Texas travels

Forget the Alamo: Here's how you do a weekend getaway in San Antonio

Forget the Alamo: Here's how you do a weekend getaway in San Antonio

Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio
The pool at Mokara Hotel & Spa has fabulous views of the city. Courtesy of Mokara Hotel & Spa
La Gloria
La Gloira tacos are a must. Courtesy of La Gloria
Emory Quinn at Pearl Farmers Market
Bands like Emory Quinn jam at Pearl Farmers Market. Courtesy of Pearl Farmers Market
Japanese Tea Garden
The Japanese Tea Garden is a lush, green respite. Courtesy of Japanese Tea Garden
Esquire Tavern
Bartenders mix it up at Esquire Tavern. Courtesy of Esquire Tavern
Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio
La Gloria
Emory Quinn at Pearl Farmers Market
Japanese Tea Garden
Esquire Tavern

When Santa Anna and William B. Travis fought it out during the Battle of the Alamo, they probably did not foresee the fort becoming a Texas landmark. Although San Antonio takes prides in this less-than-crucial part of Texas history, the city now flourishes thanks to vibrant arts, culture and cuisine.


8 p.m.: Deplane and unwind
Arrive at San Antonio International Airport. Taxis would suffice (at a hefty price), but consider renting a car — or skip the flight and drive in. Check in at the Mokara Hotel & Spa located on the city's famous River Walk. Check in to your guest room, complete with marble and wood touches, high ceilings, luxurious linens and Jacuzzi tub. 

9 p.m.: Nourish yourself
Head to The Sandbar Fish House & Market (book a reservation in advance) at the Pearl Brewery. This is where Andrew Weissman creates impeccable seafood dishes a la minute. The cool colors create a relaxed, beachy chic environment for dining. For two: Sip on bubbly or indulge in a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. Then start with curry shrimp and tuna chip 'n' dip, share a mixed green salad and half a dozen oysters, and finish off with Key lime pie. 


10 a.m.: Epicurean adventure
Venture down to the Pearl Farmers Market. First stop should be Sol Y Luna Baking Company for a baguette and kolache. Savor a cup of French roast coffee from San Antonio Coffee Roasters. Then sample Texas honey from Gretchen Bee Ranch and browse the goods from more than 35 vendors while listening to a local band jam. 

1 p.m.: Get artsy
Go to The McNay museum for a dose of 19th- through 21st-century art. In the early 20th century, Marion Koogler moved from Ohio to San Antonio, married Don Denton McNay, remarried Donald T. Atkinson after McNay's death, and began collecting art. The pair commissioned notable architects Atlee and Robert Ayres to design a Spanish Colonial revival house, which later became the McNay Art Museum. (After Marion ended her second marriage, she used her first husband's name.) The current exhibition is Estampas De La Raza: Contemporary prints from the Romo Collection, a survey of Mexican-American and Latino printmakers.

3 p.m.: Late lunch
Eat outside at The Cove — a gluten-free, vegetarian and child-friendly beer garden and restaurant (with an on-site car wash and laundromat), where a chill vibe and comforting food sate your cravings. Order the warm beet salad, Texas burger and organic sweet potato fries. 

6 p.m.: Happy hour
Head to the dark, saloon-like Esquire Tavern for a drink. Bartenders at the oldest watering hole on the River Walk mix up tasty cocktails: Try a Bittersweet Symphony with rye, aperol, fernet, carpano antica, rhubarb and bitters; a Sacrilege with chamomile pisco, green chartreuse, lime, honey syrup and cracked pepper; or an Oaxaca Mule with mezcal, lime and ginger beer. 

8 p.m.: More than a taste
Head to Feast for dinner, where chef Stefan Bowers dishes up a series of small plates — hot, chilled, grilled, crispy, comfort and mains. Eat the grilled pear salad, Hungarian wax peppers, duck breast tostadas and sweet corn fritters. 


10 a.m.: French fare
It's a rarity to find French croissants as good as the ones in Paris. Bistro Bakery is the place to go for an almond croissant and café au lait that will send you back to your favorite patisserie in the Marais. The sweet, buttery treat and charming decor are the best reasons to wake up early on a Sunday. 

11 a.m.: Green getaway
The lush Japanese Tea Garden is a peaceful place to relax. Take a walk on stone bridges and admire the serene surrounding. Jingu House Cafe is ideal for a picnic and picture-perfect shots of the green garden. 

Noon: Taco time
Your trip would not be complete without indulging in cocina Mexicana. Go to La Gloria for tacos, ceviche and flan de coco. Chef Johnny Hernandez does Mexican street food with a sophisticated and gourmet twist.