When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.
Float the Guadalupe
Tubing the rivers in and around San Antonio is a South Texas tradition – with the Guadalupe River being one of the most popular for its “party” atmosphere and scenic limestone cliffs and lush views. The most popular floating destination is a little bend in the river known as the Horseshoe, where you’ll have the most options for outfitters offering different float lengths and shuttle packages. Choose to float just the Horseshoe, which takes around two hours, or continue beyond the first river crossing for a longer float.
Lost Maples State Park
When you think of fall foliage, you probably picture the mountains of Vermont, but Texas has its own unique corner of color. The park boasts a protected stand of bigtooth maples, a species that can only be found in the western interior of the United States. While the foliage is beautiful, the park is year-round as well, with its abundant wildflowers and steep canyon walls carved out by the Sabinal River.
Climb the Enchanted Rocks
People have been coming to this pink granite dome for centuries, drawn by its myths and legends of magic. Today it’s a rock-climbing destination for those looking to challenge themselves. To protect the rocks, routes have been predetermined and pre-bolted, often with ample space between, making them more challenging than your typical climb. Still, you don’t have to be Alex Honnold to get to the top – just comfortable with crack climbing and leading.
National Shooting Complex
Sprawled across 671 acres, this complex is home to the National Skeet Shooting Association and the National Sporting Clays Association – meaning you’re surrounded by people who know their stuff. The complex holds events all year for shooters of all abilities, so stop in for a game or two of skeet, clays, trap, or 5-stand.
Built in 1878, Gruene Hall is the oldest continually running dance hall in the state. In the more than 140 years since the false-front style building was erected beneath the Gruene water tower, not much has changed – other than its national notoriety and its star-studded lineup that has included Loretta Lynn, B.B. King, and Kacey Musgraves. When not hosting some of the biggest names on the scene, you can find local and touring country, rock, and blues artists every weekend.
Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
John T. Floore’s Country Store
Known by many as the musical “birthplace” of Willie Nelson, this country store isn’t really a store at all, but a Texas-sized honky-tonk located on the northwest side of San Antonio in Helotes. During the day, the dance hall is home to a “Texccentric” café, serving up tamales and homemade bread as well as ice-cold beer, but when the sun sets, that’s when the show starts. In its 75 years, scores of legendary performers have taken the stage here, from Patsy Cline and Hank Williams to Lyle Lovett and Little Richard.
Due to lack of signage, you might actually need the help of a local to find this speakeasy, hidden away on the third floor of another San Antonio hotel. Once inside, the atmosphere feels straight out of Twin Peaks, with its midcentury flair of booths and backlit bars. The menu has a focus on expertly crafted drinks, so skip the rum and coke and try a Crajillo Cocktail made with coffee- and pecan-infused rum and Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur made from 43 different ingredients, including vanilla and citrus.
San Antonio is home to 40 trailheads that connect the Greenway Trail System. These trails link many of the city’s best neighborhood parks and offer about 1,450 acres of waterside green space along the Salado Creek and Medina River. The best part? You can easily access the 65 miles of trails right from the hotel, giving you plenty of opportunities for biking, jogging, or a leisurely morning stroll.
BBQ at Rudy’s Country Store
Rather than shelves of jams and local produce, this “country store“ is actually the place to find finger-licking good barbecue. The pits are stocked entirely with wood-fired oak, which burns slower than traditional mesquite, and the meat is rubbed down with their signature dry spice. Pick up a shaker or two on your way out to take the perfect Texas barbecue taste with you.
Tejas Rodeo Company
It wouldn’t be a visit to Texas without a taste of rodeo. From March to November, this seasonal venue, located just 18 miles north of the resort, offers visitors a unique and truly Texan experience: pro rodeo, live music, and tons of delicious eats. While sit-down dining is offered in the steakhouse, locals prefer to order from the on-site walk-up windows to bring a heaping plate and cold local brew back to their seat, so they don’t miss a minute of the bull riding, roping, or barrel racing.
How to spend 48 hours in San Antonio, with La Cantera Resort & Spa as your base camp.
7 p.m.| ReDo at the DoSeum
Unleash your inner child at these adults-only after-hours events, which transform San Antonio’s only museum for kids into something the grown-ups can get on board with. Take a swing at the giant piñata after enjoying complimentary cocktails and light bites, then browse the wares of local artisans who set up a mini-market in the courtyard. The main attraction is the kid-free access to the museum’s interactive exhibits, like the elaborate jungle gyms, climbing wall, and more.
10 p.m. | Late-Night Bites at Bowl & Barrel
Wrap up your first night in town with a gourmet menu of pub bites like sliders and pizza while bowling in upscale digs. Imagine black leather booths and a full bar in a mill building setting complete with high ceilings, exposed brick, and industrial lighting. The lanes are just two short miles from the resort, making it a perfect last stop.
