So you’ve got some time off this Spring. What do you do? Christina Olivarez and Stefanie “Stenny” Amezcua want you to look at what Downtown San Antonio has to offer. We explored some spots with them and even got to witness some of their downtown firsts!

Peacock Alley Mural-

What’s a spring day downtown without the perfect insta pics? Centro San Antonio Photographer/Videographer and Humans of San Antonio creator Michael Cirlos has created the largest wheat paste mural in downtown’s history on the side of the World Trade Center Building at 118 Broadway. The Peacock Alley exhibition is a partnership with Michael Cirlos, Zurich International Properties, and Daniela Riojas among others.

“I’m all about instagrammable opportunities from a social media perspective,” explains Christina. “But this mural also gives you the chance to know the people of San Antonio- not just what you see or what you think- but who they are.”

“What I love about it is that it portrays the actual people of downtown,” says Stenny of the mural, which features photography from the Humans of San Antonio project. “They live here, stay here, go to doctor’s appointments, and have established themselves here.”

Christina and Stenny (left) take a selfie at the Humans of San Antonio Book Peacock Alley Mural. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

Hemisfair-

Yanaguana Gardens offers something for everyone- unique playground activities, a coffee shop, restaurants, and of course paletas! Christina and Stenny ran into Joey from Paleteria San Antonio on our visit, which led to them rediscovering their childhood on the playground.

 “It’s just a space where anyone can come and relax, hang out and kind of be a kid again,” says Christina.

“I enjoy the vibrancy, colors, and the diversity of the playground equipment that’s around here,” Stenny reports. “It’s great to see kids playing out here engaging with nature and connecting with their peers.”

Note: We staged our photos at Yanagauna Garden during a period of low activity. Please be respectful to the children and families utilizing the playground equipment when you visit!

Christina and Stenny hang at Yanaguana Gardens. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

The Lock Bridge-

This hidden gem almost slipped past us. The Lock Bridge is tucked away on the river crossing near Main Plaza, right by the Courthouse Chapel and La Jalisco. Christina and her husband, Pete, locked in their love last year at this increasingly popular downtown landmark. No love was lost between Christina and Stenny as they mimed a street-fighter style fight in front of the locks.

“For couples young and old who want to refresh their love, go down there. Have fun and make it a date night. Go to La Jalisco literally right across from it, eat some tacos and go put your lock on the bridge and solidify your love.”

“My husband and I were married at San Fernando Cathedral nearby,” explains Christina, “so it really builds the story of our love. Every year we’re going to return and place another lock.”

Christina and Stenny act out a scene from the video game, Street Fighter, at The Lock Bridge. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

The Majestic Theatre-

There’s so much history and so many little gems packed into this space it’s insane! Stefanie remembers seeing Broadway shows and other plays in this ornate theatre, which turns 90 this year. Christina highlighted the shows San Antonio Symphony played in the past, when they played movie scores alongside the screenings. The Majestic Theatre frequently offers “Happy Hour” tours where attendees can get a behind-the-scenes look at the history and spaces that make it unique (with cocktails available for purchase of course.)

“We can go and get all dressed up,” says Christina of the San Antonio Symphony film screenings, “and see these amazing performers and it gives us a different experience.”

“One of the first memories I have is of my parents bringing me down to the Majestic to see ‘Cats,’” explains Stenny. “I’m looking forward to bringing my husband to see it when it returns in October, and it will be his first time seeing a show at the Majestic.’”

Christina and Stenny act out a tripping scene on the Majestic Theatre stage. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

Viva Villa Taquería-

A newer addition to the Market Square landscape, Viva Villa Taquería is spearheaded by Cariño Cortez. An accomplished downtown restaurateur, she will be the keynote speaker at Hustle+Socialize this year. Stenny and Christina enjoy the fact that Viva Villa embodies the tradition of La Familia Cortez Restaurants while presenting a fresh take on the downtown culinary scene. A fan favorite there is the Big Red soft serve, incorporating a San Antonio staple into a new treat.

“When my sister and I were in elementary school, we were in a dance troupe together,” Stenny recalls, “We got to perform in the Market Square theatre doing Folklorico dances. Being with family in Market Square is such a good memory.”

“I think if you want to experience San Antonio at its finest, you go to Market Square,” explains Christina. “It showcases our diverse culture, all the amazing food we have, and all of the people you’ll see.”

Christina and Stenny (left) enjoy happy hour at Viva Villa Taquería at Market Square. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

Playland Pizza-

One of the newer spots to serve up pizza downtown, Playland offers unique takes on the classic dish. The menu features options like “Shotgun Wedding” and “Not Pizza.” This Houston Street destination features outdoor seating- perfect for people watching on a warm spring day.

“Trying new places in the downtown area helps grow the downtown community and supports people who are working toward their dreams,” says Stenny. “And San Antonians want to try something different- that has a different atmosphere and different food options.”

“I’m a huge fan of supporting local,” says Christina, “and it’s important to check out something new, especially as a local San Antonian. The interior of Playland is something you don’t often see in San Antonio. It’s important to check that out and experience something new.”

Christina and Stenny (left) take a selfie at Houston Street's newest pizza joint, Playland Pizza. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

The Alamo-

Do you think you remember The Alamo? Think again. If you’re a local San Antonian, chances are you haven’t visited since elementary school. Stenny hadn’t ever visited until last year. She and Christina got to meet Bella the Alamo Cat on their recent trip. Bella enjoys hanging out at the water fountain and taking the hop-on/hop-off bus tours (true story.) If felines aren’t your thing, take advantage of the social media and selfie spots by the fountain or with the historical re-enactors with authentic period weaponry!

 “Knowing what exists inside the grounds,” says Stenny, “makes it more fun for the average San Antonian. They realize this is straight history right in the heart of our downtown.”

“Sometimes we take it for granted that it’s there in our own town,” explains Christina. “Locals should take in the history and culture. Each year the staff brings back new elements of the story and keep it engaging for guests.”

Christina and Stenny (left) take a selfie inside the Alamo with Bella, the official cat of the Alamo. Michael Cirlos / Centro San Antonio 

Christina Olivarez is a Social Media Consultant that lives along the Broadway Cultural Corridor downtown and Stefanie “Stenny” Amezcua is a Digital Content Creator who works in the tech district downtown. We want to thank them for taking the time to show us their favorite spots and creating new downtown memories.

How did we do? Do you agree with our spots? Did we miss any? Add your favorite downtown springtime spots at yourvoicesa.com

So… Where do I park?

We get this all the time. Don’t worry. Downtown parking is not too shabby. And there are many transit options in and around downtown. There are over 26,000 parking spots in the urban core. City lots, meters, and garages (look for the yellow and blue signs) are FREE after 6pm on Monday through Saturday, FREE after 5pm on Downtown Tuesday, and FREE all day Sunday.

For additional transit options, like VIA Metropolitan Transit and SWell Cycle, visit our Discover Page. Other options include rideshare and of course- Scooters! If scootering, please do so responsibly. Check out the rules of road, presented by Christina herself, in the video below.

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