From the historic sites to abundance of restaurants, San Antonio is full of culture and activity. You might be surprised to know that San Antonio is the second largest populated city in Texas after Houston, seventh most populated in the U.S. and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. This San Antonio Travel Guide will help you get to know the city and plan your trip.
WHY VISIT SAN ANTONIO?
San Antonio has experienced a bit of growth in attractions and restaurants in the past few years. This isn’t the same San Antonio I visited with my family years ago! While San Antonio is still known as a family vacation destination, there are plenty of activities for all ages. Yes, I went for the food! There has always been good food in San Antonio and outstanding chefs have raised the level of creativity, so there are new restaurants to discover. If you live in Texas, it’s a quick destination for a weekend getaway.
- If you’re a runner in Texas, the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon is probably on your short list of race options. The race is usually in early/mid-December. This is a good opportunity to visit a new place and run a race!
- If you want to come for festivities, Fiesta is a multi-day celebration of the city held in April. You’ll see parades, shows and events. More info here.
San Antonio sees the typical Texas weather. Expect temperatures upwards to 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. February, March and November are the best months to visit as it averages a high in the 70s. You don’t need to worry much about rain.
From Austin, the trip is about an hour and a half. From Dallas, it’s four and a half hours and from Houston, almost three and a half hours. The airport is San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and is eight miles from downtown.
I stayed near downtown on multiple trips and found that nothing was more than 15 minutes away and there were always easy parking options. Most downtown hotels will have you pay for overnight parking (around $15) and there is metered parking on the street. Lyft and Uber are available if you’d rather not worry about parking or directions.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotels are abundant in San Antonio. Three-star hotels will range from $80-200 a night while five-star hotels will be $300+. Hotels on or closer to the Riverwalk will be higher and also expect to pay an overnight parking fee. The Airbnb average is $102 a night.
This gorgeous, chill hotel is part of the Bunkhouse Group, which also owns Hotel San Jose and Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin and El Cosmico in Marfa. If you’re a Texas resident, be sure to check out their special discounts! It’s a small hotel – only 27 rooms – and each room is spacious and filled with pretty things like a SMEG refrigerator and fresh bath products. Downstairs you’ll find Ocho, a restaurant and bar, and Havana Bar, a speakeasy-type bar/lounge.
The Hotel Indigo chain is a product of InterContinental Hotel Group. Their River Walk location was a comfortable stay and a good option for a mid-range hotel. If you’d like to relax at the hotel, they have a pool and a patio looking out at the River Walk. It’s also convenient if you want to take a river taxi towards the main River Walk area.
St. Anthony Hotel
Since the time I stayed at the St. Anthony Hotel it has gone through a major restoration and it looks beautiful and luxurious! Gorgeous jewel tones are highlighted throughout the hotel and they offer a rooftop pool with private cabanas for relaxation. They also offer a discount for Texas residents. Blocks away from the center of downtown, this hotel is in a great location.
Newly restored and re-opened, Hotel Emma was and is a historical landmark at Pearl Brewery. Their rooms are luxurious, unique and stylish. While exploring all of their beautiful spaces on the property, you’ll definitely see what your splurge is worth. Their restaurant Supper is high on my list to-try.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
Click over to my Best Restaurants in San Antonio post to read all about where I’ve indulged!
WHERE TO PLAY
I’ve got a handful of recommendations for your weekend getaway to San Antonio. Read my post about the Best Things to Do in San Antonio to get the scoop.
Anything else we should know about San Antonio? Comment below!