Planning a Trip to San Antonio

downtown san antonio
Photo credit: Definitive HDR Photography via / CC BY-NC-SA

Thinking about planning your next getaway? Think outside the norm and forget the ideas of your typical beach or tropical destination. Think bigger, think Texas. Known for being the second largest city in Texas, San Antonio is a city full of life and full of excitement. With a history rich in Spanish heritage and Tex-Mex culture, there are a countless number of 18th century missions and churches spread around throughout the area, including the Alamo. Additionally, San Antonio is known for being the home of the famous River Walk, which flows along the banks for the San Antonio River. To find out even more about this Texas city, read on to learn more tips on places to stay, where to dine, and how to spend your time during your visit.

Photo credit: nan palmero via / CC BY
The San Antonio Skyline. Photo credit: nan palmero via / CC BY

Places to Stay in San Antonio

After a nice relaxing stroll along the River Walk or a long day kayaking on the river, you’ll want a comfortable place to rest your head at night. From ranches, hotels, motels, resorts, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), and inns, to campgrounds, RV parks, and vacation rentals, San Antonio has a wide variety of lodging options for every preference. Here are a few of the most popular places to stay in San Antonio.

Hotel Emma

Located right near Pearl’s culinary campus, Hotel Emma is a boutique hotel filled with its own restaurant, bar, and room service options that prove that Pearl truly is the “center of culinary discover.” With 146 rooms, this hotel was designed by architects Roman and Williams who looked to promote the iconic 19th century Brew House along with its industrial appeal.

To book your stay and learn more, visit Hotel Emma.

Dixie Dude Ranch

If you’re looking to embrace the true Texas lifestyle, a trip to the Dixie Dude Ranch will be sure to help you find your “inner cowboy” (or cowgirl). Built in 1937, the Ranch is made up of 20 separate units within duplex cabins, cottages, a two-story “Bunkhouse” (four-plex) and lodge rooms. During your stay, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, hayrides, campfire sing-a-longs, horseback riding, and much more.

Are you ready to experience life at the Dixie Due Ranch? Find out more.

Hotel Valencia River Walk

Located along the heart of the River Walk, Hotel Valencia River Walk provides the perfect location for dining, shopping, sight seeing, and nightlife. Ideal for a romantic getaway, the 213-room hotel was designed by Dodd Mitchell of Los Angeles, who focused its aesthetics on luxury and upscale, contemporary style. The amenities are endless, but it’s truly the close proximity to the River Walk that keeps guests coming back for more.

Visit Hotel Valencia River Walk for more information.

Photo credit: Definitive HDR Photography via / CC BY-NC-SA
Dining along the River Walk. Photo credit: Definitive HDR Photography via / CC BY-NC-SA

Dining in San Antonio

Well-known for its Tex-Mex style cuisine, San Antonio is home to a vibrant culinary scene. Using fresh, local ingredients in many of their meals, chefs are able to give visitors a taste of the true Mexican culture. With a mild, year-round climate, there are also an abundance of restaurants with outdoor patios and dining options to enjoy sunny days and beautiful Texas nights. For true food-lovers, you can’t miss an opportunity to follow along on one of San Antonio’s “Foodie’s Tour.” Get your taste buds excited for your upcoming trip to San Antonio by taking a look a couple of the best dining options in the area.

Rosario’s Mexican Café & Cantina

Rated one of the “Best Texas Restaurants” by Zagat and featured in Texas Monthly as the #2 “Taco you Must Eat Before You Die,” Rosario’s Mexican Café and Cantina is one restaurant that you cannot pass up when in San Antonio. One telling sign that you know it’s good food? Locals love it. There’s also two convenient locations, so it’s a go-to no matter what side of San Antonio you’re on.

To check out the menu, visit Rosario’s.

Esquire Tavern

Find yourself transported back in time to age of Prohibition upon walking into Esquire Tavern. Known for being the oldest bar on the River Walk, opened in 1933, it’s also well-known for being the host to the longest wooden bar top in all of Texas—stretching over 100 feet long. If that’s not enough to attract you, Esquire also boasts some of the best happy hour—and late night happy hour—specials in all of San Antonio.

Find out more at Esquire Tavern.

Magnolia Pancake Haus

Looking for the “World’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes”? I bet you didn’t know you could find them in San Antonio. Since its opening in 2000, it’s been a locals favorite, and word has also spread around the country about these famous pancakes. Magnolia has even been featured on Guy Fieri’s, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, as he stated that the food here at the Haus is truly “off the hook.”

Ready to see for yourself if Magnolia has the “world’s best buttermilk pancakes”? Head to Magnolia Pancake Haus for more information and to plan you visit.

Photo credit: CameliaTWU via / CC BY-NC-ND
Sea World San Antonio. Photo credit: CameliaTWU via / CC BY-NC-ND

Entertainment & Attractions in San Antonio

The long list of things to do in San Antonio is endless. To start you off on your adventure, check out our Top 5 Things to Do in San Antonio to learn about some of the most popular attractions, including the River Walk, The Alamo, HemisFair Park, Mission Kayak, and a San Antonio Spurs game. In addition to those 5, take a look at the following list of some San Antonio’s other tourist hot spots:

  • Sea World San Antonio
  • Brewery Tours
  • Winery Tours
  • Foodie Tours
  • San Antonio Bike Tours
  • King William Historic District
  • McNay Art Museum
  • The Missions
  • Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
  • San Antonio Botanical Gardens
  • Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours
  • Topgolf
  • And plenty more…

While we’ve given you a good overview to get your started on planning your trip to San Antonio, this is still just a small glimpse into what this amazing city has to offer. You’ll never regret making a trip to Texas, and San Antonio will only leave you wanting more.


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