San Antonio is already a great place to live, and it’s getting more interesting all the time. We wanted to share our excitement with this list of new attractions, shops, restaurants, and more that are coming to San Antonio in 2018 and beyond.
San Antonio’s Tricentennial celebration, San Antonio 300, will observe the city’s 300th year since its founding in 1718. The high point of the Tricentennial year will be Commemorative Week, May 1–6, 2018, with different themes for each day. Read more: KSAT; San Antonio Business Journal.
San Pedro Creek is being redeveloped into a linear park that runs through the western side of downtown. The first phase is expected to be complete in time for the Tricentennial’s Legacy Day on May 5, 2018. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report.
San Antonio’s nonprofit museums, gardens, and education centers are preparing new exhibits and facilities for the Tricentennial and the big summer season.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden will open the Family Adventure Garden, another phase of its expansion project, on March 3, 2018. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report. In the summer, the garden will host Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects, an exhibit of larger-than-life LEGO sculptures. Read more: ; San Antonio Charter Moms. Changes are also underway at the Garden’s Sullivan Carriage House—more details in the food section below.
The McNay Art Museum‘s big summer exhibit, Immersed: Local to Global Art Sensations, will run June 7–September 2, 2018. The exhibit will feature room installations by local artists as well as internationally known figures like Yayoi Kusama.
The San Antonio Museum of Art‘s Cowden Gallery will feature two exhibits related to the Tricentennial: San Antonio 1718: Art from Viceregal Mexico, February 17–May 13, 2018, and Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid, June 22–September 16, 2018.
The Witte Museum is planning two special exhibits to support the Tricentennial: Gathering at the Waters: 12,000 Years of People, January 13–July 1, 2018, and Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History, March 2, 2018–January 2, 2019. Their big summer exhibit in the Mays Family Center will be Predators and Prey: Dinosaurs on the Land Before Texas, May 26–September 3, 2018.
The San Antonio Zoo will go back in time for Zoorassic Park, a summer exhibit of more than a dozen life-sized dinosaurs. The zoo is also planning an overhead catwalk that will expand the cats’ habitat and enrich their interaction with visitors.
In 2017, the Linda Pace Foundation broke ground on Ruby City, an exhibition space designed by David Adjaye. Construction will complete in 2018, and the galleries, showcasing Linda Pace’s collection of contemporary art, will open to the public in 2019. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report; Glasstire.
EPIcenter is taking shape at a former power plant south of downtown. Plans include collaborative work space, education programs, a museum about the energy industry, and event space. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; The Rivard Report.
The San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology is open for visitors—currently, by appointment only—at Port San Antonio (historically, Kelly Field). The nonprofit has plans to develop a comprehensive science complex to support STEM education and economic development. Read more: Rivard Report; San Antonio Business Journal.
Two new attractions downtown are sure to be popular with kids: SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. They will both open this summer at the Shops at Rivercenter. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; KSAT.
Pump It Up San Antonio Southeast will open in January 2018, and more locations are in the works.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas is preparing a new roller coaster for 2018, the Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster. Read more: San Antonio Express-News. The Scooby-Doo ride has closed; no word yet on its replacement. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
Outside of San Antonio, but it will be worth the drive: Kalahari Resorts is building a hotel and indoor water park in Round Rock, Texas, with an expected opening of 2020. Read more: Austin360.com; KXAN. In the meantime, make the drive to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to check out Epic Waters, opening January 12, 2018 in Grand Prairie.
Someone wants to build the world’s largest Ferris wheel in San Antonio. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
As Heather explained in her guide to San Antonio parks, big and small improvements are happening at different parks around town all the time. The most notable parks event in 2018 will be the grand opening of Confluence Park. The park features dramatic pavilion architecture and will serve as a focal point for events and education along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
At Hemisfair, the Civic Park is under construction, with completion expected in 2020. It will be complemented by intensive commercial office, retail, and residential development, including structured parking; for more details, see the downtown section below. Also at Hemisfair, new restaurants are opening in the family-friendly Yanaguana Garden area—more details in the food section below. (Our team will be doing another cleanup in that area in 2018 as well.)
Will more parks get fancy Portland Loo public restrooms, like the new one at Lion’s Field? They’re pricey, but they sure are a big improvement over port-a-potties. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Current.
On the far north side, part of the former Classen-Steubing Ranch will become a major park in the Stone Oak area. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
Lidl and Aldi, two German-based grocery chains, are expanding in Texas. Read more: Texas Monthly; San Antonio Business Journal. Lidl has purchased land for stores to be located in Alamo Ranch, on the west side at Culebra and Westover, on the east side on FM 78, and in Universal City. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Business Journal. There are rumors about Aldi coming to the northwest side near UTSA. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
These two projects are still on track. IKEA will break ground in Live Oak in 2018, and the store will open in 2019. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Current. And Buc-ee’s is coming to I-10 in Boerne, with groundbreaking expected in 2018 and opening in 2019. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; KSAT.
