San Antonio, Texas

Local Details

Learn more about San Antonio, Texas using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes San Antonio, Texas so great!

Current Temperature

  • 81.6°F
  • 27.6°C

City Guide

San Antonio is a beautiful city on the South Texas Plains. There's a lot to do in this city: fine art museums, historical missions and plenty of amusement parks in addition to great dining and drinking. The culture and people are vibrant and interesting. Overall, San Antonio feels like a small town; however, with a population well over one million the city is the second largest in the state.


San Antonio is considered to be the cradle of Texan liberty. Its most well-known landmark is the Alamo, the site of the famous battle where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were killed.

No other city in Texas reflects the state's Mexican heritage better than San Antonio. Mexican Americans make up a considerable fraction of the population and it shows in most places.

The hispanic atmosphere of San Antonio makes it a truly unique US city. This becomes most evident during Fiesta week, a yearly celebration where thousands of San Antonians enjoy parades, food and drink in the charming downtown streets of the city.

The Tejano capital of the world, San Antonio, with a population of around 1.5 million, still enjoys a small-town feel. It's people are friendly, open and bicultural, and the concentration of population around its center makes it easy to get just about anywhere within a 20 minute drive.

Get in

By plane

  • San Antonio International Airport (SAT) May be reached in about 1 hour 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth or less than 1 hour from Houston. Other destinations are available; check with individual airlines.

By train

  • Amtrak, SAS, 350 Hoefgen St

By car

Most visitors to San Antonio arrive by either I-35, I-10, or US 281. I-10 comes from El Paso to the west and Houston to the east. I-35 comes from Austin to the north and Laredo to the south. US 281 connects with Brownsville to the south and Blanco and Johnson City to the north. I-37 completed some years ago shortens the drive to Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico.

By bus

  • Greyhound, 500 N St Marys St, Downtown.

By boat

San Antonio is in the middle of Texas. Therefore, it is not accesible by boat. Although there are many tubing opportunities around San Antonio, thanks to the huge abundance of rivers in the area.

Get around

San Antonio's bus system is known as the VIA Metropolitan Transit. It also runs the downtown streetcar service (actually a bus) for a small fare. Bus fares range from about $0.80 to $1.60 depending on the service. Discount fares are available to children between the ages of 5 and 11, senior citizens 62 and older, Medicare recipients, persons with disabilities and students. A reduced fee ID is required for reduced fares and can be acquired from VIA Information Centers (students may get the necessary forms from their campus administration). Bus schedules and route information can be found at VIA's website or by calling the VIA information line 210-362-2020 or for the hearing impaired at 210-362-2019.


  • The Alamo. Considered to be hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty, the Alamo is a former mission which was also the site of the Battle of the Alamo. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Revenues from an adjacent gift shop fund the historic preservation efforts.
  • Aztec on the River. The Aztec On The River is touted as the Riverwalk’s newest, most exciting attraction. This historic 1926 movie palace has been meticulously restored, complete with a Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ. Open daily - call for show times. Group, senior and military discounts available. On the RiverWalk at the corner of E. Commerce and N. St. Mary’s Streets.
  • Casa Navarro State Historical Park. Homesite of Jose Antonio Navarro, a 19th-century Texas legislator under Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the U.S. The park is the site of Navarro’s furnished house, first residence, and store.
  • King William Historic Area. A 25-block area near downtown on the south bank of the San Antonio River. In the late 1800s the King William District was the most elegant residential area in the city. Prominent German merchants originally settled the area. It was zoned as the state's first historic district, and has once again become a fashionable neighborhood.
  • Market Square - El Mercado. Visitors can browse through the 32 shops at "El Mercado," and 80 specialty shops in Farmers' Market Plaza. Market Square is also the scene of many Hispanic festivals where food and beverage booths spring up alongside the Guadalajara lamps and the strains of mariachi music blend with the excitement of Mexican dances. Free admission.
  • River Walk. The River Walk area of San Antonio is an excellent place to explore by day and party by night. The River Walk has guided barge tours departing regularly. Numerous restaurants line the river on both sides. At one end of the riverwalk is the Rivercenter Mall, which houses, amoung other things, an IMAX.
  • San Antonio Missions National Park. Four Spanish frontier missions, part of a colonization system that stretched across the Spanish southwest in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, are preserved here. They include missions San Jose, San Juan, Espada, and Concepcion. The national park, containing many cultural sites along with some natural areas, was established in 1978 and covers about 819 acres.
  • San Antonio Visitor Information Center, 317 Alamo Plaza, 800-447-3372. For visitors coming to San Antonio, a good starting place to see is the downtown Visitor Information Center and Official City Store located right across the street from Alamo. It is a wealth of information about San Antonio. Representatives there can assist you in getting a map of the city, help you get around, or anything else you may need in San Antonio.
  • San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium. The zoo is home to over 3,500 animals representing 750 species of animals on 56 acres. Open 365 days a year. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from Labor Day to Memorial Day; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day. Admission: adults $8; seniors (62+) and children (3-11) $6; military $7; under 2 free. Group rates available.

