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Connections: Festive San Antonio Beckons

By Jennifer Ward, 11/03/23, 1:15PM EDT


Cap off your race season in this energetic Texas city with our insiders’ guide on where to stay, eat, and play.


NOV 2, 2023

This article is presented by United Airlines.

San Antonio, Texas, is about to host one of the most exhilarating running events of the year: the Rock 'n' Roll Running Series San Antonio, taking place on December 2nd and 3rd. Whether you're tackling the full marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K, this charming Texas city is ready to welcome you with open arms.  

Known as The City of Five Flags, San Antonio has flown the flags of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the United States. Each of these flags represents a significant chapter in the city's history. With this city’s rich history, vibrant culture and cuisine, and rugged beauty, San Antonio promises an unforgettable experience for runners and their support crew.  

So jump off your United flight and come with us as we explore everything this extraordinary city has to offer.  


The Pearl district boasts a variety of cultural and culinary attractions, in addition to its rich history. (Credit:

Rest your head 

  • Downtown San Antonio: If you want to be in the heart of the action, staying in downtown San Antonio is your best bet. You'll be within walking distance of the start and finish lines, as well as many of the city's attractions. The River Walk, a scenic urban waterway lined with shops and restaurants, is just steps away. 
  • North San Antonio: For a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, consider accommodations in the northern part of the city. You'll find a variety of hotels and resorts that offer comfort and tranquility, perfect for pre- and post-race relaxation. 
  • Southtown: If you're a runner with an appreciation for art and culture, Southtown is the neighborhood for you. It's home to the Blue Star Arts Complex, with its galleries, studios, and trendy cafes. You'll also be close to the starting line. 
  • Bed and Breakfasts: San Antonio boasts some charming bed and breakfasts that offer a more intimate and personal experience. Staying at a B&B can add a unique touch to your visit and give you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. 

Be sure to check the forecast before visiting the Alamo - much of the historic site is outdoors. (Credit:

Fill your days 

San Antonio is a city brimming with history and culture, making it a fantastic place to explore before and after your race. Augment your running-centric weekend with a few of our favorite, must-see attractions. 

  • The Alamo: No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to The Alamo. Originally known as Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site – the first and only in Texas! This iconic site is a symbol of Texan independence and a significant part of American history. The Alamo's gardens and exhibits are worth exploring. 
  • San Antonio Missions: Another UNESCO World Heritage site on the map, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park includes four beautifully preserved missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. Explore the rich history and architecture of these stunning sites. 
  • River Walk: A stroll along this picturesque waterway winds through the heart of the city, offering restaurants, shops, and entertainment at every turn. Consider taking a boat tour to learn more about the history and charm of this unique urban oasis. 
  • Pearl District: The Pearl District is a revitalized industrial area that now houses restaurants, shops, and the Culinary Institute of America's San Antonio campus. Enjoy a leisurely walk, indulge in some culinary delights, or shop for unique souvenirs. 


Get cultured 

The city’s history, diversity, and arts-focused culture makes it a wonderful place to explore. Whether you like art, architecture, or more traditional museums, San Antonio has it all.  

  • Museums: The McNay Art Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art are must-visit destinations for art enthusiasts. 
  • The King William Historic District: This picturesque neighborhood is known for its historic mansions and elegant homes, making it a beautiful place for a leisurely walk or bike ride 
  • San Fernando Cathedral: The oldest cathedral in the United States, this stunning landmark boasts impressive architecture and a rich history. 
  • Witte Museum: For those interested in science and history, the Witte Museum is a treasure trove of knowledge and interactive exhibits. 
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The walk through Natural Bridge Caverns is about ¾ miles long and includes stairs as you venture through the chambers. (Credit:

Simple sightseeing 

San Antonio is teeming with historical and cultural landmarks. Here are a few more places to put on your must-see list. 

  • San Antonio Zoo: If you're traveling with the family, a visit to the San Antonio Zoo is a great idea. This zoo is home to a wide variety of animals and provides an excellent educational experience for all ages. Brackenridge Park is home to the Zoo, and offers the perfect spot for a post-race picnic or pre-race shake-out run. 
  • Natural Bridge Caverns: A short drive from San Antonio, explore these underground formations—a true natural wonder. Guided tours are available for adventurers of all levels. 
  • Tower of the Americas: Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city from the observation deck of this iconic tower—perfect for families! 
  • Japanese Tea Garden: If you’re a runner who appreciates some pre-race downtime to focus, this serene and picturesque garden offers a tranquil escape from the city's hustle and bustle. 

Soluna is one of the vibrant restaurants you’ll find along the Margarita Trail. (Credit:


Looking for tacos? San Antonio is home to numerous taco trucks that you may encounter while playing tourist. (Credit:

Tex-Mex and more 

San Antonio is a culinary delight, offering a diverse range of flavors around every corner. But don't leave without trying these local specialties. 

  • Market Square: If you’re looking for traditional food, head to Market Square where you can sample a variety of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes from different vendors. Mi Terra Café y Panaderia on Produce Row is a favorite for classic fare, margheritas and mariachi music. Hit up La Margarita just around the corner to enjoy sizzling fajitas and fresh oysters on the patio.  
  • Barbecue: Texas is known for its barbecue, and San Antonio doesn't disappoint. Visit Two Bros. BBQ Market for some mouthwatering smoked meats.  
  • Margarita Trail: San Antonio's thriving craft cocktail scene is celebrated on the Margherita Trail. Explore different venues and enjoy variations of the classic margarita at such locales as Aldaco’s, La Fonda on Main, and Soluna
  • Pearl District Restaurants: The Pearl District dates back to 1883, when it was owned and operated by the Pearl Brewing Company. Today, it’s a beautifully restored, revitalized area offering a great shopping and trendy restaurants with options for all tastes. Enjoy Peruvian-Asian fusion at Botika, smashburgers, shakes and fries at Henbit, and craft coffee at Local Coffee Founders.  

The Rock 'n' Roll Running Series in San Antonio promises not only a weekend of racing in a vibrant southwest city, but an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new place. Lace up your running shoes, explore the city, and make memories that will last a lifetime in the heart of Texas. 

United Airlines is the Official Airline of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series. Let United join you on your journey toward the finish line and check out the Rock 'n' Roll Running Series website to find out how you can receive exclusive flight discounts.  

Keep an eye on the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio event page for other local discounts in our Runner Perks section. 

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