As a graduate of Trinity University- Go Tigers– I love San Antonio for more than its wonderful downtown/Riverwalk area. Since I left (it may have been a few years), San Antonio has continued to grow. New to me is the Pearl Brewery District in northern downtown San Antonio. It is an incredible outdoor space with park, dining and very interesting shopping. Best yet, it’s a great place to park, walk around and then walk along the northern end of the riverwalk and into the museum reach. Its about a half to three-quarters of a mile from the Pearl district to the San Antonio Museum of Art along a shaded beautiful path. If you are feeling adventurous, you can continue your walk to the heart of the Riverwalk and downtown. (You can also grab a River Taxi and enjoy a leisurely cruise- they pick up at the Pearl as well).
The Pearl was built in 1883 and survived through prohibition and beyond. Once the largest brewery in Texas, now you will find a small craft brew operations Southerleigh Fine Food and the Granary restaurants. The rest of the fully restored space is filled with shops, bakeries and more dining options. Home to the third outpost of the Culinary Institute of America (Anthony Bourdain fans rejoice), the restaurants here are top notch if not all together totally kid friendly. But what we found great about this space was the transformation it made throughout the day- the earlier you go the more welcome you are and some spots like La Gloria are perfect in the evenings for a boisterous family gathering. We missed it, but the Pearl plays host to a farmers market two weekend out of the month that was highly recommended.
With plenty of room to stroll, large greenspaces and exposed industrial elements that are perfect for hopping on, touching and climbing, and access to all of the popular downtown sites, the Pearl neighborhood seems like the non-tourist way to tour San Antonio. Highly recommended.