What is there to do in San Antonio?

So around the end of the month I’m going to be in San Antonio for a week for my job’s annual convention. While most of my daytime hours will be spoken for, evenings tend to be free - so what’s there worth seeing in the city? Good restaurants, sights, places to drink, etc?

Check out the basement of the Alamo. I’ve heard they have a nice riverwalk there as well, but I’ve never been to San Antonio personally.

The river walk is fantastic (right next to the Alamo). Anyone that visits SA needs to hit the river walk.

I live in Texas and actually find San Antonio to be rather boring honestly, but the river walk is where it’s at, though to me, it’s a bit commercial. In Texas, in general, social stuff at night is about going to a restaurant (of which there are a million) and then very rarely some other venue.

To it’s credit San Antonio is one of those rare Texas cities that has a “central” downtown area; most Texas cities, while they do have clubs ect. downtown, tend to be more spread out. You can actually walk around the downtown of San Antonio, and not have to drive 20 miles to get to your next destination.

San Antonio’s probably one of those places that’s better to live and not necessarily vacation in. The botanical gardens are small but nice, and the Riverwalk/Alamo area is lovely. I enjoyed just walking around downtown, but that’s one of my favorite things to do anywhere. If you have a car the hour, hour and a half drive to Austin is worth it.

The San Antonio zoo is decent. The river walk is good for an evening of dining and then drinking if you’re there with friends. Other than that, you can drive up to Austin: the first day of UT classes is 8/24, so the bars are full of college-aged folk again if you like that sort of thing.

I live in SA. The Riverwalk is over-rated, especially in the summer. Its hot as fuck here from April/May to late September and the water is always green/brown/dirty.

That being said, there are some good places to eat down in that area, and all over town really. My favorite, though its expensive, is Citrus in the Valencia hotel which is on the river.

The best thing to do if you are in San Antonio is to drive to Austin.

Blue Star brewery has excellent beer and they are not too far from downtown. If you are renting a car or taking the bus its a 10 min drive right down Alamo St. tops. My favorite restaurant (so far) is Biga Riverwalk Restaurant. I thought the S.A. Culinary Institute of America had a restaurant, but I am having trouble finding it a.t.m. The C.I.A. is in the old Pearl Brewery complex which has other shopping, but its a ways north of downtown. There may be something going on at the Majestic Theatre too.

There’s a nice cough strip club but I’ll be damned if I remember what it’s called or where it is! It’s cab distance from downtown.

I don’t think I’d want to visit a strip club where there’s a lot of coughing. That can’t be hygenic.

The Palace?

Nothing! J/k. I’m from that town. The riverwalk is where the tourists go and it’s in downtown and nice and such. I actually like our downtown area. Food-wise, if it’s Tex-Mex you’re after, there’s plenty of good places. La Fogata for a nicer place with mariachi. Chachos for crazy things such as King Kong Nachos:

This is 4 types of meat. There’s a bowl of queso in the middle. I think it’s 18 bucks or something.

And I think Bill is referring to the San Antonio Men’s club. They’re too friendly there.

I forgot to mention that if you do wind up hitting Biga get the sticky pudding thing for dessert (I cannot recall the exact name) and a glass of port. Man… Talk about two great tastes that taste great together.

Biga’s is great. Other good Riverwalk places are Boudro’s and Zuni. I also 2nd the Blue Star brewery.

Staying downtown, if you like jazz, then Jim Cullum’s Landing is on the river and has both free music on the patio, but also great full shows. There are also a few other places downtown with music on various night depending on your interests.

However if you have a car, you should try out a real Texas roadhouse. Most famous is probably Gruene Hall about 25min north of San Antonio, but there are many more. The music is not all country, depending on the night and the venue. You can get folk, Americana, rockabilly, etc. Jim Beal writes a blog on local music for the local newspaper and put me onto a number of great acts. You can find it here: http://www.mysanantonio.com/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=entertainment%2Fentertainment_columnists%2Fjim_beal&search=1&firstRequest=1&query=Jim+Beal%2C+Jr.&searchindex=property&x=28&y=3
Or you can tune into his radio show on KSYM 90.1 (or streaming) on Thursdays from 3-7pm.

Mightynute, if you are even remotely thinking of hitting eliandi’s great suggestion of Gruene Hall give a hollar here. There are a couple of excellent restaurants in NB (New Braunfels and Gruene are practically the same city) and a couple of bars within stumbling distance to a historic hotel.

I am moving up north in the very near future and I have two Blue Star Brewery trade in jugs looking for a good home. I am happy to pay shipping. Send me a PM if you are interested.

Did an Austin - Fredericksburg - San Antonio road trip a year ago and my serious advice is ‘rent a car, leave SA every evening and do these things’:

Lockhart - 3 of the best barbecue joints in the country located in a podunk town 1 hour outside of SA.

Nimitz WW2 museum in Fredericksburg (1h30 outside) - you need 4-5 hours to do this and fully appreciate it, absolutely enthralling.

Hamilton pool - get hereearly and take a swim, leave before the crazy locals turn up and start throwing parties

Whoops, responded to a thread necro with real advice.

Next time I get to SA I HAVE to go find this Chachos place. Holy crap.

— Alan