As the seventh-largest city in the nation and one of the fastest-growing, San Antonio always has something new and exciting to explore. Here are a few of San Antonio’s newest offerings as well as developments on the horizon.
NATION’S LARGEST LATINO-FOCUSED PERFORMANCE VENUE RE-OPENING (2023)
The largest performance venue in the U.S. focusing on Latino performing arts, The Alameda Theater, will reopen in 2023 after a two-phase, multiyear, $37 million initiative to restore the historic downtown San Antonio theater. Originally completed in 1949, the theater has featured well-known performers from across the U.S., Mexico, Spain and other Latin American countries. When it reopens following its renovation, the theater will host local, regional and international artists with a variety of seating options with a capacity of up to 1,500 people. The interior will include an expanded lobby, an upstairs lounge area, a cafe and restored blacklight murals. The restoration work includes environmental and utility work, construction of a new stage extending beyond the curtains toward the audience and a tiered seating structure.
THE ALAMO EXPANDING WITH CONSTRUCTION OF EXHIBITION HALL & COLLECTIONS BUILDING (2022)
The Alamo is working to improve the visitor experience and expand its exhibition facilities with its new Exhibition Hall and Collections Building. This new 24,000-square-foot structure will expand exhibition space for documents and objects in the Alamo’s comprehensive collection by 500%. This new building, part of “The Alamo Plan,” provides state-of-the-art facilities for special exhibitions and storage to ensure the long-term care of the Alamo collection.
MCNAY ART MUSEUM’S $6.25 MILLION LANDSCAPE MASTER PLAN (Fall 2021)
The McNay Art Museum’s commitment to engaging a diverse community in the visual arts reaches new heights with a $6.25 million Landscape Master Plan. This transformative plan activates and enhances the outdoor museum experience with additional works of art, “invisible” fencing, new landscaping and increased accessibility—ensuring everyone feels welcome and at home at the first modern art museum in Texas. Phase I construction will reach completion in the fall of 2021. Vibrant florals, dozens of native and drought-resistant trees, scenic walkways, meditative seating areas and enhanced lighting will activate the 23-acre grounds. The museum remains fully open throughout construction.
SAN ANTONIO AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY ARCHIVE & MUSEUM (Feb. 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) debuted a new exhibit location in the heart of the city at La Villita (218 South Presa St., Building 20). The materials collected in the museum’s archives serve as family-friendly educational material, with programs specifically designed for children, as well as inspire youth and adults from San Antonio and beyond. One of its permanent exhibitions presents a timeline that illustrates Black history in the city through photographs and documents from the archive. Digital exhibits, the archive, virtual discussions and research papers are available at saaacam.org.
BLACK HISTORY RIVER CRUISE (Feb. 2021)
The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum, working with GO Rio River Cruises, has launched twice-monthly African American history tours focused on San Antonio’s city center. The tours, on the second Sunday and fourth Saturday of each month, are limited to 30 people per cruise in observance of social distancing. Private group tours also are available. Tickets are available online or at SAAACAM’s location at La Villita.
ROBERT L.B. TOBIN LAND BRIDGE at PHIL HARDBERGER PARK (Dec. 2020)
The Land Bridge is the first in the world designed for the safe passage of both wildlife and people. At 150-feet long and 150-feet wide, it is the largest wildlife crossing constructed to date in the United States. Built across the busy lanes of Wurzbach Parkway, the Land Bridge unifies the previously divided 330-acre Hardberger Park located in north-central San Antonio. Pedestrians and animals traversing the Land Bridge have the experience of climbing a peaceful hill, unaware of the roadway below. Amenities such as wildlife viewing blinds designed by local artists and a Skywalk that gently climbs through the treetops leading to the bridge offer park visitors unique new ways to connect with nature.
HOPSCOTCH (Oct. 2020)
Hopscotch, a curated experiential art experience, opened in downtown San Antonio with a view of Travis Park. The 20,000-sq.-ft. gallery features 14 immersive exhibits by more than 40 local, national and international artists ranging in location from San Antonio to Moscow. The gallery boasts an outdoor patio and indoor lounge available to the general public as well as to ticketed guests. Popular local food truck Smack’s Chicken Shack has parked in the gallery’s patio and created the #LetsHopscotch sandwich, a decadent combination of fried chicken, powdered sugar, honey butter and donuts, that is only served at Hopscotch. The gallery’s bar program is inspired by the installations throughout the space featuring specialty cocktails, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Hopscotch also offers an on-site gift shop offering unique gifts and custom curiosities as well as items from the installation’s artists and additional local artists.
SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL COMPLETES $20 MILLION EXPANSION RENOVATION (Aug. 2020)
The Education and Event Center at the San Antonio Botanical Garden made its debut in Spring 2020 and is the gateway to a 38-acre urban oasis of nature just minutes from downtown. This 3,500 square foot state-of-the-art indoor venue is surrounded by three sides of 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with the interior and exterior ceiling adorned by Sinker Cypress wood. Views include the lush Grand Lawn, wisteria arbor, oak trees, and the Santikos Fern Fountain. This modern building is ideal for events of all sizes from lectures and symposiums of up to 350 guests or receptions and banquets with up to 200 seated guests. The new Grand Lawn, adjacent to the Education and Event Center, can accommodate a sit-down dinner up to 720 guests or a festival for 2,300. This is the final piece of the Botanical Garden’s multi-year, $20 million expansion renovation.
RUBY CITY (Oct. 2019)
Conceived by renowned philanthropist and collector Linda Pace (1945-2007), and designed by preeminent architect Sir David Adjaye, Ruby City is a new 14,000 square foot art exhibition space on Camp Street. The modern, crimson-hued building transforms San Antonio’s arts community as it houses the Linda Pace Foundation’s growing collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world. The entire $16 million project was privately funded by Linda Pace Foundation. Ruby City is part of an arts campus that also includes Chris Park and Studio, which extends from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek. Admission is free.