Museums and Galleries

  • Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, 116 Blue Star, 210-227-6960. A part of the Blue Star Arts Complex, the art center is a non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art center that advances the growth and understanding of contemporary art, artists and the curatorial process.
  • Buckhorn Saloon and Museum. Located a short two blocks from the Alamo and 50 feet from the River Walk. Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. or later, Sunday - Thursday; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. or later, Friday and Saturday. Call for exact closing times. Admission: Adults $10.99; seniors(55+) $9.99; Children (ages 3-11) $7.99. Special rates for group of 10 or more, and discounts for Military with ID.
  • Instituto de México, 600 HemisFair Park, 210-227-0123. Thur-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm. Free. Contemporary Art from Mexico.
  • Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, 6000 N New Braunfels, 210-824-5368. Tu-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm. Free admission except during select exhibitions and special events. Fine arts exhibits, library. museum store.
  • San Antonio Children's Museum, 305 Houston St, 210-212-4453, fax 210-242-1313. Adm. $5.95. M-F 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun noon-4pm. Winter (School Year) hours: M 9am-noon, T-F 9am-3:30pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun noon-4pm. Groups, parties, events, hands-on learning play.
  • San Antonio Museum of Art, 200 W Jones, 210-978-8100. Tu 10am-8pm, W-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-6pm. $8 adult, $7 sen., $5 student, $3 age 4-11. Free Tuesdays 4pm-8pm. Fabulous collections and changing exhibits. If you can do only one museum visit, this is the one to explore. Bring your sketchpad.
  • Southwest School of Art & Crafy,1201 Navarro and 300 Augusta, 210-224-1848. Art/museum gift shop in the Ursuline Campus as well as student work in the hallways and cafe. Free. On bus lines, and the Ursuline Campus backs up to an older, parklike section of the River Walk.
  • Witte Museum, 3801 Broadway, 210-357-1900, Tu 10am-9pm, Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm. $7 Ad/$6 sen/$5 kids 4-11, free Tuesdays 3pm-8pm. Dinosaurs, textiles, history, big museum with lots going on - fun with kids!



  • Fiesta. Fiesta is a yearly event held in San Antonio in late April. Fiesta is a 10-day, city-wide, fun-filled, multi-cultural, family-oriented celebration. With over 100 different events, it's the biggest party and greatest community benefit in the state of Texas
  • First Friday, Like many cities, San Antonio has an Art Walk once a month. The first Friday of every month, 'Southtown' comes to life with street-side vendors and plenty of people milling about and making the rounds. This all begins just south of downtown on South Alamo Street at Durango Boulevard and continues to the Blue Star Arts Complex. Many people just go to hang out and party among the art displays.
  • San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is an annual agricultural fair and entertainment event in early February. It provides world class rodeo action and entertainment to people of all ages.
  • Texas Folklife Festival. The Texas Folklife Festival is an annual four-day celebration in the second week of June, of the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that settled our state. Some 45 groups bring their stories, crafts, music, dances, and foods to share with visitors in a vibrant blend of education and entertainment.

Amusement Parks

  • SeaWorld, A marine life theme park which is home to the world-famous Shamu the killer whale. There are also thrill rides, a small water park, as well as sharks, an aquarium, penguins, seals and sea lions, and an opportunity to pet and feed dolphins.
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Home to several thrill rides and exciting shows, Fiesta Texas is an entertaining theme park geared to people of all ages.


  • San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio is home to the four-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs that currently play at the AT&T Center.
  • San Antonio Missions. The Class AA minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres; plays in Wolff Municipal Stadium.


San Antonio is home to several colleges and universities:

  • Our Lady of the Lake University
  • St. Mary's University
  • San Antonio College
  • Southwest School of Art & Crafts
  • Trinity University
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • University of the Incarnate Word


Financial, communications, military, manufacturing and hospitality


San Antonio is home to a variety of shopping venues with a wide selection of shops and stores. With ten major shopping malls within an hour drive of downtown as well as La Villita and Market Square in the heart of downtown San Antonio.

