San Antonio is the second largest city in the state of Texas and 7th largest in the United States. Visited by more than 26 million annual visitors, San Antonio is a beautiful city at the axis of three different geological terrains: Hill Country, South Texas Plains and Prairie and Lakes. 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 lots of drinking. The culture and people are vibrant and interesting. San Antonio's downtown is one of the most lively in the nation.
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 (1836) where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie were killed. Though it must be said that when most visitors see the Alamo for the first time, their common reaction is "Hmmm, I thought it would be bigger."
No other city in Texas reflects the state's Spanish and Mexican heritage better than San Antonio. Hispanics make up a considerable fraction of the population though and it shows in most places. The Hispanic atmosphere of San Antonio makes it a truly unique U.S. city. This becomes most evident during Fiesta week, a yearly celebration that attracts 3.5 million people to its 110 plus events from all over to enjoy parades, music, festivals, fairs and food and drink in the charming downtown streets of the city.
The birthplace of the U.S. Air Force, San Antonio, with a population of around 1.4 million, and a metro population of nearly 2.2 million, still enjoys a small-town feel despite the hustle and bustle. 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 30-40 minute drive.
During the summer it can get hot, and sometimes humid. Temperatures in the 90's and 100's are typical from May to September, though there are some days that stay cooler. April and October have also been known to get into the 90's even 100's, and during the winter it typically is cool and rainy. Carry a light sweater, you never know when the weather may change in San Antonio.
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. In the Summer of 2009, the San Antonio Convention & Visitor's Bureau launched a savings website, the San Antonio Vacation Experience , for families and groups traveling to the city.
San Antonio International Airport (IATA: SAT) . May be reached in about 1 hour from Austin, 4 hour 15 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth or less than 3 hours from Houston. Other destinations are available; check with individual airlines. Ground transportation from SAT to Downtown available by shuttle ($18 one way per person) or by taxi ($23 one way, up to 4-6 persons depending on the size of the taxi). You can also take a free shuttle bus at the airport that brings you to a city bus stop (bus number 5). Bus number 5 brings you downtown in about half an hour, for $1.10 exact change and runs approximately every 30 minutes. San Antonio International Airport is currently under a large growth project which is constructing two new terminals and demolishing an older one. Allow time for this construction.
Amtrak, SAS, 350 Hoefgen St. The Texas Eagle provides service north to Chicago; the Sunset Limited train runs west to Los Angeles and east to New Orleans. Before Hurricane Katrina, the Sunset Limited was a transcontinental route with service to Orlando; currently the route is truncated.
Most visitors to San Antonio arrive by either I-35, I-10, I-37 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.
Greyhound, 500 N St Marys St, Downtown. (Across the street from Bill Miller's Parking Lot)
San Antonio is in the middle of Texas. Therefore, it is not accessible by boat. Although there are many tubing opportunities around San Antonio, thanks to the huge abundance of rivers in the area.
The River Walk, in downtown San Antonio, does offer a River Taxi  that shuttles people to hotels, restaurants and shops along its banks.
Map of Downtown San Antonio
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 $1.10 to $2.50 depending on the service with a one day $4.00 pass (for purchase at some retail outlets see VIA's Website under Fare information) for all routes. There are 4 different types of routes: Express, Skip, Frequent, and Metro. The Express routes usually run from the sub-urban areas (mostly Park and Rides) to downtown.Most of them run about once every 30 minutes. Skip service usually runs along the streets with high traffic, they are called Skip routes because they usually Skip bus stops that are serviced by the frequent routes. Skip routes also usually run about every 30 minutes. Frequent routes can also be found on high traffic roads and as the name implies, the stops are very frequent. Although Frequent routes come by about once every 15 minutes, it is usually faster to wait a little longer and take the skip routes if you are going a long distance,for example on San Pedro ave, it is usually quicker to wait for the #3(Skip) as opposed to the #4 (Frequent) if you wanted to get from downtown to North Star Mall. Metro service is usually found in neighborhoods around the city, frequency varies with each route, but they usually run about once an hour. 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 , by calling the VIA information line 210-362-2020 or for the hearing impaired at 210-362-2019, or at the San Antonio Visitor Information Center.
