How to spend 36 hours in San Antonio, with Hotel Contessa as your base camp.
6 p.m. | Dinner at Las Ramblas
Located inside Hotel Contessa, this restaurant offers views of the Riverwalk from their limestone patio. Inside, enjoy eclectic art installations over creative cuisine.
7:30 p.m. | Riverwalk Boat Tour
During these 35-minute narrated tour, you’ll learn about the city’s famous downtown Riverwalk that lines the banks of the San Antonio River, like its origins as a flood mitigation project. It’ll just make you that much more familiar with this mile-and-a-half commercial and entertainment hub, where you’ll be spending your weekend. Don’t worry if dinner runs late; tours last until 9 p.m., often later.
10 a.m. | Browse the McNay Art Museum
Housed in and around the original 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival mansion that fostered its founder’s original 700-piece collection, Texas’s first museum of modern art has grown in a trove of more than 20,000 works from Picasso, Monet, Degas, Hopper, and other names familiar even to art history amateurs. Use your cell phone to take an audio tour of 50 standouts.
12 p.m. | Have Lunch in the Pearl District
Bring an appetite when you venture to this foodie-friendly neighborhood a few miles north of downtown – you’re going to need it with 15 restaurants within 16 walkable blocks that serve everything from barbecue to ice cream. Our suggestion: lunch on the patio at Nao Latin Gastro Bar, the Latin-flavored restaurant staffed by alumni and students from the district’s Culinary Institute of America location.
3 p.m. | Visit La Villita Historic Arts Village
Located just south of the Riverwalk, one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Antonio is also a hub for its creative set. Along with shaded walkways that feature dozens of galleries and shops for sculpture, stained glass, jewelry, and fine art of all complexions, La Villita is also home to the Arneson River Theatre, a space for year-round outdoor dance and musical performances.
8 p.m. | Catch a Broadway show at the Majestic Theatre
First built in 1929, the 2,200-seat theater is a National Historic Landmark with dreamy details – stuffed birds perch on balcony railings and moving clouds project across the theater’s ceiling. And for more than 25 years, it has been host to the “Broadway in San Antonio” series, with productions of The Phantom of the Opera and The Book of Mormon that grace its stage.
9 a.m. | Rent a Segway
Feel like you still haven’t seen enough of the city? Wrap up your weekend visit with a Segway tour with SegCity. The two-and-a-half hour tours are an easy way to see a lot of the city in a short time, including classic San Antonio sights, like the Alamo, Main Plaza, King William District, La Villita, and more.
12:30 p.m. | Mariachi Mass at Mission San José
Dating back to the eighteenth century, this church was part of a quartet of Catholic missions whose limestone walls formed a stronghold against the brutality of the Texas frontier. Now under the auspices of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, its bilingual Sunday service features a Mexican mariachi band strumming guitars and tooting trumpets, providing a lively accompaniment for a choir of all religious persuasions.