Not Your Typical San Antonio Travel Tips

Article Contributer Vacation Thrils

Google what to do in San Antonio and you will get a list of ideas. Places to see, where to walk, what to enjoy and just maybe, how to get there. But what about all the great places that the locals enjoy in their city? Where are those places and are they just as fun as the tourist spots? What is the easiest way to get around if you don’t have a car so you can take in those hidden gems.

Let’s at least start with a few of the obvious reasons to visit San Antonio, then we will  get into the stuff that will really help you get around and enjoy your time.

Typical San Antonio Travel Tips

The Downtown Riverwalk – It can get crazy crowded, but it’s beautiful to walk through especially at night all lit up.

Don’t forget the Alamo – Don’t miss this. Not only is there a ton of information to read throughout, there are lots of people in red vests that are willing to tell you even more.

Tower of America’s – Ummmm. Kind of anticlimactic. San Antonio is so flat that there really wasn’t much to see. The downtown area is all hotels, so you could look for your hotel. I suggest saving your money on this. Now Seattle’s Space Needle is worth the look around.

King Williams district for beautiful old homes.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Ride the Rattler. It is worth the trip out just for that ride alone. Ask for free water all throughout the park. In case of lines play  games while standing in line. 

I could go on with the typical travel tips, but you can find those anywhere. Here’s the tips I really want to share with you.

Not Your Typical San Antonio Travel Tips

How to get from the airport into downtown:

If you have a hotel shuttle you are good to go. You can catch a shuttle that goes downtown for $25 a person.  Or you can even grab an Uber car.

Ride the city bus for just $1.20 each. It’s bus #5, it’s on the island all the way to very end. Can’t find it? Just ask. It will take roughly 30 minutes and save you a ton of money and drop you off  within 2 blocks of your hotel.

Don’t feel like you need to stay on the river or downtown. If you do stay downtown get a place with a pool to hang out at or a place with a balcony. The river gets crowded so just trying to sit and enjoy is not easy. I would suggest a B&B in King Williams.

Use Public Transportation

There are tons of Hop on Hop Off buses. They are expensive, but you get historical information. There are coupons all over for these too. You can get some from your hotel. There is even Tour Boats, which again are expensive, but you get the history tour.

The Water Taxi’s are a little less, but are super crowded if you intend to board in the downtown area. They do go quite a ways north towards the Pearl Brewery and south, but not sure how far south.

I read that the public transportation (VIA) had all day passes for $4, if you don’t like to spend time figuring out bus schedules, but there are a few trolleys that are part of the VIA system. Google VIA Trolleys and you will see the PDF with all the info you need.

Use B-cycle:

There are B-cycle stations all over town. All the way into the Pearl Brewery and all the way south to Mission Trail.

If you want to get a helmet you can pick one up at one of the centers for free. The B-cycle stations do not have them as they are only a docking stations for your bikes. You can ride on the Riverwalk outside of the downtown area. There are B-cycle stations close to all the sites.

Don’t feel like you need to eat every meal on the Downtown Riverwalk

There are tons of restaurants down there serving food to the masses. The meals are marginal at best. Find where the locals are eating and drinking.

The Pearl or Pearl Brewery area (locals call it one thing, tourist signs refer to it as another) has great food. The culinary Institute is there and the restaurants are there to offer some spectacular food.

Cured is the coolest building in the Pearl. Make sure you at least walk through it even if you sit outside. The food is spectacular.

Boiler House is exceptional. Probably the best meal. Share the double cut chop $28 and a salad. Prices on the Riverwalk are just as expensive for the nicer places, but the food is not nearly as good.

The Luxury is a shipping container with well over 20 beers on tap, bottled beer and wine. Another shipping container sells food. It’s right on the Riverwalk between downtown and the Pearl.

Southtown is another fun area. The streets are  packed  with vendors and the restaurants are hopping. Hot Joy, is recommended by locals. It is the most eclectic menu you will ever see. It has an Asian flare.

Also in Southtown was The Friendly Spot. You will love the look of this outdoor space. Its cheery all outdoors and tons of beer on tap. There is even a play structure for kids to play on.

Sip coffee Shop had GREAT coffee, loose leaf tea and really yummy breakfast sandwiches.

Although not spectacular you can eat at the Gunther House in King Williams district. You will love the outdoor seating.

San Antonio is all tourists . Three days is plenty unless you intend to hit every garden, zoo, and museum. The Riverwalk is more than just the downtown area. Don’t miss the spectacular views of the river either north or south.

The Pedicab drivers know what’s going on. Ride one up to the laser light show at Cathedral at San Fernando. Its spectacular. You will sit in a comfy seat and watch the 20 minute show. 

See what the locals do. Where they eat and drink and play. Take time to find those things out. It will make you love San Antonio ever more. Everyone is super friendly. Enjoy!!