A Weekend in San Antonio
More Than the Alamo
Words & Photos by Jennifer Simonson
As one of Texas’ oldest cities, San Antonio is so much more than kitschy souvenir shops, Alamo tours and strolls along the River Walk. In fact, travelers are frequently surprised by the bold new restaurants, art installments, and thriving entertainment district the city has to offer.
Check into the St. Anthony Hotel, a historic hotel that has been restored to resemble its early 20th-century heyday. Forget the Tex-Mex restaurants with pricy margaritas, and book a dinner cruise with Go Rio Cruises. Enjoy a three-course meal from the city’s best chefs while learning the history behind the city’s most visited destination. End the evening at Haunt, the hotel’s bar that serves classic cocktails inspired by the ghosts believed to be haunting the hotel.
Start the day at Pearl Brewery Development. The 22-acre site that brewed beer from 1883-2001 has been transformed into a creative heaven. It has green-spaces, an outdoor amphitheater, award-winning restaurants, a steampunk-chic boutique hotel and wine bars.
Stop by the farmer’s market to sample local honey, shop for artisan food, taste craft beer, and stretch out during outdoor yoga. Have lunch at one of the award-winning new restaurants like Botika, a Peruvian-Asian restaurant or Cured, a rustic-chic cafe serving charcuterie-focused New American cuisine. Spend the afternoon sampling beer at the Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery.
End the evening at the nearby San Fernando Cathedral. Founded in 1731, it’s the oldest standing church in Texas. Every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night bypassers stand in the main plaza to watch ‘San Antonio: The Saga’ – the history of Texas told through the 24-minute video projected onto the outer walls of the cathedral. Stirling music accompanies the colorful, animated drawings of French artist Xavier De Richemont.
After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, head to Hemisphere Park. The splash pads and giant climbing structures at the Yanaguana Gardens keep the kids busy while parents enjoy a coffee or cocktail on the shaded patio of the nearby Commonwealth Coffee House. Or feast on a non-traditional Tex-Mex at the food trailer Con Safos. Chefs here have created innovative new ways to combine Texas and Mexican cuisines. Try the Pan Dulce Burger: seasoned beef and pork patty with spicy Strawberry Jam, Brie and thick-cut bacon in between a toasted, sweet pink bun.
End the evening at the Aztec Theater. The 1920s theater is walking distance from the St. Anthony Hotel and hosts a variety of musical acts and performances.