FAMILY ADVENTURE GARDEN AT SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (Mar. 2018)
As part of its recent expansion, the San Antonio Botanical Garden opened its 2.5-acre Family Adventure Garden. With 15 adventure-themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery, families can explore bubbling creeks, thundering ridges, beckoning hills, and sandy shores. The Family Adventure Garden offers a multigenerational design so people of all ages and physical abilities can unplug from devices and plug in to nature. The Garden’s transformational 8-acre expansion, much of which opened 2017-2018, also includes the Mays Family Display Garden, Halsell Welcome Building, H-E-B Discovery Center, The Zachry Foundation Culinary Garden, Goldsbury Foundation Pavilion and CHEF Teaching Kitchen.
SAN ANTONIO NAMED UNESCO CREATIVE CITY OF GASTRONOMY (Oct. 2017)
San Antonio has been named a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s Creative Cities Network. This internationally recognized designation honors San Antonio’s rich culinary heritage and is the result of a collaborative community effort. San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to earn this distinction and the first in Texas. San Antonio’s culinary heritage is significant for its confluence of many world cultures such as Mexican, Spanish, German and French, as well as its geology and geography.
WORLD’S STEEPEST DIVE COASTER COMING TO SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (Summer 2022)
A world-record-setting themed roller coaster is part of Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ 30th Anniversary celebration in 2022. The fictional Dr. Diabolical built a machine offering riders the elixir of eternal life, while truly meant to harvest the essence of human adrenaline and fear in order to nourish her creatures. The “Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger” coaster has three 21-passenger trains to lift riders 150 feet in the air, then lock them in a face-first Cliffhanger hold just before dropping them down a 95-degree, beyond-vertical plummet at 60 mph. The machine travels on 2,501 feet of track through an Immelmann inversion, a 270-degree zero-g roll, a 75-foot near-vertical drop, a wild-banked turn, an extreme airtime hill, and a high-speed spiral finale.
SAN ANTONIO ZOO INTRODUCES PANTERA WALK AND NEOTROPICA (Fall 2021)
San Antonio Zoo is expanding the jaguar habitat with a connected overhead catwalk called Pantera Walk. The new habitat’s Pantera Walk will not only go over guests as they stroll by the current jaguar habitat, but it will lead the jaguars into the Amazonia habitat where they can walk along the riverbed before making their way into the secondary habitat. Once complete, San Antonio Zoo will be the only zoo in the United States to offer this unique catwalk for jaguars. Pantera Walk will reinforce two important natural behaviors – it lets jaguars hang high in a canopy-type setting and it allows them to explore the river’s edge. The new jaguar habitat is part of a renovated area of the zoo also debuting in the fall, to be named NEOTROPICA. The new realm’s theme will focus on the Neotropical regions of the Americas and include enhancements that stretch from the current Outpost Amazonia through the new jaguar habitat and other regional habitats in that area. NEOTROPICA will create the feel of a remote fishing village with motifs characteristic of the Americas and nods to pre-Hispanic cultures.
ULTRA-ACCESSIBLE™ MORGAN’S WONDERLAND CAMP (2021)
The team behind Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible theme park, is building a 102-acre recreational oasis in northern San Antonio that will offer year-round summer-camp-type experiences to those with and without special needs. The $28 million project will feature an ultra-accessible, multi-platform zipline, a stable and horses, hiking trails, a nature farm, multiple pools, a splash pad, archery range, enclosed sports pavilion, arts and crafts center, a challenge course for all abilities, a 30,000-square-foot welcome center and a 5,500-square-foot health center for round-the-clock medical assistance. Twenty on-site cabins will be built to accommodate up to 525 campers and staff members.
MORGAN’S WONDERLAND SPORTS (Jun. 2021)
Morgan’s Wonderland Sports is a 3-acre ultra-accessible™ sports complex, offering fitness and fun for athletes of all abilities. The new $3 million facility in north-central San Antonio provides a home for adaptive and Paralympic-style sports programs for wounded service members and veterans, alongside youth and adults with different abilities. Morgan’s Wonderland Sports is available for private events and features a covered pavilion, tennis courts, football and softball fields and LED field lights to assist guests with visual impairments.
DARE DEVIL DIVE FLYING MACHINES ARRIVING AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (Spring 2021)
This summer, visitors to Six Flags Fiesta Texas will experience the thrills and sensations of weightlessness through aerial banks, loops and dives on the all-new Dare Devil Dive Flying Machines. The world’s tallest ride of its kind, the retro four-seater steampunk flying machines will imitate the maneuvers of acrobatic dogfights soaring nearly five stories above Crackaxle Canyon.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM NOW OPEN AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (May 2021)
SEA LIFE is the world’s biggest aquarium brand and highlights spectacular displays of diverse marine life. As its stunning centerpiece, SEA LIFE San Antonio features a tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel, taking visitors on a seamless journey under the sea.
KAYAKING ON THE RIVER WALK (Oct. 2020)
One of the novelties for outdoor activities in San Antonio is to enjoy a fun kayak ride on the River Walk and go through the famous city center. This new way to experience the River Walk’s Downtown Reach, can be enjoyed by people of all ages and multiple ability levels thanks to the river’s calm waters. This kayaking activity, though must be reserved through Mission Adventure Tours, is not a guided tour but a chance to freely roam the River Walk by kayak. The rental rate includes the kayak, paddles and life jacket for up to 2 hours. This is a new experience from Mission Adventure Tours, which also offers guided kayak and stand-up paddleboarding in the Mission Reach of the River Walk, along the UNESCO World Heritage Site Spanish Colonial Missions.
