San Antonio has much to offer when it comes to retail destinations, so it's only natural that shopping diehards will delight in visiting Texas's second biggest city. From authentic Mexican outdoor markets to art galleries, funky boutique shops, and upscale malls, the Alamo City has something for every type of shopper.
A vibrant, three-block outdoor plaza in downtown San Antonio, Market Square is billed as one of the “largest Mexican markets outside of Mexico.” Shoppers can peruse over 100 locally-owned stores and stalls in festive indoor malls filled with authentic Talavera pottery and specialty clothing. If you get hungry, there's plenty of local Mexican food to keep you satiated during your shopping extravaganza. On that note, be sure to stop by Mi Tierra—this Mexican café and bakery is a San Antonio institution. Most weekends, visitors can also experience traditional Folklorico dancing happening on one of several stages throughout the marketplace. A morning spent at Market Square is a must-do when you visit the Alamo City.
This bustling, 25-block creative community and shopping hub in King William is where you’ll find a plethora of locally-owned bars, boutiques, galleries, museums, and more. Don’t miss the Blue Star Arts Complex, a 160,000-square-foot collection of retailers, art studios, bars, and eateries. For colorful jewelry, clothing, and crafts from Mexico, stop by Pulquerios; later, marvel at the hand-blown glass creations at Garcia Art Glass. If possible, plan your trip around First Friday, San Antonio’s longest-running artwalk that’s brimming with unique artisanal goodies. Southtown is a local gem that’s not to be missed.
For those who’d prefer an upscale mall experience, The Shops at La Cantera features high-end stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Stuart Weitzman, all in a picturesque Hill Country setting. In addition to the impressive variety of shops, there are several top-notch restaurants and bars here.
About 10 miles from downtown San Antonio—and two miles from the airport—North Star Mall offers luxury favorites like Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Armani Exchange, as well as trendy brands like Banana Republic and H&M. Not to mention, North Star is home to the “world’s largest cowboy boot sculpture,” as recognized by the "Guinness Book of World Records" in 2016—hey, when in San Antonio, right?
Strung along the River Walk, Rivercenter boasts over 100 retailers, an IMAX, AMC Theatres, and an adjoining 1,000-room hotel—the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. When it comes to shopping, this thriving complex has it all: The huge list of stores includes Macy’s, H&M, Francesca’s, The Disney Store, and more. While you're here, make time for “Battle for Texas: The Experience,” which brings the story of the Alamo to life with multimedia reenactments, 250 artifacts, family-friendly displays, and original gifts.
North of downtown, The Alley on Bitters is a wonderful place to wander and shop. The Alley occupies the land where a 19th century dairy farm once stood, and there’s still an abundance of rustic charm and quaint character. In this maze of specialty shops, you’ll find a professional portrait studio, handcrafted wooden furniture, unique paintings, vintage treasures, garden décor, and luxe, local apparel for adults and children alike.
La Villita was originally settled nearly 300 years ago as one of the city’s first neighborhoods. Nestled on the south bank of the San Antonio River Walk, this historical district has been lovingly restored, with charm oozing out of every building's nook, cranny, and crevice. You’ll find nearly 30 shops and galleries offering distinctive handmade crafts from some of San Antonio’s most renowned artists. Wander the cobblestone streets, soak up the old-school San Antonio vibes, and pop into shops selling mixed metal jewelry, textiles, Mexican folk art, sculptures, and more.