San Antonio is the most visited city in Texas, and its many attractions hold great appeal to couples. A romantic city of great zest and variety, San Antonio can boast of attractions ranging from the historic to the sensual, the spiritual to the sophisticated. Located "deep in the heart" of Texas, San Antonio's unique attractions are likely to earn a place in your heart as well. Put the following must-sees on your list when planning a visit to San Antonio.
The serpentine River Walk lines the banks of the San Antonio River for about two miles. The river itself is fairly narrow and shallow (its depth ranges from 4 to 18 feet), yet it is one of the most romantic and picturesque attractions in San Antonio. Lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants that stay open late, this is the place to sit and watch the passing scene. Or become part of it, by boarding a River Walk cruise to learn more about the area's history and landmarks. River taxis are also available for couples.
This historic "little village" occupies a square mile of downtown San Antonio and was originally the site where Spanish soldiers stationed at the Alamo bivouacked in huts. Today it's one of the attractions that can be reached via street or from the River Walk. La Villita contains shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Among them is the Fig Tree, an outdoor spot considered exceptionally romantic for its view of the river and continental cuisine it serves.
A lovely arched stone bridge, nicknamed Selena's Bridge (after the slain Mexican-American singer born in Texas), crosses the River Walk between the Omni La Mansion del Rio and Watermark hotels. It's one of the major attractions for couples, who come by to kiss, take a photo of the scenic San Antonio River, and even propose. Selena's Bridge is especially romantic at night, illuminated as it is by lights along the River Walk.
A tiny speck of land on the banks of the San Antonio River, Marriage Island is reachable from the River Walk. A rare, massive Montezuma cypress tree lies in the center, surrounded by two stone benches. Here countless men have led their partner, taken a deep breath, and popped the question: "Will you marry me?" When the answer is in the affirmative, it's sealed with a kiss. Among San Antonio's top romantic attractions, Marriage Island is also available as a location to hold a small wedding ceremony.
A feast for the senses, Market Square's colors, tastes, and Mariachi music bring romantic San Antonio visitors close to Mexico without having to cross the border. Attractions include some 50 shops selling imported goods from Latin America, and the landmark Mi Tierra Cafe, which is open 24 hours to satisfy Tex-Mex food cravings. In the clean, well-lit, indoor shopping complex there's everything from giant piñatas to tiny milagro charms. Beautiful hand-embroidered clothing for men and women, painted dishes, costumes, jewelry, gifts, and original works of art are all on display and available at great prices.
SAMA sits on the San Antonio River and dazzles visitors with its exceptional collections. SAMA's Asian art section contains the largest number of fine Chinese ceramics outside of China, and its vast Latin American folk art wing includes the priceless Nelson Rockefeller collection. SAMA also exhibits Western antiquities and contemporary work.
Accessible by road as well as by River Walk water taxi, the museum's outdoor space is a romantic venue for a wedding ceremony. The River Pavilion patio can accommodate up to 300 guests and a covered walkway links it with a covered terrace overlooking the water. Weddings can also be held in the museum's restaurant, courtyard, and great hall.
The Pearl is transforming itself from an expansive brewery that closed in 2001 to San Antonio's hippest gathering place. The area's anchor is the San Antonio campus of the Culinary Institute of America, dedicated to propagating the best of Latin American cuisine. Visiting romantics can enroll in culinary enthusiast classes or simply make their way to one of the restaurants on site or the Saturday farmer's market. Other attractions within the Pearl include Lick Honest Ice Creams, The Twig Book Shop, and Bike World.
Fun and funky, the Southtown Arts District is home to numerous galleries and artists' studios at the Blue Star Arts Complex. On the first Friday of every month, there's an ArtWalk that provides local artists with exposure and visitors an opportunity to acquire affordable works of art. Southtown attractions include several small museums, shops, restaurants, and the Blue Star Brewing Company, which pours hand-crafted lagers and ales. The King William neighborhood, where the city's wealthiest burghers settled, is adjacent, and it's fun to take a romantic stroll past their stately, well-kept homes. To reach the area, take the Blue Trolley from downtown or the River Walk to King William. Rental bikes are available at Blue Star.
An urban oasis in the city, HemisFair Park was built to host the 1968 World's Fair in San Antonio. Now maturely landscaped with green spaces, large shade trees, flowers, and waterfalls, it provides a welcome shield from the summer heat. HemisFair Park attractions include the Institute of Texan Cultures and the 750-foot tall Tower of the Americas, which offers a 360-degree view of the city and contains the Chart House restaurant, site of many romantic proposals.