HEART-POUNDING TONGA TWISTER SLIDES OPENS AT AQUATICA SAN ANTONIO (Summer 2020)
Tonga Twister, two thrilling, heart-pounding body slides, each with distinct twists and turns was unveiled this summer at Aquatica, SeaWorld San Antonio’s waterpark. Tonga Twister features AquaLucent™ tubes that create special effect lighting patterns, giving riders an electrifying light show as they plummet and slide from a height of more than 50 feet, navigating 415 feet of twists and turns before splashing down into a refreshing pool. High-energy music piped into the tubes elevates the excitement and fun.
TALLEST, FASTEST AND LONGEST WOODEN COASTER IN TEXAS OPENS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 2020)
SeaWorld San Antonio opened the all-new Texas Stringray wooden roller coaster. This ride is the tallest, fastest and longest wooden coaster in Texas. It features a drop of 100 feet with more than 15 airtime hills with a top speed of 55 miles per hour.
TWISTED TRAILS ADVENTURE COURSE AT NATURAL BRIDGE CAVERNS
Twisted Trails Adventure Course is an all-new attraction at Natural Bridge Caverns, home to the largest show caves in Texas. The six-story-high adventure course features four levels and 50 elements to challenge all ages. Guests test their skills with activities such as lily pads, stepping stones, a weave walk, squid steps and a rolling log. Unlike traditional ziplines, which only travel along a straight line, Twisted Trails includes 685-feet of curved rails, offering a soaring roller coaster-like experience. Nearby, the new Twisted Trails Tykes allow pint-sized thrill-seekers their own taste of the action.
THE JOKER: CARNIVAL OF CHAOS AT SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (Jul. 2019)
A thrilling new pendulum ride inspired by DC Super-Villain The Joker is now open at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Joker Carnival of Chaos, located in the new DC Universe section of the park, is the world’s tallest pendulum ride, standing at a record-breaking 17 stories and reaching speeds up to 75 miles per hour. Guests can enjoy the ride 12 months a year, as the theme park has announced year-round operations, extending their season into both January and February, weekends and holidays.
TURTLE REEF™ DEBUTS AT SEAWORLD SAN ANTONIO (May 2019)
SeaWorld’s all-new Turtle Reef™ is a fascinating habitat that enables guests to get an up-close look at threatened and endangered sea turtles, plus learn about the threats the species face in the wild. The focal point is a 126,000-gallon coral reef-themed environment, with natural bio filtration, featuring rescued and non-releasable green sea turtles, along with hundreds of multi-colored Caribbean fish. Turtle Reef also features SeaWorld’s second underwater viewing area where guests can watch from a floor-to-ceiling, panoramic portal as turtles swim just inches away.
LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER OPENS AT SHOPS AT RIVERCENTER (Apr. 2019)
Premier family attraction LEGOLAND Discovery Center has opened at the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. LEGOLAND Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and is designed for families with children ages 3 to 10 to play together. The new attraction offers a range of themed LEGO play areas, creative workshops with LEGO Master Model Builders, exciting LEGO-themed rides, party rooms, as well as the popular MINILAND exhibit which will reflect the buildings and skyline of San Antonio.
RHINO RENOVATIONS AT SAN ANTONIO ZOO (Mar. 2019)
The San Antonio Zoo has transformed its rhinoceros habitat to feature additional trees and landscape, a viewing deck, waterfall with creek and a mud wallow. The habitat is not only to rhinos, but to zebras, crown cranes, waterbucks, sitatungas and marbou storks. The new rhino habitat connects to the existing giraffe habitat allowing the animals to move freely between areas, creating a savanna-like setting. A nursery area was also added to accommodate two female rhinos the zoo plans to receive from other zoological facilities as well as a male rhino shortly, in order to begin a breeding program for Southern White Rhinoceroses.
NEW-BUILD ARTISTA SAN ANTONIO HOTEL COMING TO RIVER WALK (Summer 2023)
The 112-room hotel celebrates San Antonio’s great culture and diversity and will offer a fresh perspective on the lifestyle boutique hotel experience in the heart of the city’s River Walk area, bringing an elevated and refined experience for the world explorer, digital nomad, business tycoon and local resident alike. Guestroom interiors will reflect an inspirational art-centric modern design with a nod to the Spanish colonial roots of San Antonio. The hotel, operating under Accor’s Morgans Originals lifestyle brand, will embrace a strong South and Central American flavor with work by artists whose pieces will be featured throughout the property. Artista San Antonio will engage directly with the local artist community, providing several unique offerings for guests including access to limited edition prints, custom artwork and bespoke textile and leather goods. Over 2,500 square feet of event and meeting space will be available for private parties, events, gatherings and meetings. Artista San Antonio will bring several of the Morgan Original’s signature culinary and bar concepts to the heart of the Riverwalk.
LUXURY INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL CHECKING INTO RIVER WALK (Early 2023)
Scarlett Hotel Group and Trailbreak Partners have purchased the former Wyndham San Antonio River Walk and plan a $50 million overhaul will turn the 21-story building into a luxury, full-service, four-star, 390-room InterContinental Hotel. As part of the multimillion-dollar upgrades, the new InterContinental will offer 40,000 square feet of meeting space and nearly 3,000 square feet of dining and restaurant space, as well as luxury rooftop amenities.
DUAL-CONCEPT AC HOTEL & ELEMENT HOTEL DEBUTING AT RIVERVIEW TOWERS (May 2022)
Across from historic Main Plaza and San Fernando Cathedral, The Riverview Towers will soon be home to San Antonio’s first AC Hotel by Marriott and Element Hotel by Westin. The AC brand celebrates the beauty of classic modern designs born of its Spanish roots and European soul. The hotels’ 20-story building will include 4,000 sq. ft of function space and rooftop bar One Watson on the 13th floor overlooking the River Walk. With 181 rooms, each offering amazing views, AC Hotel will be a great retreat for simplistic luxury catering to the creative, well-traveled, entrepreneurial spirits, who are constantly on the go, and appreciate a well-designed hotel that allows them to focus, be present, and connect with others. Element Hotel will offer 169 spacious guest rooms designed for longer stays including fully equipped in-room kitchens, fitness options and on-site laundry.
