Woooo Hooo!!!! We have air conditioning! Man, I can’t believe what a great night of sleep you can get when you aren’t suffocating. Crazy! Our moods have been infinitely better in the past 24 hours. I forgot how nice we can be to each other. 🙂
After our trip to San Antonio last weekend, I decided to put a list of the best things to do with your time in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. As you’ll see, most of the to-do’s I picked have a lot to do with 3 things. First, food. Second, drinking. And lastly, history. If you can get down with this, South Texas is just the place for you! 🙂
Top 10 To-Do’s in San Antonio
(click on the orange words to link you to more information)
If you are in San Antonio, you have to hit up the Riverwalk, but hear me out. There are too many neat things to take in while you’re in San Antonio to spend too much time here. Limit it to one night. The Riverwalk is really neat, and there are a few things I would definitely suggest doing. Start out with a burger and beer at Mad Dog’s British Pub. Take a walk up and down the Riverwalk as you head to Dirty Nellie’s Irish Pub for a little live piano bar action. Ask him to play Journey, he hated it. 🙂
This beautiful hotel offers Riverwalk view rooms. It was pretty cool to see the late night lights of the Riverwalk from about the 4th floor up. The hotel itself was so pretty and the staff were very kind. If you can swing it, this hotel is the way to go.
When you wake up, head over to Sip Coffee Shop, a mere block away. Don’t settle for the cup of Starbucks in the hotel lobby, take a walk and support this local spot. I went twice during our stay and it didn’t disappoint. Get a latte and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. They use a panini press to toast your bagel, leaving you with a thinner, crispier bagel that was top notch.
For lunch, take a 10 minute drive to Ray’s Drive In for a puffy taco or two, you’ll be happy you did. What is a puffy taco, you ask? Well, they take a mixture of masa, salt, and water and deep fry it, then fill it with tender, juicy beef, chicken, or fish. They serve it up with a smoky green chile salsa that was out of this world. If you could only eat one meal in San Antonio, I would hands down go to Ray’s.
Nestled inside the Omni La Mansion, there is a great little restaurant, Las Canarias. Technically it’s on the Riverwalk, but it doesn’t fit the bill of your typical Riverwalk restaurant. It is a bit on the pricey side, but if you are on the hunt for a nice place for dinner, this is just the spot. I would definitely suggest the salmon for dinner followed by the Caramel Popcorn Cremeux for dessert.
It can be a quick stop, or you can take your time, but you need to go. The Alamo is a pretty neat place to take a stroll through and appreciate. It was originally intended to be a church, but was never completed. It’s significance, of course, was the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 where defenders took their last stand against the troops. If you have time to do all of these other cool things, may want to take time to respect the history, ya know?
The last time I was in San Antonio (before this trip), we stayed at the Menger Hotel. Located on the first floor, there is a dark wooden room, The Menger Bar. Its significance is pretty cool, actually. Back in the day, around 1898, Theodore Roosevelt used this bar to recruit Rough Riders for the Spanish American War. When you walk in, you definitely take a step back in time. Worth a stop, even if just for one beer.
Alright, Gruene, TX may take the cake for me, in terms of South Texas jewels. This little town sits about 45 minutes outside San Antonio, and is worth the gas and time to get there. It’s the home of Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. Gruene Hall has hosted some of the biggest legends ever in this rickety, wooden, sweaty venue . A good day in Gruene looks like this: Stop by Gruene Hall for a beer in the afternoon, followed by some shopping around town (General Store, Pookie Jane’s, Antique Shop, etc. . .). Then have dinner at The Gristmill that evening. The Gristmill is a beautiful outdoor restaurant overlooking the Guadalupe River. End your day back at Gruene Hall with some live music, which I think takes place every night. I may retire in this town. Someday, someday.
In Helotes, TX, about half an hour down the road from San Antonio, you’ll find another one of the coolest music venues there is. Floore’s Country Store opened in 1942 and isn’t exactly what is sounds like. Floore’s was, and is, a unique Texas Dance hall that’s hosted County and American music legends for decades. They serve up ice cold beer, classic Texas cafe food, and great music. Floore’s has a way of ridding you of stress and leaving you with a smile. If I weren’t 1,500 miles away, I would be there nightly. Check it out!
This little place is in Hunter, TX, about 10 minutes for Gruene. Riley’s Tavern was the first bar opened after prohibition back in 1933. At the time it opened, it was so successful because it had a prime location where farmers, ranchers, and many more quenched their thirst many years ago. Now, it is equally successful due to how unique, laid back, and inviting this place is. If you love a no frill bar where you have to go outdoors to hit the bathroom, this is your kind of place.
Have a great day! 🙂