Get a Taste of Texas Culture in San Antonio from Outside elessard

Some of the best travel experiences revolve around culture—tasting it, hearing it, seeing it, immersing yourself in it. That’s certainly true in Texas, and in particular San Antonio, where you’ll discover a tapestry of history, local foods, art, nightlife, and more. Outside sent travel couple Mike and Anne Howard of HoneyTrek to explore San Antonio and immerse themselves in Texas culture. The Howards have been traveling as digital nomads since 2012 and have explored cultures around the world, which makes them the perfect travelers for a deep dive in the heart of Texas. Here’s what they discovered.

Get a History Lesson

Start your trip by getting a lay of the land on a guided history tour through the city. Whether you explore on foot, by bike, or by boat, a local guide will bring the city to life with the stories and history that developed the South Texas culture you see today. Going for a DIY approach? Hop on an electric BCycle bike to explore at your own pace. Ride along 16 miles of trails that connect the San Antonio Missions—the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas. Constructed in the early 1700s, the missions played an integral part in combining Indigenous and Spanish influences into a novel South Texas culture. “Strolling under the live oaks at the missions while taking in the history is a really special experience,” says Anne. The trails are as much an experience as the missions themselves. Along the way, you’ll pass local art installations and pedal through lush greenspaces where local plants thrive.

Find Your Texas State of Mind

If natural history is more your thing, explore the Natural Bridge Caverns just outside of the city. Guided tours of the caverns range from walking tours by lantern to more active spelunking experiences.

Explore Local Art

From colorful murals that exude a vibe unique to San Antonio to museums and galleries that display works by local and international artists, San Antonio is filled with creative expression. One of the most innovative: Hopscotch, an immersive art experience where visitors wander through 20,000 square feet of larger-than-life installations filled with mesmerizing, interactive elements that engage all five senses. Explore hidden pockets of color in the rainbow cave. Or let your inner child loose in the LED ball pit. Because new artists are constantly invited to exhibit their work, no two visits to Hopscotch are the same. “The art installations change frequently with pieces from local artists, so there is always a new reason to come back,” says Anne.

Hopscotch is an immersive art experience with wide collection of rotating creations. (Photo: Morahan Visuals)

Taste the Flavors of Texas

Texas locals take their food seriously, with Texas-style dishes and flavors you won’t find anywhere else. Book a spot on a San Antonio River Walk food tour to sample South Texas cuisine at its finest. As a major part of the ranching industry—more than 13 percent of the country’s cattle are raised in the state—much of Texas cuisine is beef-forward. In Texas, barbecue means beef brisket smoked to perfection and served without sauce, because, as Texans say, the meat is Texas barbecue. Chili, another widely contested dish, takes on a distinct flavor in Texas. Made with roast instead of ground beef, and never with beans, Texas chili is a point of pride among locals. Of course, it wouldn’t be a San Antonio food tour without Tex-Mex and tacos—both important parts of Texas cuisine. And don’t sleep past the breakfast taco, a staple of San Antonio’s brunch scene. Eddie’s Taco House serves up a variety of egg-based taco creations to start your day.

Taste all the flavors of Texas within San Antonio’s vibrant food scene. (Photo: Morahan Visuals)

Vegetarian or vegan? Don’t worry! Many restaurants have adapted famous Texas dishes to offer plant-based options. “From the bars to the little coffee shops, the vegan food options are fantastic, and there are constantly new restaurants popping up,” says Mike.

Go Out on the Town

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a city is to soak up the atmosphere at a local watering hole. During the day, head to the Pearl. This live-work-play community is a hub for creative cuisine, art, music, and shopping. Browse shops filled with goods from local artisans. Catch live music at the Stable Hall. Or simply relax and take it all in with an afternoon drink at Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. “San Antonio’s nightlife exhibits a beautiful combination of living history, creativity, and modern charm that’s great to experience and be a part of,” says Mike.

San Antonio has a lively and walkable downtown. (Photo: Morahan Visuals)

In the evening, check out the downtown scene. Filled with restaurants, theaters, public art, and nightlife, this neighborhood shows off San Antonio culture like no other. Grab dinner close to the action at the Iron Cactus. The patio seating right on the river is ideal for sipping margs and feasting on the restaurant’s famous brisket enchiladas. After dinner, wander the River Walk and pop into any of the neighborhood’s many cocktail bars or live music venues that strike your fancy.

Travel Texas is responsible for promoting Texas as a premier travel destination in domestic and international markets, generating travel to Texas destinations.

The post Get a Taste of Texas Culture in San Antonio appeared first on Outside Online.