Best Of 2021

Best City Park

Winner: Phil Hardberger Park

13203 Blanco Road and 8400 NW Military Highway

(210) 492-7472

San Antonio's Phil Hardberger Park isn't just San Antonio humans' favorite outdoor public space — it's a pup paradise as well. With two expansive dog parks where canine companions can run free, it's no wonder pet owners flock to the facility. But Hardberger Park has a lot more to offer than just the dog-related facilities that take up a mere 3.3 acres of its 311-acre expanse. Late last year, the park debuted a land bridge that allows human visitors as well as native wildlife to cross safely over Wurzbach Parkway. The innovative structure also includes a skywalk that lifts parkgoers into the treetops as they reach the top. What's more, artist-designed wildlife viewing blinds allow people to observe native species without disturbing them.

2. Brackenridge Park

3700 N. St. Mary's St.

(210) 207-7275

3. Hemisfair

434 S. Alamo St.

(210) 709-4750

Around Town

Around Town

Winner: Rivera on Broadway

1130 Broadway

(210) 960-4222

2. Southtown Flats

111 Probandt St.

(210) 222-8111

3. 1221 Broadway Lofts

1221 Broadway

(210) 899-4632

Winner: Blue Star Contemporary

116 Blue Star

(210) 227-6960

It's reaffirming that Current readers elected Blue Star Contemporary as the Best Art Gallery in San Antonio. And to be fair, BSC is much more than just that. Established in 1986 by a determined group of local artists and arts advocates, the nonprofit is essentially the granddaddy of San Antonio's contemporary art scene — not to mention the launchpad for both First Friday and Contemporary Art Month (CAM). In addition to hosting top-notch exhibitions showcasing the work of local, national and international artists, BSC educates tomorrow's artists through the MOSAIC Student Artist Program and sends four lucky Bexar County creatives to Germany each year as part of its three-month Berlin Residency. In a shining example of remaining relevant amid quickly shifting times, BSC recently unveiled "The Sitter," a wide-ranging group show that explores portraiture through the eyes of 13 artists, including San Antonio-based Ruth Leonela Buentello, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Cruz Ortiz and Sarah Fox.

2. Hopscotch

711 Navarro St., Suite 100

3. Southtown Art Gallery

1913 S. Flores St., Studio 9

(210) 441-0075

Winner: USAA

Founded in 1922 as a provider of auto insurance for military officers, financial services giant USAA diversified into the banking business in 1983. Since then, the San Antonio-based bank has become a go-to institution for members of the armed services and their families. Customers speak highly of its loan rates, customer service and features such as a cashback rewards checking account. Although its only full-service banking location is located on the company's sprawling Northwest San Antonio campus, it's been an innovator in offering phone, online and app-driven banking services.

2. Security Service Federal Credit Union

3. Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union

Winner: Service Cuts Barbershop

7915 W. Loop 1604 N. #109

(210) 263-9020

2. Mike's Hair Lounge

1933 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 111

(210) 668-4099

3. Mane Man Men's Grooming

Multiple locations

Winner: Bowlero

Multiple locations

2. Bowl and Barrel

17619 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 102

(210) 920-1102

3. Bandera Bowling Center

12332 West I-10 #10

(210) 523-1716

Winner: Biking the Mission Trail

Conceived in 1993 and constructed in five phases that were completed in 2015, the Mission Hike and Bike Trail connects the historic structures along the San Antonio River, which were built in the 1720s to house Spanish missionaries and indigenous Coahuiltecans. The 15.1-mile, out-and-back trail is an easy enough ride that the whole family can enjoy, but newcomers should know to pack both water and sunblock in preparation for the full ride. Completionists can begin their journey at Mission San Antonio de Valero — aka the Alamo — but those who don't want to deal with the hustle and bustle of downtown roads can forget the Alamo and follow the route that begins at Mission Concepción in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

2. San Antonio Sidecars

503 Chestnut St.

(210) 660-6939

3. Cottonwood Wine Tours

1814 Buena Vista St.

(210) 488-6867

Winner: The Nest Chiropractic and Wellness

506 E. Ramsey Road #5

(210) 323-2163

2. Align Health + Fitness — Donna Diaz

16111 San Pedro Ave. #105

(210) 990-1012

3. The Joint Chiropractic

Multiple locations

Winner: Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club

618 NW Loop 410

(210) 541-8805

After the Rivercenter Comedy Club shut its doors in 2018, the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club has become the only game in town for big-name, touring stand-up comedians — even during the pandemic. Managed under the Improv comedy umbrella, the LOL continues to book some of the most well-known comics in the industry. So far this year, comedians including Bob Saget, Paul Rodriguez, Whitney Cummings, Tom Segura, Jeremy Piven, Marlon Wayans and Chris Kattan have hit its stage. In August, podcaster Doug Benson and Cristela Alonzo are on the schedule, followed by appearances by Carlos Mencia and D.L. Hughley in September.

2. Blind Tiger Comedy Club

902 NE Loop 410

(210) 828-1470

3. ComedySportz San Antonio

11950 Starcrest Drive #210

(210) 338-0279