A bus line of interest to the visitor is line #7 SIGHTSEER SPECIAL, which runs hourly daily ($1.10 one way) and links the various museums and attractions north of downtown (e.g., Botanical Garden, Witte Museum, San Antonio Zoo, San Antonio Museum of Art) with Downtown. There are also three (Red, Yellow, Blue) downtown Streetcar lines, which run about every 10 minutes ($1 one way) from Alamo Plaza to the Market Square area, Alamodome, HemisFair Park, and the King William Historic area.
Cabs are available to be hailed downtown, at the airport, or at military bases. In other areas you should reserve a cab in advance.
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 (1836). Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Revenues from an adjacent gift shop fund the historic preservation efforts.
Aztec on the River (aka Aztec Theatre). On the River Walk, at the corner of E. Commerce and N. St. Mary’s Streets. The Aztec on the River was touted as the Riverwalk’s most exciting entertainment attraction. This historic 1926 movie palace was meticulously restored in 2006, complete with a Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ.
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 is a 25-block area south of downtown and east of the San Antonio River. In the late 1800s, prominent German merchants settled the King William area, making it the most elegant residential area in the city. It is Texas' first Historic District. Accessible from Alamo Plaza via the Blue VIA Streetcar. Highlights include the magnificent mansions along King William St., from Beauregard St. to Guenther St. Don't miss the Steves Homestead (1876) on King William St. or the Guenther House (1859) and Pioneer Flour Mills on Guenther St. If you happen to arrive in San Antonio early in the month, try to catch First Friday, like the name implies, it happens the first Friday of the month. On First Friday you can find all kinds of little booth selling things ranging from flowers to art to funnel cakes. There is usually live music.
River Walk Tour Boat
River Walk (aka Paseo del Rio). The River Walk  area, one level below the street level of San Antonio, is an excellent place to explore by day and party by night. The River Walk has guided barge tours by Rio San Antonio Cruises  departing regularly. Numerous restaurants, shops, and hotels line the River Walk on both sides of the most popular and developed downtown loop, which winds its way below the streets bounded by Houston to the north, Alamo to the east, Villita to the south, and St. Mary's to the west. The east end of the River Walk is extended to the Convention Center and to the Rivercenter Mall. Further development of the River Walk is proceeding north and south of downtown. No visit to San Antonio is complete without a stroll along the River Walk. Note: Along many sections of the River Walk, there is nothing between the edge of the sidewalk and the River. Be very careful with young children, baby strollers, wheelchairs, intoxicated persons etc.
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 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: 9AM-5PM from Labor Day to Memorial Day; 9AM-6PM, 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 MuseumLocated a short two blocks from the Alamo and 50 feet from the River Walk. Hours: 10AM-5PM or later, Su-Th; 10AM-6PM or later, Friday and Saturday. Call for exact closing times. Admission: Adults $11; seniors(55+) $10; Children (ages 3-11) $8. Special rates for group of 10 or more, and discounts for Military with ID.
Institute of Texan Cultures (aka ITC) , in HemisFair Park; main entrance is off Durango near Bowie. A one-story 50,000 sq. ft. museum featuring Texan history, brought to life by docent-interpreters, and the cultures of over 20 national/ethnic groups of people who have made Texas their home. Admission fee. Snack machines. Accessible from downtown via the Purple VIA Streetcar.
Instituto de México, 600 HemisFair Park, 210-227-0123. Tues-Fri 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 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.
Museo Alameda, 101 South Santa Rosa, 210-299-4300. Tu 10AM-6PM, W 10AM-8PM, Th-Sun 10AM-6PM. Free admission with suggested donation. The first formal affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museo Alameda tells the story of the Latino experience in America through art, history, and culture. Located in Market Square.
