantera overlooks Texas Hill Country, allowing for spectacular views of the beautiful rolling hills in the heart of Texas. The hotel’s Loma De Vida spa lets you take in the tranquility while you are pampered head to toe, with massages, facials and more.
La Cantera embraces their San Antonio roots with Texas-inspired dishes at each of their fine dining restaurants. For adventure lovers, La Cantera is close by to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and is just a 20-minute drive away from Sea World.

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WHERE TO EAT
San Antonio has a number of restaurants that source local farm-fresh ingredients, striving to craft fresh, flavorful and innovative dishes.

A standout restaurant along San Antonio’s River Walk is Ocho, which draws inspiration from the local cuisines in Texas, Mexico and Cuba for its indulgent dishes.

Ocho restaurant San Antonio riverwalk

Ocho

Ocho
A standout restaurant along San Antonio’s River Walk is Ocho, which draws inspiration from the local cuisines in Texas, Mexico and Cuba for its indulgent dishes. The delicious southwestern and Latin flavors are reason alone to stop by, but the beautiful glass conservatory that houses Ocho provides the perfect atmosphere for enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ocho Chef Jesse Kuykendall learned to cook authentic Mexican cuisine from their mother, and recently became the first San Antonio chef to win an episode of “Chopped” on the Food Network.

Mi Terra restaurant San Antonio

Mi Tierra

Mi Tierra
If you want some delicious and authentic Tex-Mex in San Antonio, Mi Tierra Cafe is the place to go! What started as a small, three table café in 1941 has grown to be a world-famous spot for tourists and San Antonio locals alike.
Located in downtown San Antonio, this Tex-Mex restaurant and bakery has a large menu of tasty and traditional options, like Flautas de Pollo, chilaquiles and their famous pecan pralines. For those who enjoy nighttime drinks, the hot spot has a robust selection of margaritas, tequila flights and hand-crafted cocktails.

Boudro's restaurant San Antonio

Boudro’s

Boudro’s
Who doesn’t love to take in the beauty of a riverfront view while they dine? At Boudro’s, you can sip on prickly pear margarita while enjoying the beauty of the San Antonio River Walk. Their tableside guacamole is a great start to every meal, and the restaurant has a large, extensive cellar that wine lovers to delight in.
Boudro’s has great seafood options, including Boudreaux’s Shrimp and Grits, which embraces the city’s southwestern flare with Pepper jack stone ground grits and lemon buttered shrimp with apple smoked bacon, chorizo, green onions and roasted poblano peppers.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery San Antonio

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
A marriage between southwestern flavors and coastal classics, Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery has a decadent, seasonally shifting menu crafted by San Antonio Chef Jeff Balfour. Start with their Famous Fried Snapper Throats to share, and then indulge in an East Texas Crawfish Roll with a soft roll, celery, shredded lettuce, creole butter and fries.
Southerleigh brews its own beers, and with 15 different beers on tap, it’s the ideal eatery for sitting back and relaxing with a cold drink.

Restaurant Gwendolyn in San Antonio

Restaurant Gwendolyn

Restaurant Gwendolyn
An 1850’s-inspired dining experience, Restaurant Gwendolyn “embraces the authenticity of the pre-industrial revolution in Europe.” The restaurant proudly refuses any kitchen appliances with motors, using nothing with a plug to cook its local cuisine, as a method of authentic cooking.
Restaurant Gwendolyn’s only sources ingredients within a 150-mile radius of its location, and the team updates its menu daily to reflect the ever-changing seasonality of produce.

Cured restaurant in San Antonio

Cured

Cured
Built in a renovated historic San Antonio building from 1904, Cured embraces the past of San Antonio with a contemporary flair. This rustic-chic restaurant from Chef Steve McHugh focuses on exceptional New American cuisine with a large cocktail, beer and wine selection.
Calling all charcuterie fans! Cured has three different charcuterie options to share, the most luxurious of which contains apple jalapeño pork rillettes, chicken liver mousse, ‘nduja, 30-day coppa and 30-day bresaola.

Biga on the Banks San Antonio

Biga on the Banks

Biga on the Banks
Biga on the Banks is a fine dining option that opened in 2,000, with a surplus of beautiful River Walk views and exceptional ‘new’ American foods. Known for its innovative approach to American cuisine, Biga on the Banks offers unique menu items like Spiced Axis Venison and Lockhart Quail, which is made with goat cheese tart, Brussels leaves, chestnuts, tamarind date chutney, and juniper sauce.

Using local ingredients and classic cooking techniques, Chef and Owner Bruce Auden takes every dish he creates to a new level.

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WHAT TO DO
Rich in historic offerings, San Antonio offers an abundance of tours and scenic walks that make a visit to the city a must.

Rich in historic offerings, San Antonio offers an abundance of tours and scenic walks that make a visit to the city a must.

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River Walk
Running through the heart of downtown San Antonio, the picturesque River Walk is a beautiful spot to enjoy a romantic walk, scenic meal or boat tour. River Walk is open 365 days a year, and there are plenty of options for dining, hotels, shops and museums along the lush riverside paths.

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Tour the Alamo
A visit to the Alamo is a must for any history-buff’s trip to San Antonio. Immerse yourself in the 300-year authentic history of the Battle of the Alamo, through a chronological tour of Texas history. Expert conservators and archaeologists work to preserve what remains of Shrine of Texas Liberty, in honor of those who fought and lost their lives.

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San Antonio Mission Trails
If you are looking for a scenic bike-and-hike path in San Antonio, look no further than the San Antonio Mission Trails! Lined with historic sites, the trails link San Antonio’s five Spanish colonial missions: San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada.

The Historic Pearl thing to do San Antonio

The Historic Pearl

The Historic Pearl
A craft brewery that also has excellent dining options, a retail store, farmers markets and a coffee shop, all in one, is what you get when you visit Pearl. Embracing the charm and culture of Texas since 1883, Pearl has a rich and long history of crafting unforgettable cuisine. It’s just a short walk away from River Walk, so you can enjoy all of what downtown San Antonio has to offer after visiting Pearl.

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San Antonio Botanical Garden things to do

San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden and Jardín
Stop to smell the roses at the San Antonio Botanical Garden! The 38-acre garden provides a joyful experience for people of all ages, combining nature, art and cultural experiences all into one. A recent addition to the Botanical Garden is a new upscale restaurant created in partnership with acclaimed Chef Jason Dady, called Jardín. Highlighting garden-centric ingredients and flavors, Jardín is a great choice for a fresh and flavorful meal.

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San Fernando Cathedral
The elegant San Fernando Cathedral is in the heart of San Antonio, and it has a special history and cultural significance to the city. Founded in 1731, it’s the oldest-standing church in San Antonio, and it has long served as a refugee for the poor.

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The McNay Art Museum
Visual arts are king at the McNay Art Museum, and there’s always new exhibits to discover. The museum has hundreds of modern and contemporary artworks on display throughout its 25-acre campus. The first modern art museum in Texas, the McNay has collected one of the best assortments of prints and drawings in the southwest.

tour San Antonio Spanish Governor's Palace

Spanish Governor’s Palace

Spanish Governor’s Palace
In Texas’ earliest history, it was under Spanish rule. From 1722 to the early 1800s, the Spanish Governor’s Palace was home to captains of the military garrison. Furnished with Spanish Colonial pieces and adorned with a beautifully landscaped garden, this is a must-see photograph of the past.

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