San Antonio, Texas is full of history, culture and tourism. Instead of spending your time on the overcrowded and dissapointing river-walk, come up to the street level for great food in some of their historic, character-full neighborhoods. After visiting San Antonio a few times, I’ve skipped the over-crowded and over-rated tourist spots and put together a weekend guide to San Antonio full of culture and fun.
Instead of booking an expensive, boring hotel, book an Airbnb. We love older houses with lots of characters and couldn’t stand a weekend away from our goldendoodle, Spree, so we found a small little Airbnb, tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Lavaca. The neighborhood was within walking distance of downtown and reminded us so much of our historic neighborhood in Fort Worth. Get $40 towards your first Airbnb booking by using my link here: www.airbnb.com/c/shelbyg49
By the time you get all settled, you’ll probably be craving a good drink and some grub. Your first stop can be La Fruteria, a botanero inspired by Mexico’s fresh and colorful fruit stands. The space is bright and full of colorful Mexican inspired art. When we went, we were lucky enough to sit at the bar lined with fresh cut fruit and pressed juices. The menu is full of juices and smoothies, tapas, salads, tortas, tacos and more. We sucked down a few smoothies and shared a large al pastor torta.
If you haven’t been before, the Alamo is a must. Yes, it is touristy, but still a must have when visiting San Antonio. Surrounding the Alamo, the most beautiful gardens of native Texas plants.
Explore the neighborhoods
Instead of hanging around the over-crowded riverwalk full of over-priced cheap food, head south of downtown to the neighborhoods. La Villita, Lavaca, Southtown and King William are full of culture and character. We loved driving around and seeing the brightly colored houses and walking/driving by the restaurants and shops on S Alamo St, S St. Mary’s and S Presa streets.
For dinner, hop in your car for a short trip to the Pearl Street Area. This area is a beautiful sight at night with the glow of twinkle light and buzz of people meeting up with friends at one of the several chef run restaurants. La Gloria – a restaurant actually owned by the same chef from La Fruteria – is a trendy, mexian street food inspired restaurant. It sits right on the river and is compeltely opened up to the patio, to make one large outdoor dining setting. Grab a margarita and feast on some tacos and tostados, while listening to the music and enjoying the beautiful view.
Pearl Street Farmer’s Market
The best farmer’s market I’ve been to in Texas lives in San Antonio. Wake up and mozy on over to Pearl Street again, because you do not want to miss out on the craft coffee, empenadas, and fresh pastries waiting for you. Pearl Street Farmer’s Market has everything from locally grown produce, homemade jams, fresh pies to local artists showcasing their talents and musicians singing and playing.
After you get your fill at the farmer’s market, go ahead and continue the local shopping by hopping in the shops at Pearl Street. They have everything from clothing to home decor to local art.
Ranger Creek Distillery Tour
Take a unique “Brewstillery” tour at Ranger Creek. Sip on a glass of beer during a two hour educational tour of their facility as they explain how their beer and bourbon is made. The tour is finished with bourbon tastings.
Stella Public House
On the corner of S Alamo Street and Probandt is the cutest area of restaurants right next to Blue Star Brewing and the San Antonio River. Looking for a low key restaurant, my husband and I found Stella Public House. Stella is a “farm to pizza” restaurant with a cozy, casual setting. The relaxed vibe and wood-fired pizza is exactly what you’ll be wanting after a long day of walking around.
Late Night Ice Cream
If you’re like us and craving a late night treat, head a few blocks down to The House for some homemade ice cream. The ice cream is creamy and delicious, but what’s really unique is their boozy scoops, alcohol-infused ice cream. We may have been a few times while we were in San Antonio.
The Guenther House
Before leaving town, you have to swing by the Historical Guenther House for breakfast. The Guenther House was once a thriving flour mill and home to the Guenther family. It sits on 7 acres of land just outside downtown San Antonio on the San Antonio River. Go early to get your name on the wait list for breakfast. While you are waiting, grab some coffee and a pastry and enjoy walking around the grounds. Being a flour mill, they’re known for their pancakes, waffles and baked goods. And oh are they good!
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