Today I’m launching my first travel guide! I’ve done recaps of trips before but I thought a guide would be more useful for reference. I wanted to start with San Antonio since I have traveled there quite often for work and have some stellar recommendations for you. Let’s dive in!
How to get there:
San Antonio does have an airport but its not a major airport so you may have to connect through Dallas or Houston depending on where you are flying in to. If you are local to Texas you can also drive as San Antonio is not far from the 3 major cities Dallas, Houston and Austin.
The airport in San Antonio is on the smaller size which is a plus because the security lines are rarely very busy. Expect wait times of 10 minutes or less during off-peak times. Holidays and school breaks expect that to go upwards of 45 minutes.
Where to stay for relaxation:
La Cantera Resort is my favorite hill country resort tucked away in the rolling hills of San Antonio. This resort has multiple pools with the adults only pool overlooking the hill country and is a great place to watch the sunset. There are a few restaurants and bars onsite but it is also located close to a shopping center with great dining options.
Where to stay for City life:
Drury Riverwalk Plaza is located in the center of San Antonio, right on top of the riverwalk with tons of complimentary amenities. This is a great choice if you want to spend all of your time at the riverwalk. Its also a great value as breakfast and happy hour is included with the rate.
Where to stay for historic hotels:
The Menger is about as historic as it gets in San Antonio. A former hospital this hotel is also said to be haunted and is right across the street from the Alamo. A complete remodel to the property in 2016 has transformed this hotel into the beautiful historical gem that it is. You can also take a ghost tour…if your into that kind of thing 🙂
Where to stay on a budget:
Holiday Inn Downtown/Market Square has a great location and isn’t too hard on the wallet. This hotel was also renovated in 2016 for a beautiful, fresh new look. Fun fact, this location is the 1,000th Holiday Inn built! They have a cool plaque on the building and everything. Holiday Inn is a great value with a great location and free parking!!
Where to stay for a splurge:
Of course the ONLY property I will recommend for this category is Hotel Emma. I had the pleasure of staying here a while back and it has been one of my favorite hotel stays to date. No detail has been left to chance, this hotel takes hospitality and supporting local businesses seriously. You will enjoy your stay so much you will never want to leave. Do check out their in-house restaurant “Supper” its delicious. Located in the Pearl district there is plenty of dining and shopping to keep you entertained for your entire stay. There is also a river taxi stop right outside the pearl that will take you into the heart of San Antonio if you do choose to venture outside this amazing bubble.
What to eat:
I have quite a few favorite places in San Antonio but here is a very simplified list for you:
- Bliss – my favorite place in all of San Antonio, reservations are recommended.
- Bird Bakery – delicious cupcakes pretty good sandwiches and has adorable decor
- Dough – best Napoli style pizza
- Lick – amazing ice cream
- Paloma Blanca – good Mexican, don’t get the stuff on the Riverwalk it’s a tourist trap
- Restaurant Gwendolyn – price fixe menu updated daily and is on the expensive side. Reservations are recommended and they do have a dress code.
- Magnolia Pancake Haus – get the blueberry pancakes, they are the best I’ve ever had
- Il Sogno Osteria– great Northern Italian food and you can sit at the bar and watch them make the food. They have no online presence and you need to call the restaurant for reservations.
- Lulu’s Bakery – home of the giant cinnamon roll from Man vs Food but also a great chicken fried steak covered in homemade queso. Their onion rings and rolls are so delicious
You may notice there are not any restaurants on the Riverwalk that I recommend. That is because most of them are tourist traps with sub-par food. I love the Riverwalk for its ambiance but not for its food.
What to do:
Of course you have to visit the Alamo! Recently named a World Heritage site, the Alamo is located downtown near the riverwalk. If you are a history buff you may spend quite a lot of time here, otherwise plan maybe 1 hour at best to tour the site.
The Riverwalk itself has a rich history and you can take a river taxi where your driver will regale you with tales on the river. You will float past iconic bridges and see where Selena preformed while in San Antonio. Be careful on the riverwalk though, there are no railings and the sidewalks get very narrow in certain areas.
Six Flags and SeaWorld are big theme park attractions in San Antonio. With seasonal operating hours check availability before your visit. Thrill seekers will love Six Flags, I’ve personally never been because I’m terrified of big coasters but all my friends who have been love it.
Botanical and Japanese Gardens are beautiful to explore and very tranquil. They are a little outside the city but definitely worth a visit. This is my hidden gem of the city as many people just stick to the riverwalk and just don’t know this is here. There are also old Spanish missions throughout the city that would make a great historical visit as well.
If you have a car make your way to Natural Bridge Caverns. This is a great natural cavern in Texas with some beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. We went as a kid and I loved it. There is a half marathon that goes through it as well that’s on my running bucket list! This site is about 30-56 minutes outside the city but definitely worth the trip.
This just scrapes the surface of things to do in San Antonio, this city is so rich in history and culture you will definitely love every minute of your visit.
What to remember:
Currency is dollars. Main language spoken is English but Spanish is helpful. Public transportation is limited but there are taxis and Uber.
Texans are notoriously friendly and in my experience San Antonio is no exception to this. Locals are more than happy to give recommendations and show you that great southern hospitality. Enjoy yourself and HAVE FUN!!!
Don’t forget, I can help you plan your vacation to Disney, Universal, Cruises or ANYWHERE!!! Here is the link to my facebook page or email me at Rachael@DreamComeTrueVacations.com
I was in no way paid for this review all opinions are my own and links have no affiliates for me. My goal is for you to enjoy your visit with curating great experiences for you that is totally unbiased.
CHIME IN!!! Have you been to San Antonio? Do you love historical sites? Do you love thrill rides?