New restaurants are opening and expanding so fast that it can be hard to keep up, but it’s fun to try all the new flavors. Here are some dining options to watch for.
Chef Johnny Hernandez will open a new seafood restaurant, Villa Rica, in Southtown. It will be next to Burgerteca, which serves burgers and frozen treats with flavors from Mexico. Read more: San Antonio Express-News. Also, he is opening El Machito and La Gloria restaurants at Brooks. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Magazine.
Rosella is taking over the Sullivan Carriage House at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Business Journal. In 2017, Rosella opened a downtown location at the Rand. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
La Panaderia will open a third location in the Leon Springs area in 2018. A downtown location opened on Houston Street in 2017, joining the original Broadway location. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; San Antonio Current.
San Antonio’s downtown skyline is changing before our very eyes. New office towers and apartment buildings will include street- and river-level dining, and some of the new hotels look highly staycation-worthy. Here are some dispatches from the downtown crane-watch. For a good overview, see these recaps in the San Antonio Express-News and the San Antonio Business Journal.
Hotels and apartments:
- A Saint Hotel, with the slogan “play naughty, sleep saintly,” will begin construction soon at 151 E. Travis Street. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report.
- A Canopy by Hilton hotel is planned for 155 E. Commerce Street. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Also on East Commerce, the Floodgate apartments will have ground-level retail and dining space. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- A Tru by Hilton hotel is planned at 901 E. Houston Street. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- A luxurious Thompson Hotel is under construction near the Tobin Center and will include condos, the Arts Residences. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Floors above the Aztec Theatre will become a hotel with a rooftop restaurant. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- A Cambria Hotel at Main Plaza will have a second floor restaurant, a rooftop bar, and a 10-story mural. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- A hotel is under construction at 114 Soledad Street; locals may remember a Solo Serve store there. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- The Hedrick building has its old façade back and will house apartments, to be named the Flats on St. Mary’s; a nearby two-story building will have offices and a rooftop bar. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report.
- The Villita Tower apartments will include offices; no word yet on dining or retail spaces. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- A renovated office building that used to house the San Antonio Light newspaper will have a rooftop party zone, perfectly positioned to watch Fiesta parades. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Tech offices, and a street-level coffee shop, are planned for 401 E. Houston Street. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Offices will fill the Kress Building at 311 E. Houston Street, with a food hall planned for the building next door (formerly the children’s museum). Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Office building at 711 Broadway, formerly Cavender Cadillac. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Office building at 900 Broadway. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
Frost Bank is building a distinctive office tower downtown, near City Hall. It’s won’t be the tallest building in San Antonio, but hopefully it will have a skydeck or restaurant that we can visit. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; image source: kdc.com. CPS Energy is also building a new headquarters downtown near the Museum Reach. Read More: San Antonio Express-News.
At the Pearl, Credit Human is planning an office tower at the corner of Broadway and Pearl Parkway. Read more: San Antonio Express-News. Our friends at the Pearl tell us they are working on several exciting things; dates and details to come soon.
CAST STEM magnet high school is opening in Southwest ISD in 2018. Another CAST high school, with a medical focus, will open later at Brooks as part of San Antonio ISD. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; Rivard Report.
As more families move to San Antonio, school districts are welcoming new students and building new campuses.
- Northside ISD will open Mora Elementary School in 2018. Two more schools are in development under the 2014 bond.
- Boerne ISD will open Van Raub Elementary School in 2018. Two more schools, Herff Elementary and Voss Middle School, are planned under the 2016 bond. Read more: KSAT; San Antonio Express-News.
- Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD will relocate Rose Garden Elementary School to a new, larger campus in 2018. Read more: San Antonio Express-News; KSAT. The district is planning to open four new schools by the 2026–27 school year. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- Comal ISD will open two new middle schools, Danville Middle School and Pieper Ranch Middle School, in 2018. Read more: New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung; KSAT.
- Southside ISD is using funds raised by a 2017 bond to build a new early childhood campus and realign grade levels on other campuses. Read more: San Antonio Express-News.
- East Central ISD has proposed new attendance zones for 2018–19.
Will Smith Zoo School, an early childhood program at the San Antonio Zoo, is moving to a new campus in early 2018. Read more about this nature-based program in our earlier post and at KSAT; San Antonio Current. Little Sunshine’s Playhouse is opening a new location in Stone Oak; read more about their model in this earlier post. Primrose Schools is opening a new location at the Medical Center.
Last But Not Least
In 2018, you can be a good citizen by voting in elections on March 6, May 5, and November 6, plus any runoff elections. Make sure you are registered to vote at least a month in advance by visiting Bexar County Elections or VoteTexas.gov.
If you’re curious, hop in the way-back machine to visit the 2017 post. That was an eventful year in San Antonio, right? The year 2018 is shaping up to be full of change and excitement, too.
What are you excited about that’s coming to San Antonio soon?