San Antonio is one of those places you immediately fall in love with from the moment you arrive. I can see why the city is growing and flourishing with newcomers. According to my uber driver, 66 people move here each day. I was honestly taken back by how warm and welcoming everyone was. It was definitely a nice change.
Despite how large San Antonio is, this city gives off that small-town vibe.
From the stunning architecture, historical landmarks, and welcoming locals, this unique city reminds you of a home you didn’t even know existed. Home of the Alamo, San Antonio is the 8th largest city in the U.S. The warm energy is flourishing with newcomers. According to my uber driver, 66 people move here each day!
Our hotel was in the the heart of downtown. We were minutes away from just about everything– the famous Riverwalk, bars, shops, restaurants, and literally steps away from the legendary Alamo!
What To Do In Downtown San Antonio
I definitely recommend booking a hotel close to the Riverwalk. This way you’ll be close to the Alamo Plaza, Shops at Rivercenter, comedy club, fantastic restaurants, museums, etc.
Built in the 1930s, it’s one of the country’s most famous promenades. Strolling along riverwalk is a great way to capture the true beauty of San Antonio’s diverse culture and entertainment. The paths are made up of cobblestone and are home to many restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and entertainment.
Lunch on Riverwalk
Having lunch here is a must. The location is spectacular. Ideal for a romantic date, happy-hour, or an evening out with friends and family.
If you’re planning on having dinner on a friday or saturday, you have to call ahead and make a reservation. Average wait time is 1-2 hours for dinner on the weekends.
The legendary Alamo is the is the significant battle that broke down in 1836 in San Antonio. The Alamo symbolizes the heroic resistance to oppression and their struggle for American independence from Mexico, which they won later that year. This is a must-see destination for the family. Plus it’s free to the public.
Shops at River Center
The shops at the river center is a shopping mall, right along the Riverwalk. There is an AMC Imax, Dave and Buster’s, and a few restaurants. However, it’s much smaller than most shopping malls. The biggest stores you’ll find are Macy’s and H&M. Thereby, if you’re in the mood to do some big-time shopping, I recommend going to the quarry market or north star mall, where there are many more options to choose from.
On Sunday’s all the malls in SA open at noon and closes at 5pm.
P.S. if you run out of things to do in the evening, I definitely recommend watching a movie at the AMC Imax theater in Riverwalk. Their reclining cushion-seats go all the way back. It was one of the coziest and comfiest movie experiences I’ve ever had other than my bed!
Japanese Tea Garden
I think this was on my favorite experiences of the trip. Let me just say, this place really made me feel like I was in Japan for a moment. I usually don’t like touristy attractions because there are too many people. But the garden made you feel like you were the only one there. That is how peaceful and magical this place is. Absolute serenity.
San Antonio Zoo
The garden is only a few steps away from the San Antonio Zoo. So If you plan on going to one, you might as well do both. The garden is free entrance. And the zoo is about $16 for adults and I believe it’s free for kids 12 and under. Some of the animals at the zoo were Elephants, Lions, Jaguars, Cheetahs, Hippos, Giraffes, and more.
The Pearl Brewery
The pearl is extremely cool and the backstory is even cooler. So the pearl brewery has been around since 1883, and in 2001 started undergoing renovations, which transcended into a modern-hip scene, while still adopting its historical roots. It’s a top destination for foodies.
At the Pearl, you see people walking around with their dogs, drinking beer, or doing yoga on the grass. It’s popping during happy-hour. We ate at an American restaurant called down at Grayson’s, right next to the pearl.
Overall, after a weekend in San Antonio, I’d say we saw a lot, learned a lot and experienced something different. We were planning on spending a day in Austin, but ended up loving San Antonio so much that we decided to stay.
As somebody who has lived in huge cities, small towns in the middle of nowhere, and somewhere in between, I can say that San Antonio is like no other place I’ve been. San Antonio reminds me of a shoe that fits just right. It’s not too tight, not too big, but the perfect size.