As the summer is winding down, I am reminiscing about all the amazing things that happened during the last three months. My first-ever visit to San Antonio was one of the highlights of this summer for me, as the city quickly became my favorite Texas town yet. I was captivated by the history, colors and cultura mexicana that the City of San Antonio boasts on every corner.
No matter their ethnicity, one thing I know about Texans is that they are very proud people, of their state and their roots. Visiting San Antonio completed this picture for me as Latino culture, and more specifically Mexican culture is shown and lived proudly in this city. Traveling solo sometimes means that I might feel more cautious and guarded as I discover a new place. Although I’m not Mexican, as a Latina, I strolled San Antonio and felt right at home.
There was something familiar and warm about the people and the places I went to. I didn’t feel lonely or foreign there, I felt immediately welcomed. Of course, feeling welcomed to Texas started even before I got there, as my good friend, fellow influencer and talented texana, Byrdie Franco, went above and beyond by offering her home for me to stay during my days there. That’s a gesture that I will never forget, spending time with her family, and being treated like familia, is something that I’m truly grateful for.
I can’t help but link that hospitality and warmth to her Mexican heritage, to the ways Latinos in general often see friends and family. It is embedded in who we are and it can be experienced in different ways around San Antonio. In every corner and everything that I did during those days, I was able to feel at ease and welcomed. Although you cannot experience my friend’s hospitality in specific, I want to share the places I was fortunate to visit where I enjoyed the way American Latinos in San Antonio make any visitor feel right at home.
5 Must-See San Antonio Vignettes You’ll Love
From the cities I have visited, the ones that stay with me long after going back home is those that feel authentic, where the people are welcoming. San Antonio is one of those cities that charmed me right away, it was love at first sight.
Here are my 7 favorite vignettes from my days in the beautiful city of San Antonio:
Mi Tierra Restaurant. My first impression, as I walked into this restaurant, was that I was inside a scene from the movie Coco. The beautiful papel picado everywhere, as well as many piñatas of different sizes. The food was good and the ambiance so friendly, so familiar. They also have a bakery where they prepare delicious Mexican desserts to complete the experience. It is definitely worth a visit, beautiful, delicious, and dare I say, a bit magical.
Enjoying A Snow Cone. This reminded me of the ‘frío-fríos’ I used to get back in Santo Domingo. I chose my favorite snow cone flavor of tamarindo from the Mexican lady right in front of the Alamo. It is a great way to beat the heat after walking around under the San Antonio sun.
San Antonio Riverwalk. I’m sure you have read and heard a lot about this very popular site as it provides many opportunities to spend a delightful afternoon with family, friends or with a date. I went there twice; the first time with my friend Byrdie and her family, we took one of the boats and relaxed while taking some pictures on our way. The second time I went by myself and decided to walk, I mean, not for nothing they call it the ‘riverwalk’. It was a delightful experience in a breezy afternoon. I totally recommend you dedicate a few hours to visit and both walk and take a boat to see it from two different perspectives.
La Villita. From the first cute little shop I visited when I entered La Villita I knew I was in for a treat. Small artisan shops with unique offerings occupy what was one of the first neighborhoods in the city of San Antonio. I bought a beautiful blouse and silver ring and enjoyed a quiet walk at the end of the day, admiring the beautiful 300-year-old architecture, its romantic corners and colorful art pieces that bring you highlights of Mexican and Latin American culture. Is the perfect place to buy souvenirs for people back home. I recommend visiting La Villita early, they close at 5, and then head to the Riverwalk for dinner, drinks or to take a stroll.
La Panadería.I stumbled upon this shop after leaving the San Antonio Riverwalk and walking around for a bit before going to my friend’s house for the night. Nothing more authentically Mexican than that! As you can see in the picture, they had these cute little Rosca de Reyes, pan dulce, palmeritas, and everything bread. This is a sweet reminder of culture, as they say in La Panadería, “where bread cultura and familia come together”. The perfect spot to drink a cafecito with delicious pan dulce.