San Antonio

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in San Antonio

Edward Steves Homestead

South of downtown, where the river passes through the historic King William neighborhood (home to over-the-top Victorian mansions built by the city’s leading merchants in the late 19th century), the Edward Steves Homestead is one of the few area homes open to the public and suitable for indulging in some real estate voyeurism, circa 1876.

509 King William St., TX, 210-225-5924, www.saconservation.org/tours/steves.htm
Tags: historic | things to do | culture | architecture

El Mercado

A stripped-down charm pervades El Mercado, a sprawling Mexican market near downtown where stall after stall is piled with serapes, turquoise jewelry, and guayaberas. Outside and indoors, mariachi and Tejano bands play at all hours.

514 W. Commerce St., TX, 210-207-8600, www.sanantonio.gov/dtops/marketsquare
Tags: shopping | live entertainment | things to do | mexican | souvenirs | market

HemisFair Urban Park

A kid-designed wood and sand playground is one of the attractions at ground level. The 1968 Tower of the Americas, at 750 feet, gives more perspective on the city.

600 HemisFair Plaza Wy., TX, 210-223-3101, www.toweroftheamericas.com
Tags: family | views | things to do | architecture

La Villita

This historic, south bank arts village is a delightful cluster of restaurants, galleries, and shops. German and French settlers’ influences remain evident here on the site of Santa Ana’s cannon line.

418 Villita St., TX, 210-207-8610, www.lavillita.com
Tags: shopping | editor pick | art | things to do | culture | history

Market Square

Whether you need to stock up on Stetsons, steer skulls, or get your fill of folk art, Market Square will have you Texed and Mexed up in no time.

514 W. Commerce St., TX, 210-207-8600, marketsquaresa.com
Tags: shopping | art | things to do | souvenirs

Pearl Brewery

Just as New York has its High Line Park on a retired elevated rail, San Antonio has Pearl Brewery, an artifact of the past that points to the future. A bold urban reclamation project at the end of a newer stretch of San Antonio’s River Walk (which opened in May 2009, just 2 miles north of downtown), Pearl Brewery – a still-expanding development on the site of a 19th-century beer brewery – is the brainchild of Kit Goldsbury, a reclusive philanthropist and former owner of the Pace Picante sauce business. Part New York City’s High Line, part Seattle’s Pike Place Market, Pearl Brewery houses an outpost of the Culinary Institute of America devoted to Latin cookery, Il Sogno  (San Antonio hero chef Andrew Weissman’s latest offering focused on northern Italian cuisine), and the popular Pearl Farmers Market, stocked full of local delicacies like peach and habañero jam. He’s bringing the osteria spirit to Texas, with deft preparations of classics served in a snazzy industrial space. 2010 Smart Luxury Award winner

369 Pearl Pkwy., TX, 210-212-7260 ext. 205, www.pearlbrewery.com
Tags: food and wine | smart luxury winner | things to do

Rio San Antonio Riverboat Cruise

Drift under bridges, past crowds thronging Riverwalk restaurants, bars, and hotels, and potentially become an unexpected prop, should you happen to float past the La Villita amphitheater during a play.

Market Street Bridge, TX, 210-244-5700, www.riosanantonio.com
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | outdoors | culture

River Walk

At the heart of the River Walk is the canal-like San Antonio River. Flanked by lush landscaping and pedestrian paths (and traversed by diminutive footbridges), the river winds through the downtown tourist hub below street level. The route is packed with theme restaurants, bars, and hotels – and though it’s more than a little crowded, and expansion is ongoing, most visitors can’t help but be charmed by Texas’s answer to Venice. 

TX, 210-227-4262, www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com
Tags: things to do

Six Flags Fiesta Texas

A rambunctious blast of 50s America, the Old West and a retro boardwalk, Six Flag’s Texan theme park provides thrills for the whole family.

17000 1-10 W.; Loop 1604; Exit 555, TX, 210-697-5050, www.sixflags.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | amusement park

The Alamo

Unlike the River Walk, The Alamo – the one site no visitor to Texas forgets to visit – is perhaps best seen at night. The site of a 13-day siege in 1836 that pitted Mexican troops against Texans seeking independence, the fort now exhibits military paraphernalia. After dark, the onetime Franciscan mission exudes a special magic when spotlights make it radiant and a little ghostly.

300 Alamo Plaza, TX, 210-225-1391, www.thealamo.org
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | culture | architecture | history | tour

The Majestic Theatre

Book seats for a Broadway show or catch the San Antonio Symphony at the atmospheric, vintage vaudeville movie palace, a State and National Historic Landmark.

224 E. Houston St., TX, 210-226-5700, www.majesticempire.com
Tags: family | historic | smart splurge | things to do

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