Visiting San Antonio With Dogs
San Antonio, Texas elicits warm and fuzzy feelings for us because Rod and I met there YEARS ago, but no matter how many times we go back, we always find more way to enjoy the city with our dogs.
It's easy to cover the basics here ... there's a decent selection of RV parks and campgrounds in the area, almost one hundred pet-friendly hotels, and dozens of restaurants with outdoor patios that will welcome your dog. But San Antonio has a lot more to offer than just the basics, including the famous River Walk, where Ty and Buster prefer to spend their time.
San Antonio River Walk
The River Walk encompasses 15 miles of paved paths, arched stone bridges, and lush gardens. It connects some of the city's major cultural highlights, like the King William Historic District, the Alamo, historic Spanish Missions, and downtown shops, restaurants, and hotels. Tucked one story below street level, it's a serene way to navigate the city, and best of all -- it's entirely pet-friendly!
Some sections of the River Walk can get quite crowded -- especially in the evenings -- and there is no barrier to keep you or your pet from falling in. But other parts are blissfully quiet, and you'll feel like you have the whole place to yourself.
Neighborhoods To Enjoy With Your Pets
San Antonio features lovely architecture, and we've enjoyed exploring several of the city's neighborhoods with Ty and Buster. One of our favorites is the King William Historic District, just south of downtown. Settled by successful German merchants in the late 1800s, 46 historic homes are included on the walking tour. (Printed guides with a map and a paragraph or two about each home can be found at the Anton Wulff House at 107 King William Street.)
Of course, food makes sightseeing much more rewarding, and two San Antonio neighborhoods excel in both. The first is La Villita Historic Arts Village (418 Villita Street), San Antonio's original neighborhood and now a thriving art community with galleries, shops, and eateries. This area is a key piece of San Antonio's past and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Districts.
The second is the historic Pearl Brewery (303 Pearl Parkway), which also serves as the centerpiece of this walkable and trendy neighborhood. Many restaurants are pet-friendly and pets are also welcome at evening concerts and movies at the amphitheater as well as the weekly farmer's market.
Sightseeing By Paw Or On Wheels
One site that will bring out the kid in everyone is the Texas Transportation Museum (11731 Wetmore Road). Collections include tractors, carriages, cars, and trains. And to top it off, pets are welcome on train rides that run throughout the museum grounds.
Once your dog enjoys a train ride with his head hanging out the window, you may have trouble convincing him to join you for a walk around town! That's okay. Because the Yellow Rose Carriage Company (300 Alamo Plaza) allows well-behaved, leashed pets to join their families on horse-drawn carriage tours of the town.
Some dogs find horses spooky, so make sure you know how your dog will react before plunking down your money for a ride.
If riding is too lazy for your high-energy dog, visit the San Antonio Missions National Historic Park (6710 San Jose). There are miles of trails and plenty to see on the grounds. However, pets are not permitted in buildings or on the Yanaguana Nature Trail at Mission San Juan.
Other good excuses to take a stroll include one of the local ghost walks that welcome dogs. Some people claim that dogs are more sensitive to the paranormal than most humans. Perhaps your pup will sense the ghostly spirits haunting historic sites!
San Antonio Restaurants That Welcome Pets
As you walk around town, you may find the staff of restaurants with pet friendly patios welcoming you to stop and eat. There are many great choices, and arguably the most pet friendly restaurant in town is Rita's on the River (245 E Commerce Street). Dogs will find their own menu, and every Tuesday features Yappy Hour with discounted drinks for humans and treats for pups!
Genteel pups may prefer Mad Hatter's Tea House and Cafe (320 Beauregard Street) for scones and cucumber sandwiches.
And you'll find a variety of tastes at Alamo Street Eat Bar (609 S Alamo Street), a gathering of food trucks. Enjoy food by some of San Antonio's talented young chefs while your pooch does her best to keep the ground free of dropped food. (When you're standing at a table near a food truck, there bound to be drops.)
You won't run out of fun in San Antonio no matter how long you stay, but if you want to get out of town, Texas Hill Country is just a short drive away. You might enjoy Cibolo Nature Center and Farm (140 City Park Road, Boerne), or a stroll around the quaint little town of Wimberly -- one of our favorite spots!
Can't fit it in this trip? Don't worry ... you'll be back. San Antonio just has too many pet-friendly things to see in just one visit!