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 (aka SAMA) , 200 W Jones (2 blocks west of Broadway), 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. Four floors of fabulous permanent collections, from Antiquities to Asian to Contemporary Art, as well as changing exhibits. Bring your sketchpad or camera (no flash, permanent collections only). Cafe SAMA serves only snacks. On the #7 Sightseer Special bus line, or via any of the buses along Broadway (#9,10,14) with several blocks walk. If you can do only one museum visit, this is the one to explore in San Antonio.
Southwest School of Art & Craft, 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, W-Sa, 10AM-5PM, Sun noon-5PM. $7 Ad/$6 sen/$5 kids 4-11, free Tuesdays 3PM-8PM. Dinosaurs, textiles, natural history, science treehouse, and more. A museum complex with lots of different activities 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-cultura celebration. Many family oritented events take place during this time, as well as many events geared towards adults. With over 100 different events, it's the biggest party and greatest community benefit in the state of Texas.
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. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo has been nominated for the Largest Indoor Rodeo of 2009, the winner to be announced February 2010.
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.
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. It has a really interesting water park and the ride the Boomerang is recommended
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. Home to a great Drive-thru Safari Park!
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 Rampage. The AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes 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 Silverstars WNBA
Alamo Helicopter Tours (San Antonio Helicopter Tours), 8535 Mission Road (From Downtown head east on East Market St and merge onto I-37/US-281 South via ramp to I-10. Take exit 135 to merge onto SE Military Dr/TX-13-Loop W. Sharp left at Mission Road. Located at the Airport Main Terminal Building.), ☎ 210-287-5797, . Offers exciting and breathtaking views of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country, including sites such as the San Antonio River, Downtown, the Botanical Gardens and Historic Mission.$40-280.
San Antonio Walks, 302 Alamo Plaza (directly in front of the Alamo), . Professional guided tour. This is not a highlight reel, but real storytelling about the city's rich history. Captivating and educational. Voted: Best Tour in San Antonio. Member: Texas Travel Industry Association Another peaceful place to walk is in the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. In the Spring they have the Spring Children's Vegetable Garden Program.
Ghost Hunts of San Antonio Texas Tour, Alamo Plaza (directly across from The Menger Hotel next to the green park benches) (When facing The Alamo look to your right. You will see the guides in black shirts.), ☎ 210-275-9957, . 8:30PM Check-in. Guided ghost hunting tour. Visit over 10 locations where ghost sightings occur. Learn to use modern ghost hunting equipment while learning the history of each location. This ghost hunting tour offers rich history to some of San Antonio's most haunted locations. Mystifying, educational, and fun. Member: The Atlantic Paranormal Society (Family Investigators), American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon(AAEVP), MUFON
Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston Street, ☎ (210) 226-5700, . Recognized as one of the most ornate facilities in the country, the Majestic has long held a special place in the archives of Texas theatrical and architectural history. Located at 224 E. Houston Street in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the Majestic was designed and built in 1929 by John Eberson for Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theatres, and stood proudly for many years as the largest theatre in Texas and the second largest motion picture theatre in the country. It was intended to be the most modern and ornate building in South Texas - complete with new sound and projection equipment - and was the first theatre in the state to be totally air-conditioned.
San Antonio is home to several historic vaudeville theatres; The Empire, Aztec, Alameda, and the Majestic. There are also many live music venues including, Sunset Station, White Rabbit, Scout Bar, Blue Star Arts complex, Pearl Brewery, Cowboys, La Tuna's, Randy's Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar, and The Ten Eleven and many great local bands.
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.
La Villita,  418 Villita, 210-207-8611, fax 210-207-4390. Shops open daily 10AM-6PM Free admission. Closed holidays.
Market Square - El Mercado,  514 W Commerce, 210-207-8600, fax 210-207-4287. Hours: 10AM-8PM, summer; 10AM-6PM, winter. Stores closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 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.
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. Houses over 100 retail shops including an IMAX theater.
The Shops at La Cantera.  15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 6698. 210.582.6255 Hours are Monday - Saturday: 10AM - 9PM and Sunday: 12PM - 6PM. Located in northern San Antonio, the Shops at La Cantera offer open marketplace shopping.
