November 07, 2016 Slideshows » Arts

20 Places to Take an Out-of-Towner that Have Nothing to Do With the Riverwalk 

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Ditch the Riverwalk and do something different with your guests.
OF 20
Fiesta on Main
2025 N. Main Ave., (210) 738-1188,
Fiesta might seem like forever away, but that's alright because you don't need an excuse to browse through Fiesta on Main. Check out the folk art, admire the home goods and tell your guest to stock up on as much Fiesta supplies as possible. They'll be glad they did.
Photo via Instagram, sgoralnick
Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Museum
239 Abiso Ave., (210) 824-7791
Convey our city's flair for the unusual with a tour of the equally charming and perplexing collections in Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum. Created by plumber Barney Smith, artworks range from a lamentation of the Space Shuttle Challenger to a commemoration of his appearance on Montel Williams.
Photo via Instagram, dekedickerson
El Mercado
Historic Market Square, 514 W. Commerce St., (210) 207-8600,
One of the most famous outdoor markets in the country, El Mercado consists of over 100 shops, galleries and stalls. Largely family-owned, the shops of El Mercado offer everything curio from hand-embroidered Mexican dresses, hats to musical instruments, and even both sweet and savory eats. Browse through the plethora of colorful vendors and pretend to explore the streets of old Mexico.
Photo via Instagram, mtwedds
Hotel Emma
136 E Grayson St., (210) 448-8300,
You feel like a tour guide while pointing out parts of this historic-brewery-turned-boutique-hotel, but the building’s gravitas helps share some of San Antonio’s growth without losing its history. Oh, and lunch at Supper or Larder, where you can pick up a bottle of bubbles, some cheese and a sammy aren’t too be missed.
Photo via Instagram, tp210
McNay Art Museum
6000 N. New Braunfels Ave., (210) 824-5368,
The McNay draws all walks and ages with a variety of special programs and maintains an open-gate policy for picnicking on the picturesque grounds surrounding Marion Koogler McNay's former residence, a 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival mansion. Although it offers free admission every Thursday from 4-9 p.m., the McNay takes things to the next level during monthly Second Thursday celebrations combining gallery tours, live music, food trucks and cold brews in a super-relaxed atmosphere.
Photo via Instagram, mcnayart
San Fernando Cathedral
115 Main Plaza, (210) 227-1297,
Take a tour of the cathedral in the center of the city, which was founded in 1731 by a group of 15 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain. On Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 9, 9:30 and 10 p.m., check out the San Antonio Saga, "a 24-minute show by French artist Xavier De Richemont, in which lights projected onto the cathedral tell the story of San Antonio from its beginning to today."
Photo via Instagram, manny.tamez
El Bucanero
Multiple locations,
Hearty portions of your favorite ceviche, funky tostadas mixtas loaded with octopus, La Gran Pachanga — a 12-pack of your Mexican canned beer of choice topped with camarones ahogados — are all more than enough reason to take your visitor to El Bucanero (both locations, but we’re partial to the original) like yesterday.
Photo via Instagram, yelpsanantonio
Bakery Lorraine
Multiple locations,
Bakery Lorraine has easily become of San Antonio's staples, offering a plethora of macarons, pop tarts and assortment of treats — both sweet and savory. If your out-of-towner has a sweet tooth, don't let them skip out on a stop at this bake shop.
Photo via Instagram, bcavazos1226
Hays Street Bridge
Voted as the place for the Best View in the City, Hays Street Bridge, which was first erected in 1910, has watched modern-day SA grow into what it is today.
North of Downtown, you can see the Pearl and the tower at Trinity University. Temple Beth-El's orange dome looms over the trees in the distance, and while you're up there, turn around and inspect each angle the bridge has to offer.
Photo via Instagram, d_higa
445 N. Main Ave., (210) 212-4900,
Artpace is a world-renowned artist residency program that put San Antonio on the art world's radar. The non-profit contemporary art gallery, which was founded by Linda Pace in the space of a former Hudson automobile dealership, invites curators to select one Texas-based, one national and one international artist for three two-month residencies each year. Artpace is applauded for its ability to engage locals with the international community, and is a must for any art purveyor passing through Alamo City.
