San Antonio is only about a 1-1.5 hour drive away from Austin making it perfect for a little weekend getaway. Last week my mom and I explored all around town snapping photos, eating way too much food, and curating all of the very best spots for you guys! Read on for my picks on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do when in San Antonio.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Emma: Conveniently located in the trendy Pearl Neighborhood, this hotel is within walking distance from many of the cities most appealing restaurants and shops. My mom and I stayed here and we just loved it. The Pearl District was once home to Pearl Breweries, and the hotel building was actually the brewhouse! Much of the industrial chic decor and architecture pay homage to it’s original use. The building is truly old, giving this hotel lots of character and charm. For more on the history of the hotel, be sure to check out their website!
The St. Anthony: If you’re looking to be more in the downtown area, you have to stay at the St. Anthony. I didn’t stay here during my last visit, but I have stayed here several times in the past couple of years. Like Hotel Emma, the St. Anthony is also historic. It was actually the first luxury hotel in the city, and has been open since 1909! Even though this beautiful hotel is over 100 years old, the rooms are extremely spacious, modern, and up-to-date. Be forewarned – their beds are so comfy that you may never want to leave.
Hotel Havana: San Antonio is known as a melting pot for Native American, Mexican, and Spanish cultures. Hotel Havana was opened back in 1914 with a vision to recreate a piece of Cuba right here in Texas. It’s Mediterranean Revival architecture and decor will make you feel like you’re truly in Havana. Be sure to check out Ocho, the hotel’s restaurant and bar. I’ve never actually stayed here before, but it’s on my list for the next time I’m in town!
Where to Eat:
The Pearl District
Cured: Cured was a no brainer for me because they specialize in all things charcuterie – which is basically a dream come true for me. Situated in the center of the Pearl District in what was once an administration building for the brewery, the historic vibes can’t be beat! Build your own charcuterie board from a list of specialty meats and rotating cheeses. Stop by between 3:00-6:00pm Monday through Saturday for one of the best happy hour deals in town! Take 1/2 off all cocktails, beers, and wines and when I was there they were also doing 50 cent quail legs that were to. die. for.
High Street Wine: A rustic chic wine bar with a large selection including flights and small plates. My mom and I stopped in before dinner one night for some wine and cheese. It was a beautiful day out so we were able to sit outside and really soak in the ambiance of the Pearl District. Highly recommend this spot if you’re a wine lover!
Southerleigh: If you go nowhere else on this list… Go here. Southerleigh is one of the best restaurants I think I have ever dined at. Specializing in upscale Southern comfort food, this place is a must-do in the Pearl District. We ordered a beer flight with a pretzel to start, fried chicken, crab mac ‘n cheese, and the Mississippi mud pie and yellow cake for dessert. It was all extremely fresh and delicious! I cannot recommend this spot enough.
Bakery Lorraine: World famous macaroons anyone? Everything here is good, but you’ve gotta get the macaroons. I’ve been here for lunch before as well and their quiche is wonderful as well. It’s generally always pretty crowded, so get there early for lunch or go in the afternoon when it’s a little quieter.
Rosella Coffee: A classic Rachel coffee shop with industrial-chic vibes that I can’t get enough of. Along with traditional coffee drinks, they also serve beer and wine as well as food. We only had coffee, but someone else had ordered breakfast while we were there and it looked amazing. All around just a great spot for any time of the day to get your caffeine on!
Bird Bakery: Home of my most favorite chicken salad sandwich. If you’re looking for a classic, cute lunch spot… Look no more. And if you can’t make it in for lunch, just grab a cupcake for an afternoon pick-me-up! I always get the strawberry cupcake, but during this last visit I also tried ‘the Elvis’ which is banana cake with chocolate chips and peanut butter icing. It was awesome!
Common Wealth Coffee: The cutest french inspired coffee shop! There are two locations in town, but I went to the one on Davis street. I got some kind of nitrogen cold brew that was really good! They also serve lots of yummy looking french pastries. Being able to sit outside on the patio on a nice day made me feel like I was in Paris for just a second!
Whiskey Cake: One of my all-time favorite restaurants. I’ve been to the San Antonio location a couple of times as well as the one in Plano. I’m crossing my fingers that they will open up an Austin location sometime soon! This is my go-to spot for some good farm-to-table American food. I really love the duck for dinner, and the whiskey cake for dessert is an absolute must. It’s served warm with toasted pecans on top as well as freshly prepared whipped cream. Need I say more?
Historic Market Square
Mi Tierra: A San Antonio classic for Mexican food and pastries located in Heritage Square. The decor is festive and perfect for pics! It’s typically pretty crowded, but it’s a must-do when in San Antonio.
What to Do:
The Riverwalk: An iconic piece of San Antonio not to be missed! Go for a walk, stop for a drink, or take a boat ride. If you’re looking for a festive place to eat, I’d recommend Acenar. It’s traditional Mexican food right on the riverwalk. Honestly the food isn’t amazing, but it’s good and the bright, colorful decor is just the thing for a fun day on the River Walk.
The Alamo: A key piece of Texas history. Take the tour, check out the museum, and get a photo out front!
The Pearl District: My favorite part of San Antonio. The Pearl District is a both a cultural and culinary destination filled with tons of shops and restaurants. It’s home to all of the trendiest spots! Most of the restaurants under ‘where to eat’ are in this area. You can easily spend an entire day here! On the weekends you won’t want to miss the farmer’s market.
Historic Market Square: Described as the largest Mexican market (outside of Mexico) the historic market square is a key piece of San Antonio flavor. It’s a great spot for festive photos and you’ll find all sorts of souvenirs. I recommend Mi Tierra for a traditional Mexican meal. If you’re more in the mood for a snack, grab a pastry from the bakery side.
Japanese Tea Gardens: Grab some fresh air at the Japanese Tea Gardens! Walk through to see you guessed it – gardens – as well as koi ponds and Japanese inspired architecture. It’s especially beautiful this time of year! And the best news is, it’s free to the public.