North Star Mall, 7400 San Pedro, San Antonio, Texas 78216-5358, ☎ (210) 342-2325, . San Antonio’s internationally-acclaimed shopping destination center boasts over 200 specialty stores and restaurants. Located adjacent to the San Antonio International Airport, North Star is conveniently situated in the heart of the city. North Star is home to the largest cowboy boots in the world. They stand 40 feet high and 20 feet long! Stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Pottery Barn Kids, Armani Exchange, Arden B., Montblanc, J.Crew, Oakley, The Cheesecake Factory, Talbots, Janie and Jack, Apple, bebe, Coach, Sephora, Guess, and Steve Madden.
The ‘’’Pearl Brewery’’’  (now an urban development) hosts a farmers market on Saturdays from 9AM to 1PM and Wednesdays from 4PM to 7PM. On Saturdays the market is right next to the San Antonio River which forms an excellent green area, you can walk or take the river shuttle up from your hotel downtown.
Mexican Manhattan, 110 Soledad, ☎ 210-223-3913, . Overlooking the San Antonio River.
Casa Rio (Tex-Mex). A great Tex-Mex restaurant if you're on a budget. This is the oldest restaurant on the River Walk, opened in 1946. You can enjoy good local-style dining in a colorful and romantic setting.
Schilo's Deli (German). If you're tired of Tex-Mex, Schilo's is a great place for good German food at budget prices, right above the River Walk (next to Casa Rio). Try their Evening Specialties, available after 5PM, excellent value. Split Pea Soup is a long-time favorite.
Taco Cabana is another great Tex-Mex place in San Antonio. It's a chain located in Texas, OK, and NM.
Teka Molino (Tex-Mex). Teka Molino is a famous restaurant located on San Pedro, two blocks from North Star Mall. Locals are familiar with their famous puffy tacos, carne guisada, guacamole cups, bean rolls, and home-made tortillas.
Hungry Horse is a 'Texas-fare' restaurant on West Avenue, serving up chicken fried steak, bran muffins, meatloaf, pork chops, and more homestyle meals. They have another location on San Pedro.
Lulu's is located just north of Interstate 35 on N. Main St (about a 15 minute walk from the Alamo). This diner/bakery offers huge portions at very low prices. Their cinnamon rolls are as big as a human head, and their chicken-fried steak takes up the whole plate. Not very touristy, more of a local place. Not to be confused with Luby's cafeteria which is just across the street and much more expensive.
Main Street Pizza(Italian).1906 N. Main st. Just east of San Antonio College, about 2 miles north of downtown.Popular with students at San Antonio College (SAC) as well as Trinity University because of it's affordable prices, good food and proximity to the campuses.Offers Freid Calamari, Calzones,Pizzas of all sizes,Manicotti and an ecclectic mix of other traditional Italian food. Daily specials are available.
Green, 1017 N Flores Street Near Downtown. San Antonio's only all vegetarian eatery, be sure to try the soups and specials. Dinner is $7-$15
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. A great place to host a birthday party or special occasion. The "fish bowl" drinks are fun for two to share.
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).
Sushi Zushi, 203 S. St. Mary's at Market, in the International Center across the street from the Drury Plaza Hotel, Phone: (210) 472-2900. Three other locations in San Antonio area. Extensive Japanese sushi menu, including other Japanese dishes like soup, salad, udon, soba, etc. Japanese comfort foods are good value. Tasteful, modern setting.
Yokonyu Sushi Bar & Restaurant, 301 E Houston St at Navarro. Across from Walgreen's and the Buckhorn Museum & Saloon, just a block north of the River Walk and a couple of blocks west of the Alamo. Gorgeous lovely modern setting inside; exquisite Japanese food with a Latin flair. Lunch Specials $9-$13, an excellent value.
