Wednesday, February 25, 2009

15 of my favorite things to do in San Antonio, Texas

  1. The McNay Art Museum
    The McNay is one of the best art museums in San Antonio, and certainly the most distinctive. It is a treat just to wander its halls and outdoor pathways. Their events are usually very high quality and Thursday nights are free admission.

  2. First Friday
    At the beginning of each month is Southtown First Friday in San Antonio. After braving the congested throngs of people milling up and down South Alamo, you will find picnic benches, pitchers of German beer, German sausages, and German folk music at Beethoven Maennerchor on Pereida Street. It doesn't get much better than this.

  3. The Botanical Gardens
    What a simply awesome place! Music concerts every so often, and art exhibits make the already beautiful landscapes at the Botanical Gardens unmissable.

  4. Local eateries
    Twin Sister's bakery and cafe for breakfast on Sunday and local musicians often perform Friday nights.
    Niki's Tokyo Inn on Hildebrand road, and Fujiya on Wurzbach road are my two favorite sushi restaurants in San Antonio. They are both family owned and operated and have floor seating available. They have good Saki selections, a friendly staff, a cozy atmosphere, and fresh fish.
    Jasmine Thai is by far my favorite place to get Thai food.
    My absolute favorite Mexican food dish is called tacos al pastor and the mini-taquitos plate at Taqueria Datapoint is unmatched in San Antonio.

  5. Wine
    Wine's Best Buy is the best place to purchase wine and liquor in San Antonio. Rio de Vino also has a wine boutique with some hard-to-find vintages, and the owners will go out of their way to special order whatever your heart desires. The excellent tapas restaurant Bin Five Fifty-five over on Bitters Road would have gone in my local eateries spot, but their respectable wine list makes it more sense to mention here.

  6. Parks
    McAllister park is located in the North-central part of town and has a fantastic dog park and miles of shaded trails for walking or running.
    Eisenhower Park on NW Military is my favorite city park for hiking. It has a 4 mile circuit of paved pathways, and several additional unpaved paths that wrap around the ridges. Your hiking route can be as challenging or as relaxing as you like.

  7. Disc golf
    I'll be the first to say that this sport is not for everyone, but if you enjoy the game and you're looking for place to play in San Antonio, I recommend Live Oak Park, Brian McClain, and Universal City Park. Pearsall Park is a good course too, but it is in a remote part of town and the winds and topology are dramatic.

  8. The Landing
    The Jim Cullum Jazz Band plays Friday and Saturday nights every week live at the Landing of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Losoya and E Crockett downtown.

  9. The city zoo
    The San Antonio Zoo is a great place to visit and walk around when it isn't summertime. Many of the animals prefer to remain inside their dens and out of sight in order to stay cool. Don't forget to visit Brackenridge park and the Japanese Tea Gardens while you're in the area.

  10. Dancing and music
    Limelight on N. St. Mary's is a fun place to go for dancing, some choice live music, and drinks. Just don't mind the scene kids. The DJs on Tuesdays and Thursdays make it easy to just get into the music.
    The mood isn't always right for club music so there's always Midnight Rodeo dance hall on Thousand Oaks and Nacogdoches. The people I've met there are very friendly and you can always find someone to dance with.
    One other thing, San Antonio's own local wonder band, Buttercup -- they often put on free shows around town, don't miss them.

  11. Historical landmarks
    The Alamo isn't the only Spanish mission in San Antonio. There are four others. Read about them, and then visit them.

  12. Pool
    If you shoot pool, the only place that beats the Fast Eddie's locations at Babcock and at Embassy Row is the Dave and Buster's at Crossroads Blvd. Just don't go on the weekends -- you'll never get a table.

  13. Movie theaters
    Most movie theaters in San Antonio smell bad. The Paladium Imax is new so it doesn't stink yet, but it is by far the most congested cineplex in the city. The Bijou @ Crossroads features some independent movies that you can't see anywhere else, if you brave its smelly theaters.

  14. Graffiti
    When I'm bored out of my mind, I like to go driving around parts of town I haven't been very often or ever before just to explore. My favorite places to drive around are the neighborhoods where I am sure to find quality graffiti to look at. Here are some of my favorite spots for graffiti viewing. Examples: 1, 2

  15. The people
    Seriously, I have no idea what to put here. Refusing to include common tourist traps, or attractions outside the city limits, or include too many restaurants, made it extremely challenging for me to come up with even ten things. I am positive that there are tons of other things to do here. Again, this is just a list of my favorite things in San Antonio.
    But to be fair, the best thing about San Antonio is its people. It's trite, I know, but it's true. Most of my friends, my family, and some extended family too, live in this city. I have lived here for 18 years now and it's home.
    Please let me know what some of your favorite things are!

1 comment:

Anna said...


1. I love the McNay as well. I took an art history survey last semester, and a couple of the pictures in my book were of paintings from the McNay Art museum. It made me happy. :)

4. I've never even heard of Twin Sister's or Datapoint.

5. Love Eisenhower! Am planning on going with Val sometime over Spring break.

9. As lame as it may be, one of my favorite parts of the zoo is that sculpture of the lions that's near the entrance. Loved climbing on that thing as a kid!

11. I was looking up hiking trails in S.A. a couple months ago, and there are a couple out-and-backs that go by some of the missions. I want to check them out sometime.

12. I'm getting better at pool! Still horrible, but at least I can actually hit the ball with the cue stick now.

15. I <3 you.