ALOFT NEW OPTION IN LA CANTERA AREA (Sept. 2021)
Designed for global travelers who love open spaces, open thinking and open expression, Aloft San Antonio Northwest brings a distinct new offering to the La Cantera area. The hotel offers 136 airy 9-foot-high ceilings guest rooms, a splash pool and an over 750 sq. ft. gym. The hotel features W XYZ bar to mix it up over music, cocktails and wine and 24/7 grab-and-go food options at Refuel.
CANOPY BY HILTON MAKES RIVER WALK DEBUT (Mar. 2021)
Adding to San Antonio’s repertoire of exceptional hotels, Canopy by Hilton made its River Walk debut March 2021. The hotel integrates the Civil War-era Alamo Fish Market building into its 20-story design. Incorporating the building into the hotel is not only an integral element of the authenticity of the Canopy brand but also maintains an important historic element to the corridor. Canopy San Antonio River Walk features 1,102 square feet of meeting space, 195 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the River Walk.
ESTANCIA DEL NORTE DEBUTS IN UPTOWN DISTRICT (Apr. 2021)
Originally constructed as La Mansion Del Norte in 1978, Estancia Del Norte honors the culture, character, and beauty of San Antonio. Estancia Del Norte transformed a piece of San Antonio history into a modern space for celebration, designed to showcase the vibrant traditions of Mexico, Spain, and Texas with its opening in April of 2021. The hotel offers 277 guest rooms including 12 luxury suites, the Grand Courtyard replete with a luxury pool and gardens, local artwork throughout the hotel, a conference center including the over 7,000 square-foot Estancia Ballroom, the Paseo Bar – featuring tequilas, mezcals and a curated selection of specialty bourbons – and Lazo with Don Strange, the first restaurant from renowned San Antonio catering company, focusing on regional South Texas cuisine.
THOMPSON HOTEL BRINGS LUXURY DEVELOPMENT TO RIVER WALK ARTS DISTRICT (Feb. 2021)
Thompson San Antonio Hotel and The Arts Residences, a $116 million mixed-use hotel-condominium tower on the San Antonio River Walk brings luxury living and hotel accommodations to the downtown area. The 20-story 337,000-plus-square-foot mixed-use development is across the River Walk from the esteemed Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. This 162-room Thompson Hotel is one of a collection of design-forward, boutique lifestyle hotels and resorts. It features amenities including a high-end restaurant, 20th floor rooftop bar with panoramic views of downtown, a 5,000 square-foot pool deck with pool bar on the fourth floor, a fitness center, spa, valet parking and 24-hour concierge and in-room dining services.
OMNI LA MANSIÓN DEL RIO UNVEILS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION (Spring 2020)
Omni La Mansión del Rio has unveiled the completion of its multi-million dollar update of all 338 guestrooms at the hotel. Taking inspiration from the rich history of the property, the overall design maintains the originality of the existing building while adding brand new amenities. All rooms received new updated lighting and furniture including upgrading of any full-size beds to queen size beds, new artwork reflecting the heritage and beauty of the region with a modern and elevated aesthetic, smart high-definition TVs with the ability to stream and connect directly from personal devices, new Wi-Fi internet system, safe and secure radio-frequency identification (RFID) door lock system and fresh paint and carpet.
MARRIOTT RIVERCENTER HOTEL’S MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR RENOVATION (Feb. 2020)
One of the largest hotels in downtown San Antonio, Marriott Rivercenter, completed a river-to-rooftop, multi-million-dollar remodel in Feb. 2020 that captures the city’s artistic character. Indigenous architectural elements such as white limestone and local artistic glassmakers lend an upscale feel while still being traditional. The project included redesigning all 1,001 rooms and suites along with meeting space. Plus, common areas, lobby, restaurant and lounge space was also renovated and a new M Club for Marriott’s elite members has been added.
DUAL-BRANDED HAMPTON INN & SUITES AND HOME2SUITES BY HILTON OPENS ON RIVER WALK (Feb. 2019)
The dual-branded Hampton Inn & Suites and Home2Suites by Hilton is San Antonio’s newest River Walk hotel offering great views of the river, two styles of complimentary breakfast and easy to access to many of San Antonio’s downtown attractions. The Hampton Inn offers 122 rooms and the Home2Suites has 91 rooms.
EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON SAN ANTONIO LANDMARK OPENS IN NORTH SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 2018)
This all-new, 203-room all-suite property is conveniently located near many of San Antonio’s top attractions including The Shops at La Cantera, The Rim shopping center and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark can enjoy a free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks nightly at the hotel’s evening reception. Additional amenities include on-site restaurant Brickstone’s Kitchen & Bar, 11,000 square feet of meeting space, a 24-hour convenience store, a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor pool with bar service.
HYATT REGENCY HILL COUNTRY RESORT RENOVATES ROGER-WISEMAN PAVILION (Aug. 2018)
Named in honor of the family who owned and operated a cattle ranch for more than a century on the land where the Hyatt Regency Hill Country now sits, the Rogers-Wiseman Pavilion was originally intended as a temporary venue space in 2010. The resort turned the space into a permanent structure in 2014, and in 2018, the resort completed a full renovation of the space to a full-use signature meeting and event space. The pavilion is now outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and new luxury vinyl tile flooring to reflect the elegance and rustic feel of the property.
TRU BY HILTON DOWNTOWN SAN ANTONIO OPENS IN EXPANDED HISTORIC BUILDING (Jun. 2018)
Tru by Hilton Downtown San Antonio offers an experience that’s vibrant, affordable and young-at-heart. Located just steps from The Alamo and the River Walk, the 94-room Tru features efficient rooms with free WiFi and 55-inch televisions with 150 channels. Guests enjoy an extensive breakfast bar, as well as gourmet snacks, drinks and beer and wine from the hotel’s 24/7 market. While located in a historic building, Tru offers high-tech perks including digital keys, a social media wall, lobby tablets and free remote printing. Guests can enjoy pool, board games, a fitness center, outdoor pool or a sound-absorbing alcove for reading or quiet time.
