People always remember the Alamo, but there's a lot more to this sprawling metropolis in southeastern Texas. Into history? Visit one of the interesting Spanish missions. Just want to put your feet up? Boats ply the waters of River Walk, an artificial waterway lined with interesting eateries. When the weather is pleasant, there's no better place to be than on one of the tree-shaded patio bars overlooking the water.
San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is about 12 miles from downtown. VIA Metropolitan Transit has local bus service to downtown for $1.20 on route 5, which operates everyday, into downtown San Antonio in about 30 minutes. For Shuttle vans at about $20 per trip, see SA Airports Shuttle.
If you're staying outside downtown, a car is a must for getting around San Antonio most of the day. In town three VIA streetcar lines cover most of the center, for only $1.20 per trip (all-day pass for $4). Their website has maps and schedules. Service ends between 9pm and 12:30am, so grab a taxi, a lift, or walk from the bars.
For nightlife, there's a lively gay bar scene in the downtown neighborhood known as North Central.
Media & Resources
The San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce website has info on all kinds of local businesses and a calendar of events.
The San Antonio Current is the weekly alternative paper for news, arts and entertainment listings and reviews, including the gay community here, with good photos of annual Pride events.
Pride San Antonio has events all year, with big festivities each June.
Two gay-friendly options are found in the Kings William neighborhood, both near River Walk and the Alamo.
Arbor House Suites (109 Arciniega; 210-472-2005), five stately houses linked by a lush garden courtyard. Seven suites, each with its own unique décor, and named in honor of San Antonio heroes; sitting rooms, private baths, intimate balconies, patios and porches.
Victorian Lady Inn (421 Howard St; 210- 224-2524) elegant rooms, period antiques, modern amenities, guest rooms feature period antiques, en suite baths, cable TV, wireless access and telephones; some have private porches and fireplaces. A full breakfast is served daily, buffet-style.
Bars and clubs
2015 Place (2015 San Pedro), central men's neighborhood bar, open daily 365 days a year, happy-hour specials.
Annex (330 San Pedro Avenue), men's cruise bar, bears, cowboys, leather groups, darts, burgers on Sunday. Home bar to bear and leather groups, gay darts and pool leagues, plus locals of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association.
Bonham Exchange (411 Bonham) big, busy multi- level River Walk mixed crowd dance club, drag shows, go-go boys, guest porn stars, and patio theme parties; sponsors of the Mr Texas Cowboy contest.
Club Essence (1010 N Main Ave), male strippers and guest porn stars perform and mingle, mostly male crowd, theme parties, relaxed and casual vibe, food served at covered patio grill.
Heat (1500 North Main), Saturday dance club, after-hours on weekends, video lounge; heated patio, all-male revue dancers, guest portn stars, drag shows, Sunday cookouts, Backdoor Wednesdays with sexy bartenders and half-naked men, holiday specials.
Ivory Lounge (5152 Fredericksburg Rd), upscale, mixed crowd video martini lounge, DJ sets.
One-O-Six (106 Pershing Av) local hangout, popular with Mexican guys.
Pegasus (1402 North Main) every night cruise and dance club, video main bar, outdoor courtyard and stage with shows 5 nights a week. Also karaoke bar, leather-sports-country music bar, darts, pool tables, Super Sunday shows after beer bust and cook-out, and Steak Night Mondays.
Silver Dollar (1812 North Main), cowboys, Latinos, large patio, pool tables, music mix.
Sparks Club (8011 Webbles Dr), locals' neighborhood bar, friendly welcome, TV sports, shows, back patio.
Sparkys Pub (1416 N Main Ave), old English-style neighborhood gay pub cafe and wine bar with game room; popular with after-work crowd, late lunch served after 3pm, deli sandwiches, home-made soups, salads and deserts.
CLOSED - Saint Show Bar (800 Lexigton St), devilish drag divas reigned over go-go boys and 18+ dance crowd.
Alternative Club/ ACI (827 E Elmira St) all sauna/steam faciilites, plus hot tub, tanning sundeck, covered patio, free weights and excercise machine, TV lounges, bunk room.
Executive Health Club (402 Austin St) - CLOSED - basic facilities, technically an overnight "hotel" - popular with local guys.
Candlelight Coffeehouse (3011 N St Mary's) laid-back coffeehouse, lunch, appetizers, gourmet desserts, beverages, live music, shady patio.
Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery (3920 Harry Wurzbach Rd), European-style dining amid trees, ponds, and waterfalls; seafood, pasta, beef, and chicken, lunch or dinner every day. Voted one of Esquire Magazine's best 100.
Luther's Cafe (1422 N Main Ave), "San Antonio's Best Burgers" for over 60 years, tacos, meatloaf, stews and chili, lunch/ dinner, late snacks, patio; open Friday/Saturday until 3am.
Mad Hatter's Tea (320 Beauregard St) breakfast, lunch, dinner for every budget; tea, decious cakes and pastries.
Rosario's (910 S. Alamo) Mexican cafe and cantina, always crowded for good food at reasonable prices.
Web House Cafe & Bar (517 E Woodlawn), underground/alternative crowd hangout, bar & internet cafe, DJ music.
Encore Video (1031 NE Loop 410) large selection of erotic VHS and DVD movies, music CDs, lubes, apparel and toys.
Zebraz (1608 North Main Av) rainbow and pride merchandise, funky club wear, CDs, flavored lubes, underwear.