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San Antonio, Texas: Explore food, art and history in a weekend getaway

Start with a tour along its famed namesake river.

See San Antonio from a river boat tour.

See San Antonio from a river boat tour. Photo Credit: visitsanantonio.com

World-class dining and brews, eye-popping art, historic sites and friendly folks put San Antonio at the top of a Southwest getaway. Here’s how to explore a long weekend in the Texas city.

A river runs through it

Start your trip by cruising on the gentle San Antonio River by boat, whether on a cocktail cruise or narrated tour. Large trees line the banks, creating shade for the many restaurants and cafés that run along it. If it’s not too hot, you can also hit the River Walk by foot.

Food and drink

The Pearl District, the site of the former Pearl Brewery, has become a magnet for foodies. Options include the Culinary Institute of America’s Latin American-inspired Nao (closed Mondays; 312 Pearl Pkwy., 210-554-6484, naorestaurant.com) and vegetarian-friendly Green Vegetarian (closed Saturdays; Full Goods Building, 200 E. Grayson St. Suite 120, 210-320-5865, eatatgreen.com)

For riverfront dining, get Texas BBQ at Boudro’s (closed Mondays; 421 E. Commerce St., 210-224-8484, boudros.com).

For a taste of some local craft brew, try one of the 50 or so beers available at The Cove while sitting in the outdoor beer garden (closed Mondays; 606 W. Cypress St., 210-227-2683, thecove.us). Friendly staff serve food that’s sustainably sourced and reasonably priced with live music to boot on weekends.

Arts and culture

Explore one of the largest collections of Latin American art in the world at the San Antonio Museum of Art (closed Mondays, admission $15/adults, $12/seniors, $8/students, FREE/ages 12 and under; 200 W. Jones Ave., 210-978-8100, samuseum.org).

Get a sense of Texas’ global population through interactive exhibits at the Institute of Texas Cultures at the University of Texas at San Antonio (admission $10/ages 18-64, $8/seniors and ages 6-17, FREE/ages 5 and under; 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., 210-458-2300, texancultures.com)

And don’t forget…

The Alamo was the site of a fierce battle for Texas independence on March 6, 1836, when Mexican troops overwhelmed the Texan fighters. “Remember the Alamo!” became the rallying cry of the soon-to-be independent Texas, which joined the United States in 1845.

Visitors today can experience the battle, from live re-enactments around the anniversary to viewing artifacts in its chapel (FREE to visit the grounds, guided tours starting at $10/person; 300 Alamo Plaza, 210-225-1391, free, thealamo.org)

GOOD TO KNOW

Getting there: Find primarily connecting flights from NYC airports to San Antonio International Airport.

Getting around: A 20-minute cab ride (approximately $25) or local bus will get you downtown. To get to different attractions, consider getting a one-day Via bus pass ($2.75) to hop on and off the #7 Sightseer Special bus. Car-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft also operate in San Antonio.

Where to stay: Major hotel chains all have a presence on the River Walk, like the Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk (105 S. St Mary’s St., 210-270-7799, druryhotels.com) in the former Alamo Bank building, with a 22nd-floor viewing platform. For a boutique option, there’s the O’Brien Historic River Walk Hotel (116 Navarro St., 210-527-1111, obrienhotel.com)

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