HILTON GARDEN INN SAN ANTONIO DOWNTOWN (Mar. 2018)
Located in the heart of downtown, the new Hilton Garden Inn is within easy walking distance of The Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, the Majestic Theatre, the Henry B. González Convention Center and Market Square. The 125-room property features modern interiors, a 24-hour fitness center, a rooftop heated pool overlooking downtown and a restaurant and bar serving breakfast, dinner and room service. Room amenities include complimentary wireless Internet, a refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker. The property also offers 1,700 square feet of flexible meeting space with catering available.
THE JERK SHACK AT HEMISFAIR (Summer 2022)
Caribbean-inspired restaurant the Jerk Shack will open its third brick-and-mortar location in summer 2022 in downtown San Antonio’s redeveloped Hemisfair district. Popular items from the original Jerk Shack, including Jamaican favorites braised oxtail and jerk chicken, will feature in the menu of the new spot. New to the mix will be an array of elevated, steakhouse-style items. The downtown location will also be the first Jerk Shack to include a full bar and cocktail program. The 1,740-square-foot restaurant will be located in the Schultze House, one of the complex’s historically recreated homes. Constructed in 1893, the structure was part of HemisFair in 1968.
TWO NEW ITALIAN CONCEPTS COMING TO PEARL (Fall 2021)
Maverick Restaurant Group announced two new Italian concepts centered around outdoor living. Allora is a stylish, full-service coastal Italian restaurant designed to take diners on a journey through the romantic Amalfi Coast. The restaurant creates Italian reverie with colorfully transportive gathering spaces, one of the city’s largest alfresco dining loggias, and a modern Italian menu crafted by Chef Robbie Nowlin. The menu features small and large plates, including fresh seafood, housemade pasta, plus savory vegetables and meats. A full-service bar offers craft cocktails, spritzers, and Italian wines. Arrosta is a fast-casual cafe, or tavola, bringing the flavors of Italian street markets to Pearl in San Antonio. The restaurant delivers a bohemian cafe experience, featuring elevated counter service and glass cases filled with baked goods and casual takeaway meals. Patrons can linger over work projects in cozy banquettes or retreat to the lush patio garden for relaxing breaks. Chef Christopher Carlson of Maverick Texas Brasserie delivers a menu of rotisserie meats sold by the pound in bowls, salads, and sandwiches, as well as salumi e formaggi, panini and fritti misto. An all-day bar transitions from coffee drinks in the morning to Italian wines and beers at night. Allora will be located on the ground level of the Credit Human building, while Arrosta will be on the ground level of the adjacent Oxbow building.
EL MACHITO and LA GLORIA (Fall 2021)
Chef Johnny Hernandez expands his empire and authentic Mexican flavors to San Antonio’s Southside as he revives his grilled meat-focused restaurant El Machito and a new location of local favorite La Gloria. Located in the fast-growing mixed-use community of Brooks, Chef Hernandez’s concepts will be among the first San Antonio-based restaurants to be added alongside The Greenline, a 43-acre urban linear park connecting to the San Antonio River Walk’s Mission Reach. At El Machito, guests will enjoy a menu of Mexican style grilled meats including cecina asada, cabrito, chorizo verde, and more, while La Gloria’s menu continues its emphasis on popular Mexican street foods.
THE BOX STREET SOCIAL (Fall 2021)
A popular local food truck and catering business, The Box Street Social will be opening its first brick-and-mortar location at Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. It will feature a 5,000-square-foot patio with view of the Tower of the Americas and other downtown landmarks. The tasty and eclectic menu will feature favorites such as pulled pork and spicy crab-stuffed avocados, Thai chile wings, chicken and doughnuts, and more items that will expand from its current food truck offerings. Its truck and catering business will continue operation.
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB AT HEMISFAIR (Fall 2021)
Bombay Bicycle Club partners Bill Leighton and Satchie Seidlits have teamed up with Paula Sullivan of Carmen’s de la Calle for Bombay Bicycle Club’s second location. The team highlights the best of both restaurants with a menu featuring Carmen’s globally inspired empanadas and Bombay’s famous burgers. Bombay Bicycle Club first opened in San Antonio in 1973 and is known for its laid-back atmosphere, margaritas and classic American menu. The restaurant and bar will open in the historic Espinoza House at Hemisfair’s Yanaguana Garden.
KINEAPPLE AT PEARL BOTTLING DEPT. (Sept. 2021)
Kineapple, a concept by Local Coffee Founders Robby and Neesha Grubbs, opens at Pearl’s Bottling Department. The new concept will offer a variety of fresh smoothies, healthy snacks, salads, coffee, and more. The menu is designed to make healthy eating accessible and delicious. Guests can expect smoothies that can be made with different modifiers such as plant-based protein, whey isolate, creatine, turmeric, collagen, blue majik, cold brew shot and more. Food options include Crunchy Kale Salad, Free Range Chicken Salad Sandwich, Kineapple Farm Bowl, Golden Overnight Oats, In-house Protein Bar and more. In addition to smoothies and snacks, Kineapple also will offer coffee from a rotating list of specialty coffee roasters. The name pays homage to Robby and Neesha’s youngest son, who struggled to say “pineapple” as a child and instead pronounced the name of the fruit with a K instead of a P.
HUGMAN’S OASIS (May 2021)
Named for Robert H. H. Hugman, the visionary architect behind the River Walk, Hugman’s Oasis is a new destination tiki lounge from local restaurateur Chris Hill. San Antonio mixologist and bar owner Jeret Peña and bar manager Maren Erickson have created elevated takes on tiki bar staples, including the Golden Triangle, a tequila-based sour cocktail with Sriracha honey syrup, cilantro, and a black sesame rim, and the Pinagroni, a spin on the traditional Negroni made with pineapple wash campari.
