My must-see places in San Antonio

must-see places in San Antonio

Happy Friday, friends! Today, I am sharing with you my must-see places in San Antonio after a reader request.

I know this day is usually all fashion, but I also know that many of you are planning trips and today is Cinco de Mayo, perfect time to celebrate this city.

Recently, a reader contacted me and asked that I develop for you my personal must-see places in San Antonio list.

What would I want to see if I lived outside of the city?

This is honestly hard to do…because there is so much to see and do here.

But, I will tell you my favorites…and remember, these are MY favorites… someone else might have a different point-of-view.

So, there is so much to say….let’s get going…with My must-see places in San Antonio, Texas.


must-see places in San Antonio

The top picture in today’s post begins at my favorite must-see place in San Antonio…The Historic Pearl.

This refashioned vintage brewery and the surrounding area is an experience a visitor simply must have.

In fact, I could probably visit as a tourist there for an entire week and be completely happy and satisfied.

must-see places in San Antonio

If I had the money to spend, I would stay at the Fabulous Hotel Emma.

At least visit the hotel to see the decor and architecture and eat at Supper and have lunch at Larder (and eat outside.)

In fact,  go to the Pearl every day with an empty stomach…the eating is superb. 

must-see places in San Antonio

My must-see places in San Antonio at the Pearl include must-eat-at-places there:

Lunch or dinner at Southerleigh’s.

Brunch at Brasserie Mon Chou Chou.

All natural unique ice cream at Lick Honest Ice Creams.

French bakery is the Bakery Lorraine.

There are other eateries but I was asked for my favorites!

If eating outside with children, there is a fun splash pad and this is a pet-friendly area.

must-see places in San Antonio

Shopping at the Pearl is also fun.  Here are. my must-shop visits:

If you are there on a Wednesday evening, you will have festivals, merchant booths, and music to enjoy.

This photo is from a fun boutique called Niche.

I also like Tiny Finch, The Twig Bookstore, and Adelante.

must-see places in San Antonio

If you like jazz clubs, you will want to make sure you go to JAZZTX in the Pearl.  

An intimate music experience.


must-see places in San Antonio

The Pearl area sits on the San Antonio River, so you can head down the river from there.

The Riverwalk is a must-see place in San Antonio for beauty, walking, food, drink, and entertainment.  There is so much to see.

But, it is a great place to relax with a meal or beverage and watch the tour barges go by!

must-see places in San Antonio

You could almost just plan a history tour as must-see places in San Antonio.

There is so much history in the downtown area…and nearby.

Of course, I am standing in front of The Alamo….which is significant history for Texans.

must-see places in San Antonio

Next door is the lovely Menger Hotel with quite a bit of history to experience from Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders to President Bill Clinton’s favorite ice cream.

Also, for the history buffs, I recommend our Witte Museum, not too far from downtown, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

must-see places in San Antonio

Also, downtown is an artistic area called Southtown which is another fun place for eating, music and art.

Mr. B and I like the restaurant located in Southtown called Bliss… incredibly good!

Now, If you say to me, “we only have time for either the Pearl or Southtown, pick one”.   It will be The Pearl hands down for me every time.


must-see places in San Antonio

These must-see places in San Antonio include places outside of the downtown area.

Such as….we have great spas!

My favorites include Loma de Vida Spa at the La Cantera Resort & Spa…easy access to many places in North San Antonio.

I also like the Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. 

must-see places in San Antonio

The Hiatus Spa at the Pearl is also a good spa…the other two are my top favorites.

But, if you are focusing on the Pearl area, you cannot go wrong with a visit to Hiatus.

must-see places in San Antonio

The La Cantera Resort and Spa are right near my favorite mall in the city.

The Shops at La Cantera is a lovely outdoor mall and it is pet-friendly!

You’ve seen me shopping there often in my posts.

must-see places in San Antonio

There is a lovely area of town called Alamo Heights, and that is where you find my personal favorite bakery in town.

A must-see place in San Antonio for me would include Bird Bakery.

This place is charming and delicious.

And not too far from the San Antonio Botanical Gardens…another must-see place in San Antonio.

Also, not far from Alamo Heights is the beautiful McNay Art Museum.

And if you go to the McNay, leave time to drive down the street and visit one of my favorite stores:  Sunset & Co.

Or for exquisite home decor beautifully curated, stop by Frosted Home….very close to Bird Bakery.

Finally…nearby is exquisite high end boutique shopping….Julian Gold.

must-see places in San Antonio

Of course, my audience will want to visit Elizabeth’s Boutique in north San Antonio.

I love what I find there. 

I was asked for my absolute favorite places in San Antonio and here Is the list.  Next week, I will recommend favorite places nearby to San Antonio.

Now, if you ask for a thrifting trip….I can do that as well.

I hope this has helped some of you with what to include in a trip as my must-see places in San Antonio.   

Let me also add that when you are downtown, you are surrounded by artwork…it is all around to enjoy from murals to sculptures.

Ask any questions you like about my must-see places in San Antonio, and make sure that you always….


By Pamela Lutrell

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must-see places in San Antonio


  1. I visit San Antonio often and I love history. May I add in some of my favorites? The San Antonio Missions National Park is actually five missions with ranger activities and visitors centers. In addition to the Alamo there are four other missions approximately two to three miles apart. And downtown is the Institute of Texan Cultures. There are fascinating displays of the many different races and cultures that settled in Texas. Qué viva Tejas!