Paesanos River Walk, 111 W. Crocket #100, ☎ 210-227-2782, . Classic Mediterranean and contemporary Italian dining on the San Antonio River Walk. Paesanos River Walk breaks the boundaries of traditional Italian cuisine to explore modern Mediterranean specialties. Enjoy the legendary Shrimp Paesano or Oven-Baked Pizzas piled high with grilled chicken and artichokes, or venture forth to Lemon Peppered Salmon or to our tempting Daily Specials. Choose from inside or terrace seating and enjoy views to the famed San Antonio River Walk.
Boudros, 421 E. Commerce. From Commerce St. entrance, take the elevator down to the River level and walk through the restaurant to the riverfront entrance. A very popular Texas bistro, with locals and tourists alike, right on the River Walk. Hearty portions. Blackened prime rib is its signature dish. Reservations are advisable, especially weekends.
Zuni Grill, 223 Losoya. 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...) - paella and seared ahi tuna arere $35 and $25 respectively, and worthy; good to share with good company. The salsa is smoky and tasty.
Azuca, Best tortas de jamon (ham sandwiches) north of Mexico City. 10% discount if you tell the host that Ham Man sent you.
The Lodge Restaraunt of Castle Hills, 1746 Lockhill Selma, . Chef Jason Dady's 4-Diamond Rated New American menu features an array of the freshest meats, poultry, seafood and produce, prepared utilizing country Italian techniques with French influences. Reservations required.$50-$75.
Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary's @ Market ([http://www.biga.com/directions.html]), . San Antonio Riverwalk Restaurant for Fine Dining, Catering and Banquet Rooms San Antonio’s Riverwalk restaurant, Biga on the Banks, has a reputation for innovation among San Antonio Riverwalk restaurants and we are proud of our role in redefining San Antonio fine dining. Owner and Chef Bruce Auden is known for his culinary creativity, and offers flavors and cuisine that are sure to please. Biga welcomes the opportunity to share our innovative gourmet foods with you and hope that you will consider us when looking for fine dining on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Reservations recommended.$25-$50.
Il Sogno, 200 E Grayson, ☎ (210) 223-3900. Located in the Historic Pearl Brewery Complex, Chef Andrew Weissman offers a contemporary flair to authentic Italian cuisine. Excellent antipasto bar and great wine list. With appetizers and wine, expect $50-100/person.
Little Rhein Steak House, 231 S. Alamo, . A friendly gathering place with rustic charm, high quality steaks and its historically significant location. Located on the San Antonio River, the building was erected in 1847 and is basically unaltered since its original construction. Enjoy some of these delicious menu items. Escargots, in Garlic Butter, House Smoked Salmon, Field Greens, Caesar Salad, Prime Strip Loin, Prime Ribeye, Filet Mignon, Lobster Tail, Prime Lamb Chops, just to name a few.
San Antonio's downtown is the hub of the city's nightlife, with hundreds of dining options, bars and clubs mostly on the Riveralk and throughout street level. Other major nightlife locales, include Southtown Arts District, home to First Friday Art Walk, a large art block party with crowds upward of 20,000 along Alamo St. Scores of dining, galleries, theatres and lodging options, that include more than 10 historic 19th century B&B's adjacent to the Riverwalk. Other nightlife districts include upper Broadway and North Main, aka the Gay Strip, the heart of San Antonio's Gay & Lesbian community. The gay clubs include: The Saint Show Bar(Drag Shows)The Heat, Pegasus, Sparky's Pub, Silver Dollar Saloon, Luthers, Essence(Go Go boy's) and Electric Company and the Annex on San Pedro Avenue, running parallel two blocks west of Main. The biggest gay dance bar in Texas, Bonham Exchange, a former 19th century German Athletic Club, is located downtown, next to the Alamo.
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.
Drink Cocktail Bar, 200 Navarro, Suite 100, ☎ 1-888-DRINK21, . 5pm-2am daily. Drink features over 200 liquors, a signature martini and cocktail list, along with draft beers, wines and Champagnes. Drink offers a lounge-style relaxed environment with attentive service, perfect for meeting friends over a few drinks.
