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Things to do in San Antonio

In and Around San Antonio

2018 marks the three hundredth anniversary of San Antonio’s founding. Opportunities abound for those who want to take time around or between AMS/SMT activities to learn about San Antonio’s history: from special exhibits at some of the city’s most beloved museums to the five unforgettable historical missions (remember the Alamo?), collectively named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2015.

Popular Attractions

The Riverwalk – our Meeting hotel is on the Riverwalk, which is a city park lined with a series of restaurants, shops, and activities. It is one of the top reasons people visit San Antonio as it spreads through historic parts of the city. At night, it can be crowded with locals and tourists. Consider taking a riverboat tour where you can hear a guide speak about San Antonio’s history or relive adventures from the 1984 film “Cloak & Dagger.”

La Villita – this “little village” is 300 years old and half a mile from the hotel. There are historic buildings, shopping, restaurants, and notable Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration (10/31–11/2).

El Mercado Square – another shopping and restaurant hub about a mile from the hotel. Consider taking VIA (bus or street trolley rates are around $3 to ride all day). 

King William Historic District, sometimes referred to as South Town, is a beautiful historic neighborhood for food/drinks/historic neighborhood walking about a one-mile walk (or two-mile drive) from the conference. Two great places for a medium-large group to enjoy food and beverages are The Friendly Spot and The Liberty Bar, or a more upscale American eatery.

The Pearl is a culinary, shopping, and architectural destination about two miles from the hotel. Home of the late 1800s Pearl Beer Brewery, it has been renovated to accommodate high-end living. There are many great restaurants, coffee houses, and hotels, as well as a popular Farmers’ market on the weekend and live jazz venue. It is a bit out of the way, but worth the walk/drive/riverboat ride. 

Museums and Galleries

There isn’t enough room to elaborate fully on all forty-nine San Antonio museums, but a few of the most important should be mentioned.

  • The Institute of Texan Cultures is, as the name implies, an excellent place to learn about the many societies and cultures that have been part of Texas history.
  • The Spanish “Governor’s Palace” is a short walk and gives an interesting glimpse of pre-U.S. times in a home where the commandant of the Presidio lived.
  • The San Antonio Museum of Art began with an emphasis on pre-Columbian, Spanish, and Latin American art, but has evolved over the years to become an important collection of art from around the world.

Here's a list from Trip Advisor of other top-ranked area museums:

UNESCO has named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy, so it’s likely that you will find something palatable to power you through the busy weekend. See the restaurant list for recommendations from our local arrangements team.

...and don't forget: San Antonio is home to the Alamo, as well as a number of other colonial missions.