An International Shopping Destination
Known as a mecca for authentic shopping, San Antonio’s blend of art villages, marketplaces, outlet malls and chic retail spreads invites visitors to explore a shopping destination as rich and diverse as the city itself.
Uniquely San Antonio
Market Square, the largest Mexican market north of the Rio Grande, is a colorful civic center with a friendly and humble appeal. Here, family-owned cafes greet each morning with the aromas of fresh pan dulce (sweet bread) and cinnamon-infused hot chocolate while working artists bring the plaza to life and merchants offer local and imported jewelry, Talavera ceramics, art and more.
La Villita Historic Arts Village, “the little village,” was originally established by Spanish soldiers stationed at The Alamo. It has since been reincarnated into a historic arts village where independent shops, cafes and galleries are housed in beautifully restored residences.
On the southern tip of downtown is Southtown, a trendy arts community flourishing with individuality. This eclectic neighborhood is comprised of historic houses, converted warehouses, artists’ lofts, shops, galleries and restaurants. Anchored by the Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio’s longest-running contemporary art space, are several local art and folk art shops and businesses.
North of downtown along the city’s bustling cultural corridor, The Shops at Broadway News is home to a collection of micro-retail businesses, many located inside renovated Airstream Travel Trailers. Here local makers and entrepreneurs sell wares such as handcrafted leather goods, vibrant house plants, vintage clothing and freshly baked cookies.
A short drive just north of San Antonio will lead you to the San Marcos Premium Outlets and the Tanger Outlets, with 1.2 million square feet of shopping ranked the “Third Best Place to Shop in the World” as seen on ABC’s The View. You’ll find more than 240 tempting retailers at discounted prices, from Dooney & Bourke, Lululemon and the Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center to Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Lucky Brand.
Outdoor Shopping Excursions
Bask in the beauty of South Texas weather at these outdoor shopping havens.
The Shops at La Cantera are nestled in an upscale, sprawling locale, shaded by live oaks. Here you’ll find luxurious, high-end retailers like Burberry, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co. set amidst a retreat-like ambiance with tranquil fountains and some of the best eateries in town.
One of San Antonio’s newest shopping centers, The Rim, is actually a mixed-use development spanning more than two million square feet, located in one of San Antonio’s trendiest locales. Current activity and prospective plans include more than 100 premier stores, restaurants and service businesses as well as luxury residences and an exclusive boutique hotel. Stores include James Avery Artisan Jewelry, Off 5th, San Antonio Shoemakers and specialty shops as well as Santikos Theatres, entertainment and local dining such as Mi Familia de Mi Tierra.
Long hailed as a true Texas landmark, the Alamo Quarry Market was once home to the Alamo Cement Plant that helped build Texas for more than 100 years. Today, it is an inspired destination for shopping, dining and entertainment. Roam more than 60 retail shops artfully placed among 580,000 square feet and be sure to visit the Regal 16-plex Theater built in a portion of the original factory.
Indoor Shopping Attractions
After enjoying San Antonio’s beautiful scenery and warm weather, you might venture inside for a shopping adventure. In the heart of downtown, The Shops at Rivercenter is a three-story glass shopping, dining and entertainment complex offering stunning views of the River Walk. Watch river boats circling below and listen to the sounds of mariachis from the water’s edge while you shop an eclectic mix of local and national shops.
Just a few minutes away, North Star Mall is home to the world’s largest pair of cowboy boots. This local favorite offers a selection of more than 150 specialty stores that provide a diverse and engaging shopping experience. With everything from Kate Spade to local favorite Blue Star Brewery Company’s taproom, there are exciting shopping opportunities for every member of the family.
San Antonio is a convergence of styles and cultures, a place where chic and the norm combine to inspire the exclusive boutiques that line the streets of Alamo Heights, Pearl, Monte Vista and the walkways of The Alley on Bitters.
Stroll through Pearl, an historic former brewery, for a unique independent shopping experience. Beautifully curated stores range from Adelante, featuring a festive mix of wearables and jewelry, to Feliz Modern POP with local pop art, unique gifts and home décor. Take in the many sights and tastes the Pearl Farmers Market offers on weekends.
Alamo Heights is one of San Antonio’s oldest and most esteemed neighborhoods. Along its streets lie unique boutiques and specialty shops in the style of years past, though you’ll find their selection nothing but fashion-forward. This alluring ensemble of trendy retailers bloom with must-see shops Sloan/Hall, Penny Lane and the whimsically enchanting Svelte Veldt. Yet this mere sampling is just the beginning of an inspiring selection of one-of-a-kind abodes where the service and shopping experience are as personally tailored as the attire.
Not far away, The Alley on Bitters is a maze of locally owned specialty shops designed with remnants from turn-of-the-century buildings. Winding boardwalks and meandering pathways lead you from store to store. Dine at Meadow Neighborhood Eatery + Bar for seasonal Texas fare or shop at stores ranging from designer attire to upscale gardening.
Saving some of the best for last, neighborhoods Olmos Park and Monte Vista offer a variety of shops. Here you will find such stores as Feliz Modern, a fun San Antonio-inspired gift and home goods shop; Fiesta on Main, filled to the brim with Mexican art, textiles, and décor; Otra Vez, a trendy consignment shop; and Meadow, Susanna Meadows’ boutique blending contemporary classic and casual chic.
Looking for an antique armoire from turn-of-the century German-Texas settlers, a sought-after item that recalls San Antonio’s Wild West days, a pristine Louis XV piece to add to your collection of European antiques or are you just treasure hunting? There are antique stores such as Domestic Provisions, Mod Pad and Period Modern, with specialized pieces, as well as popular antique malls that offer an interesting mix of items. You’re likely to find a show, fair or special market while in town. If plans call for day trips, a popular activity is antiquing in the charming Hill Country towns of Comfort, Boerne, Fredericksburg, Castroville, New Braunfels, Gruene and Leon Springs. Most of these quaint early European settlements offer a diverse sampling of antique stores along their main streets.
Museum Gift Shops
Art lovers won’t want to miss the SAMA Shop located in the San Antonio Museum of Art or the Museum Store at the McNay Art Museum. Here, shoppers will find an extensive assortment of art books, art pieces and inspiring items for children. Other great places for engaging children’s gifts are the shops at The Witte Museum and The DoSeum. The Witte is known as the city’s premiere museum of South Texas history, culture and natural science. If there is a dinosaur lover in the family, this is the place to stock up. The DoSeum is the city’s STEM-focused children’s museum, with science-filled fun in its shop.
The Briscoe Western Museum is home to exhibitions of art, culture, and artifacts, offering many artistic collections of culture and lifestyle of the history of the American West. The Museum’s proximity to the river and location within the first Public Library of San Antonio legitimizes its rich historical significance. The museum’s accompanying sculpture garden attracts visitors year-round. The Briscoe Western Museum store features selections that represent the aesthetics and topics of the museum, offering Western artwork, books, handmade jewelry, and more.
Media information, photos and video: media.visitsanantonio.com
About Visit San Antonio:
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. San Antonio welcomes approximately 39 million visitors annually. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy annually and employing 140,000. More information can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.