Swig Martini Bar, 111 West Crockett, No. 205, ☎ 210.476.0005, . Swig features specialty martinis, cocktails, cigars and live music. The ambience is vintage 1940s with an exciting urban twist. Sit back and relax where the classic American cocktail meets its contemporaries-where Cary Grant meets Cameron Diaz. Enjoy friendly, attentive service in a relaxed upscale atmosphere. Martini time-with a twist.
Mad Dogs British Pub, 123 Losoya St # 19, . Mad Dogs and Shanghai Martini open 7 nights a week offerring a vibrant spectacle of entertainment including DJs, Karaoke, Live bands and much, much more...
Howl at the Moon Saloon, 111 W. Crockett #201, . Howl at the Moon is a singing, clapping, stomping, dance-on-the-piano, rock N roll dueling piano show! It’s part concert, part piano bar & all centered around audience interaction & 2 baby grand pianos. Howl at the Moon offers an experience beyond the average bar with live entertainment, comedy, & sing-a-longs throughout the night. Howl at the Moon is the perfect place for corporate parties & special events. Don’t fret if you can’t get there for your party or event–with their “Piano Shows To Go,” they’ll bring all the excitement & fun to you!
Zinc, 207 N. Presa St., ☎ (210) 224-2900, . Zinc, located in the heart of historic downtown San Antonio and only a stone's throw from the river walk, invites you to experience the finer things life has to offer. Zinc serves wines from all corners of the globe with an emphasis on champagne and domestic varietals.
SoHo Wine and Martini Bar, 214 W. Crockett Street, ☎ (210) 444-1000, . Extensive drink menu, in addition to your usual favorites SoHo also provides an impressive array of of fun specialty house martinis such as the Ginger Tini, The Espresso Tini and the Carmel Apple Tini.
Best Western Hill Country Suites San Antonio Hotel Texas, 18555 U.S. Hwy. 281 North, San Antonio, Texas 78258, ☎ 210-490-9191, . checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00 AM.
Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, 105 S. St. Mary's Street, between Commerce and Market (kitty corner from Aztec Theatre), 210-270-7799. The 24-story Alamo Bank building, opened as a Drury hotel in 2007. Direct access from the lower level of the hotel to the western side of River Walk downtown loop. Complimentary hot breakfast buffets and evening social hour daily on the second floor of the 50-ft tall lobby. Views from the 22nd floor observation deck; pool/spa on same level. Free internet and long-distance phone calls.
Hampton Inn - San Antonio Downtown (Riverwalk), 414 Bowie, 210-225-8500. Located in downtown San Antonio eight miles south of the airport, one block west of the US-281/I-37 freeway, and about 3 blocks from the River Walk downtown loop.
Hawthorn Suites San Antonio Riverwalk, 830 N St Mary's St at Richmond Ave, 210-527-1900 . Studio suites; complimentary hot breakfast buffet. Located right on the quiet north leg of the River Walk.
Hawthorn Suites - North San Antonio, 6900 IH 35 North, 210-798-3900, 800-210-4255 . Complimentary hot breakfast buffets and social hour in the evening. Also offers in-room business services, an work area complete with dual phone lines, WiFi access, personal voice mail and daily newspaper.
Hill Country Inn & Suites at Salado Creek Villas, 2383 NE Loop 410, ☎ +1-210-599-4204, . Offering 178 comfortable suites with resort amenities including two Jacuzzi’s, an swimming pool and large children's playground.
Microtel Inn & Suites San Antonio Airport/North, A San Antonio airport hotel offering discount lodging and complimentary transportation to San Antonio International Airport. 15314 Highway 281 North, Tel: (210) 404-1900, .
Quality Inn and Suites - Northwoods, 1505 Bexar Crossing (corner of San Pedro Avenue, just south of 281 and 1604 junction), ☎ +1-210-545-5400, . 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).
San Antonio International Hostel, 621 Pierce Avenue, +1 210 223-9426. Beds start at $22.57 per night.
Super 8 San Antonio Sea World / Medical Center Hotel, 5336 Wurzbach Road, Loop 410 W, San Antonio, Texas 78238, +1 210 520-0888. 