9 a.m. | Relax at the Loma de Vida
Located at one of the highest points in the city, La Cantera’s spa offers unparalleled views of the city sprawled out below. Take it all in from one of the Sky Lofts – private treatment suites that boast two massage tables, indoor showers, outdoor soaking tubs, and private decks.
11 a.m. | Shopping at El Mercado
Get transported to Mexico at Market Square. This Mercado is the largest Mexican market outside of Mexico itself. You’ll find boutiques carrying both traditional and contemporary styles, as well home decor and trinkets. Listen to live music as you browse or watch dancers performing the jarabe tapatío. Whatever you do, make sure to grab something to eat because the food is the most authentic in the city.
3 p.m.| Visit Centro de Artes
Located on the same block as the Mercado, this museum offers the largest collection of Latinx art (“Latinx” being a gender-neutral term for people of Latin American origin or descent) in the country and focuses largely on artists in the San Antonio and South Texas community. Because most of the artists are local, new exhibits often come with a meet-and-greet, panel discussion, or lecture with the artists themselves.
6 p.m. | Dinner at the Resort
SweetFire Kitchen, La Cantera’s open-air exhibition kitchen, serves up mouthwatering steaks and fresh-caught seafood that are packed with flavor and paired with 30 by-the-glass wines (there are another 26 that are only sold by the bottle).
8 p.m. | Rustic Roundup
Located in The Rim, a shopping and entertainment district off La Cantera Ave, The Rustic offers live music seven days a week, but Saturday is when they pull out the big guns. You’ll find artists like Kevin Fowler and Brent Cowles playing ticketed events for free. Not to mention, the 32 Texas-made beers on draft and the full menu of BBQ bites make a nice accompaniment to the show.
9 a.m.| Brunch at Battalion
Battalion – along with its sister restaurants Feast, Playland, and Rebelle – have been heralded as pioneers in San Antonio’s restaurant scene: Each restaurant offers a unique sensory experience paired with award-winning cuisine. In Battalion’s case, the restaurant is housed in a historic 1920s firehouse overlooking the famous Tower of Americas and features an Italian-inspired but steadfastly American-style brunch menu home to playful dishes like tiramisu French toast.
11 a.m.| Walk the River Walk
What’s a trip to San Antonio without stopping by the River Walk? Spend the morning hopping in and out of museums and galleries, like the Briscoe Western Art Museum and the Alejandro Sifuentes Metalsmith Gallery, or just take a leisurely stroll through the lush walking paths and over quaint and romantic bridges, perhaps leaving a lock on the Love Lock Bridge, which is supposed to bless lovers with a long and happy relationship.
The best food artisans, farms, and local markets.
This 10,000-plus-square-foot winery is located on a meandering 56 acres of gorgeous Texas Hill Country among other old-world buildings. Tastings are conducted in different buildings, but no matter if you are sipping on a petit syrah, sangiovese – or one of Becker Vineyard’s five other varietals – you can rest assured knowing it’s made from entirely Texas-grown fruit.
Guenther Flour Mill
One of the Pioneer Flour Mills, this mill has called San Antonio’s King William District home since 1860 and still produces flour, products, and mixes that can be found at the store and the neighboring restaurant, The Guenter House. While tours of the house, which is located on the National Register of Historic Places, are conducted daily, the biggest attraction is the breakfast and lunch served. Try the sweet cream waffles – they’re made from a mix that can be picked up at the store.
You might equate the best gins with the United Kingdom, but this distillery, on the banks of Calaveras Lake southeast of Downtown San Antonio, wants to change your mind. Their three styles of gin are made with a southern flair and are perfect for juleps, thanks to citrus and mint added to the brewing period of their original gin. Seersucker offers two ways to experience the distillery: through gin-focused cocktail classes and tours of their operations, featuring copper pots clad in candy-colored stripes.
Garrison Brothers Bourbon
The first time that Garrison Brothers tried to make Texas’s first legal bourbon was a complete failure. The summer heat caused the barrels to dry out, crack, and leak, but as owner Dan Garrison will tell you, there is nothing as powerful as Texas pride. Today, their seven styles of bourbon are a state favorite. You can taste them during a tour of their facility, an hour north of the resort in Hye.
- Like a LocalQuirky, below-the-radar highlights only a local could recommendRead More
- The WeekenderHow to spend 36 hours here, with the resort as your basecamp.Read More
A Benchmark Resort & Hotel
La Cantera Resort & Spa, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78256 P: 210-558-6500 Toll Free Reservations: 855-499-2960