Photo via Instagram, artpace
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Track Down Mobile Om
This nomadic yoga community meets at at various spots through out the city, including the Southwest School of Art, Paramour and Freetail Brewing Co. Though their base is located at 1114 S. Mary's St., track down Moible Om and take your guest for a yoga experience they'll never forget.
Photo courtesy of Mobile Om
Ray's Drive Inn
822 SW 19th St.,
If your visitor has never had a puffy taco, there’s no better feeling than introducing said PT virgin to one of Ray’s signature delicacies. Don’t forget to order the crispy dogs.
Photo via Instagram, madelinemonroe23
Brick at Blue Star
108 Blue Star,
Smack in the middle of the Blue Star Art Complex, you'll find Brick — a friendly and casual spot that hosts live performances, pop-up shops, film screenings and everything in between.
Photo via Instagram, michelleclaire18
Japanese Tea Gardens
3853 N St Mary’s St., Sure, this isn’t a traditional park, but the tea gardens offer just as much outdoor splendor than the city’s other grassy spots. The tea gardens invite visitors with peaceful paths winding through calm ponds and delicate greenery. Bring a book to read over a cup of tea or under a pagoda.
Photo via Instagram, demiroda
The Hoppy Monk
1010 N. Loop 1604 E., 210-545-3330,
When The Hoppy Monk first landed in SA, we thought it was too good to be true. But several visits and beers in and we couldn't speak highly enough of this bar with its more than 90 taps of craft brew, delicious and evolving menu and chill ambiance. Sure, it sits right next to 1604 and doesn't have the best of views, but if your guests want great tacos and equally tasty beer, you could do far, far worse
Photo via Instagram, tycolby
Comanche Lookout Park
15551 Nacogdoches Rd., Comanche Lookout Park,
Trees, trails and...towers? Comanche Lookout Park holds true to its historical roots as a lookout tower is perched at the top of a hill where Native Americans used the height as a vantage point for hunting and warfare. The tower was constructed by a previous park owner with the intentions of it resembling a medieval castle, however, the owner passed away prior to seeing out the rest of the project. Now, in 2016 the tower remains tall and proud, ready to be admired as trails from every surrounding direction lead to the top of this hill.
Photo via Instagram, mysterious_skye
McCallister Park
13102 Jones Maltsberger Rd.,
With over 25 miles of trails for biking, hiking, or strolling, McCallister Park facilitates a family oriented park open 7 days a week sundown to sunset. McCallister park fosters a diverse plot of land in which no specific section is quite like the other. From the baseball and soccer fields that have been hosting community games for years, to the dog park, and of course the multiple playgrounds, McCallister Park is a place to enjoy life and make memories with your community.
Photo via Instagram, treenabeaner
Jazz, Tx
312 Pearl Parkway, Bldg. #6 Suite #6001,
If your guests is a Jazz fan and an admire of classic cocktails, Jazz, TX offers the best of both worlds.
Photo via Instagram, alarreola
Southwest School of Art
1201 Navarro St., (210) 224-1848,
Check out exhibitions at one of San Antonio's finest art programs and tour the school's Ursuline History Center, which was established in 1851, when seven Catholic nuns arrived in San Antonio to start South Texas’ first school for girls. Now, the offers community classes in book arts, ceramics, digital media and so many more.
Photo via Instagram, southwestschoolofart
Brackenridge Park
3700 N. St. Mary's St., (210) 207-8480
Nestled just north of Downtown, this popular greenspace is a hit with both locals and visitors alike. Within walking distance of the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Antonio Zoo, the Sunken Garden Theater and much more, the park features the life source of the city's most iconic feature aside from the Alamo: the San Antonio River.
Photo via Instagram, brackenridge_park_conservancy
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Fiesta on Main
2025 N. Main Ave., (210) 738-1188,
Fiesta might seem like forever away, but that's alright because you don't need an excuse to browse through Fiesta on Main. Check out the folk art, admire the home goods and tell your guest to stock up on as much Fiesta supplies as possible. They'll be glad they did.
Photo via Instagram, sgoralnick


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