Meet SA’s Southtown

Raquel E. Alonzo

With San Antonio being such a beautiful city and one that is constantly expanding its horizons with art, music and various attractions, it’s no wonder why tourists flood into our city wanting to soak up our history and culture. But if you’re anything like me, you get a little stressed out and annoyed with how packed downtown can get with tourists snapping photos in front of the Alamo and the mass amount of people strolling along the River Walk. So, how does a resident of San Antonio catch a break from the touristy attractions?

I bring you Southtown. This radical oasis sits a few blocks away from the noise of out-of-towners and proves that not all of the fun is in downtown San Antonio. Southtown offers a variety of things to do, see, eat, drink and shop. This side of town is so abundant with entertainment, you’ll never be bored again.

Perhaps the most expansive site on the list is Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. Famous for the First Friday art walk, they also host workshops and talks with featured artists. This museum not only houses extraordinary art by artists from around the state and the world, but they also house galleries, studios, shops and restaurants.

Aside from Blue Star, other art studios include Hello Studio, Kevin G. Saunders Photography, Cinnabar Gallery, Flight Gallery, Terminal 136 (an off-campus gallery of the Department of Art and Art History of UTSA), Haus Collective and numerous working artists in studios at Blue Star.

Apart from the galleries and studios, there are a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding Blue Star. Shops such as Mockingbird Handprints, Blue Star Bike Shop, San Angel Folk Art, Twirl Salon, Eco-Synergy Advisors, The Brick and Tatum Originals reside in the Blue Star community for all of your shopping desires. If you’re feeling hungry or would like to sip a few drinks, try places such as Sukeban, Blue Star Provisions, Stella Public House, Blue Star Brewing Company, Bar 1919, Halcyon, Joe Blues and South Alamode Panini & Gelato Company to cure any craving.

Southtown doesn’t stop at Blue Star—there are plenty of other sights to see and places to eat around this side of town. Take a stroll in the galleries of the Lone Star Art District or stare in awe at the Villa Finale of the King William District, home of San Antonio’s nineteenth-century houses that have been well preserved and restored.

If you prefer to see the city and not have to worry about finding parking, try opting for the San Antonio B-Cycle, a bike-sharing kiosk that allows you to check out a bike at rates of either $12 a day, $18 a month or $100 a year.

A few more restaurants and bars to mention in the Southtown community are Bliss, The Friendly Spot, Hot Joy, Rosario’s, Tito’s, Alamo Street Eat Bar, El Mirador, Feast, Guenther House and Liberty Bar. Finally, if you’re feeling like staying in Southtown for a night on the town, stay a night at the King William Manor where the complimentary breakfast is at the infamous Liberty Bar down the street.

With so many options to choose from, Southtown is anything but boring and is a sure-fire source of entertainment.