  • Alamo Quarry Market, 255 E Basse Rd, 210-225-1000, fax 210-271-3491. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., daily
  • La Villita, 418 Villita, 210-207-8611, fax 210-207-4390. Shops open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission. Closed holidays.
  • Market Square - El Mercado, 514 W Commerce, 210-207-8600, fax 210-207-4287. Free admission. Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., summer; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., winter. Stores closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • Rivercenter Mall. Located on the River Walk and connected to the Marriott Rivercenter and the Menger Hotel. It is also within walking distance of the Alamo.
  • The Shops at La Cantera. Located in northern San Antonio, the Shops at La Cantera offer open marketplace shopping. 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 6698 San Antonio, Texas 78256 210.582.6255 Hours are Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 9:00pm and Sunday: 12:00pm - 6:00pm.



  • Casa Rio (Tex-Mex). A great Tex-Mex restaurant if you're on a budget. This is one of the first restaurants that took advantage of its setting on the River Walk.


  • Joe's Crab Shack River Walk, 212 College St #100. Dinner $9-21. A great good time, especially when the waiters all stop and line dance in the aisles. Good food, silly T-shirts, on the north side of the River Walk loop.
  • Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery, 218 Produce Row in the Mercado. Open 24 hours. Blow $5 on the Mariachis, they're among the best in town. Good food: Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex and Nuevo Mexicano. Splendid bakery in the front section. Entrees were $9-20. Rumored to have free WiFi. Some of the best mariachi musicians in town (they tune because they care).


  • Yokonyu Sushi Bar & Restaurant, 301 E Houston St at Navarro. Gorgeous lovely modern setting inside; across a dusty brick street from a Walgreen's and the Buckhorn Museum & Saloon, just a couple blocks away from the River Walk (to its south) and the Alamo (off to the east) where horse-drawn carriages pass.
  • Zuni Cafe, 500 River Walk. While you can have a splendid local version of a Cobb Salad for $10 here, the daily specials page does not have prices listed (if you have to ask...) - our paella and seared ahi tuna were $35 and $25, respectively, and worthy; good to share with good company. The salsa is smoky and tasty.


Wander down through the River Walk and take your choice of bars and eateries. You can't go wrong. There are also several bars/restaurants in the Mercado block of tourist shops.


  • The Grand Fleur de Lis, 120 Cedar Street, (877) 792-7700. Features oversized guest rooms all with private baths. Central downtown location near dining and the famous Riverwalk.
  • Riverwalk Vista, 262 Losoya, 210-223-3200. The Riverwalk Vista is centered to all activities in downtown San Antonio. The ambience of this B&B is incomparable to any other hotel, inn or bed and breakfast in the River Walk area.
  • San Antonio Lodging, 500 N Santa Rosa, 866-999-8300. San Antonio Lodging features three bed and breakfast inns in downtown San Antonio.
  • San Antonio International Hostel, 621 Pierce Avenue, +1 210 223-9426. Beds start at $22.57 per night.


  • Hampton Inn - Downtown, 414 Bowie St, 210-225-8500. Just eight miles from the airport and 1.5 blocks from the famous River Walk.
  • Hawthorn Inn & Suites - Riverwalk, 830 N St Mary's St at Richmond Ave, 210-527-1900. Features oversized studio suites with all the amenities.
  • Hawthorn Suites - North San Antonio, 6900 IH 35 North, 210-798-3900, 800-210-4255. Offering complimentary hot breakfast buffets and social hour in the evening. Also offers in-room business services, an oversized work area complete with dual phone lines, WiFi access, personal voice mail and daily complimentary newspaper.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites San Antonio (Downtown), 1025 S. Frio Street, Tel: (210) 226-8666.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites San Antonio Airport/North, 15314 Highway 281 North, Tel: (210) 404-1900.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites San Antonio Northeast, 3911 IH 35 North, Tel: (210) 231-0123.
  • Quality Inn and Suites - Northwoods, 1505 Bexar Crossing (corner of San Pedro Avenue, just south of 281 and 1604 junction), +1-210-545-5400. Extremely reasonable rates, well outside of San Antonio's downtown. Large and comfortable rooms, pool, free high-speed Internet (Ethernet). Just off a big freeway, so no neighborhood nearby to enjoy, but pleasant inside and with friendly staff. $89 (king bed suite).
  • Red Roof Inn - Downtown, 1011 E Houston St, 210-229-9973.
  • Salad Creek Villas, 2383 NE Loop 410, +1-210-599-4204. The newly renovated Salado Creek Villas feature 87 preferred two-bedroom villas and 18 comfortable studios. The two-bedroom/two-bathroom suites feature an open floor plan with separate bedrooms and living areas, for up to four overnight guests.


