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7 Hidden Gems Near the San Antonio River Walk

What you should do on the San Antonio River Walk? We have some ideas! Here are a few nearby hidden gems we think you'll love. 

If you've lived in San Antonio for any length of time, you’re probably an expert at this whole River Walk thing by now. You know the classic spots to grab the best margaritas, make reservations for the swankiest dinner dates, and find the best view of the Ford Holiday River Parade.

But what other hidden gems lie hidden in Downtown San Antonio? Here are a few of our favorite spots near the River Walk you'll want to explore! 

Image Courtesy of SWel l Cycle

1. Explore the urban trails.

Though the main drag of the San Antonio River Walk is fairly short, the city has recently opened up an expanded network of hiking, biking, and pedestrian trails! Head north on "Museum Reach" towards the  San Antonio Zoo and the rest of the Cultural Corridor, or set foot south on "Mission Reach" towards the city's historic Spanish Missions. Combined, these trails offer fifteen miles of urban and natural scenery. Rent a bike from SWell Cycle or grab your tennis shoes and get to walking! 


Image Courtesy of  Hotel Havana's Official Facebook Page 

2. Relax at Hotel Havana.

On the north stretch of the San Antonio Riverwalk lies Hotel Havana, a stunning boutique hotel packed with nostalgic Cuban vibes (and tasty Latin cuisine to match). Named one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city Hotel Havana offers tapas and drinks in a menagerie-style "Ocho Room," as well as in an intimate downstairs lounge (think: leather chairs and velvet couches). Stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! 


Image Courtesy of  Madhatters Tea House & Cafe Facebook Page 

3. Take a seat at the Madhatter’s table.

If you want to start your day with a cup of coffee or a midmorning snack, we recommend venturing into Madhatters Tea House & Cafe! Located near the south end of the River Walk, this local dig is a quirky place to enjoy tea, coffee, baked goods, and a unique atmosphere. Featured in publications like the New York Times and Texas Monthly, Madhatters has won awards ranging from "Best Brunch" to "Best Healthy Dining" to "Best Dessert"! Anyone can find something to enjoy in this local favorite spot.

4. Wander around an indie bookstore.

If you’re wandering the Museum Reach stretch of the River Walk on a warm day, you might find solace in The Twig Book Shop, an independently owned and operated bookstore. This shop is hands-down a local favorite for fiction, nonfiction, and everything in between. The shop also has become a popular venue for national poets and authors, so be sure to check out their event calendar!


Image Courtesy of The Aztec Theatre Facebook Page 

5. Take a trip back in time at the Aztec Theatre.

For trending music in an old-school venue, head to The Aztec Theatre, a historic downtown theatre that has been recently re-shaped into an incredibly unique local live music hotspot. Sam Panchevre, one of the visionaries behind the remodel, explained: “It’s a very unique space in downtown San Antonio. It’s centrally located so there’s easy access for conventions, hotels, and for the local community. Everyone can come down and enjoy this place – from church groups to pep rallies for college football teams to rock concerts to symphonies to spelling bees for schools.” To check their event schedule, check out  the Aztec’s event calendar!

Image Courtesy of  The Last Word Facebook Page 

6. Enjoy an underground speakeasy.

Interested in a unique cocktail experience? The Last Word, a speakeasy-flavored lounge with a literary twist, offers a vibe reminiscent of a 1920’s underground bar. Their self-proclaimed theme is: “Drinks, Reverie, Books,” which explains the famous authors and poets that line the walls. Stick to an old favorite (Old Fashioned, anyon?) or try one something new from their original bar menu. 

7. Get up close on a kayak.

It is the San Antonio River Walk, after all. Why not make a splash? Thanks to kayak and canoe-friendly river trails throughout the Downtown area, visitors can rent a canoe from one of the city-approved paddling vendors and breeze down the San Antonio River. Many of these vendors, such as Texas Pack and Paddle, even offers guided tours of the trails. It’s certainly a River Walk experience you won’t forget!

As a group of specialized agents obsessed with our beautiful city, we’d love to show you the ins and outs of San Antonio. Contact an expert agent and connect with a lender to see what you can afford! Plus, we’ll hook you up with our exclusive Buyer’s Guide (with important insights and tips specific to San Antonio). We’d love to answer any questions and show you around our one-of-a-kind city.


Pre-approval:An assessment given by the lender that investigates the borrower

Mortgage:A contract that represents the debt owed by the borrower to the lender for the money borrowed to purchase a property.

access:The right to enter a land through public route; also may include entering the land from another private land.