DOMINGO (Apr. 2021)
The River Walk-level restaurant of the new Canopy San Antonio Riverwalk hotel is a tribute to South Texas cuisine. The 3,265-square-foot, three-meal restaurant, helmed by executive chef Arturo Treviño, features unique takes on San Antonio and southwest favorites including ceviches, tacos, enchiladas, steaks and fresh fish. The restaurant’s bar focuses on agave-based cocktails rounded out by a selection of craft beers and wine with nonalcoholic cocktail options available.
DEVIL’S RIVER WHISKEY DISTILLERY (Mar. 2021)
Devils River’s new home in the historic Burns Building hosts a working craft distillery with premium tastings and tours, access to live music on the building’s rooftop and a 1920s prohibition-era bar offering craft cocktails. The new distillery recycles non-potable water for its production process and donates spent grains to area farmers as protein for cattle.
LITTLE RHEIN PROST HAUS (Mar. 2021)
Little Rhein Prost Haus, an authentic German beer garden, opened in the historic Otto Bombach House at La Villita. Little Rhein Prost Haus, “prost” meaning cheers in German, offers over 20 draft beers imported from Munich or craft-brewed locally and the largest selection of schnapps in the U.S. The menu is comprised of German fare including various schnitzels, German potato salads, brats and sausages of all types, sauerkraut, red cabbage, homemade beer cheese, German grain mustards, apple strudel, burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and more. Indoor and outdoor seating with two levels of patios on the River Walk.
LANDRACE (Feb. 2021)
Noted San Antonio chef Steve McHugh launched Landrace, a restaurant focused on Texas-grown ingredients prepared largely on a wood-burning grill, in the new Thompson Hotel in the Arts District. The 200-seat restaurant serves dishes such as steak au poivre in which the beef is crusted with ground chile pequin, charbroiled Gulf oysters topped with New Orleans-style barbecue sauce, Berkshire pork chops with pear butter and other dishes. The setting evokes warm mid-century modernism with upholstered seating and custom-designed patterned screens in rose gold. A showstopping bar and a semi-open kitchen showcasing a wood-fired grill will contribute to the inviting ambiance. Beyond the main dining room, Landrace offers two expansive private dining rooms, one of which features views of the River Walk.
THE MOON’S DAUGHTER (Feb. 2021)
The restaurant and bar at the new Thompson Hotel is helmed by chef Robert Cantu, a San Antonio native who’s cooked in kitchens across Texas and the Midwest. The 20th-floor rooftop restaurant will have a more Mediterranean approach with a menu of small plates designed for sharing, many made with local ingredients. The offerings include house-made feta burrata cheese with pesto, lamb ragu with hummus and pita, stuffed leek kebabs with squash and cashew cheese and other dishes.
RE:ROOTED 210 URBAN WINERY (Feb. 2021)
Re:Rooted 210 Urban Winery brings Texas wine to Hemisfair, making it the first winemaking and tasting room facility in downtown San Antonio. Featuring six wines on tap and dozens of bottled wines, this urban winery specializes in local wine education and serving only Texas wines.
BRASSERIE MON CHOU CHOU (Dec. 2020)
Chef Laurent Réa and Southerleigh Hospitality opened this casual take on French comfort food at Pearl. The brasserie – a casual alternative to French fine dining – offers simplified takes on dishes including steak frites, lyonnaise salad, escargot, oysters, domestic and imported cheese plateau, raclette and baguette, braised Texas rabbit in Dijon mustard sauce. The bar offers handcrafted cocktails such as the ‘Pink French Fairy’ gin fizz featuring Citadelle gin, egg white, fresh lemon and wild strawberry liquor.
BEST QUALITY DAUGHTER (Nov. 2020)
Local culinary team Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin and Quealy Watson, chefs and owners of Tenko Ramen, have opened an Asian-American concept at Pearl. The menu includes Thai curry babaganoush; crispy fried pig ears; and chorizo, egg and cheese potstickers. Noodles and rice selections include mochi gnocchi with sauce mornay and Chinese sausage, and phat kaphrao pork fried rice. Best Quality Daughter features dishes pulled from Dobbertin’s travels and comfort food from her youth as a first-generation, Chinese-American with heavy Chinese, South Texas and Southeast Asian influences.
HELLO PARADISE (Oct. 2020)
Located in the Government Hill neighborhood near the Pearl district, Hello Paradise is a casual bar with tropically inspired cocktails and authentic Thai food. The noodle-based dishes-focused food menu comes from Thailand natives Dara and Kusol Maknual with cocktails from James Beard-nominated barman Jeret Pena. Hello Paradise features a lineup of inventive frozen cocktails including three frozen drink machines dedicated to making rum, vodka and tequila bases that are customized into a wide range of drinks with fresh juices, herbs and other ingredients.
CHILAQUIL (Oct. 2020)
Created by husband-wife duo, Orlando and Susana Aguirre, Chilaquil is a Mexican street food concept inspired by traditional Mexican dishes. Formerly a popular food truck located on Broadway St., Chilaquil is has opened its first brick and mortar location at Pearl’s Bottling Department food hall. Chilaquil’s menu offers traditional Mexican street and comfort food fare, with its focus being chilaquiles, a Mexican comfort food consisting of tortilla chips covered in salsa, cheese, and more. Chilaquil’s more elaborate versions of the traditional dish also include choices of beans, eggs, avocado, chicken, steak, pork, and nopalitos.
JARDIN AT THE SAN ANTONIO BOTANICAL GARDEN (Sept. 2020)
Guests can walk back in time as they enter the new restaurant inside the historic Daniel J. Sullivan Carriage House originally built in 1896. Nestled on 38-acres of natural beauty of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the location makes for a picturesque fine dining experience. Jardin’s menu focuses on regions around the Mediterranean Sea featuring Greek, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and slight Moroccan influences. A full bar offers frozen Bellini’s, as well as a classic cocktail program and a wine list highlighting boutique selection of new and old-world wineries. During the warmer months, visitors can enjoy eating outside in Gertie’s Garden, a large outdoor patio area shaded by mature Texas ash trees; the patio also showcases colorful annual plantings and provides easy access to the formal and display gardens.
