Looking for history and character on your Texas adventure? Spend some time exploring Southtown San Antonio! One of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods, this historic area is packed with elaborate architecture, amazing food, and creative soul.
You’ll have lots to pack in during your visit to Southtown. Its distinct subdistricts highlight some of the finest art and history experiences in San Antonio. Explore antique mansions like Villa Finale Museum & Gardens in the King William Historic District. The South Flores Art District is a haven for up-and-coming artists and innovative chefs. While you’re there, make sure you stop by the Blue Star Arts Complex for contemporary art and independent eateries.
Want to see more of this chilled-out neighborhood in the heart of the city? Use this complete guide to Southtown San Antonio, including what to see and do, fun places to eat and drink, and cool places to stay.
What to see & do in San Antonio’s Southtown
King William Historic District
Discover the vintage delights of the King William Historic District. Once a home for wealthy German immigrants, the area is full of impressive 19th-century mansions. You can browse the area on a self-guided tour, taking you through 25 blocks of stately homes.
Find inspiration in the Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate architecture. Some of the homes in the King William Historic District are preserved so visitors can appreciate their former glory. Stop at the Villa Finale Museum & Gardens, an Italianate mansion that’s home to over 12,500 antiques and is one of the coolest places to see in San Antonio.
Many of the buildings in the King William Historic District are now converted shops, cafes, and museums. Dine in a convent turned into a pink palace at Liberty Bar, or try the coffee at The Jewel at 1102.
Thanks to the strong German influence, the area was once called Sauerkraut Bend. For a big dose of German culture, check out the Beethoven Männerchor’s, a singing society and beer garden with lots of lively events.
Blue Star Arts Complex
Connect with the local arts scene at Blue Star Arts Complex. San Antonio’s longest-running contemporary art space is a popular arts, shopping, and dining destination. The former warehouse building is now a huge multi-purpose space with apartments, restaurants, and an arthouse cinema.
At the Blue Star Arts Complex, you’ll find stunning galleries and studios. From crazy installations to innovative mixed media, it attracts some of the most up-and-coming artists in the city. Browse delicate prints, interesting furniture, and folk art from around the world. Shop for vintage treasures or pick up a unique Texas-themed gift to take home.
If shopping isn’t your thing, you’ll find a lovely choice of independent cafes, bars, and restaurants. From sushi and champagne at Sukeban to craft beer from the Blue Star Brewing Company, you won’t be going hungry or thirsty here!
Pioneer Flour Mills
The Pioneer Flour Mills is an important San Antonio landmark. Carl Hilmar Guenther founded the mills in 1851, and it became a thriving business in the city. Today, you can visit the mill and the onsite restaurant and learn more about the company’s impressive history.
This towering building is a distinctive part of the San Antonio skyline. While you’re there, you can also visit The Guenther House, the former home of the flour pioneer, now turned into a museum. Learn more about the Pioneer Flour Mills and its founder in a grand historic setting. It’s a chance to see interesting antiques like baking accessories and Dresden china. On your way out, stop at the gift shop to pick up baking mixes and custom cookware.
The cafe & restaurant has a menu inspired by Pioneer products. Feast on fresh deli sandwiches or biscuits drizzled in mouthwatering sausage gravy.
South Flores Art District
South Flores Art District is one of the city’s most up-and-coming areas and one of the coolest places to visit in San Antonio. The area is also known as the Lone Star Art District, thanks to its position by the former Lone Star Brewery. Full of artistic buzz, the neighborhood lets you check out the rising creative stars and grab dinner at the coolest new restaurants.
The South Flores Art District has a great choice of independent galleries, including the Blue Star Arts Complex. Browse contemporary artists from Texas and Mexico at FREIGHT, or catch the latest performative art at The Revenant Gallery.
If you’re hungry, you can delve into the local food scene. Tuck into Mexican street food at the colorful Fruteria Mexican Botanero, or enjoy fish tacos and whimsical nautical vibes at La Tuna Icehouse & Grill.
Find an aperitif in the trendy local bars. Grab a craft beer and listen to live music at Dos Sirenos Brewing. The trendy Camp Outpost is a bar-restaurant in a converted warehouse with a sleek beer garden.
