San Antonio Spots You Didn't Know

Check out these must-see hidden spots in San Antonio.
By: Janis Turk
OK, so you remembered the Alamo, strolled along the River Walk, ate good Tex-Mex, sipped margaritas while mariachis serenaded you, and took a boat ride on the San Antonio River. Now what? There’s more to San Antonio than those top touristy things. Here are 4 more places that visitors might not have heard of but really should check out.
Southtown Dining

Southtown Dining

Photo by: Stuart Dee / San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Stuart Dee / San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Just a few blocks (and a short trolley ride) from the Alamo (head down South Alamo Street), you’ll find a place where locals go for a great art scene, lively bars and restaurants, eclectic stores and funky coffee shops. This loosely bound little bohemian arts district is home to hot spots such as Azuca Sabor Latino — perfect for a spicy salsa, cold mojitos and great food — and The Monterey, a fabulous retro gastropub where you can sit at picnic tables out in the yard. Restaurant Bliss has a hip bar scene, and Feast offers great farm-to-fork fare. On First Fridays, Southtown shops and galleries stay open late. Don’t stop walking until you get to the Blue Star Arts Complex — you won’t want to miss the art spaces, museum and brewpub there. You can also rent bikes and take a spin to our next spot
King William District
Guenther House

Guenther House

Photo by: San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Want a glimpse at the regal side of San Antonio and the buildings of yesteryear? The King William District, which partly overlaps Southtown, is a 25-block area east of the San Antonio River that’s home to Greek revival, Victorian and Italianate-style mansions, many of which date back to the mid-1800s. Its section of the River Walk isn’t touristy, cutting a quiet, green path through this residential area, where architecture is the allure. Download a walking tour map and start strolling, or rent a bike and ride the route. Along the way, don’t forget to stop and see the pretty little O. Henry Bridge (aka the Johnson Street Bridge), a pedestrian crossing named for the author also known as William Sydney Porter, who once lived in San Antonio.
The Pearl
Pearl Brewing Company

Pearl Brewing Company

Photo by: Nick Simonite / San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nick Simonite / San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Once home to the Pearl Brewing Co., this area has been revitalized and today is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. It features 14 restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops, 11 stores, a microbrew company and a soon-to-open boutique hotel. Home to a campus of the Culinary Institute of America, which offers fun “make your food and eat it together” cooking classes for visitors, the Pearl is also beloved by foodies for its lively, year-round farmers market, which opens early in the morning each weekend. My favorite Pearl jewels? Cured is a gastropub that is owned by feted chef Steve McHugh and features a fantastic bar and house-cured charcuterie. Another favorite is chef Johnny Hernandez’s madly popular La Gloria, with its tasty Mexican street foods. Take a Rio Taxi boat ride up the Museum Reach for a fun way to get to the Pearl from downtown.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose

Photo by: San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Alamo is the most famous former Spanish mission site in San Antonio, but it’s by no means the best or only one. In fact, there are 4 other missions just south of downtown; all were established in the 1700s and are now part of the National Parks Service (though Mission Espada was actually founded in 1690 and later moved to San Antonio). If you have time to visit only 1, see Mission San Jose. There’s a visitors center on site with a film explaining the history of the missions and illustrating what life was like within their walls. To get there, take a trolley or bus, or just walk, bike or kayak — the sites loosely follow the San Antonio River along the River Walk’s newly expanded Mission Reach. On Sundays, all of the missions (except the Alamo) host Masses in their churches, which are active Catholic parishes — some even offer special mariachi music during services.

Next Up

11 Twin Peaks Locations You Can Visit in Real Life

Where to find a damn fine cup of coffee and more.Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.

3 Must-Do Outdoor Activities in the Great Smoky Mountains

There's nothing like a challenging hike with a rewarding view.

5 Small But Tasty Food Stops Around Dallas

Try the delicious eats at one of these family-owned restaurants next time you're in the Big D.

Visit Gorgeous Tulip Fields Without Flying to Holland

Washington’s Skagit Valley is the next best thing.

7 Fun Things to Do on Your Fort Myers Vacation

From sunset kayaking to delicious eats, there is so much to explore in southwest Florida's island sanctuary.

Florida’s East Coast Beaches

We share the best beaches on Florida's East Coast. Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.

How the 1906 Earthquake Changed San Francisco

Disaster leveled "the Paris of the West" a century ago — and its aftermath echoes through the city today.

11 Things Not to Miss in San Francisco

Christine Williams and Jules Hatfield from Don't Forget to Move, tell us how to do San Francisco right, on  a shoestring budget.

Cuba, a Country of Contrasts

One writer reflects on her trips to Cuba, a country of contrasts.

6 Fun Day Trips from Washington, D.C.

There’s a lot to do in our nation's capital but sometimes you just want to get out of town. Here are six fun day trips.

Trending Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.