  • AmeriSuites San Antonio/Airport, 7615 Jones Maltberger Road, Tel: (210) 930-2333, Fax: (210) 930-2336. Located just one mile south of San Antonio International Airport and 10 minutes from the Riverwalk and the Alamo.
  • AmeriSuites San Antonio/Riverwalk, 601 South St. Mary's Street, Tel: (210) 227-6854, Fax: (210) 227-1247. Located on the serene San Antonio River, just a few minutes walk from the famous Riverwalk entertainment district.
  • Beauregard House Bed and Breakfast Inn, 215 Beauregard St, 888-667-0555, 210-222-9338. The Beauregard House is located in the quiet elegance of the King William District in downtown San Antonio. Private baths, free breakfast each day.
  • Embassy Suites Hotel - Airport, 10110 US Hwy 281 N, 210-525-9999, Just seven miles from downtown San Antonio, and half a mile from the airport. Hotels in this location are close to fine shopping outlets, including North Star Mall and the many attractions around San Antonio.
  • Embassy Suites Hotel - Northwest, 7750 Briaridge, 210-340-5421. An all-suite hotel five miles from the airport and nine miles from downtown San Antonio. Hotels at this location, at the intersection of I-10 and Loop 410, are just half a mile from shopping, theaters and restaurants.
  • Holiday Inn - Downtown, 318 W Durango Blvd, 210-225-3211. A short stroll from the magnificent River Walk and the colorful Market Square. The airport is just ten miles from the hotel.
  • Holiday Inn Select - North San Antonio, 77 NE Loop 410, 210-349-9900. Only one mile from the airport, while downtown San Antonio is seven miles away.
  • Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market Street is located along the banks of The Riverwalk and nearby attractions Rio San Antonio Cruises, The Alamo, Rivercenter Mall, SeaWorld, Tower of the Americas and Fiesta Texas
  • Hyatt Place San Antonio/Northwest, 4303 AmeriSuites Dr, Tel: (210) 561-0099, Fax: (210) 561-0513. Near the South Texas Medical Center and Six Flags Fiesta Texas and eight miles northwest of historic downtown San Antonio.
  • The St. Anthony, 300 E Travis. Built in 1909 and now run by Wyndham, this beautiful downtown hotel was frequently awarded AAA's Four Diamond Award for excellence.
  • The Inn at Craig Place, 117 West Craig Place, (877) 427-2447. The Inn at Craig Place, built in 1891, offers luxury lodging near the Alamo. Ideal for romantic weekends, weddings, honeymoons, or anniversaries.


  • Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie Street, Connected to the Rivercenter shopping mall located in the River Walk.
  • Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza. Also connected to the Rivercenter, and right next door to the Alamo.
  • Crockett Hotel, 320 Bonham. This sister hotel to the Menger is across from both the Rivercenter and the Alamo.
  • The Westin Riverwalk, 420 W Market St. One of San Antonio's newest hotels, the Westin Riverwalk offers the luxurious grandeur of a southern mansion with the charm of Texas-sized hospitality. Enjoy heavenly beds, heavenly baths and La Merienda, a latin version of high tea.
  • Noble Inns, 102 Turner Street. 3 Victorian Era San Antonio inns located near the Riverwalk in the heart of King William Historic District.

Stay safe

San Antonio is a relatively safe city. As long as you take elementary precautions, you'll have a great time. Even when there are crowds for such events like the Alamo Bowl, it is still relatively safe. Just remember that the River Walk always has something going on, but if you're in one of the quieter spots at night, exercise some caution.

Get out

To leave San Antonio, use US 281 south to get to Brownsville, I-10 east to get to Houston, I-10 west to get to El Paso, I-35 north to get to Austin, Waco, and Dallas/Fort Worth, I-37/US 181 south to get to Corpus Christi and Floresville, SH 16 north to get to Bandera, SH 16 south to get to Poteet, or US 281 north to get to Blanco and Johnson City. An alternate route to Austin is to use US 281 north and US 290 east. I-410 and SH 151 do not leave the city. However, Loop 1604 does go to small towns in the county.

San Antonio is a great place to start a day trip to New Braunfels, best known for its German culture and heritage, not to mention the Schlitterbahn, persistent in being voted the world's best waterpark.

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