  2. Thank you so much for all this wonderful information about your favourite places to visit in San Antonio.I wold also like to know what time of year is best to visit as I know it can get very hot.Also, I was smiling as I was reading this and thanks for always reminding your readers to smile.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  3. Thanks Julie! My very favorite time is December…the Christmas lights on the Riverwalk are beautiful. April and Fiesta time are fun and March usually has perfect weather. You are right from June to early October, it is hot.

  4. This post reminds me that no matter where we live, we can be tourists in our own area. There are so many places around where I live that I have never taken the time to visit. I think I’m going to remedy that this summer and visit a few places to get started!

  5. You’ve certainly given the reader many suggestions that sound like wonderful opportunities to visit your hometown. I’d guess that many people only know of the Alamo when they think of San Antonio, but since reading your blog for several years, I’m now well aware of a multitude of interesting and unique places I’d love to see if I ever were to visit.

  6. Good morning, Pam. One of my husband’s favorite city is San Antonio and I have never been. We recently had a ball with my daughter and her family in Charleston, SC. Do you have any children’s highlights to share? I would suggest it for a future trip. The kids are ages 6 and 8. Many thanks!

  7. This looks like a fabulous visit. I definitely have my travel sights set on SA and the Hill Country. Of course, like all midwesterners, we want to time it with the bluebonnets!

  8. Yes! We have theme parks like Seaworld and Fiesta Texas; children’s museums; lots of swimming and a fabulous waterpark in nearby New Braunfels called Schlitterbahn. An excellent zoo!

  9. Make sure we had rain before the wildflower season, This was not a good year coming out of a drought!

  10. I was so elated to read this post! I was actually going to contact you as well about visiting San Antonio! We want to come at Christmas time as the pictures I’ve seen at that time look spectacular! So many of my questions have already been answered, but do have a couple more…hotel accommodations is one. Should you stay right on the River Walk? What are your faves for hotels? If coming during the Christmas holiday, when is the best time in that month of December? Do you recommend renting a car? Would like to see some of your recommendations for outside the River Walk as well! Thank you so much for this post and throughly have enjoyed your blog over the years! It’s the first thing I look for everyday!

  11. Oh, thank you so much! The Pearl and the jazz club have been on my radar thanks to your highlighting them previously, but now I can begin to flesh out more details. I am also gathering some good ideas about where to eat since the S.A. cookbook is designed all around local restaurants. I am also loving the individual stories about each place, and the city itself. My problem will be that I’ll need a month or more to see and experience everything!!

  12. We visited The Pearl on a trip to SanAntonio to see our son and enjoyed it. I hope to go back on our next visit to eat at at least one of the places you suggested and also do some shopping. I appreciate the list of places to visit. Thank you Pam.

  13. I frequent the Goodwill locations in North San Antonio. My favorite is on Highway 281 at the Bitters Exit and also on Highway 1604 at the Bulverde Exit…but I am sure there are treasures at all. I also love the Goodwill at 410 and Blanco that sells exclusively accessories.

  14. There are so many hotels that are lovely…right on the Riverwalk I like the Omni La Mansion del Norte. However, at Christmas there is a skating rink and Christmas fair in Travis Park, and right across the street is a stunning hotel called the St. Anthony’s. The Riverwalk is easy to walk to from there. Festivities begin right after Thanksgiving, so anytime from then through December before Christmas is fun. If you make a reservation now on the river, you might could snag a room on the river side that looks over all of the amazing lights. Thanks for asking Jackie. One more thing, my son & his wife often stay in AirBNB or Bed * Breakfasts locations downtown and have always enjoyed the experience.

  15. Thank you so much for all this information and I appreciate the individual attention you give to all your readers. I can’t wait to visit this summer and am looking forward to visiting some of your favorite places.

  16. I really need to visit San Antonio! A December trip sounds wonderful with Christmas lights and all the rest that you’ve so beautifully described.
    Thank you for this post! Happy weekend!

  17. You are so welcome…Christmastime is such a beautiful time here.

  18. Pam, your suggestions and photos are truly appreciated. I have yet to visit San Antonio, but between your posts and my husband’s recollections of San Antonio when he was in the Air Force, this is a must for me. Culture, fabulous food and shopping are three of my favorite adventures! Thanks for being such a superb travel guide!

  19. This was so nice! We almost went to San Antonio in March when we were visiting family in Texas. We couldn’t fit it in though but maybe next time we are in Texas. This was very helpful. Looking forward to more! Thank you!

  20. Thanks so much for sharing these favorite spots with us! I was planning to write and ask the same question before hosting friends from New Zealand who want to tour Texas. Although I’m a native Texan, I’ve mainly been in SA for business trips and was not familiar with many of the newer places you included. One destination I would add is the Nowhere Bookstore, owned by blogger/author Jenny Lawson. A bookstore with its own bar checks a lot of boxes! We will be visiting in January, 2025 (postponed one year because their daughter just announced an engagement and Jan ’24 wedding) but when plans are in place I want to invite you to have lunch with us while we’re in town. So much Texas history, culture and cuisine to share with them!

  21. I would love to!! I have never heard of this bookstore but will check it out.

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