Beauregard House Bed and Breakfast Inn, 215 Beauregard St, 888-667-0555, 210-222-9338 . In the King William District in downtown San Antonio. Private baths, free breakfast each day.
Comfort Suites Stone Oak, 1754 N. Loop 1604 E., 210-495-5557 . Near the Stone Oak and Northwoods areas in North San Antonio. Ten minutes away from Six Flags and La Cantera Mall. Free Internet and Free Hot breakfast daily.
Holiday Inn - Downtown, 318 W Durango Blvd, 210-225-3211 . Downtown; the airport is just ten miles from the hotel.
Hyatt Place San Antonio/Northwest, 4303 AmeriSuites Dr, Tel: (210) 561-0099, Fax: (210) 561-0513.
The Inn at Craig Place, 117 West Craig Place, (877) 427-2447 . The Inn at Craig Place, built in 1891.
O'Brien Ascend Collection hotel, 116 Navarro Street (one block away from the San Antonio River Walk), ☎ +1 210 527-1111, . Boutique hotel
Residence Inn, San Antonio Downtown/Alamo Plaza, 425 Bonham 1-800-371-6349. Two blocks north of the Alamo, and 2 blocks west of the US-281/I-37 freeway. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet daily and evening social hour (M-Th).
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.
Salado Creek Villas, 2383 NE Loop 410, Toll Free: 1(800) 314-3424, . San Antonio's newest resort. Offering spacious 1 & 2 bedroom condo-style suites.
Sleep Inn & Suites at Six Flags, 5042 Beckwith Blvd, 210-561-6100 , . Ideally located next to the popular Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park.
Springhill Suites San Antonio SeaWorld/Lackland, 138 Richland Hills Drive, ☎ 210-520-6655, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. New downtown hotel with high speed internet access and indoor swimming pool.
Crockett Hotel, 320 Bonham . This sister hotel to the Menger is across from both the Rivercenter and the Alamo.
Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St, A contemporary luxury 12-story hotel offering 265 suites with over-sized bathrooms and a separate parlor with a sleeper sofa.
Grand Hyatt San Antonio, 600 E Market Street, .
Hyatt Regency Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, ☎ +1 210 647 1234 (fax: +1 210 681 9681), . 27 holes of championship golf, Windflower spa and four-acre water park.
The Grand Fleur de Lis, 120 Cedar Street, (877) 792-7700. Large rooms all with private baths. Central downtown location.
Hyatt Regency San Antonio, 200 North Columbus Drive, . Newly renovated 632-room hotel directly overlooking the historic Alamo and on the Riverwalk.
Marriott Plaza San Antonio, 555 South Alamo Street , 1-210-229-1000 . A resort style hotel in downtown San Antonio near the Riverwalk, San Antonio Convention Center, Sea World and Alamo.
Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza . Also connected to the Rivercenter, and right next door to the Alamo.
Noble Inns, 102 Turner Street . 3 Victorian Era San Antonio inns located near the Riverwalk in the heart of King William Historic District.
San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk, 889 East Market Street 1-210-224-4555, Balcony views of the city and the famous River Walk below. Across the street from the San Antonio Convention Center.
Omni La Mansion, 112 College St., ☎ 210-518-1000, . Omni La Mansión del Rio is at the historic River Walk on the banks of the Paseo del Rio in downtown.
Western Riverwalk, 420 W Market Street, ☎ (210) 224-6500, .
The Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, ☎ 1-866-716-8137, . In the Texas Hill Country just north of San Antonio; good views. Six pools, three hot tubs, 36 holes of golf, spa services, tennis courts and a kids club.
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. Fringe neighborhoods, particularly on the West and South should be avoided at night, though they are of little interest to tourists.
Belgium (Honorary), One Alamo Center, 106 S St Mary’s Ste 200, ☎ +1 210 271-0630 (Braubach@texas.net, fax: +1 210 225-1951), .
Germany (Honorary), 310 S Saint Mary's St, Tower Life Bldg Ste 2201, ☎ +1 210 226-1788 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 210 226-2065), .
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; or to San Marcos, home of Texas State University and its Aquarena Center.