Guests are always eager for suggestions of things to do and places to go. The reason most of you stay at a small inn or Bed and Breakfast is so that you can get the inside scoop on what the area is about and the must sees. I know when I travel, I’m always curious about what the locals do and where they go and what they are most proud of about their area. Below are some of my favorite things about living in San Antonio. When I have free time or friends in town, this is my standard hit list of activities. I hope this helps you plan your stay with us!
San Antonio has a wonderful selection of museums with world class collections. You will see everything from the classic and traditional to the extraordinarily weird and wildly contemporary.
- San Antonio Botanical Gardens – a wonderful way to spend part of your day. Unless we are experiencing a terrible drought the gardens are magnificent and beautifully maintained. Plan to eat lunch there. It is one of my favorite restaurants. Also, save some of your money to spend in this gift shop, too.
- Institute of Texan Cultures – a short walk away and includes interesting exhibits about the variety of cultures in Texas. Who moved here and why, how they lived, and which cultures are still here. As you probably know, the Germans were very prominent in this area, but there were other immigrants that moved here, too.
- The McNay – privately owned. The permanent collection surprises most guests. The special exhibits are always enjoyable and there are often lectures and workshops that are open to the public.
- Missions – you can enjoy the mission trail by car or rent bikes [see below] Don’t forget the most famous mission, the Alamo!
- San Antonio Museum of Art – on the northern end of downtown. You can walk there in about 45 minutes or take the trolley most of the way. The permanent exhibits are fascinating and the Asian Wing is outstanding. There is usually a special exhibit up as well. This museum also has one of my favorite gift shops.
- Steves Homestead – in our neighborhood and just a couple blocks away. The docents are knowledgeable about this particular house as well as the neighborhood. It is a fun way to get started enjoying the Historic King William District.
- Southwest School of Art – about a 20-minute walk. The exhibits are usually by local artists. Do not miss this gift shop. It is full of beautiful things to keep and give away.
- Villa Finale – Villa Finale is the first National Trust Historic Site in the state of Texas. All tours of Villa Finale are hosted by one of our interpretive Guides who will lead your experience through the 6,500 square-foot home and its collection of fine and decorative arts. Tour size is kept to a maximum of six persons to allow for an informal and personal visit just as guests of Walter Mathis enjoyed for nearly forty years. All tours run approximately 45 minutes.
- Camerata Chamber Music – a small group of musicians from the symphony. They generally perform at one of the downtown churches on Sunday afternoons. If they have something scheduled while you are here, don’t miss it. Their programs are well thought out and beautifully performed.
- Carver Community Cultural Center – one of my favorite venues for concerts and other performances. The schedule includes dance, music and other types of performance art.
- Lila Cockrell Theatre – one of my favorite performance venues. This is where dance companies usually perform. The London Ballet will be here this summer.
- Majestic and Empire Theatres – beautifully renovated theatres around the corner from each other and in the center of downtown San Antonio. The symphony performs at the Majestic. Both theaters have various kinds of entertainment scheduled throughout the year. The Broadway series comes through here as well as other nationally known performers and artists.
- The Playhouse – where you will find local actors performing some of your favorite plays.
- SOLI Chamber Ensemble – San Antonio’s premier new music group.
- Symphony – The San Antonio Symphony is something we are all proud of. Our musicians and conductors are among the best. You can choose from either pops or classical concerts. Itzhak Perlman will join them in September.
ATHLETE AND OUTDOORS
- Government Canyon Hike – You can choose from several different lengths and types of hikes. The landscape is pretty scrubby, so take your sunscreen and hat.
- Pedernales Fall Hike – about a 45-minute drive and a fabulous place to go when it is hot out. Take your swimming gear because there are several good swimming holes and the water is gloriously cool and refreshing.
- Ride a Segway – a good way to tour the River Walk and Historic King William.
- Sea World – not just for kids! We have so many guests who enjoy a day at this park, especially when it is a typical South Texas steamy summer day. Call ahead and make arrangements to swim with the dolphins.
- Trolley Tours – a great way to see the rest of San Antonio without a car.
- Yellow Rose Carriage Ride – not owned by us even though we share the name. You may call and arrange for them to pick you up here and take you on a tour or just drop you off downtown.
- The Alamo
- San Antonio River Walk
- Hemisfair Plaza
- Tower of Americas
- Spanish Governor’s Palace
- Convention Center
- La Villita
- El Mercado Market Square
- San Fernando Cathedral
- Gruene Dance Hall
- San Antonio Missionsl
- Pearl – a culinary and cultural destination in San Antonio and a gathering place where everyone is welcome to eat, play and learn along the banks of the San Antonio River.
- San Antonio Art League Museum
- San Antonio River Improvements Project
- Sunset Station
- The Alameda Theater
- Azuca – 713 Alamo – Festive atmosphere and delicious food [in our neighborhood]
- Biga on the Banks – Eclectic dining – soon to be located on the River Walk next door to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Boudros – River Walk – 224-8484- Southwestern and Cajun cuisine – a local and a tourist favorite
- Blue Star Brewing
- Cappys – 5011 Broadway – 828-9669 American food – A local favorite in Alamo Heights;
- Chris Madrid’s – 1900 Blanco Rd – 735-3553 ;A very popular place to go for big, juicy burgers
- County Line BBQ – River Walk – 229-1941 – We don’t usually recommend chains, but this is an exceptionally good BBQ
- Demos – 2501 N. St. Mary – 732-7777 Greek favorites and belly dancing on weekends
- La Focacci Italian Grill – Our neighborhood Italian restaurant
- Guenther House
- La Frite
- La Tuna Grill
- Liberty Bar
- Paesano’s River Walk
- Pho Cong Ly – 300 W. Bitters Rd – 499-5572 Delicious Vietnamese food – everything is good
- Rosarios – The best Tex-Mex in town and only one block away
- Simis – 4535 Fredericksburg Rd – 737-3166 Really really really good Indian food – the lunch buffet is the best
- Schilo’s – 424 E. Commerce St – 223-6692 Another downtown institution – fabulous German food and homemade root beer
- Sushi Zushi – 203 S. St. Mary – 472-2900 Finally, a sushi joint downtown!
- Thai Cafe – 11318 Perrin Beitel Rd – 599-8830 We think it is the best Thai in the city – worth the drive
GALLERIES & ARTISTS
- Artpace San Antonio
- Blue Star Contemporary Art Center
- Joan Grona Contemporary Art Gallery
- Whistle Stop Corner
- Parchman Stremmel Gallery
- Southwest School of Art