Get an extra dose of art at Ruby City. Before you even step inside, you’re met with impressive and unusual design. The 14,000 square feet of exhibition space here houses over 14,000 contemporary art pieces.
Celebrated architect Sir David Adjaye OBE designed this architectural delight. The aesthetically-pleasing building is an origami masterpiece of blush-tone surfaces.
Inside Ruby City, you’ll find two floors of paintings, sculptures, installations, and videos. Works explore everything from life and death to the divine. Admire mixed media mosaics or ponder mind-bending sculptures.
On-site, you’ll also find Chris Park. This dreamy green space is full of unique foliage and outdoor artwork. LED light shows and colorful stepping stones make Chris Park a quiet and whimsical place to sit and reflect.
Make sure to check Ruby City’s events schedule before you go. Previous workshops have included everything from in-depth artist discussions to healing sound baths.
Villa Finale Museum & Gardens
Villa Finale Museum & Gardens is one of the top attractions in the King William Historic District. Walter Mathis was a local preservationist and collector who restored many homes throughout the area. This mansion was his final property, and it’s filled with his vast collection of fine and decorative art.
Picturesque grounds and a pretty riverside location offer a beautiful backdrop for Villa Finale. This 1876 Italianate home is full of Victorian grandeur, with towering archways and huge balconies that would be fitting on a set for Romeo and Juliet. Explore rooms steeped in history, from the serene library to the ornate parlor.
Inside the Villa Finale Museum & Gardens, you’ll find incredible artwork spanning from the 16th to the 20th century. The collection includes bronze sculptures and paintings from famous Texas artists like Mary Bonner. Stunning furnishings and homewares make sure every aspect of your visit pulls you back in time.
Where to eat & drink
Southtown San Antonio is emerging as the city’s new foodie hotspot. The area’s creative buzz and farm-to-table outlook have given birth to trendy Mexican eateries and restaurants with a laid-back local feeling. The nightlife scene is relaxed and friendly, with hole-in-the-wall style bars and a focus on indoor-outdoor living.
You’ll find some of the best margaritas in town at Tito’s Mexican Restaurant. This low-key joint is a local favorite, thanks to its happy hours and authentic Mexican dishes.
For Mexican food with a fine dining twist, try Mixtli. The modern eatery uses prehispanic techniques to create innovative dishes with artistic flair.
Savour flawless Italian food at the rustic-chic Southtown Pizzeria. Although the pizzas are fantastic, their thoughtful menu might tempt you to try their perfect pasta or delicate fish instead.
Southtown 101 has it all. Chill with a happy hour cocktail in this industrial-style bar with indoor and outdoor seating. Get the party started with trivia and karaoke on weeknights and live DJs on the weekends.
At the cozy Lowcountry, you can enjoy relaxed drinks in an old house and garden. Sip cocktails while you listen to live rock music on the veranda.
The colorful Friendly Spot Ice House is a fun place to soak up the Texas sunshine. Graze Mexican snacks alongside 300 bottle brews and 75 different draft beers. With outdoor cinema screens, you can watch the game al fresco.
Where to stay
As it’s close to the heart of the city and many of its top points of interest, Southtown is a great choice for where to stay in San Antonio. There’s only a small handful of accommodation options here, with a mix of both hotels and vacation rentals. If you run out of ideas here, expand your lodgings search to other areas in Downtown San Antonio and along the San Antonio River Walk.
Live like a local at The Madison. These homey apartments are in the heart of the King William Historic District. Fabulous cooking facilities and upscale furnishings will help you settle right in. If you feel like a workout, you get complimentary fitness club access included with your stay.
This hotel is in a prime location and within walking distance from some of San Antonio’s top attractions. Stylish decor and a scenic courtyard create a serene environment for you to relax between sightseeing. Laze by the outdoor pool or have a night in at the stylish bistro.
You’ll get a home away from home in these spacious suites. You won’t go hungry with a full kitchen and complimentary hot breakfast. Placed between the buzzing River Walk and the laid-back Southtown, you can get the best of both worlds. Or stay in and unwind in the onsite fitness center and outdoor pool.