The River Walk
Take a stroll down the San Antonio River Walk for a scenic tour through the heart of the city. For 15 continuous miles, the river is lined with cobbled streets, fine dining, live music, shopping, and nightlife to satisfy travelers of all personalities. The pathway includes a section known as The Museum Reach, which features visual art installations and plant exhibitions and provides direct access to Pearl Brewery and the San Antonio Museum of Art. Riverboats cruise the length of the River Walk, offering tourists a relaxed, fun way to see the signature attractions.
For a dose of American history, check out San Antonio’s most iconic landmark: The Alamo. The 18th century Spanish mission was the site of a famous 1836 battle in the Texas Revolution and has since been preserved as a museum and popular tourist stop. More Spanish missions such as San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion are just three miles from downtown in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, where guests learn about Native American life and Spanish Catholic colonialism. Guided mission tours are free, and adventurous visitors can partake in nature hikes and bike trails.
Wet your whistle at San Antonio’s oldest bar: The Esquire Tavern. Opened in 1933, The Esquire boasts some of the best local craft beers in Texas, not to mention a revered bison burger. For the very best of a San Antonio staple, stop by Ray’s Drive Inn for a famous puffy taco. This Tex-Mex dive is credited with creation of the first puffy taco and even trademarked the term in 1992. There are many imitators, but none compare to the original. For a more elegant dining experience, make a reservation at Bella on Houston. Located in the historic Brady Building in downtown San Antonio, Bella offers seasonal Mediterranean and Southern European dishes in an intimate atmosphere. Live jazz music plays nightly.
Those hoping to bring home souvenirs need look no further than La Villita. The historic arts village sits on the edge of the San Antonio River and, at almost 300 years old, is one of the city’s first established neighborhoods. With more than 20 boutiques and art galleries, La Villita is a great place to spend a few free hours. Additionally, San Antonio’s hip Pearl District is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and retailers as well as a weekend farmer’s market.