San Antonio is home to Texas’ most visited landmark – The Alamo – but much has changed since the notorious battle of 1863. This city has become a popular destination for tourists seeking culinary attractions, historical sites as well as more modern additions. From Spanish missions to refurbished landmarks, we’ve rounded up the top spots to visit in San Antonio on your next weekend getaway.
Hotel Emma is the perfect place to hang your hat after a day of sightseeing in San Antonio – although it boasts its own amazing views. Situated on the river in the northern part of downtown, this turn-of-the-century building was once Pearl’s Brewhouse. A 2002 renovation converted the brewery’s layout while maintaining its impressive architecture designed by acclaimed Chicago architect August Maritzen. Today, the property is a historically rich hotel with 146 rooms, a gift shop, library, gym, pool, restaurant and bar.
For a more familial stay in San Antonio, A Yellow Rose Bed & Breakfast offers customers a cozy atmosphere with top hotel accommodations. Here, guests can enjoy their choice of breakfast – whether they’re looking for a full spread brought to their room or an on-the-go muffin before they start their day. All rooms offer similar accommodations, which means reservation pricing is dictated by the breakfast plan guests choose. Another unique feature of this hotel guests love is the communal porch that wraps around the property.
For a real taste of San Antonio, Mi Tierra Cafe offers fare that is distinctly Mexican and Texan at once. This neighborhood staple has been serving the community since 1941 when Pedro and Cruz Cortez opened the doors to their three-table café to serve farmers and employees of the local Market Square. Today Mi Tierra serves hungry locals and tourists alike with their famous Tex-Mex comfort food. Popular items on their menu include pan dulce, which translates to sweet bread, and a specialty soup called menudo.
Located on the popular River Walk, Biga on the Banks is a celebrated culinary destination led by chef and owner Bruce Auden. This San Antonio hot spot has gained praise from known names in the food industry like the James Beard Foundation and Zagat guide for its take on Southwestern cuisine. Known for its accessible elegance, Biga offers diners a fresh take on Southern classics such as apple-smoked salmon nachos and chicken-fried oysters.
Purveyors of beer and whiskey, Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling offers guided tours of its facility and beverage making processes on site. It may seem like an odd combination to have a joint brewery and distillery, but owners TJ, Denis and Mark have devised ways to use the same equipment to make both drinks. The guys have also come up with new and fun beverage blends to marry beer and whiskey – such as aging their beer in bourbon barrels and distilling beer into whiskey. Tours of the “brewstillery” are available Saturdays from 2-4 p.m.
Busted Sandal Brewing Company may seem like a funny name for a brewery, but the brewers here take their love for beer seriously. Established in 2013, this place aims to please the beer connoisseur as well as the casual drinker with its array of varieties on tap – from their blonde ale to an approachable IPA and so much more. Planning a visit for happy hour? Tap rooms are open Wednesday through Saturday until 9 p.m.
San Antonio is known as Alamo City after this historic monument. The Alamo is known for the Battle of the Alamo which broke out in 1836 between the Mexican armed forces and Texan freedom fighters seeking independence from Mexico. Although those 200 brave Texans were eventually overpowered by the Mexican army, Texas did gain its independence that same year. The Alamo continues to represent the fighting spirit of Texas and its strong Mexican ties.
Restaurants, nightlife and hotels have made the 2.5 mile River Walk a tourist destination for decades. However, the meandering green space and walkway almost didn’t get constructed. Architect Robert Hugman had the idea for the San Antonio River Beautification Project in 1929 – complete with retail shops and entertainment. A lack of water barriers to keep the area safe from a deluge delayed the project a decade. Flood gates and a dam helped Hugman gain the community’s confidence and in 1939 construction broke ground with crucial funding from developers. Today, millions of guests visit each year – with popular activities including the Rios San Antonio cruise and the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The River Walk is open to visitors 24 hours a day.
For a curated tour of San Antonio, The Alamo Trolley hop-on, hop-off tour offers visitors views of the following locations: Alamo, Hemisfair Park, Tower of the Americas, River Walk, La Villita, Market Square, San Fernando Cathedral, the Mission Trail, King William Historic District and seasonal attractions. With locations conveniently situated across from The Alamo or in Market Square, this bus tour is your way to experience the best of San Antonio.