Mission San Jose, SATX

San Antonio Weekend Itinerary: Travel Guide (Pt. 1)

If you only had one weekend (Saturday & Sunday) in the city of San Antonio (locally known as ‘SATX’), what would you do? I’ve lived here for over 5 years, I’m going to try and pack as much as I can in two days for you to make the most of your time and money. This itinerary is geared towards the adventurer and maybe a little bit of a risk-taker. If your idea of a good two-day trip is the river walk, the mall, shopping, and Burger King, this itinerary is not for you.

Before we get started, I’ll have to make a couple of assumptions:

  • You have a car
  • You have a full day on Saturday & Sunday to spend in SATX
  • You are close to downtown as possible (Zip 78205)

Everything will be based around downtown SATX as a starting point and we will branch out from there to the recommended places. If you’re closer to SATX airport and you have a car, this itinerary will also work. We will cover what do in San Antonio on the weekend(s) and at night.

Saturday Itinerary

Saturday is a great time to explore the outer reaches of San Antonio. We’ll focus our trips where the car is needed the most and on the Sunday itinerary, we focus on things to do closer to downtown SATX where you may only need an Uber or some other form of micro transportation.

Click on ‘View Larger Map‘ to see the full destination list and route on Google Maps for Saturday. Once you view on the larger map, click the ‘Send to Smartphone’ button and you should receive the complete list in order to view Google Maps. Without further adieu, let’s get started

8:00 AM – Breakfast at La Panaderia Bakery Cafe

Address: 301 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205

La Panaderia Bakery Cafe
La Panaderia Bakery Cafe

Start your day right and head to La Panaderia Bakery Cafe for a hearty breakfast in the heart of downtown SATX. La Panaderia Bakery Cafe offers a good variety of breakfast & freshly made pastries, handmade right on the premise. If you’re not interested in La Panaderia, check out this list of breakfast places in San Antonio that we love. If you decide to go to another breakfast joint, just pick up at the Pearl Brewery to get started with the itinerary for the day!

9:00 AM – Pearl Brewery (Pearl District)

Address: 303 Pearl Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78215

There’s a lot to do at the Pearl Brewery, you can easily spend a few hours just walking around and checking out all the things to see. The Pearl is a historic brewery from the prohibition days, it doesn’t actually make any beer today, but the area has been growing tremendously over the last few years and it’s a popular attraction. On Saturdays, there’s a big Farmer’s Market that’s easily one of the best FM’s in Texas. Check out the vendors, historic buildings, shops, and coffee houses. If you have kids (toddlers), and you are visiting in the summer, there’s a splash pad and open grass area for them to play on. After a 1.5 – 2 hours at the Pearl, you’ll want to make your way down South for some legit BBQ.

11:00 AM – Lunch at 2M Smokehouse (East Side)

Address: 2731 S WW White Rd, San Antonio, TX 78222

Texas BBQ is serious, if you’re going to have a BBQ in Texas, don’t go to the River Walk. Go to 2M Smokehouse instead and get the real deal. They are open by 11:00 AM on Saturdays and there’s usually a line out the door until they run out of food, which is usually around 2:00 PM on the weekends. This BBQ has quickly become legendary here in SATX, as they are currently making some the juiciest BBQ you can get your hands on. We wrote a lengthy article on 2M Smokehouse that you can read here if you’re interested.

12:30 PM – Visit Sandy Oaks Orchard (Olive Farm)

Address: 25195 Mathis Rd, Elmendorf, TX 78112

Word of caution: Sandy Oaks closes at 3:00 PM.

Why an olive orchard? Because it’s unique and this place is simply lovely and strangely has a lot of Texan feel to it. Sandy Oaks Orchard is relatively far from the hustle and bustle of downtown SATX, but this exactly why I added this place to the itinerary. How many t-shirt giftshops and trinkets can a person visit in a tourist trap city before you’ve basically seen them all? My guess is that you’ve probably been inside your fair share, Sandy Oaks Orchard is Texas with an Italian flare. The owner of Sandy Oaks Orchard walks the grounds and buildings and you can hear her amazing story of why she started the orchard. Pro-tip, if you want to buy something and take it back to remember your trip, get the olive tamponade, it’s absolutely incredible. The olive orchard also offers a tour of the grounds that last 2-hours, honestly, it’s too much time for me to recommend, especially if you only have to days to burn in SATX.