SOUTHERLEIGH HAUTE SOUTH (Sept. 2020)
Southerleigh Haute South, a new fine casual concept from the team behind Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery at Pearl, opened at The Rim in north San Antonio in September 2020. The new concept offers brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Southerleigh Haute South features a menu based on Southern-style food including Southerleigh’s signature fried chicken, biscuits and a full oyster bar, paired with Southerleigh’s locally brewed beers. The restaurant also features a unique cocktail program and an approachable wine list. The 4,100 square-foot space seats 120 guests with ample indoor and outdoor space.
MI ROTI (Jul. 2020)
A new concept has debuted at Pearl’s Bottling Department Food Hall. An eatery by chef and owner Nicola Blaque of the popular San Antonio spot, Jerk Shack, Mi Roti takes inspiration from the West Indies and the Caribbean. Mi Roti offers a “build your own” roti menu to include a choice of a protein, rice and an array of toppings. Roti refers to both the flatbread itself as well as the popular street food item, in which the roti is folded around a savory filling in the form of a wrap.
MI FAMILIA DE MI TIERRA (Nov. 2019)
For decades, the Cortez family have operated famous Tex-Mex restaurants in Historic Market Square, and now opened their first establishment on the north side of San Antonio at popular shopping district The Rim. Located a short distance from The Shops at La Cantera, La Cantera Resort & Spa and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Mi Familia serves breakfast, lunch and dinner composed of Tex-Mex bestsellers from their downtown restaurants along with new offerings. Mexican sweet breads and candies from the famous Mi Tierra bakery also are available.
MR. JUICY (Jun. 2019)
Celebrated chef Andrew Weissman tackles the art of the burger with his latest concept, Mr. Juicy, in the Olmos Parks neighborhood just a few miles north of downtown. Featuring house-made poppyseed challah buns, this restaurant’s slogan “home of the wet burger,” translates to the addition of a peppery au poivre sauce to enhance the burger experience. Add a salted caramel chocolate shake and crispy double-blanched fries for a complete Mr. Juicy experience.
MAVERICK WHISKEY (May 2019)
The legend goes, Samuel Augustus Maverick left a jug of whiskey to be passed among the heroes who died at the Alamo after being elected to represent San Antonio de Bexar in the new Republic of Texas. Kenneth Maverick’s great (x3) grandfather Sam Maverick lived and went on to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence and became The Maverick for which all others were named. The Maverick and Alamo Whiskeys live on. All spirits at Maverick are handmade in San Antonio and aged in Texas-made Oak barrels in the tradition of the original Alamo Whiskey from 1836. Maverick Whiskey’s distillery, tasting saloon and gathering space is housed in the restored Historic Lockwood Bank Building (1918). The menu includes some Texas favorites and new spins such as Chicken Fried Quail, Bison Filet and Mushroom Ceviche.
LITTLE DEATH WINE BAR (Mar. 2019)
Located on the St. Mary’s Strip inside a renovated former gas station covered from ground to roof in colorful street art, Little Death makes drinking wine fun and approachable. The 550-square foot space is an intimate setting designed to encourage patrons to try something new or share a bottle with friends. A small selection of bar snacks and cheeses are also available.
CHOCOLLAZO AT HEMISFAIR (Feb. 2019)
Favorite local chocolate shop, Chocollazo, is now open in Hemisfair in downtown San Antonio. The new Chocollazo shop features handcrafted chocolates, truffles, desserts and pastries along with truffle-painting classes and special events. The shop is housed in the historic and recently restored Pereida House.
SAVOR: NEW CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA RESTAURANT (Jan. 2019)
The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) San Antonio campus debuted SAVOR, its new student-run concept, in January 2019. Located in San Antonio’s popular Pearl district, adjacent to the CIA campus, the restaurant focuses on modern-American cuisine and the menu features local ingredients from Texas farmers and ranchers. There is also a full bar and curated wine and beer lists. The school’s world-class chefs and hospitality instructors lead the students who prepare and serve dinner as part of their associate degree studies.
LA GLORIA AND BURGERTECA – AT&T CENTER (Nov. 2018)
Chef Johnny Hernandez brings San Antonio Spurs fans a taste of his local Mexican cuisine favorites La Gloria and Burgerteca to the AT&T Center. Located in Section 200, and available to all levels of the center, the culinary destination features La Gloria’s popular Mexican street foods and reimagined classic hamburgers with a Mexican twist at Burgerteca. A premium bar anchors the space, offering rare tequilas, fusion blends, signature margaritas and more.
MEADOW NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY AND BAR (Sept. 2018)
One of northern San Antonio’s newest gourmet, chef-lead restaurants, Meadow features inventive dishes and hearty staples such as biscuits and fried chicken, creamed corn fritters and charcoal-grilled ribeye. Owners, Chef PJ and Lindsey Edwards, work together with local farmers to curate the menu. The pair both come from strong restaurant backgrounds. PJ was formerly with Contigo in Austin, and Lindsey was previously part of the Jason Dady Restaurant Group.
PLAYLAND PIZZA (Aug. 2018)
From Andrew Goodman and Chef Stefan Bowers, this downtown pizzeria goes above and beyond with more than pizza offerings and is “nostalgic, modern and playful.” Goodman and Bowers are known for their playful restaurant concepts including Feast, Rebelle and Battalion. As an homage to the former Playland Park, the bar program features seven cocktails with memorable names like Tilt-a-Whirl and Bubble Bounce.
