Austin and San Antonio don’t just share I-35 in common. Besides being a nice day trip away from each other, it’s become increasingly understood that San Antonio has a burgeoning cool factor that can definitely give Austin a run for its money. We’re all friends here, but check out some of the San Antonio equivalents of some classic and hip Austin spots, and grow your San Antonio bucket list that doesn’t just crawl the Riverwalk.
Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt is San Antonio’s Greenway Trails System
Austin’s Barton Creek Greenbelt is easily the most traversed of the various greenbelts in Austin, consisting of almost 13 miles of serene, dog and mountain bike friendly hiking trails. Boasting a whopping 52.6 miles of developed trails is San Antonio’s Greenway Trails. The major difference between the two is the paved trail system distinguished by two lanes that makes up the various Greenway trails of San Antonio, allowing for road and mountain bikes, runners, walkers, and basically anything that is not motorized. Austin’s Greenbelt maintains an earthy trail terrain of compacted dirt and gravel. Both are surrounded by lush thickets, offering resplendent views of creeks and exposed rock faces right smack dab in the heart of the respective cities.
Austin’s BBQ Scene is San Antonio’s Tex-Mex Scene
Franklin, Salt Lick, Terry Black’s Barbecue – Austin’s culinary legacy is steeped in the great art of BBQ, having found its way to the city over one-hundred years ago by Czech and German settlers. Similarly, Tex-Mex cuisine originated during the mission era by Tejanos and later expanded into a known melding of meat-based products found in ranching culture with an Americanized blend of Mexican and Spanish cuisines. Today, San Antonio boasts quite an extensive list of authentic Tex-Mex eateries that serve dishes like puffy tacos, carne guisada and chili con carne.
Austin’s East Cesar Chavez Street is San Antonio’s Southtown District
What other stretch of road in Austin has a vegan bakery, several art galleries, a trendy brewery, and a cat cafe where you can eat a tasty treat from a food truck and adopt a cat all in one stop? Well, technically Blue Cat Cafe is right off Cesar Chavez on Navasota Street, but you have to admit that the residing area of East Cesar Chavez Street is a unique Austin spot to hit up that’s highly walkable (head north five blocks and you’ll be on East Sixth Street, home to some awesome bars and venues such as Hotel Vegas, White Horse and Zilker Brewing Company), and fulfills all desires food and art related.
The same goes for San Antonio’s hopping Southtown district, located in downtown San Antonio near South Flores, right next to the King William Historic District. Besides some very architecturally interesting warehouse-and-industrial-buildings-to-art-galleries conversions, Southtown has an emerging food scene that’s making quite the buzz. Hit up a great local brewery or cafe in Southtown, or walk the block to take in the hip yet repurposed feel of this historic, growing neighborhood.
Austin’s Barton Springs Pool is San Antonio’s San Pedro Springs Park
Barton Springs Pool is a summer institution in Austin, and is pretty much the only place you can howl at the full moon with all your might and not get stared at. San Antonio’s historic equivalent is San Pedro Springs Park, the oldest park in the state of Texas. Both parks’ original inhabitants were tribes who settled in the areas, and have since undergone various renovations and have been used for various purposes over the years, such as purification rituals (Barton Springs), camel stables (San Pedro) and a prisoner of war camp (San Pedro).
Want to explore a different side of San Antonio? Hop on board with us and see the Real San Antonio.