2:00 PM – Visit Mission San Jose (The Queen of the Missions)

Address: Mission San Jose, 6701 San Jose Dr, San Antonio, TX 78214

If there was one San Antonio mission I would recommend, it’s Mission San Jose. Most people would tell you it’s the Alamo, but once you see Mission San Jose, it’s absolutely the coolest one. it’s also the biggest mission of them all including, even bigger than the famous Alamo. This is also a mission that most tourists won’t bother to go to, so you’ll have plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the surrounding. The mission itself is run by the National Park Service and offers a short movie, gift shop and plenty of photo opportunities. Best of all, Mission San Jose is free to get in.

Hot Wells (Edwards Aquifer) (Optional)

Address: 5503 S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78223

Visiting the Hot Wells won’t take very long, but it’s a cool piece of Texas history. Many famous people have stayed at the Hot Wells and the history of the building(s) itself is fascinating. It’s a short drive from Mission San Jose, this is why I’ve put these two locations together. Once you’re done with San Jose, make your way to the Hot Wells, the site itself isn’t big, so 15 minutes to see the whole thing will be enough.

3:00 PM – Have a brew at Kunstler Brewery

Address: 302 E Lachapelle, San Antonio, TX 78204

Running around the Texas heat can be exhausting, quench your thirst at one of SATX’s best upcoming breweries, Kunstler Brewery. This brewery is the first woman-owned in Texas, but most importantly they make some kick-ass beers, St. Chappelle is my personal favorite. Kunstler Brewery has ample indoor seating for those hot summer days and a huge garage with TVs for watching sports & events. There’s also an outdoor patio and a backyard with Adirondack Chairs with firepits (for Texas ‘winter’). Either way, you’ll enjoy a friendly staff, fast service, and food if you’re still hungry after 2M Smokehouse.

4:00 PM – Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Company (Optional)

Address: 1902 S Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78204

Dorcol Brewstillery
Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Company

Within a stone’s throw from Kunstler Brewing is another SATX gem, Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Company. The beer brewing scene is SATX is starting to heat up and local Texas beer is delicious. What’s unique about Dorcol is that they also distill a spirit called ‘Rakia’, which is an apricot brandy. You can get amazing cocktails from Dorcol or have one of their local favorite beers HighWheel. If you have the time to burn still, I would highly recommend Dorcol in your trip, the owners are often serving and making cocktails for their customers, they are friendly and awesome.

This might the obvious here, but drink responsibly. Dorcol is within walking distance of Kunstler.

5:00 PM – Take a Stroll Through Southtown & River Walk

Truly one of the best-hidden gems in SATX, Southtown as it is affectionately named by the locals is an area just south of downtown San Antonio. Not many tourists will make their way to Southtown, most usually stick around the River Walk, but since you’ll already be in Dorcol or Kunstler, it’s a mere 5-minute drive to the Blue Start Arts Complex. Once you’re done with Kunstler, park at the Bluestar parking lot and you can walk around Southtown from that location. There are ample things to do and see at Southtown and you may just end up staying the entire evening in this one area. You can also access the River Walk from Blue Star, arguably one of the most scenic parts of the River Walk. It’s the same River Walk when walking north will take you back to downtown (about 20 minutes at a slow pace). You can also visit the numerous bars in Southtown such as:

  • Burgerteca – Mexica inspired burgers, Beer, and Cocktails
  • Halcyon – Coffee, Beer, Food, and Cocktails
  • Blue Start Brewery – Food, Beer and Cocktails
  • Stella Public House – Pizza, Beer, and Cocktails
  • Alamode – Gelato Ice cream
  • Liberty Bar – Food, Beer, and Cocktails
  • Feast – Food, Beer, and Cocktails
  • B & D Icehouse – Great affordable BBQ & Beer
  • The Friendly Spot – Food, Beer, and Cocktails

All the places listed above are all within walking distance of the Blue Star Complex. You could scooter your way through Southtown if you feel comfortable or walk. So when you start to get hungry, which you probably will just make your way to one of those restaurants, they are all good.

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