TRE TRATTORIA AT THE SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART (Jun. 2018)
Dining amid centuries-old art has come back to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA). Nationally known Chef Jason Dady, who competed previously on Iron Chef Gauntlet, has moved and reconceived his Italian trattoria, Tre Trattoria. In addition to menu favorites—house-made pastas, cast-iron flatbread pizzas and a variety of antipasti—Dady features a selection of items to complement the museum’s exhibitions.
ALAMO BBQ COMPANY (Jun. 2018)
Remember the barbecue! Chef Jason Dady and his current barbecue spot, Two Bros BBQ Market, present the latest in classic Texas pit barbecue: the Alamo BBQ Co. Located just north of downtown near Pearl, diners can find a family-friendly spot with a large outdoor playground, live music weekends and under the tree-lined patio. Pitmaster Laura Loomis was honored on Eater Young Guns list in 2017.
THE ALAMO PLAN
The Alamo Plan encompasses both restoration of historic buildings and new construction projects, all with the goals of fostering reverence and dignity at one of the most important sites in Texas history. The plan aims to memorialize those who lived, fought and died at the Alamo, and share the stories of more than 300 years of Alamo history with an enhanced visitor experience that is both moving and informative.
The Alamo Plan includes:
SAN PEDRO CREEK CULTURE PARK
San Antonio is in the process of transforming the historic San Pedro Creek, heavily utilized during the Spanish colonial era, from a concrete-lined drainage ditch back into a natural creek habitat and world-class linear park. This $175 million redevelopment reflects San Pedro Creek’s rich history and creates a sense of place by making the two-mile stretch more accessible with hike and bike trails and through the addition of public art by local and international artists. The first phase of the creek’s transformation opened in May 2018 as a part of Bexar County’s Tricentennial celebration. It features installations from prominent San Antonio artists including murals, ceramic art, tiled benches and historical text and poetry.
BROOKS DEVELOPMENT ADDS THREE NEW RESTAURANTS AND BREWERY
Brooks, a former Air Force base now transformed into a blossoming mixed-use community on San Antonio’s southside, will add four popular locally based restaurant concepts. Chef Johnny Hernandez has brought his popular existing concept La Gloria (Mexican street foods) and plans to bring new concept El Machito (Mexican barbecue). Chef Jeff Balfour has opened an outpost of his new fine-casual concept restaurant, a Southern-style food menu and brewery, Southerleigh Haute South. Balfour has also announced the opening of a new 6,000 square foot Southerleigh Brewery and tasting room on the Brooks campus.
NEW ADDITIONS TO PEARL
Long hailed as the home of Pearl Beer, this former brewery from the 1800s has been reimagined into a bustling neighborhood along the San Antonio River Walk. Its mix of reuse and new developments is home to Hotel Emma, the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, local boutiques, chef-driven restaurants and a farmers market on Saturday and Sunday. New offerings include The Bottling Department, a food hall featuring five restaurant concepts and a bar area from top local chefs and restauranteurs, Hiatus Spa, as well as new events, culinary celebrations and exciting developments at the Pearl Farmers Market.
HEMISFAIR GETS A FRESH LOOK
A three-phase renovation project is enhancing the downtown experience by bringing additional open parkland, activities, restaurants and more to Hemisfair, the home of the 1968 World’s Fair. The first phase of the project, Yanaguana Garden, is complete and open to the public. It features a 4.1-acre play environment designed for all ages and abilities, a splash pad and eateries including Paleteria San Antonio, Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, Chocollazo, Commonwealth Coffeehouse and the nearby ’68 Apartments. As the redevelopment moves forward, visitors will see the addition of new buildings and offerings, including a hotel, retail shops, workforce housing, cultural and educational amenities and additional restaurants.
BROADWAY CULTURAL CORRIDOR
Just north of downtown, Broadway Street connects many of San Antonio’s significant cultural attractions including the San Antonio Museum of Art, The DoSeum, Brackenridge Park, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio Botanical Garden and the McNay Art Museum. In addition, revitalization is occurring rapidly on this stretch of Broadway from just north of downtown to Brackenridge Park, and the city is planning a $42 million project to transform the stretch of street into a landscaped boulevard that is bike and pedestrian-friendly. In addition to outstanding cultural institutions, visitors will find local favorites such as the Shops at Broadway News, a collection of mobile retailers selling a variety of unique items, JoyRide Cycling Studio and Brown Coffee Co., which was noted by Food Network host Alton Brown as having the “best cup of coffee in the world” along the corridor.
At the southern tip of historic downtown lies Southtown, an eclectic arts district set apart by its intermingling of 1800s German architecture, repurposed warehouses, art galleries and now an alluring culinary scene. Longtime dining favorites such as Taco Haven and the Guenther House are sidling up next to newer eateries such as Southtown Pizzeria, an artisan pizzeria influenced by the owners’ time living in an old farmhouse near Florence, and Battalion, a creation from chef Stefan Bowers and restaurateur Andrew Goodman that is housed inside a renovated firehouse offering a menu of indulgent Italian dishes. Another popular Southtown stop is the Liberty Bar, a San Antonio favorite with a made-from-scratch menu that is housed in a hot pink former convent.
TRANSPORTATION VIA VIVA BUS ROUTES
VIVA is a new service line from VIA Metropolitan Transit that takes you to the most-visited sites and attractions in the heart of San Antonio. Three distinct VIVA routes connect riders with historic places, opportunities to learn and discover, classic and contemporary art, and popular dining and entertainment spots. There’s something for everyone on VIVA, including stops at the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site, the Alamo, King William Historic District, Southtown, Downtown, Market Square, the River Walk, Pearl, and the South Broadway corridor.
RECORD NUMBER OF FLIGHTS FROM SAN ANTONIO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
With a record number of additional nonstop flights recently announced, it’s easier and faster than ever to get to San Antonio. San Antonio has year-round and seasonal routes to 53 destinations. The airport is among the fastest-growing medium-hubs in the U.S., with more than 10 million travelers flying in and out of San Antonio in 2018.